Thursday, January 18, 2007

Entrelac cap

I promised to write out the pattern for the entrelac cap/beret, so here comes. If you want a less slouchy cap, leave out one repeat of the 7-stitch squares. I've included instructions for making an Excel spreadsheet that will do the calculations for you. I highly recommend doing that, it will make your life a lot easier! You won't have to worry about finding the same yarn or getting gauge. I actually haven't even specified my gauge. I used a DK weight yarn and 3.5 mm needles.
Here's a couple more pictures of my cap:

Modeled by the wire basket.
Laying flat on the table.
Here you can really see how neat that tubular cast on edge is. This is one technique that is really worth learning, if you don't know how to do it yet!
The Entrelac Cap
By Lotta Breyer
*These instructions are written using centimeters, but you can easily substitute inches, it will not change how you do your measurements.
** At the end, you will find instructions for how to do your calculations in Excel. Enter the measured values and the formulas into your spreadsheet, and the rest of the numbers will be automatically calculated.
Knit a swatch! This is very important, since I can’t possibly tell you how many stitches you will need, unless you knit a test swatch. It can be any size, but a bigger swatch gives you a better measurement. You can knit the swatch in stockinette stitch. Measure your stitch and row gauge.
Measure your head circumference in cm. Calculate the amount of stitches needed: (HeadCirc/10)*gauge, for example, (56/10)*22=123.2. Round this down to an even number, such as 122 or 120.
The cap is knitted using tubular cast on. Start by casting half the amount of your calculated stitches (e.g. 60) using provisional cast on1. Join in the round and knit 2 rounds. This seems like not enough stitches, but you’ll just have to trust your measurements. On the third round start picking up the stitches from the provisional cast on while undoing the waste yarn at the same time. Purl the first stitch from your needle. Knit the first stitch from your cast on. Purl the next stitch off the needle, knit the next one from the cast on. Continue in this manner until all the stitches are used. You should now have your calculated amount of stitches on your needle. Knit in k1p1 for 8 rounds.
Start the entrelac. The entrelac squares are 7 stitches wide (you can also use 8 or 9, if it better suits your stitch count). Calculate the closest number to your stitch count that is divisible by the size of the squares. (e.g. 120/7=17.1, so I could use 119=17*7 or 126=18*7; 120/8=15, which matches perfectly.) If you need to change the amount of stitches, knit one more round of rib and increase by the needed amount.
Start entrelac by knitting a row of triangles: K2, turn, P2 (or knit left to right), turn, S1 K2, turn, S1 P2, turn, S1 K3, turn… until you have used up 7 (or 8 or 9) stitches, and start the next triangle. Make as many triangles as it takes to finish the round. The direction of the rows of entrelac squares alternates between clock- and counterclockwise, the first round of triangles being clockwise. Because the first square of a row is attached to the first and last square of the previous row, this still results in a tubular piece of fabric.
To start the second round or entrelac, pick up 7 stitches from the side of the first triangle and knit them. Turn, S1 P5 P2tog, turn, S1 K6, S1 P5 P2tog etc. until you have used up all the stitches on the side of the square. Pick up the stitches for the next square and knit similarly. Continue to the end of the round.
The next round will be worked clockwise again. Pick up 7 stitches from the side of the 1st square of the last round and purl across them on the wrong side. Turn, S1 K5 SSK, turn, S1 P6, turn, S1 K5 SSK… continue until all the side stitches are used up. Pick up the stitches for the next square and knit similarly. Continue to the end of the round.
Knit 4 repeats/rounds of 7-stitch squares. On the 5th and 6th entrelac round, only pick up 6 stitches from the side of each square. On the 7th round, pick up 5. 8th round 4.
After the round of 4-stitch squares knit a row of triangles again. Pick up 4 stitches and knit them. Turn, S1 P2 P2tog, turn, S1 K2, turn, S1 P1 P2tog, turn, S1 K1, turn, S1 P3tog,. Continue in the same manner to the end of the round.
Top decreases:
Count the amount of stitches you have, e.g. 18*4=72. Using the Excel stitch calculator, calculate your decreases, for example every row in 5 places. Decrease until you have 4 or 5 stitches left. Put all stitches on one DP needle and knit an inch of I-cord.2 Pull yarn through remaining stitches and weave in ends.
1Provisional cast on: Take a length of waste yarn and make a slip knot with your knitting yarn. Cast on stitches like you would with long tail, the waste yarn being the tail. The waste yarn can later be removed to reveal a row of live stitches.
2I-cord: place all stitches on one DP needle and knit across. Push the stitches to the other end of the needle, bring the yarn around and knit across again. Repeat until desired length.
Copyright Lotta Breyer 2007.
You may copy and use this pattern for your own personal use, but, please, don’t sell, distribute, or copy it for others without my permission.

Excel calculation:
Your spreadsheet should look something like this:
Enter numbers into yellow cells. The rest will be calculated automatically.

Head circ.

s per

r per

s/10 cm

r/10 cm

Cast on:
Head circ.

