Friday, October 19, 2007

Entrelac Socks are fun and easy to knit. I discovered this fact over the summer. Last year, I got hooked on doing entrelac bags, as in the Market Bag in the great XRX book, A Knitter's Dozen Bags. It's a quick knit on big needles with big yarn. I don't know how to knit backwards, which is also supposed to be easy to do and makes entrelac knitting go faster because you don't have to keep switching the work back to the wrong side to purl. But that doesn't bother me, I still find entrelac fast.

About the same time I got hooked, we had a class in the store which required us to dye twenty different colors of fingering weight yarn. Of course, Myra and I don't know how to dye a small amount of yarn, so we ended up with about ten pounds and forty colors of this yarn, which is also the perfect weight for socks. I decided it would be a good time to try entrelac socks. We could even make little balls of yarn for customers who wanted to do entrelac socks, but didn't want to have to buy whole balls of yarn for the few yards needed per color. The idea of a kit was brewing.

Next, to find a pattern. I loved the entrelac sock in Interweave Press book, Socks. The cuff is nice and long, it's colorful as can be, and allows a lot of creative freedom in color selection. But I didn't want customers to necessarily have to buy an entire book for just that pattern, although there are many wonderful patterns in it.

I wanted a simple sock with an entrelac leg. I found that is takes about 13 yards of fingering weight yarn to knit one row of entrelac rectangles that are six stitches wide. This sock was done on a US 2 needle and I realized too late that is might have been better on a US 1 because I knit really loose. I cast on 52 stitches and knit 2" of 2x2 ribbing. It could stand to be longer. I then knit nine triangles that are six stitches each. In order to accomplish this even number, I increased one stitch on each side of the cuff, equal distance from each other.

I knit nine rows of different colored rectangles and only ended it because I ran out of colors while away from the store, didn't want to repeat a color in the triangles, and wanted to keep knitting. The square heel is adapted from Nancy Bush's wonderful book, Knitting On the Road. I increased after the leg because I have a big foot and a really big instep. Everyone I show it to asks me why it is so big. Do I have to take my shoe off? As you can see, I still have to kitchner the toe closed.

While looking for patterns, I came across this great website called
Jonathon Whitall has a wonderful, colorful entrelac sock you will find if you click on the above link. The explanation of entrelac was clearly written, better than I could ever do, so I am not going to attempt to reinvent the wheel. I still plan on putting together the kits of little balls of yarn, however!!!

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