Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tips for Tangling Asian Fans

Asian Fans, a tangle by CZT Susanne McNeill, is one of the three patterns used in this week's "It's a String Thing" (click here for the delightful details).  As promised, here are my notes and tips for tangling this pattern ~

When exploring this tangle, the advice of a teacher from my time at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh kept coming to mind.   He maintained that if we (his students) drew a line - curved, looped, wavy, or the like - across a page and then drew another immediately on top of the first, both lines would be eerily similar.

To revisit this idea and without explaining the purpose of my little experiment, I asked my son Louie and daughter Isabella to relax their hand, begin at a point, and draw a curvy line.  I instructed them to immediately draw another on top, beginning at the same point.

We laughed at the results.

This is Louie's ~

 This is Isabella's ~
These are mine ~

Give it a try - it's a remarkable phenomena.

What does this have to do with tangling Asian Fans you may be wondering...

Well, when I initially drew the pattern, I followed Suzanne's step out:  draw a curved line, double the line, draw another curved line, double it, and so on...

It was difficult to follow the curve of the previous lines when adding additional ones.

Then I remembered my teacher's advice and suddenly the tangle began to flow.

I drew all of the curved lines at once and then went back and doubled them.  This kept the natural flow and curve of my lines more uniform and certainly more relaxing to draw.

With this in mind, here are my Tips for Tangling Asian Fans ~

Once I played with the tangle a bit more, another idea surfaced and I tried it out on my tile for this week's challenge.

I began on a curved section of the string, drew all of the lines first, then doubled them, leaving a bit of sparkle as I darkened them in.  After that I connected the crests and valleys with lines instead of dots.

From there I drew the zigzag lines, first in one row ~

 and then in the other.

 Next I added the detail lines in one direction ~

 and then in the other ~

 and so on...

 until it was complete.

I do hope this helps you give the tangle a try.  If you really like it, and I think you will, give the challenge a try this week too :)



  1. Helpful tips thanks Adele,😊 haven't got around to trying it yet.hopefully today. 😊

  2. Straight, even if my curved lines were similar, adding the second line I ended up with a wide side and a squishy side, and that drove me nuts. On the curve it works! You're a genius (Can you hear that too often?).

  3. Thank you so much for this instruction with directions as I have been trying to accomplish this tangle. Could you please let me know the name of the tangle that is the "single" one this - meaning going in the same direction? I am a novice so forgive my terminology if it is incorrect.

    1. If I understand your question correctly, both of the tangles illustrated above are Asian Fans. The second example is completed on a curve so it looks a bit different.