Watch the video above demonstration by Ashleigh Kiser to learn all you need about the entrelac crochet.
You've probably seen gorgeous two-color entrelac Tunisian crochet and dismissed it as too difficult to attempt ... well, with our guide, it needn't be hard at all.
Our tutorial will walk you through the steps to achieving this crisp, cushiony checkerboard effect, which looks oh-so-smart in an afghan and irresistible in a scarf or muffler.
Entrelac crochet stitch - written explanation
Entrelac is a Tunisian crochet stitch, which means it relies on holding a number of loops on your hook at a time, in a way which is quite similar to knitting. The entrelac can be crocheted row by row, or you can start from the center and radiate outwards. Here, we are going to use the centre-out method as it's a little easier to follow. It's important to start off with a hook that has space for seven loops on it, as this is the number we'll be working with throughout the pattern. You will need to keep counting for seven stitches, checking you have all the loops on your hook, as you go along. It may seem tricky at first, but it will soon become second nature.
Entrelac crochet - method
Start by chaining seven stitches. Then turn the chain so that you can see the back of each chain stitch. It is the back of the chain stitch that you are going to pull up onto your hook, starting with the second chain from the hook. Pick up the back of every chain stitch in turn, yarn over and pull through. You will have seven loops on your hook.
Now you will start working back to the beginning again. So yarn over and pull through one loop to start with, then yarn over again and pull through two, yarn over, pull through two, yarn over again and pull through the remaining two.
Now slip your hook through the second front post in the row, yarn over and pull the loop up, holding it on your hook. Continue to collect all the stitches onto your hook in the same way, until you have seven loops on the hook. To get back to where you came from, yarn over and pull through one loop to start with, then yarn over and pull through two, yarn over and pull through two, and finally yarn over again and pull through the last two.
You will continue by working back in the other direction, pushing the hook through the front post from the row below, yarning over, keeping the loop on the hook, until you have collected seven loops on your hook. Then you'll start going backwards again, yarning over, pulling through the first loop, then yarning over and pulling through two loops at a time until you are back at the beginning again.
This process goes on, forward and backward, until you have five of the vertical stitches built up on top of each other in your square. Then, instead of working forwards, as usual, you will bind off each stitch by pulling through and slip stitching. You will now change yarn colors, leaving a tail so you can weave it in later.
Attach the new color at any corner. This attachment counts as your first chain. Now chain six more. Follow the same procedure as you did for the first square, collecting the stitches at the back and leaving the loops on your hook. Go right into the spot where you have attached the new yarn for your seventh stitch. When all seven are on the hook, you'll remove them in the same way as before, yarning over, moving one loop off the hook, then yarning over and removing the remaining six loops two at a time. Then work back along the row, picking up the loops as before. Your seventh loop will be the second stitch in your initial square. By continuing in this way, you will securely anchor your second square to your first. With your second color, you will eventually work your way all around the initial square and your design will work up from there.
Entrelac crochet - versatile and beautiful
As you'll have seen, the entrelac is not a difficult stitch in itself, but you will need to pay attention to the number of stitches on your hook, and the method is a little different from other types of crochet.
The payoff for learning a few new techniques is a wonderful, heavily textured and beautifully regular pattern, which will make your throws and blankets into treasured heirlooms.