Cast on:

size of entr square

number of squares:

Stitches for entrelac:


add 1s every

Entrelac rows with full size square

Top decreases:
Number of stitches:

First decrease

Number of rows left:

Decreases per row:

stitches btw decr on first row
s ->
, K2tog
Here is what you need to type in into the cells to make your own spreadsheet. If you start at the corner of a spreadsheet, your column for calculations will be C. The First cell with a number is C3. That is where I have the number 56 above for head circumference.
EDIT: The contents of cell C9 have been changed below. Simplyducky was paying attention and found a mistake -the reference that was there before was for the unadjusted row gauge. Thank you!
Enter into cells:
C3 enter your measured head circumference
C4 enter counted stitches from swatch, E4 enter width of the area of the swatch you counted the stitches from
C5 enter counted rows from swatch, E5 enter total height of the counted rows
C6 enter =C4/E4*10
C7 enter =C5/E5*10
C8 blank
C9 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C6*C3/10,0)
C10 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C9/2,0)
C11 blank
C12 enter size of entrelac square (7)
C13 enter =EVEN(C9/C12)
C14 enter =C13*C12
C15 enter =C14-C9
C16 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C9/C15, 0)
C17 enter =4-(C12-7)
C18 blank
C19 enter =C13*4
C20 enter =C19-(C22*(C23+2))
C21 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C19/6.28*C7/C6,0)
C22 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C19/C21,0)
C23 enter =ROUNDDOWN(C19/C22,0)-2 and E23 enter =C23

And if entering all that stuff is just too much work, you can always e-mail me and ask me to send the spreadsheet as an attachment. :)


spajonas said...

this is a great example of entrelac! i love it! by the way, what yarn did you use? it's lovely. looks almost like brooks farm to me :)

and dude, LOVE the excel directions. i think that more patterns could use this!

Lotta said...

Thanks, gleek! :) The yarn is Inspirations Yarn's Decaf that I dyed myself.

Elinor said...

What a great cap!!!! Your instructions are so thorough too! It's wonderful!!!

Anonymous said...

Käyn säännöllisesti aina kurkkaamassa, mitä ihanaa olet taas saanut aikaiseksi! Kivoja juttuja kun aina.

buntsocke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buntsocke said...

Cool pattern! I made a google spreadsheet of the instructions, download for OpenOffice at Google Spreadsheets

simplyducky said...

This is a beautiful pattern and I can't wait to start knitting it. I noticed a mistake in the code for the spreadsheet when I started working, however. For cell C9, the number of total stitches should be calculated using the C6 gauge, not the C3 gauge (which hasn't been adjusted yet).

Crystal said...

Hi! I'm trying to start this enterlac hat (thanks so much for sharing the pattern, by the way), but the spreadsheet is giving me fits. I swatched and got a gauge of 21.5 stitches x 32 rows over 10 cm, and my head is 55 cm, and the spreadsheet is telling me that I only need to cast on 22 stitches. I can't figure out what I did wrong! I would really appreciate help!

Anonymous said...

I found this pattern via a link from another blog. I love entrelac. This patterns has just gone to the front of my to-do list!

Wendy said...

I want to try this!

Anonymous said...

hi! i would love to start knitting this hat, but i just got all my measurements up and it's...out of whack, to say the least. i used the spreadsheet that buntesock gave, made sure to change c9 to feed off of c6, like you said, and it's telling me to cast on 12 please!

Lucky said...

I recently finished my first entrelac project, a scarf. I though, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a perfectly matching hat, but had no idea how to do it in the round, or how to do the decreases. Your posting makes me feel like I can do it today! Thanks so much for this.

Anonymous said...

This knit up so beautifully! I love this pattern. I used Gjestal Bris that's a 50/50 soy/wool yarn. It comes in the most beautiful colors of blue. I used a US 6 circular needle over 120 stitches for a hat for my 9 year-old daughter and it was perfect. It took about a day to knit it up.

travellingirl said...

I just finished this hat - my first entrelac project and I haven't knitted anything for years, but still found it relatively easy (once I got into it). And I love how it turned out. I just wanted to say that there's still a mistake in the spreadsheet for C9 - should be: ROUNDDOWN(C6*C3/10,0), otherwise your head circumference is not being used in the calculation. Just pointing this out cos it took me a while to figure out, and might help someone starting to knit this pattern.

Janet said...

I really hope you still look at this because when I click on the "email me" it opens gmail, but does not include your email address.

I'm usually pretty good with excell so I can't figure out where I messed up the formula, but I get an negative number for c15 and it's all down hill after that....

If you could email me at I would GREATLY appreciate it. If I have an email I could send you the spreadsheet that I did perhaps that would make sense....

sharonstreasure said...

Your pattern seems thorough and I'd really like to try it out. Can you send me ( a copy of the Excel Spreadsheet too. thanks so much.

Nettonya said...

I would appreciate receiving an Excel spreadsheet at, thanks. I have looked all over for an entrelac hat that I like and yours fills the bill!

Anonymous said...

Great pattern, starting now, I have always loved the look of entralac and am so excited I found this pattern! Thank you

Helpful Hint (I hope):right click on the excel graphs and select export to excel and you can get it in excel. (hopeful works just as well for others out there)