Pullover ft. Entrelac

I can’t believe I managed to finish the entrelac pullover before I start the Oshara Shawl MKAL! It’s definitely not what I had in mind when I started experimenting on featuring entrelac, but it’s also definitely not a bad attempt.

Pullover ft. Entrelac | Anita

My main concern in this design was to account for decreases and increases in the entrelac pattern at some point (not counting the obvious one along the body.) Since this project has had its fair share of mistakes and frustrations in the first attempt, I wanted to minimize those. So I chose to start the entrelac from one side of the body – the right seam, as it turns out – and continue towards the left seam. With this approach, the start and finish of the pattern would be easy, the decreases / increases of the entrelac squares would be concentrated on one side – around the neckline – while the other side would just continue as usual. I hoped this would make it manageable, and it definitely did!

Another area where I experimented was with starting the pattern exactly at the seam – I made the pattern run from armhole to hip, and tried increasing its width after a few rows to make it now run from shoulder to hip. This gave mixed results while increasing, so I decided to frog it and use plain stockinette till I increase for the sleeve, and then switch to the pattern. Anyway, that section would be mostly hidden behind my arms. πŸ™‚ This made my life easier. The seam is pretty visible, though. :-/

The rest of the front was just picking up stitches along the slanting entrelac edge and knitting increasingly longer rows top down. The back is plain stockinette, and so are the sleeves. I wanted the side seams to have slits, and on a whim, also made the back longer. I still don’t know how I feel about this. I think I like it, but if I decide later that I don’t, I can always rip it out and redo the ribbing. (Thank goodness it’s top down!)

I feel that designing with entrelac is definitely a challenge, with its share of table-flipping level of frustrations. But looking back, I think I learned much from the overall experience – I had to think and try out stuff quite a bit. If I make this project again, I think the entrelac will look good as the ‘outside’ of an inverted V, or maybe even the inside of the V, instead of as a simple diagonal. I might need to construct it differently, though. I’ll try that in a few years though, when I’m a better designer. (Fingers crossed. πŸ˜› )


And what about the MKAL? Yes, I did start it yesterday, and knit quite a bit, before I realized that I was using the wrong color. (I’m using different colors than suggested.) Frogged, restarted; but at least now the pattern is already imprinted in my mind so maybe it’ll go quicker. πŸ™‚

Oshara Shawl MKAL

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Dial M for Mystery

I thought I didn’t like it when the letter ‘M’ is prefixed to make-along projects – not knowing what I’m signing up for would drive me crazy. However, it looks like I’m drawn to it this year. I’ve been enjoying the MSAL sampler cross stitch project from Linen and Threads since Jan, and now I’ve decided to go for an MKAL shawl project by designer Susanna and Interweave.

I’m nowhere near done with my current entrelac project, but I’d been thinking of knitting a shawl next, since monsoon would start by then, bringing in frequent cool weather. Right in time to save me all the researching, there’s this article from Interweave announcing the MKAL. I went through Susanna’s other designs, and thought ‘why not?’

Entrelac Pullover progress

My current project – the entrelac pullover. I’m almost done knitting the non-entrelac section of the front. Once this is done, I’ll start the back, which is plain stockinette. Then finally, the sleeves. Phew! Much to knit, but I’m happy knitting this version since I’m much more satisfied with the section joins compared to the previous version.

As usual, I see that the recommended materials for the MKAL – Cascade yarns, in this case – are not available where I live (unless at ridiculously expensive prices because ‘imported’), so I found alternatives. I ordered equivalent fingering weight yarn in mercerized cotton, with weight and length comparable to the recommended yarn. I also had to choose a color scheme different from the one in the project –

Interweave + Susanna MKAL - My Colors

I’m hoping that the project won’t turn out too difficult to make, or too different than what’s it supposed to be, because of my changes. And if it does, it’s fine. I’ll take a call after seeing how it comes along.

The MKAL starts in June, and will have a total of 4 weekly posts. I’m not sure I’ll knit fast enough to finish it in one month. I’m also not sure if my entrelac sweater will be done before I start the shawl, especially since this month’s SAL section is a larger one. Since I’ve decided this year to stop stressing out about deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise, I’m just going to knit as much as I can, probably even switch between my projects, and enjoy what I do the entire time. πŸ™‚

Pullover ft. Entrelac – Attempt #2

Since I hadn’t much liked how my entrelac-featuring pullover attempt was going, I decided to try a different, easier-to-execute design. This one features more entrelac area, and looks better with alternating colors of narrower entrelac strips. I haven’t frogged my attempt #1 yet – that’ll depend on how my progress on this one goes!

Here’s a peek of how attempt #2 looks so far.

Pullover featuring Entrelac, attempt #2 - progress

So many strands to weave in! πŸ˜‰

It’s a short post this time because it’d been slow progress on this project till recently, but since I’ve picked up some pace now, and the entrelac strips shorten with each step, I’m hoping to finish some more of this pullover before I start on the April section of the Linen and Threads SAL.

Pullover ft. Entrelac – progress

Entrelac strip – done! In order to prevent pesky tangles, I used three balls of yarn – one for the darker entrelac color, and one each with the lighter body color for the triangles along the two sides. (Of course, very little of the light colored yarn got used for the strip.) I’m now knitting the pullover body, and joining it on the go with the entrelac triangles, like so –

Pullover with a Splash of Entrelac - progress

I’m on the fence regarding this one. I like the idea I had for this design, but not the execution.

Firstly, I don’t like that I got the darker blocks to break away by interspersing entrelac blocks of lighter color. I’d have liked the lighter color to remain stockinette stitch. I can accomplish this by knitting the darker ‘breakaway’ rectangles separately, switching to lighter-color stockinette when I’m at the breaking-away point, and joining the breakaway rectangles while decreasing / increasing lighter color at the touch points as required. But that seems like too much crazy work.

