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.

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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.

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

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And how about some beaded entrelac?

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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. Alice in Richmond says:

    “rectilinearity” …now that’s a word you don’t hear every day. Makes me love the shawl even more. The fabric looks like woven ikat!!

  2. Ooh. Entrelac is on my list of techniques to learn!

  3. I’ve tried entrelac & don’t like it, but members of my knitting group who do would like it in their library.

  4. Your shawl is beautiful and I love the idea of knitting backwards! RNG, please pick me!

  5. I also have the first book and would love to make one of those simple gray pillows (but maybe not in that particular shade of gray-:)). Thanks!

  6. Wendy your Strandwanderer is beautiful. Thanks for the information about the pattern its defintely one I should buy.As to the book its a win-win love to have been wanting to make something unique like beaded Entrelac. The stitch motifs are worth trying. Loki is a sure winner handsdown with that beautiful fur.

  7. Entrelac fascinates me. I would love to win this book!

  8. I have the first book and it is awesome, this second book looks like a keeper too.
    I love the star!

  9. I love entrelac.

  10. I have a pattern in my queue that is entrelac.. I practiced by making cotton washcloths.

  11. Linda Broglan says:

    Enter me in the Entrelac2 drawing…this looks like a great book for learning more techniques.

    Hello Mr. Floofy Loki you are a very snuggly looking fellow to cuddle up with.

  12. That’s some neat stuff! My one foray into entrelac a few years ago was making a Knitability entrelac bag. It was a lot of fun & I’ve been meaning to make something else entrelac-y. I’m going to have to check out this book to see what else is there.

  13. Your shawl is gorgeous – I love that look of texture developed from the short rows and the yarn patterning – it is beautiful and perfect for fall. You are an amazing knitting machine – such beautiful work you create!

    Happy Knitting

  14. OOOhhh – I have always wanted to try entrelac!!! I have my fingers crossed 🙂

  15. Lisa Waters says:

    I’d love the entrelac book!

  16. Please enter me in the drawing, looks like a great book. Thank you

  17. Thanks for another wonderful give-a-way.

  18. Love the shawl!

  19. Hummmm…. I could force myself to learn entrelac. Not sure about knitting or purling backwards, I have enough issues with doing it the right way!!

  20. Lynn Wiemelt says:

    Oh how I would love to win this! And I too learned to knit backwards in the 1980’s just because of entrelac. And how to purl backwards too. OK, lucky number generator, pick me!

  21. LaVelle Nott says:

    Would sure love to have this book. I would love to pet Loki too. He looks so soft. Give him a hug from me. Thanks

  22. Please enter me in the drawing…..I would love the book and do love reading your blog!
    Eileen

  23. Have always wanted to try Entrelac – this might be the tutorial I’ve been waiting for!

  24. This book is in my favs already — have been waiting anxiously for it to be released so I could buy it . . . but a complimentary copy would be even better!

  25. Murray McKnight says:

    Looks like a fun book. I would love to win a copy!!!
    Thanks for offering.

  26. This book looks so interesting! I would love to win it and learn new techniques.

  27. I have yet to try Entrelac. Would love to win the book. Many thanks for the chance.

  28. Been addicted to Entrelac since the awesome shawl by Danielle in Pints and Purls
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Making a Date

  29. I made my first entrelac scarf last winter…this has some great projects I’d love to tackle this winter!

  30. The book looks like fun- and a great excuse to learn to knit and purl backwards!

  31. Would love to learn something new – to me, atleast LOL
    Thanks for the chance.

  32. I was obsessed with entrelac in the mid-90’s and while the madness has cooled off, it remains one of my favorite techniques. This book looks like a lot of fun!

  33. An awesome twist on entrelac knitting.

  34. I’d love to win that book! I’ve heard about knitting backwards for just the reasons you described – sounds interesting!

  35. This looks like a very fun book! I love the star pattern too. Thank you for the opportunity to enter to win.

  36. Hi Wendy and Loki,
    I would so love to win that book!! I’m 67 and still love learning new knitting techniques. I have a lot of yarn in my stash so I’d really like to use some up. Learning new things would help thin out the old stuff…and make some room for some new!

