Friday, May 15, 2009

Entre Nous

I'm a big fan of entrelac, and even though I'm good about weaving in as I knit, it's irksome doing entrelac with multiple colours a la Kathryn Alexander, much as I want to be her (among others) when I grow up, but it's just not enough fun, so I think about it and move on to something else.


It all started a few years ago when Nancy commissioned me to bead a something for Adriana, and in exchange I'd get one of her fabulous silk scarves.

I really enjoyed making Adriana's necklace, because from the start I knew exactly what to do. She was inspirational. She's tall (well, a lot of people are tall compared to me) and a compelling presence, so I knew she could carry off something big and dramatic, and her lovely honeyed colouring is so perfect for the fall tones towards which I so often gravitate too.

I had a nice collection of ocean jasper cabochons patterned in mustard, cream and soft green, and some tiny dichroic glass cabochons in green and orange, which was my starting point.

This is what I ended up with.

Well actually, Adriana ended up with the necklace, and I ended up with this incredible scarf. Nancy did the dyeing, and Chris did the utterly amazing weaving.
This barter thing is awesome. There's something about paying for something gorgeous with actual reciprocal effort, making an emotional investment in what you give to enhance your appreciation of what you get in return. It's a fabulously catalytic transaction.

Then a year or two later, Nancy dyed up a pair of her sock blanks to match, as best her memory permitted.
Not too shabby - you'll have to take my word on this, as my photos are lying sacks of poo when it comes to colour, but I swear, the sock blanks are a very good match.

Which leads me to entrelac (which is a better match to the scarf photo, right?)
I'm loving the way this is turning out, the gradual fade. I'm getting the colourwork without the work, and I can't stop knitting because I keep on needing to see what happens next. 

This is my favourite type of knitting (and spinning for that matter), when the process is vastly enlivened by delight in the progress. Not to say one doesn't always take joy in progress, it's that it's just so much fun to see the colour progression. Some hand-painted rovings are like that too: what forms under your fingers is just magic.

And y'know, magic is pretty cool stuff.

For those interested in starting your very own entrelac socks, each square is eight stitches by sixteen rows, six squares around, and I'm using size zero (US) needles. For reference, I almost always use the same size needles and seventy-two stitches for socks that fit me well and have a nice firm fabric.  

I used the knitted cast-on, and worked one square in garter stitch at a time, casting on for the next as I finished each one. It becomes a tube as you work the next round of squares: knit up the stitches on the square across the gap, and work back and forth (in each square, and for each round of squares). I'm sure google will yield all manner of detailed entrelac instructions, should you need them.

Oh and PS the deadline? Moved to the end of June. Apparently you can escape them sometimes.

1 comment:

Tapestry Beads said...

Santa Fe's deadline! HALLELUJAH!! Because I was sooooo not ready. Although I did spend the whole day scrambling to come up with two proposals. Oh well, at least those two are in my pocket now!