Now with knitting

The young lady’s lungs took precedence over knitting in my last two posts, and you all have been so wonderful and supportive, but now that we’re almost all the way better here (save for a lingering cough), I think it’s about time to get back to knitting and navel gazing. Personally, I much prefer both those activities to worrying about the state of my offspring’s lungs.

I have a number of finished projects I haven’t shown you, but no really excellent pictures of any of them. Nonetheless, I’ll start with the best first, just so you can be let down at the end. I’m sorry this won’t be a more comprehensive post, as I’ve had a lot I’ve been thinking about lately, but it seems very hard to find time to sit down and write.

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket
Yarn: Catalina Baby Silk, with Malabrigo Merino Worsted on the edges
Needles: U.S. size 10 dpns and 16″ circular
Yardage: About 425 yards of the Baby Silk and probably about 150 yards of the Malabrigo
Modifications: Smaller needles, slightly thinner yarn, contrast edging, slightly smaller than a standard throw

This is a very popular pattern, with 1368 examples on Ravelry thus far, and what’s not to love? I was pleased to find that it’s actually a fairly simple pattern. I don’t seem to have learned all that much in my years of knitting sometimes, and I can still be tricked by a beautiful finished product into thinking that something is a lot more complex than it really is. I wouldn’t tell a beginning knitter to plough right in on this one, but I think it’s definitely feasible for an intermediate knitter who has used dpns before, and who has done some simple lace work. The original 1942 doily pattern contains an error, an error that is corrected in the Rainey Sisters‘ version of this pattern, so I recommend going there first if you plan on knitting the Hemlock Ring. Of course, numbers being what they are, the chances are good that you’ve already knit a Hemlock Ring Blanket.

I’m very very happy with my contrast edging. I hadn’t seen one of these with contrast edging, though I’m sure someone else has done it. I had no choice, though, if I’m honest – I ran out of the blue yarn. Here are a few tips for anyone else who wishes to have similar contrast edging on their blanket. I knit to the second to last row of the repeat and did one knit row of the brown before going into the edging. By the time you’re at the edge, you’re going around a pretty big circumference. I had half a skein of that lovely chocolate Malabrigo, obtained when DarlingFloy and I swapped our leftover Malabrigo, and I thought that would be enough. No. I ran out about three fifths of the way around the border and had to make a desperate run to the yarn store, where they had three skeins of Malabrigo in Rich Chocolate, but not one that was a match for the skein I was using. As it happened, this didn’t really matter, since the edging is a sharp enough contrast that the difference in skein color doesn’t show up much at all, drowned out by the contrast of the blue. But it was a close one. Make sure you have enough yarn on hand to really do the edging!

This blanket is for my grandfather. I wanted to knit something for him, and most of what I could come up with seemed trite or silly, or unnecessary. I figured that blankets are something that most of us use and love, and the Hemlock Ring is the prettiest one I can think of. I’m glad to have knit it. It’s a relaxing project, and takes much less time than one would think. I’m sure I’ll make one for our living room at some point.

The Catalina Baby Silk is a blend of baby alpaca and silk, and it feels really soft on the skin. I think alpaca is a nice choice for a blanket, and since it’s so drapey, this was a lot easier to block than I feared it might be.

And for the let down, here are a few picture of end of year teacher gifts, all knit in Malabrigo Worsted or Seleccion Privada:


Next time: thoughts!

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3 Responses to “Now with knitting”

  1. the Lady Says:

    WAIT, THAT’S CROCHET I SEE!

    Nice blanket. Cool stuffs.

  2. orata Says:

    The blanket is gorgeous and I love the Stone Blue Malabrigo (was sorry to read on Ravelry that the color in your photo isn’t especially true to life).
    I sent out your package yesterday–let me know when you get it!

  3. darlingfloy Says:

    I love how the brown worked out!

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