Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Entrelac and the Way of the Warrior

This is my Entrelac Swatch. Do you know you can make entrelac in knitting and in Crochet? Entrelac is a knitting technique used to create a textured diamond pattern. While the end result resembles basket-woven strips of knitted fabric, the actual material comprises interconnected squares on two different orientations.You betcha! Unlike many textured knitting techniques, Entrelac allows for colorwork as well. Though single-color entrelac is the norm, it is often used to create colored patterns. The use of variegated yarn with long color repeats for entrelac has become commonplace, since careful use can create distinct squares of color with only one yarn. Entrelac can be knit flat (back-and-forth) or in the round for a cylinder, as for the hat at right. However, unlike typical round knitting, the knitting is turned after a full round of squares so the next set is knitted in the opposite direction. Entrelac crochet is a wonderful way to create stunning designs in multiple colors. Since the color changes are made at the end of every row, it is quick and easy to learn and use. Start with the basics and keep in mind you are actually making one row of diamond shapes and when you add color it will be made in between your previous row of diamonds, triangles and squares. A self Striping yarn will add lots of fun to your piece whether it is crochet or knit!

Here you see some of the guys, the guy Standing up is Michael, we call him Wonder Mike, he was the Drop Spindle teacher. I took the class of Entrelac and Drop Spindle. I learned to Spin yarn woohoo! A spindle (sometimes called a drop spindle) is a wooden spike weighted at one end with a circular whorl; it may have an optional hook at either end of the spike. It is used for spinning wool and other fibers into thread. Spindles or parts of them have been found in archaeological sites; they may represent one of the earliest pieces of technology available to humankind.
Modern spindles are typically available in high-whorl or low-whorl types. In a high-whorl spindle, the whorl sits very close to the top of the shaft, which is anywhere from 15-45cm long. A hook is placed on the top of the shaft to secure the developing yarn, and the newly-spun yarn is wound around the shaft underneath the whorl. In a low-whorl spindle, the whorl sits near the bottom of the shaft. The newly spun yarn is wound around the shaft just above the whorl. If there is a hook at the upper end of the shaft, the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and caught in the hook; if there is no hook at the top, then the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and secured with a half hitch (or more, for slippery fibers) at the top. Some low whorl spindles are notched at the top of the shaft to keep the half hitch secured, although this is not necessary. An alternate method of securing the yarn involves passing it down over the edge of the whorl, around the bottom end of the shaft, and back up over the whorl to be secured with a half hitch at the top of the shaft.
Other forms of spindles include supported spindles, such as the large Navajo spindle and the tiny cotton-spinning tahkli. The spinning wheel is also used for the same purpose.
This was part of the loot, some were prizes and some were gifts, but all of the items were donated by lots of people and companies. Men are Knitting and Men are Spinning and men are having a great time sharing.

See the spinning wheels, I want one of those, because you can fold them and put away without much fuzz. Two of the guys were continuously spinning one on a drop spindle and the other one on the machine, mind you these machines are manual, so no electricity. Let's see what happens in the next year or so, If I can save some money for one!
This was our last day and the weather was fabulous. I think we can do this every Fall, every year. I am up for it. This place was fantastic and the men were great company, lots to learn and lots to share. It was nice to finally put a person to a profile online together and be able to share. I do have my favorites among the bunch. Creative men are great Men to be around, the Way of the Warrior! Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

oh ww, the entrelac crochet looks DIVINE! I want to try it!! Wow,,,,,

enthusiastic crochetoholic said...

I can't think of a better way to spend some time than at a crafting retreat.
I saw the photos on Flickr and was so envious. I don't think they do such things in the UK. If they do it wouldn't be in such a scenic place.

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