It's been maybe a year ago that I watched a lady in the knitting group work on an entrelac pattern. She tried to show me how to do it, but, not being much of a knitter, I failed to grasp the ins and outs of the stitch.
That didn't stop me from being fascinated with the look of the pattern, and I went on a crochet stitch hunt. I found two ways to accomplish something like it.
The first way, and the one that most closely resembles a knitted entrelac piece is crocheted with a Tunisian stitch. Because you only pick up 5 or 6 stitches at a time, you don't need a special Tunisian hook for this pattern. Each row is a string of diamond shapes built on the row of diamonds below it.
The second way to make an entrelac-like pattern is to make a bunch of mitered squares and sew them together diamond-wise with one color per row. You can alternate colors or make a color sequence that pleases you.
One book that you can find here in the library with a pattern for the Tunisian entrelac stitch is called Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques by Robyn Chachula.
Another book explaining this technique is Ultimate Crochet Bible: A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques by Jane Crowfoot. This book can be put on hold and borrowed from another Evergreen Indiana library.
Thanks again to Lion Brand Yarns for letting us use their photos. The top one is called "Enticing Baby Afghan" and the lower one is called "Mitered Diamonds Throw".
As you can see, we have yarn crafters of all kinds. Please feel free to join us at the library on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 6:30. The group meets in the meeting room the the left of the stairs.
Sometimes I think that joining as you go is the best thing I've discovered about crochet in years and sometimes I don't. When the heat index is above 100 degrees, holding an afghan on your lap resembles a warm form of torture.
Summer seems to be the season for small pieces. Maybe you can make the scarves and mittens for next winter or pile up the granny squares to join after the weather breaks.
There are all kinds of shapes possible in crochet. Triangles, squares, rectangles, diamonds and hexagons fit nicely together to make a solid piece.
If you make circles or octagons, you might need to make fill-in pieces to finish your afghan. Octagons match on four side with other octagons leaving a square opening at the diagonal sides.
Here's a picture from Lion Brand Yarn showing what I mean:
You don't have to be stuck with squares if you think they are boring. Try something new and see what grows from your hook.
I've been looking for an easy pattern to make a round afghan. I don't have any desire to count stitches on every row to make the increases in the right places to keep the afghan from rippling or cupping.
Lion Brand Yarn has three versions of this easy round afghan. It looks like the increases are automatic once you get the pattern established. You put the increasing double crochets in the increases of the row below every time.
I can see this with planned colors, and I can see it as a stash-buster.
Yes, it looks like it would be a crazy thing to do in this July weather, but if you start in the middle, it just might cool off several degrees by the time you went around enough to lay it on your lap.