Craft Sabbatical: The Tucking Tails of Enterlac


I obviously love to knit and I like to try new things. I saw a lot of patterns in the past couple of years that looked like a basket weave.

I thought, “Holy crap – nope, can’t do that, that’s crazy!”

A lot of gals in my knitting group told me about this basket weave stitch. It’s called Enterlac. They would then continue on, complaining about the workload and difficulty.

But – After deciding I wanted to do this Craft Sabbatical, I decided it was time to learn a new skill. I got the knitting book, Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting, for Christmas from an awesome family member.

I stared at the book for months. I would walk past it, quickly leaf through a couple pages and then hurriedly walk away with a scoff. I would glance longingly at it and all the beautiful patterns, and then turn my head with shame.

Then one night, with just me, the netflix and a glass of wine, I decided tonight was the night. I was going to conquer Entrelac!

I dug into my stash. I had previously bought a couple skeins of an alpaca, merino wool, silk blend DK yarn from my favorite NJ yarn shop, The Stitching Bee. I read the basic instructions and decided it would be best to learn with two colors so I could tell the different lines apart.

Guess what Kids! It ain’t so scary!

You are basically knitting little rectangles using a bunch of increases and decreases. The only part that isn’t so grand is picking up stitches about every three minutes. But my crochet hook and I conquered that task.

Once I got the hang of…

picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle,
picking up 5 stitches, knitting a rectangle…..

it was actually really fun! The only down side is I had to cut my yarn and attach a new color every row, so this kept it from being very portable.

When my knitting isn’t train-worthy portable, it takes me a while to get through it. 2 months to be exact….

As I was nearing the end – a thought occurred to me.

Wow – this is great, it’s looking good, people are impressed with this crazy knitting strategy, I’m feeling like the queen of the yarn stash…..

…..

….wait a tick.
If I cut the yarn every row…
and I start with picking up stitches,
there for I can’t knit in my tails as I go….

That means I have about 50+ yarn tails to weave in after!!

Again, I look at my knitting and begin to curse. WHY! This book! Why two colors!!! If it were a single color, there would be no yarn-tail-tucking in sight!

I put it down for 2 weeks. I look at it and scoff. I walk past it and put my nose in the air.

Then, one night, while home alone again with a glass of wine and my flix, I decide that all I can think about is finishing this cowl. It’s so pretty… tucking some 50 + tails really isn’t THAT bad, right?

Three evenings and many episodes of Game of Thrones later, all my tails are tucked and I mattress stitch the cowl into a circle.

I promise myself my Enterlac days are over. I finished it, I mastered tail tucking and never have to do it again.

One glass of wine and a netflix movie later, I picked up that damn book and picked out my next project, a 15″ x 15″ Enterlac pillow.

I will never learn.

My Enterlac Cowl can be purchased at: CoffeeAndT.etsy.com