Sunday, February 14, 2010

Entre nous, entrelac

Despite my general aplomb, there are some things I just don't want to do on my own. One of these was learning how to knit entrelacs. I had looked at video tutorials and downloaded step-by-step instructions, and I had the sense that I could probably figure out the process. However, when I saw that Yarns Down Under in Deep River, Connecticut would offer a two-hour workshop in the technique, I signed up pronto, and tried to enlist other members of Langworthy Library Knitting.

Anne took the bait. Yesterday morning we set off, met up with kindred knitters, and, under the tutelage of Janis Witkins, who provided clear and well-illustrated print instructions as well as an actual demonstration, began knitting our entrelac scarves. As you can see from the photo, the process requires deep concentration. It was a very quiet room, everyone wholly focused on the task at hand. Janis was an excellent teacher, and patiently untangled the inevitable problems that entrelac presents to novices.

Talk about flow! Two hours passed almost instantly. (Actually, we didn't leave until almost three hours had gone by.) By today I've gotten through one repeat of the pattern. Knit in Noro Silk Garden, it's lustrous and complex, and the technique is, at least at first, as absorbing as knitting lace.

Yarns Down Under is a beautiful shop, well and richly stocked, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff. It's situated at the edge of a rather sizable pond--hard to say exactly how large, as it was frozen and snow-covered. The view was lovely, however. Free knitting help is offered on Tuesday mornings from 10 to 12.

I will probably return, at some point, for entrelac coaching.


  1. Great post. I enjoy reading your blog. Is Yarns down Under named after the Australian yarn shop of the same name, owned by the Sidoti family? Best, Margie in N.J.

  2. Nice post-- great pic!
    Have I been missing something or is there a new border on the blog?!
    Sometimes I have selective vision...
    Very pretty!

  3. Hello there, Margie and Deb,
    I, too, thought YDU was some kind of Australian reference, but when I was actually at the site, I understood its name, and I don't believe its related to the shop you mention, Margie. The building is constructed on a hillside, and the main part of the shop is like a walk-out basement. When you view the building from the parking lot, it looks like a one-room shack--that's actually the classroom pictured in the first photo. Walk outside the classroom/shack and down under is the shop itself.

    And yes, the border is a new gadget. Also the little sign above the lunar phases that says "Will blog for comments." I downloaded them from an interesting website,

    Thank you for your interest and readership!