A one-skein entrelac turban inspired by Little Edie Beale of Grey Gardens
The first time we watched Grey Gardens, we stayed right on that sofa and watched it clear through a second time. Those accents, those outfits, those aristocratic manners amidst all that chaos and decay! Say what you will about Little Edie, no one can deny that she had a make-do attitude and an instinctive style of her own. In our book, being a "staunch character" is the highest of compliments.
While we may not be inclined to wear our skirts upside down and safety-pinned shut, Edie's love of a good turban made an impression on us. We wanted to design one that would be an homage to Little Edie, without being too literal (read: without the baubles and brooches). Entrelac is our absolute favorite stitch pattern - it's like little diamonds of knitted wonder - and in a hand-dyed and handspun singles yarn, entrelac is unpredictable and stunning. Like our muse, of course!
The colorways pictured were both kettled-dyed as roving, before spinning. We love a surprising, slightly out-of-control colorway, like the kind you'll get if you dye your fiber first! We like to dye at the lower range of striking temperature so that we can get some really nice blending in the pot. The roving was split lengthwise 6 times to have quicker color repeats and spun worsted on a Majacraft Little Gem. We find quicker color changes are ideal for smaller entrelac rectangles, like in Grey Gardens.
Commercial Yarn Alternative
Spincycle Yarns [100% bluefaced leicester wool; 120 yd per 80 gram skein]; shown in: Idle Nights, 1 skein; or The Perfect Crime, 1 skein
Recommended needle size [always use a needle size that
gives you the gauge listed below --
every knitter's gauge is unique]
1 set US #8/5 mm needles Note: we recommend using short straight needles or a short circular, as you will be turning the needles back and forth a lot.
20 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
In entrelac, you'll be completing each block before moving on to the next, rather than working across all sts at once, as you normally do when knitting. If this is your first entrelac project, now is a good time to take a deep breath, and stop trying to understand the pattern by reading it all first. Relax, and just follow the directions step-by-step.
To make your turban a little longer, work one extra set of Right- and Left-slanting Tiers before dividing for the twist. By working an extra set, your seam will be slightly off-center -- but as long as you seam neatly, it won't matter.
M1: Insert left needle, from front to back, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then knit into the back of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
Pick up and purl: Insert tip of right needle under the two strands of the edge stitch, from back to front (from RS to WS, as if to purl), wrap yarn around needle as if to purl, and pull stitch through.
Work 3. Row 1 [WS]: Pick up and purl 6 sts along selvedge edge between block just worked and next set of live sts. Sl last st picked up to left needle and p2tog. Turn. Row 2 [RS]: K6, turn. Row 3 [WS]: Sl 1, p4, p2tog, turn.
Repeat Rows 2-3 4 more times. After the last row, do NOT turn.
Right edge right-slanting triangle:
Work 1. Row 1 [WS]: Pick up and purl 6 sts along selvedge edge of the last block of the previous tier. Turn. Row 2 [RS]: K6, turn. Row 3 [WS]: Sl 1, p3, k2tog, turn. Row 4 [RS]: K5, turn. Row 5 [WS]: Sl 1, p2, k2tog, turn. Row 6 [RS]: K4, turn. Row 7 [WS]: Sl 1, p1, k2tog, turn. Row 8 [RS]: K3, turn. Row 9 [WS]: Sl 1, k2tog, turn. Row 10 [RS]: K2, turn. Row 11 [WS]: K2tog. Turn.
LEFT SLANTING TIER
Work 4 left-slanting rectangles aross the row as follows: Row 1 [RS]: Pick up and k6 sts along along selvedge edge between block just worked and next set of live sts. Note: For the first rectangle, the st left over from the right edge triangle counts as the first picked up st.
Sl last picked-up st to left needle, ssk with next st on needle. Turn.
Row 2 [WS]: P6, turn. Row 3 [RS]: Sl 1, k4, ssk, turn.
Repeat Rows 2-3 4 more times. After the last row, do NOT turn.
Repeat Right-Slanting and Left-slanting Tiers 3 more times. Turban should be about 7 inches long at this point, unstretched.
Divide for twist:
On the next section, work a left edge right-slanting triangle, one right-slanting rectangle, then work a right edge right-slanting triangle. Slip the 12 sts remaining on the right needle onto a stitch holder. 12 sts rem.
Slip first live st (leftover from right edge right-slanting triangle) onto an empty needle and treat it as the first st for the next row. Work two left-slanting rectangles. Work one more Right-Slanting Tier and one more Left-Slanting Tier. Slip these 12 sts onto a st holder and break yarn.
Return to the 12 sts on the first holder. Sl sts back onto a working needle. Join yarn on the left, or inside, edge and work a left edge right-slanting triangle, one right-slanting rectangle, and one right edge right-slanting triangle. Work two left-slanting rectangles. Work one more Right-Slanting Tier and one more Left-Slanting Tier.
Now take the 2 separately worked sides, cross them over (it won't matter which side crosses over top) and slip all sts onto one needle. It should look like a normal completed section of left-slanting rectangles. Working yarn should be positioned correctly on the left edge of work and there should be 24 sts on the needle.
Work a Right-Slanting Tier. Note: As you're working the second right-slanting rectangle, after picking up the sts and just before you p2tog, the crossed over sections will be separate again. Simply ensure sections are still crossed as you p2tog.
Continue the Right-Slanting Tier.
Work 3 more each of Left-Slanting and Right-Slanting Tiers.
Work the end triangles as follows: Row 1 [RS]: Leaving stitch leftover from previous block on needle, pick up and knit 5 sts along edge of rectangle -- 6 sts total. Sl last picked-up st to left needle, ssk with next st on needle. Turn. Rows 2 and all following WS rows [WS]: Purl to end. Turn. Row 3 [RS]: K2tog, k3, ssk. Turn. Row 5 [RS]: K2tog, k2, ssk. Turn. Row 7 [RS]: K2tog, k1, ssk. Turn. Row 9 [RS]: K2tog, ssk. Turn. Row 11 [RS]: Sl1, ssk, psso. 1 st rems. Do not turn.
When you get to the last st on the last triangle, pull yarn through and secure.
Fold in half and, with RS facing, line up opposing triangles so that they resemble rectangles and seam.
Weave in all loose ends. Block.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Kate and Rachel are the hardest working spinsters in town. Their specialty is designing comfy and practical knitwear inspired by the textures and colors of handspun yarn. They reside in Bellingham, Washington, with their respective husbands, children and chickens.
Kate and Rachel's yarns and roving have been featured in Spin Off, Knit.Wear, Vogue Knitting, BUST, and The Wheel; their designs have been published in Intertwined and are available on Ravelry. Spincycle Yarns are available online and in fine knitting stores in the USA.