Entrelac has long had a reputation as a stash-buster. Gather up some yarn in complementary colours and the same weight, have at it, and come out the other side with a Harlequin-style sweater. Nothing easier, right?
I've been trying to make myself something in entrelac since high school and never come up with anything. Never.
What's up with that? For one, I'm usually trying to work without a pattern, and never seem to make a gauge swatch big enough to calculate sweater circumference correctly. Entrelac tilts the stitches on their sides, which means entrelac doesn't fit into one's preconceived notions of rows and stitches.
For another, I think I've always been overly ambitious in my entrelac experiments.
I had some fun over the holidays, just randomly pulling yarn out of the stash and turning into useful things without much worry about who it was for or what size it was supposed to be (so long as it would reasonably fit a wide variety of human beings). Mostly I followed patterns from my own books, but I did get a book out of the library on entrelac and made a few things from it. The one lonely ball of worsted-weight Noro I've had lying around for years got turned into a hat with an entrelac circle at its top (top photo). It was fun watching the yarn's long runs of colour work within the pattern.
The hat fit my head, but was a little too stretched-out to be attractive. It would work well for a child — or just someone smaller-framed than I am.
I also made a jabot-style scarf out of some odd balls of Rowan Calmer. The end triangles are entrelac, and then the scarf is just a ribbon of ribbed fabric connecting the two together.
It'll make a nice light-but-snug scarf for someone. The ribbed entrelac and scarf body have a extra benefit that they look good from both sides of the fabric. I hate scarves that have a right and wrong side.
This "just small wearable things" challenge is turning out to be fun! I can play around with shape and colour, but still finish quickly. It also means I don't have to spend a lot of time sorting through stash to amass a colourway with enough yardage to make anything big. Small and quick wins the stash-busting race.