My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Backwards

Here is what I am knitting with the skein of Wollmeise “Pure” I pictured in my last blog post:

WIP091414 240x85 Backwards

This is Strandwanderer, a pattern designed by Lea Viktoria, and it is, in my opinion, the best use for a skein of Wollmeise that I have ever seen. I think it is brilliant, and I don’t think I’ve seen any similar construction in any patterns.

WIPCloseup091414 240x135 Backwards

Doesn’t it showcase the variegated yarn beautifully?

This effect is achieved by working many, many, many very small short rows. The pattern has a nice photo-tutorial that comes with it that shows you step-by-step how to work the short-row sections of the shawl and advises you that if you don’t want to be forever turning your work back and forth, it is a good idea to learn how to purl backwards.

I learned how to knit backwards many years ago. I was at a TKGA convention back in the 1980s and someone mentioned knitting backwards in some context or another. I had never heard of doing such a thing so was mystified by the idea. That night I figured out how to knit backwards by deconstructing how I knit . . . well . . . forwards. Very proud of myself I was, too.

But I’ve always considered knitting backwards more of a parlor trick than anything else. Then when I started working on Strandwanderer, I quickly realized that yes, turning my work over and over again was going to be very tedious. But because this is worked in garter stitch, I would need to purl backwards. Knitting backwards results in stockinette stitch and purling backwards gives you garter stitch.

So I once again deconstructed what I do when purling normally, and figured it out.

Of course, if I had bothered to actually read the tutorial that came with the pattern. I would have seen that she included step-by-step instructions for purling backwards as well. After the fact I also googled and checked out a couple of YouTube videos on the technique and have confirmed that it is somewhat awkward. Awkward though it may be, it is still faster than continually turning my work!

Speaking of working backwards, I received a new book to review.

Book091414 230x240 Backwards

This is Entrelac 2: New Techniques for Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale, a follow-up to her first book on the topic: Entrelac. I do not have a copy of the first book, but from what I read on Amazon, it looks like a great book for learning the entrelac technique.

(I did learned how to do basic entrelac way back at that knitting convention in the 1980s and that’s where I put my backwards knitting to good use!)

Inside091414 240x135 Backwards

Entrelac 2 takes things a lot further. There are 85 stitch patterns incorporating cables, lace, color,texture, and even beads! — stuff I’d never dreamed you could do in entrelac, along with 25 patterns for garments, accessories, baby items, and home décor projects. You can see all the patterns on Ravelry.

There is basic “how-to” information.

HowTo091414 240x134 Backwards

And patterns for individual stitch motifs. I love the star.

Star091414 240x224 Backwards

And how about some beaded entrelac?

Beads091414 240x185 Backwards

The publisher, Sixth & Spring Books, has kindly offered a second copy for me to give away on my blog. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Entrelac 2: New Techniques for Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. I’ll select a winner at random at that time.

No Loki, you are not eligible to enter.

Loki091414 240x158 Backwards

Comments

  1. I love learning new techniques, and would enjoy this book!

  2. Taking entrelac to the next level looks like a lot of fun and I love the Strandwanderer. Now if only I could work out how to put a few more hours in the day!

  3. Entrelac is on the list of things to learn. And the patterns in this book are projects that would not only be a learning experience but a wearing experience!
    Thank you!

  4. Been away a long time. Would love the book, but me and random numbers are not friends. Ofcourse if I don’t comment there absolutely not getting is even more certain.

  5. that shawl is amazing.

    I intended to learn entrelac earlier this year…but I still haven’t given it a try. If I win the book, that would increase the likelihood of trying it, right? (And I love that star motif, too!)

  6. I have the first book and would love the second.
    Anita Reynolds´s last blog post ..Tour de Fleece ends for another year.

  7. Your Strandwanderer is beautiful. Would love to win the book.

  8. I have Rosemary’s first book and love it! I’m making my husband an entrelac scarf now. I would love to have even more projects to do with this technique.

  9. Your project is lovely! And thanks for the chance to be a winner!

  10. Looks interesting, would love to expand on my basic Entrelac skills!

  11. LOVE Entrelac!

  12. That book looks interesting. Projects that I wold actually complete. Thanks for giving away a copy.

  13. Lynne Phelps says:

    I have her first book and would adore the second! I love this technique, especially after taking the Craftsy class! Your Strandwanderer is gorgeous!

  14. Janice Lavoie says:

    I have book #1, made a sweater from one of the ideas in the book. Entrelac is habit forming! Hugs to Loki!

  15. Oooh! I have a few skeins of variegated yarn that are begging to be knit up. Now I need to learn to knit/purl backwards…

    Entrelac is also on my list of techniques to learn.
    mesha´s last blog post ..More Mystery!

