Gwen Bortner, entrelac, infinity neck cowl

When I last posted about Gwen Bortner’s online Entrelac Knitting class , I was just getting to know my way around Craftsy. Now I’ve had a chance to dig in and actually start taking the class.

Gwen’s wonderful in-person teaching style translates well into her videos. She’s really upbeat, and she anticipates things that may prove challenging for the student.  Her class uses three projects to teach entrelac; a neck warmer introduces the student to basic entrelac technique, next a scarf and then a cape build on those skills with more complex patterns.

Working on the first project, the Infinity Neck Warmer, I learned how to make the triangles and blocks that form an entrelac pattern. Gwen’s directions were so clear, and presented in such an organized manner, that I had no problems at all. One of the super-cool things about Craftsy classes is that you can post a question to the teacher, attaching a photo of your work. For forever, my ssk’s have been wonky as heck. Every other tier of entrelac blocks uses ssk’s, and true to form, my ssk columns of stitches were all crooked. I posted a photo of my crazily-tilting stitches, and Gwen wrote back to me right away with a suggestion for how to fix it.

The only thing I found the teeniest confusing in the class so far was the way the downloaded homework assignments are presented. If you take the class, be sure to start with the right pattern – go by the name on the pattern, rather than the number in the corner or the order they’re presented in the list of homework downloads. (The first pattern pdf has a “2” in the corner, while the second project is labelled “1”, which I found confusing).

Gwen’s lessons are filled with helpful tips. Who would have guessed I’d be learning how to knit in both directions as part of this class? It makes working all those squares faster. I’d always been interested in learning this technique, but  felt intimidated. Having it as part of the class was like getting a bonus class-within-a-class. And typical Gwen – her instructions are clear and she anticipates where things might prove to be challenging. (She warns that at a certain point your brain will stop, and she was right on – my brain stopped!) The video was so good, I only had to watch it once and was able to apply it. (I’m glad I have it to go back to when I need a refresher, though!)

I was so excited to get started on this project, I turned to my stash for the yarn. My stash pretty much consists of one ball of everything, since I had a lot of yarn samples left over from my book. So I grabbed the only stuff I had enough of – a solid Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran  and a gently striped Classic Shades by Universal Yarns. I think it turned out to be a serendipitous combination.

Gwen Bortner, Knitting Entrelac, entrelac, infinity neck warmer

 Normally, I love to block my projects. For this one, I chose not to block it, so it would keep its textural quality.

knitting, entrelac, Craftsy, Gwen Bortner, cowl


Bottom line? If you’ve had any curiosity at all about learning entrelac, I highly recommend Gwen’s Entrelac Knitting class. It was fun to learn and much easier than I thought! I look forward to continuing the next two phases of the class – the textured scarf and eventually the cape.