Welcome to the eighth entry in our ongoing series Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl! Each month in 2015 we will teach you a new crochet or knit stitch. You can then use the stitch when you make the featured cowl. This month our stitch is entrelac crochet, and the cowl is the Entrelac Crochet Cowl in Boutique Treasure. Keep reading to learn the stitch and enter to win! Use the hashtag #learnstitches to talk about the series.
The pattern calls for Boutique Treasure, but the example is in two colors of Soft Yarn, Wheat and Lilac, so you can follow along easier. Entrelac is a technique, originally developed for knitting, that creates squares going in different directions in your fabric. It may seem difficult, but the only stitches used in this cowl are chain, single crochet, half double crochet, and slip stitch.
A few general notes before we begin.
- You will need to follow along with the pattern as you read this tutorial.
- Trust the pattern — even if something doesn’t make sense right away, if you keep going you’ll see the fabric emerging.
- The turning chains do not count as stitches.
- Count carefully.
- Use stitch markers where indicated. Even if you are an experienced crocheter, stitch markers will make everything easier.
This picture is of the completed swatch. Your cowl will be a longer version of this rectangle. At each tier in the pattern, we changed colors so you can see how the tiers fit together.
You’ll start off by making the two base triangles (in Wheat).
Since you’re starting with a point, the first few stitches can seem odd. This is what your project will look like after Row 2 of the First Triangle.
At the end of Row 3, you will be working into the top of the turning chain to increase. You will use this technique multiple times in this project to increase.
Continue working the pattern as written. Your first triangle is finished!
You’ll be adding a second triangle, connected by their points. Here is after Row 1 of the Second Triangle. You work the first stitch of the Second Triangle into the side of the First Triangle.
Continue working the Second Triangle like the First Triangle. Now you have two triangles for tier 1.
We changed color from Wheat to Plum during the “Prepare for Second Tier” step at the end of the Second Triangle. You’ll continue working without changing color, since your yarn changes color on its own.
In our swatch, Tier 2 is the first row of lilac. There are two edge triangles to make the sides even, and a center block.
Now, you’ll be working Row 1 of the Beginning Edge Triangle. You’ll single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) using the single crochet you made in “Prepare for Second Tier” and the marked stitch from the last triangle (Wheat in our pictures). Then do a slip stitch. When you’re finished, it looks like this.
Every time you do a slip stitch in this pattern, you will then ignore the stitch. You do not work into the slip stitch when you turn the work and go back for the next row. When you reach the end of the row again, you skip over the slip stitch and pretend it isn’t there. Ignoring the slip stitches after you make them allows the stitch and row counts to work out correctly.
To illustrate this, here is Row 3 of the Beginning Edge Triangle. When you work the “sc2tog over next sc and next sc of previous shape”, you’ll be putting your hook where the two arrows are and skipping the slip stitch.
And a completed Row 3.
Continue working as written in the pattern. Now you have a completed Beginning Edge Triangle! You can start to see how the pattern is coming together. The Wheat triangles are one short end of the rectangle. The Lilac triangle is along the long side. You worked from the upper left corner of the Lilac triangle, back in forth in rows, and ended at the point in the middle with the blue stitch marker and the loop.
Now you’ll start the Center Block, or square. After a chain 1, you’ll start this shape by “sc in end of first 10 rows of next side edge of previous tier”. As you can see in the picture, this means you will work 10 single crochets into the side edge of the Wheat triangle. Then, you’ll do an sc2tog by working into the end of the 11th row of the Wheat triangle on the right and working into the marked single crochet of the Wheat triangle on the left.
Continue working the Center Block. On even rows you will just single crochet across normally, skipping the slip stitch. On the odd rows, you will single crochet across normally for most of the row, and then work an sc2tog into the final stitch of the row and the next stitch of the Wheat triangle from the previous tier, and then do a slip stitch. By working the sc2tog stitches you will attach the Center Block to the Wheat triangle.
To start the End Edge Triangle, you’ll again work into the side edge as shown.
Continue working the End Edge Triangle as written. When you’re finished, you’ll have completed Tier 2! Again, the Wheat triangles are the short end of the rectangle, and the Lilac triangles are starting the long edges of the rectangle.
In this tier, you’ll fill in the spaces between each edge triangle and the center block with two other blocks.
Following the pattern, you’ll use the same techniques you’ve been using in the other sections. Here’s one block filled in.
To make the cowl, you’ll repeat Tier 2 and Tier 3 eleven more times. This will make a long rectangle. Then, do Tier 2 a second time. Ending with Tier 2 sets you up to do two triangles at the end, to match the two triangles at the beginning and to make an even edge. In our swatch, we didn’t repeat Tiers 2 and 3, so we just worked Tier 2 a second time.
In the final tier you’ll work two triangles to make an even edge. Again, you’ll be using techniques you’re familiar with from the beginning of the piece.
Your rectangle will be much longer, because of how you repeated Tiers 2 and 3. To finish the cowl, weave in the ends and block the cowl. Then, work reverse single crochet along the long edges of the rectangle and sew the short ends together to make a cowl.
To see the other stitches and cowls in this series, visit the Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl page.
Put your name and email in the form below for a chance to be one of 5 lucky winners! Each winner will win the yarn to make this cowl. Winners will be announced at the start of September.