To my surprise I've started a project that features - heavily! - no less than three knitting techniques I'm usually not attracted to:
1. Garter stitch: too monotonous to knit in my opinion.
2. Intarsia: difficult to make neat joins.
3. Entrelac: also difficult to make neat joins, and I seldom like the way the results look.
What happened? Well, in short I was looking for inspiration how to use some beautiful colours in my stash, opened Marianne Isager's Knitting out of Africa and saw her design Zaire. A perfect pattern to display colours and to see how they interact.
My choice of colours is far less dramatic than Isager's, but I've kept her arrangement of dark and light areas. I've added a horizontal zigzag line at the bottom, partly because I was getting tired of green garter-stitch knitting and wanted a change, partly simply to see how it would turn out. I rather like the way it reaches the very edge.
Now that I'm into this project I find myself more positive about the three techniques, very much thanks to how they improve each other: the colour changes make garter stitch less monotonous, and garter stitch makes the intarsia and entrelac joins neater. What's more, it keeps the entrelac from "billowing", which is what I personally don't find attractive about the technique even though I admire the skill it takes to knit it.
My first entrelac join was clumsy (between beige and green areas). It was a really good exercise for me to analyse why it turned out that way and how I could improve it, so it was worth the time it took. I rather like having to solve problems, since it makes me feel I learn new things.
The problem here seemed to be knitting not only two colours together, but also a knit and a purl stitch. Therefore, I added a beige row to the green part. Lo and behold, knitting two identical stitches (beige purls) together made quite a difference!