by ravliki (Lena Fedotova)

It is hard not to fall in love with Tunisian crochet entrelac. Simple, addictive and spectacular! Each row is only a few stitches long and you can place all of them on a regular crochet hook. Each element is fast and easy to complete, which gives you a pleasant feeling of accomplishment, and working element after element relaxes your mind. A true Mental Vacation!

This is the name of my new collection of Tunisian crochet entrelac designs, and I have just released the first pattern.

The Nile is worked in two-row color stripes side to side with the front side always facing up. It is crocheted from the top down, and the gradually decreasing rows make the process faster and faster as you get closer to the end.

My first version of this shawl was in blue-green colors. I finished this project in a wink the day before my trip to Ukraine. When I came back, I frogged it and started again. This time I replaced the green with the yellow, made the squares larger and corrected my entrelac crochet (the elements of my first shawl looked more like rectangles, not squares!).

This is what makes the designing process so interesting: you always learn, invent, un-vent and re-invent things trying to reach perfection before you are ready to share your creation.

The original idea of Mental Vacation has also evolved. Drafted as a collection evoking pleasant feelings, it turned into mental trips to beautiful places around the world. And my first stop is hot gorgeous Egypt and the sunny Nile. The ancient Egyptians knew how to create gorgeous color combinations. Famous Egyptian blue (the earliest artificial pigment ever produced) and gold mix together perfectly, and the rich Malabrigo palette helped me to demonstrate it.

It was fun not only to play with color combos, but to create different visual patterns arranging rows of colors. I included four additional layouts, which show several possible geometric patterns and the rules for combining and striping the colors. There are endless possibilities within each layout. An additional page with two empty grid layouts is also there for you to colorize and create your own shawl design.

You are very welcome to join our friendly company and show your Mental Vacation in this topic in our group on Ravelry. There will be more designs to come!

Happy crocheting! 


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