    Have a great week, and Loki, you don’t need to change a think..I think you’re purrr-fect just the way you are.

    Hugs, Lauren

  37. I really enjoy entrelac, both the working and the wearing. Any tips on keeping that puffed, woven look? I’m always a little sad after the first wash when it all flattens out.

  38. Cool looking book!

  39. I haven’t done much entrelac, but it is intriguing. I want to do an entrelac sweater using up my bits and pieces of Dream in Color. So. much. fun.

  40. This book looks very interesting. Would love to win.

  41. I’ve never been able to knit entrelac so I’d love to have this book and learn now! Thanks for offering it to one of us!

  42. Thanks for another giveaway. Hope to win!!

  43. Such a cool effect! Sort of like strips of camera film…peering closer for images…

  44. Paulette Schirmer says:

    That pattern you are working is gorgeous! I have been playing with the Entrelac technique and would enjoy the book as well.

  45. I love the star motif. Pick me:)

  46. Bluetoespinnerc says:

    September is my birthday month, it would be fun to win

  47. Please, please random number generator, pick me this time. I would love to have a copy of this book! Thank you!

  48. Thanks for doing this drawing. I own the first book and the second is on my wish list.

  49. SUSAN Ritchie Voegtly says:

    I really want to figure out Entrelac!! There is a vest I have coveted for a very long time! I also Christmas ornaments. (Not against crocheting at all – just not as proficient and like the more solid look of that knitted one!)

  50. Lynne in Florida says:

    I’m in, for what it’s worth.

    You’re in for h*ll come Spring when Loki starts to shed that great winter coat he’s building up.

  51. Woohoo! Another giveaway! Thank you, Wendy!! *fingerscrossed*

    Knitting backwards?! I can’t believe out of all of the strange things I’ve learned in knitting, I’ve never heard of this. How awesome! And your WIP is coming along beautifully! 🙂

  52. My biggest knitting loss was losing an entralac shawl I was so proud of! I still mourn that shawl. Would love the book

  53. Barbara Fredrick says:

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win that book. I was a math major and I love to knit things that are technically interesting. Just finishing off an entrelac scarf. I really need to learn to knit backwards. Love your blog; I’m a cat lady too. Please pick me.

    Barbara

  54. Diane Vanderwerff says:

    That looks like a challenge in a fun way! I would love it!!!

  55. It would be something new to try. I’m thinking cat beds. Loki, your thoughts on that?

  56. I also learned entrelac in the 70s/80s – from the Mon Tricot magazines. The 2nd Rosemary Drysdale book would be great to have – even more inspiration!
    Thanks for the kind offer of the giveaway.

  57. The Entrelac 2 book looks very interesting. Would love to add some of those techniques to my knitting adventures.

    And Strandwanderer is also most interesting. i’ve certainly go a few skeins of WM that didn’t know what they wanted to be. Thanks for bringing this pattern to our attention.

    Loki is the epitome of “laid-back”.
    Angeluna´s last blog post ..9/11 Remembrance and an Odd Momento

  58. Looks like a great book. I would like to learn entrelac.

  59. I knit backwards on two “Summit” shawls, but my head hurts when I think about purling backwards. However, that shawl would be totally worth it. I loves me some entrelac!

  60. Would love to have this book!!!!

  61. I actually won yarn just recently fron our friend the random number generator. Let’s see if lightening can strike twice! 😉

  62. gretchen Downey says:

    I knit my first entrelac project last week and adored it!

  63. Just learning Entrelac, would love to win the book!

  64. I love entrelac, and this looks like entrelac on steroids! I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance!
    pdxknitterati/michele´s last blog post ..Punchbowl Falls hike

  65. I would love to learn entrelac.

  66. Marti Keefe says:

    I’ve never knitted any entrelac. Maybe this book would help me try this technique.

  67. Entrelac is the bomb! The book would be a great addition to my book library.

    Man I wish I had the life of Loki!

  68. I would love to have that entrelac book. Please?
    Lynn´s last blog post ..Struggle