Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tangle - ETCHER

Hi Sandy,
I have purchased your book, YOGA for Your BRAIN. It has provided many helpful hints and challenges for my tangles. Thank You for this. I do have a problem with your illustration of the tangle, ETCHER. Is there a more simplified way how to do it. I have tried a few times and seem to get lost. Any further hints?
Joe D. in Philly

Perhaps there is.

But I believe that anything worth doing is worth OVERdoing. Although, to prove my point to my sister (that there IS a difference between being a perfectionist - I am not- and a bit obsessive-compulsive - I admit it)... I have drawn out all the steps for Etcher... in detail. However, I left in lots of little blops and squidgies. And, of course, I didn't film it!

Here we go!


Draw columns in pencil if you need them.

Draw triangles pointing left and right.

Just like the ones on the remote control.

Next column, reverse direction.

Nose to nose and back to back. Erase pencil.

Add a "V" below each back-to-back pair.
Go slowly. Back-to-back? Add a "V"...

Next, the "noses" connect straight down.

Noses drip down... (see note below*)

Draw a "Y" in each "Y" section.

Looking cool!
With pencil, shade right or left sections.

Add a bit of shading at overlaps.

Smudge shading.
Try coloring the triangles black!
I love the way it looks like an MC Escher drawing (hence the name!) * The ninth image is "Y-Knot" by Molly Hollibaugh. At that point, if you add shading, the tangle looks like woven ribbons. Isn't it amazing how adding a few more lines turns it from a soft material to a hard, squarish one? Another interesting bit of trivia is that Molly and I came up with our versions at the same time, independently. She based hers on a soy sauce dish at a Japanese restaurant. Mine came from a kimono pattern. What are the chances?

One last tip - if you are having a lot of trouble... getting lost in the lines... try coloring the triangles black in the very beginning. Then you can focus on the girders instead. But, wouldn't it be mind blowing to add tangles BEHIND the girders!? Hmmm....


  1. Thanks Sandy, Etcher is a complicated Tangle! The first 5 steps are actually how I eventually worked out Tripoli for myself after I had already drawn it for TanglePatterns then had a go at it a few more times.

  2. Deanna Williford, CZT #3July 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Very clear!! Many thanks!! Molly showed this to us in CZT Class #3 and I got it just fine but then couldn't figure it out when I got back to MD!! haha!! It's a FABULOUS tangle!!!

  3. Thanks Sandy, drawing the columns at the start helps a lot.

  4. Oh, yes! It gets more clear each time I do it! Your deconstruction is very clear... and practical. Great tutorial, Sandy. Thank you! You should write a book.

  5. Hi Sandy, I've posted on Flickr, my renderings of your pattern Etcher for folks to download and play with. I think they would be great for kids to be able to color. Keep them busy!!!

  6. Ellen Wolters has posted a video version of these instructions on YouTube:


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