  16. I tried out Intrelac once. It’s so interesting when a pattern shows up. That sample with the beads is cool. Thanks, Wendy and Sixth & Spring!

  17. I’d love to win the entrelac book, would get me knitting again for sure.
    Instead of purling backwards, can you turn your work once and then purl forward and knit backwards? Would be marginally easier maybe.

  18. The book looks great. Love the look of your scarf – i’ve added to my project list which is very long.

  19. MIchelle B. says:

    The book looks interesting

  20. Made a “Lady Elenore” without knitting backwards. Would like to finally master this skill

  21. I’ve never made anything using entrelac, this book looks like it might inspire me to change that.

  22. Your Strandwanderer looks like tortoise shell! I’d like to get back to some entralac; it’s been a looonnnnggg time!

  23. I agree with Jan. I knit Portuguese style which makes purling easier and faster, so for garter stitch I purl every row. Knitting backwards for very short showrows is MUCH better than purling backwards. 🙂

  24. Entrelac 2 looks like a great challange would love a copy.

  25. I loved the first book. Would love to win the second.

  26. The book looks very interesting. I love the look of entrelac .

  27. The shawl is gorgeous!

  28. What a dazzling book. Pick me, pick me!
    Ina´s last blog post ..Everyday Lace: A Review and Scavenger Hunt

  29. I’d love to win, thank you for the chance.

  30. Me please!

  31. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this page.
    Youtube.Com´s last blog post ..Youtube.Com

  32. I’ve always wanted to learn entrelac. I love the effect. Thanks for the giveaway. Loki is looking lovely as always.

  33. Shirley Gallagher says:

    Oh please, I would love that book. I’ll turn 77 next week, not to old to learn something new. Love your beautiful kitty.

  34. Wendy Colbert says:

    I would happy to give this book a good home. I had to make a project that reflected the language curriculum when I took my Montessori training. I made an entrelac scarf. I would love to do more work with the technique.

  35. Anxious to try intreloc. This book would help me take the plunge!!

  36. Looks like a Great instructional resource! Throw my name in the Random Number Generator Barrel, please. :o)

  37. Kelly Norman says:

    Wowza! New things to do with entrelac!! Would love to see 🙂

  38. I’ve never tried entrelac. It would be a nice challenge and change of pace. I’ve been knitting your Leftovers Cowl since May and I’m only about 1/2 way done. I still hope to finish before winter hits.

  39. HennaLadyKim says:

    You are so right about this yarn for the design! WOW! I can hardly wait to see it completed. Oh, and I would not say “No” to winning the book!

  40. Wonderful backwards knitting and lovely pattern.

  41. Wow. That is an amazing pattern for variegated yarn. And the book looks fascinating.

  42. Soccerballetmom says:

    I made my first attempt at entelac last winter using Noro Silk Garden to knit a scarf. I enjoyed the technique and would love to take it furher; Rosemary Drysdale’s book is just what I need!

  43. Looks interesting. Would love this book.

  44. I would love to learn to knit backwards. The book looks great!

  45. This looks like a good book, I would love to win a copy of it.

  46. Looks like a very informative book. Always interested in trying new techniques and twists on older ones. Would love to win 🙂
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  47. Nancy Thone says:

    Wow – I never thought abt knitting backwards. I’m going to try that. Love the scarf. Never knit entrelac, but would like to give it a try. Nancy

  48. I love entrlac and it is such fun to knit….I would love to have the book…thanks for the chance

  49. margie kovacic says:

    I want to knit a scarf in entrelac.for practice. Then a shawl. The more I read and practice knitting entrelac the better. So this book would give me more. Margie

  50. I LOVE entrelac and this book looks great so…..ME! CHOOSE ME !

  51. This book has been on my wish list since it came out. I would love to win a copy!
    gussek on Ravelry

  52. I want to learn entrelac so I’d love to be in to win!
    Rachelle – Warming Crafts´s last blog post ..The Juki now has a name!

  53. Entrelac has been lerking in my mind for months. Must be in to win. Thanks, Diana

  54. oh, that looks interesting, I have been trying to learn how to do entrelac. Loki’s such a handsome cat and he knows it.

  55. Looks like an interesting book.

  56. I would have never thought if those things either. How cool.

  57. Gail Duggan says:

    Have the first book, signed up for a class so would love to have the second book to help me along! Then I will teach sister how to work with entrelac!