Secondly, I’d thought of making the strip go from shoulder to hip, with a square neck for the sweater body. But due to various compatibility issues with sweater width and strip width, I ended up making it more of a V-neck; I had to join the entrelac strip to the body quite a distance away from the shoulder, but still in the neck curve. I don’t like how that looks. I’d like the strip to go higher, or, as a less preferable choice, stop before it reaches the chest.

Thirdly, the joins at the entrelac edges look super-wonky, and I don’t think blocking will help here. I checked out mattress stitch based joins on a small section of an edge, but the join is more prominent there, if anything.

You can see where I’m going with this. (Ribbit!) I already have non-entrelac-based execution ideas swimming in my head. I’ll give it a few more days before I decide what to do with this project. Or maybe a few months, because it’s neither sweater weather nor sweater-knitting weather here – it’s boiling hot. I’d really hate to frog this one – it looked pretty promising – but I’d probably hate it more if I don’t like how it turns out. Wouldn’t you agree?

Ideas – Pullover ft. Entrelac

Entrelac is a technique for which I always need a refresher tutorial, but once I relearn its principles, I wonder how I ever forgot. πŸ™‚

I’d bought two colors of this speckled Nako yarn, from which I plan to make two sweaters that each have one main color and a little bit of the other color. For my first sweater, entrelac came to mind for the secondary color. (I don’t think I can go with entrelac as the primary feature in a sweater — at least not right now. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I just don’t like how it looks.)

I have started on an entrelac strip, but I still don’t have a concrete plan for the design. πŸ˜€ Here are rough depictions of a few of my ideas:

Entrelac Pullover Ideas

I do like the look of that bottom one…

While I try to refine the design some more, I’ll knit a couple more entrelac sections on that strip! It doesn’t look like the yarn shows the crisscrossing too well, but it looks fine IRL when blocked. (After all, what else can one expect from a picture with the flash on…)

Entrelac Pullover Strip

I don’t get much knitting time these days, though — I’m spending more time on the very enjoyable cross stitch from the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL. I’m close to completing the January section, so I decided to show pictures in my next post.

A Texturilicious Cardigan

I guess it was too much to hope that I’d complete this project last year, but it’s finally ready. Well, almost ready, since I feel the sweater could do with more buttons but we’ve not ordered any. However, it’s wearable now, so can I consider it done already? πŸ™‚

A Texturilicious Cardigan

A Texturilicious Cardigan

The cardigan used up almost 1400 metres of yarn, so it was a lot of knitting, and it’s pretty heavy as well. The sleeves turned out much looser than intended, because I apparently messed up copying over the measurements for my calculations! ‘Oops’ is an understatement. 😦 It’s super-cosy, however, which meets the main requirement for the sweater. πŸ˜› I like that the i-cord edges suit the cardigan well. Hope my sis finds a use for it in the few remaining weeks of cold weather.

The knitting seemed to have gone on forever, but the slipped rib + seed stitch texture of the body was really fun to knit, and needless to say, I love that texture! Here’s the pattern I used for it:

RS: sl1p wyib, k1, p1, k1, p1
WS: p1, k1, p1, sl1p wyif, p1

A Texturilicious Cardigan

What next?

Seeing Ginny’s stitching updates throughout last year, I’d been thinking of refreshing my cross stitch skills, and I’ve joined the Linen and Threads SAL this year. It’s awesome how supportive the community is on their Facebook group!

Knitting-wise, I’ve decided that my next projects are a pullover for myself, and another blouse for my mom. Let the designing begin! πŸ™‚

(I’ve totally given up on crochet, haven’t I? Hope I find something to crochet this year.)

I know I’m a slow knitter / stitcher, and yet I found myself slightly stressing sometime last year about the ‘insufficient’ number of things I was making. (Not limited only to knitting.) So I’ve decided that my new mantra is to be mindful, and I don’t mind if my throughput becomes smaller than it already is. As long as I love the process of working on my projects (and maybe get to learn a new technique or two along the way), everything is good.

And how about you? I’d love to know your new craftsy goals, and your progress on old ones.

The Center Pull Catastrophe

How does one get along with center pull? It has never played nice with me. And after my latest tangle disaster, I’m not in a hurry to re-experiment with it anytime soon.

I’d knit the body of my current textured cardigan project till the waist, and I decided to switch to the sleeves for a much-needed change. Instead of knitting them one at a time, I thought I’d try the center-pull method “one more time” and knit one sleeve with yarn from the outside like always, and another with yarn from the center.

Textured Cardigan - progress

This is where I was a few days ago.

I’d knit only a few rounds when I noticed I just couldn’t pull the yarn from the center anymore. It had gotten tangled on the inside! I thought I could try winding the yarn from the outside into another ball until I reach the tangle, but I was wrong…

Long story short, I spent an entire afternoon untangling a horrible mess, even after I’d snipped away the yarn from the knitting. I was so irritated that I thought of just dumping it in the trash, but no, there would be no wastage, not when I’d even bought an extra skein for this project because it looked like I’d need more yarn. (And lucky me, they were able to send the new skein from the same batch as the old ones.) So I persevered. At the end of it, I wasn’t even sure if it was worth it. I’m hoping it was. πŸ™‚

After a few days of break to get over the trauma, I’m back on the project. Next time I work on two sleeves at a time, I’m just going to use two balls of yarn, even split a skein in two if it’s the last skein. I’ve concluded that for me, a center pull is just not worth the risk of bald patches on my head from all the hair-pulling. πŸ˜‰

And if you prefer center pull, a tip of my hat to you. πŸ™‚