  58. I love entrlac — the little bit of it I have done. Would love this book to try new ideas/designs.

  59. This technique is probably the most neglected when it comes time for one to pick a new technique to learn. I am well included in this group of people. this is a great selection to give away. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  60. Rachel Mckinney says:

    Love strand wanderer! And entralic

  61. Hi Wendy, I have her first book and have enjoyed it very much although I must confess I have not knit a lot from it, I enjoy looking at the different possibilities and she does have a tutorial on knitting backwards which I found fairly easy to follow. Loki looks like he could care less about backward purling he just wants the tickles and the lovin. Such a beautiful boy, does he ever get dirty anywhere lol?

  62. Marlene Dufresne says:

    In all my years of knitting I’ve never done any entreat, so would love to learn from this book.

  63. Marlene Dufresne says:

    I hate spell check!

  64. Linda Newcomb says:

    Pick me! Pick me! I’d love to win this book.

  65. Thank you for sharing that pattern! I’ve been saving a hank of variegated wollmeise until I could find a nice way to use it. Love this!

  66. I would love totry that.
    Your shawl is beautivul

  67. I would love to learn Entrelac. And I love books

  68. Amy Schulze says:

    Hmmm…interesting technique, that backwards stuff. The book looks interesting too. Now how do you find time to knit so much. You must be really fast!

  69. That shawl is really lovely, and I do adore entrelac.
    Cassie´s last blog post ..September 14-20

  70. Wow, what an interesting book! I didn’t realize you could do so many different things with entrelac.

  71. Hello again…I have book one and since there is always something new to learn book 2 would be a very nice addition to my library. Thank you.

  72. Thanks for offering this book. I’m totally intrigued with the backwards knitting and purling idea! Linda (Elleyarn on Ravelry)

  73. I am very interested in learning to knit backwards. I attempted it once but not ver successfully.

  74. Knitting a basic entrelac scarf at the moment and would love the book. Intrigued with backwards knitting and purling.

  75. That star is intriguing! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

  76. Marleen Higginbotham says:

    Taught myself to purt backwards last year when I decided to tackle an entrelac sweater. I have used that technique quite a few times. Her first book is my entrelac bible. Very much enjoy your blog posts, especially the Loki part. Makes me smile.

  77. Two years ago I had three grandchildren all due within months of each other; I learned how to knit them entrelac blankets and finished the third one in the hospital waiting room but I did it! I learned how to knit backwards, too. I enjoy the process and am intrigued with the idea of taking it further. Thanks for the giveaway!
    DelightedHands´s last blog post ..Seeing Red

  78. Love your work! And thank you for offering this book. It is beautiful!

  79. I have always wanted to do entrelac knitting’ I would love to have this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  80. I have first book! I love it! I have been so impatient waiting for her second book and stalking amazon to see when it would be released! I would LOVE to have my name picked for this!!

  81. I love entrelac and learned how to knit backwards but have yet to learn how to purl backwards. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  82. The first entrelac book, was my first ever present from my boyfriend. In case he doesn’t buy me the second, I should throw my name in the hat. 😉

  83. I would love to have this book.

  84. I love knitting Entrelac. Would really envoy that book.

  85. Sue Springer says:

    Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to receive this in time to make some Christmas gifts!!!

  86. Susan Picciano says:

    Now I’ll have to figure out that backwards knitting

  87. Dorothy Bunch says:

    I wouldlove this book! Thank for your kindness. Loki you are looking so beautiful!

  88. The pattern design of your shawl is beauiful. I have some green I should use for the pattern.

  89. I’d love to with this book. I’ve knit Quant, an entrelac headband from Knitty, and to take it to the next level would be fun. I’ve never knit backwards, sounds challenging!

  90. Cindy Lynne says:

    Another great giveaway! Would also love to have this book to expand my skills in entrelac.

  91. Cheuis Reeske says:

    I love Entrelac and taught myself how to knit backward too. It really helps when you’re doing color work with a lot of bobbins. They don’t get so twisted, since you’re no9t turning your work. Thanks for the chance.

  92. Midnite Baker says:

    Now that Sparky has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, I will not have anything in my lap to prevent me from taking up knitting again. Couldn’t knit with her around, she was enticed with the yarn flapping around. Have always wanted to try Entrelac but for the above reason, have never tried. Probably should learn the basics first with this type of knitting. Thanks for allowing me to enter the contest. M

  93. Entrelac is so much fun! I’d love to win this book and learn more.

  94. I really would love to win this book! I have this on my wish list for Christmas. Loki is of course adorable!

  95. This one is on my list for sure

  96. Loved the first book..would love the second

  97. Knitting, and purling backwards is a wonderful method, and SO not a parlor trick! I would relish a copy of the new book! Thank you!

  98. I’ve always wanted to try entrelac! And that pattern looks great with the variegated yarn!

  99. No, Loki, you can’t enter, but I’ll take your copy if you do and win! (Inside track?)

  100. I love entrelac! This would be a great addition to my library.