Category Archives: Hemlock Ring Blankie

Blanket based on Brooklyn Tweed adaptation of Hemlock Ring Doily

5 Suggestions for the Hemlock Ring Blanket-Finished Object!

My Hemlock Ring Blankie is finished. What a sense of accomplishment I feel. My husband is amazed that I’m willing to give it to our friends as a house gift for their relatively new cabin in the woods.

Unlike other lace pieces, I am not blocking this one using wires and pins. Instead, I am using an iron and wet cloths to steam it. I am concerned about the space and time required to allow the blanket to dry fully. 

My suggestions for others setting out to make a Hemlock Ring Blankie are:

  1. Think about how big the piece will get. For most knitters, this means that it will not be a project that you carry around with you.
  2. Consider whether you want it to be one color or not. My color palette was determined for me. I had gotten 5 skeins of the handspun wool at a yarn swap. As a result, I needed a way to make the colors go together. The pattern lends itself to changing colors with each ring of the feather and fan repeats. You can use a larger variety of colors. My constraint was that the lavender colored yarn didn’t go with the red colored yarn if they were placed next to each other.
  3. Make sure that you have needles, either using multiple sets or a set of interchangeable ones to be big enough to hold the stitches. Otherwise, you wind up spending time moving the stitches.
  4. Test or swatch before starting to ensure that the center of your ring will lay flat when you’re finished with the piece.
  5. Have fun with it.

Here are some photos so that you can see how it turned out.

 

Hemlock Ring Blanket Finished-It's more even than it appears

Hemlock Ring Blanket Finished-It's more even than it appears

Hemlock Ring Blanket- One petal of detail

Hemlock Ring Blanket- One petal of detail

Submitted by Knitted-Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Purl By the Sea Knitted Celebrations & Knitting Needle Challenges

 

Montauk beach greetings my knitting

Montauk beach greetings my knitting

My husband and I trekked out to Montauk to take advantage of the glorious mid-summer weather and to visit Purl By the Sea. 

I am working hard on my Hemlock Ring Blankie since it’s a gift for friends and I need to be finished before next weekend. One of my problems is that it’s gotten so big that I had to switch to my Denise knitting needles and they have a propensity for coming undone. This isn’t a problem when you’re knitting a smaller scale project and you only use one cord. BUT when you start adding cord to cord to cord, the chances of one of the links coming apart in the middle of your knitting increases.

Unfortunately, given the thickness of the yarn, my Hemlock Ring Blankie no longer fits on 36 inch circular needles. Thankfully, Nora at Purl By the Sea stocks longer sizes of Addi Turbos so that I could switch to 60 inch size 11 needles to speed through the last repeats of my Blankie. (Despite her urging me not to, I also bought the 48 inch size as well! They will be tough to find when she closes the store.)

Since my husband has been bugging me for a pair of socks ever since I made him the first set a couple of years ago, I decided to take advantage of Purl By the Sea’s Going Out of Business Sale. I bought some wonderful blues, greens and purple merino from ArtYarns. It’s a manly green and blue mix which I find appealing so that there’s hope that I’ll be able to knit with it.

As friends of the store, we were invited to a special treat. The knitting circle had made a birthday party for one of the women and everyone brought wonderful dishes to share. My husband, who is also considered a friend of the store, and I partook of the great food. 

 

Homemade Chicken Wings

Homemade Chicken Wings

Homemade Tortellini Salad

Homemade Tortellini Salad

Homemade Goat Cheese Pizza

Homemade Goat Cheese Pizza

Since I don’t have any shots of my knitting, here’s one of my Purl By the Sea friends who is knitting the most wonderful baby blanket. It’s a solid piece with designs knitted into different boxes. What a great way not to get bored!

 

Friend's Baby Blanket with Design Knitted Into It

 

Friend’s Baby Blanket with Design Knitted Into It

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Hemlock Ring Blankie Ruffles – Opps!

Hemlock Ring Blankie Measures 36 inches

Hemlock Ring Blankie Measures 36 inches

My Hemlock Ring Blanket is making s-l-o-w progress. This is attributable to the fact that as the blanket grows so do the number of stitches.  

Further, since the Hemlock Ring Blanket has gotten too large to be contained on my longest 10.5 needle, I have switched to Denises where I can keep adding to the length. The bad news is that the joins have a propensity to come undone in the middle of rows. As a result, I have to stop and readjust the needle and stitches. Fortunately, there haven’t been any lost stitches yet (fingers crossed!)

While I was chugging along on the train back from Montauk, I had ripped and had the needles break. Leaving me too frustrated to continue.

After undoing one row twice (an evening’s work each time!), I have decided to take out the needle and lay it out on the bed since I think that there is a problem.

 

Hemlock Ring Blankie Ruffles

I was right (I am sorry to say. I would much rather put the stitches back on the needles and call it a day! But my stitch counts were off by way TOO much and I couldn’t get the pattern in line with the previous stripes.) There are ruffles where the YOs gather. Opps!

My husband counseled me to declare victory but the lap blanket is a mere 36 inches and there is more than 2 balls of yarn left which I wouldn’t use for anything since it’s very thick.

So a careful frogging we will go and hopefully I will only need to undo one stripe! This time I am going to be careful about counting the number of stitches in each repeat (reminder to self!)

Knitting Hints:

  1. Consider the length of the largest edge of live stitches to ensure that you have needles that can comfortably accommodate your work. Flexible needles such as Denises or KnitPicks can be very helpful.
  2. Check your stitch count at regular intervals to reduce frogging. Had I counted the pattern row (which is every 5th row, I wouldn’t have needed to rip. The time re-doing and ripping far exceeded the time saved by not counting each pattern.)

What do you do when you get into this type of situation? Declare victory? Rip? Let it sit in your knitting bag?

Until next time, happy knitting.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Montauk Bound With Knitting

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

 

We love the beach in Montauk which can be relatively empty (at least by New Yorkers’ standards) on holiday weekends. It’s a wonderful expanse of beach with rolling waves that make for peaceful rejuvenation. Of course, it’s not every Manhattanite’s idea of a “local” beach but my husband and I make it an adventure and it beats battling the local airport or driving out of town.

The over 3 hour train trip from NYC’s Penn Station to Montauk gives us an opportunity to sleep, read or knit. We enjoy bagels and coffee on the train and are ready to hit the beach by the time we get to Montauk.  There are a variety of local taxi companies that meet the infrequent trains making getting to the center of town a breeze. From there we can walk to the beach, food and Purl By the Sea.

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

I always love visiting Purl By the Sea. While most knitting stores attract wonderful knitters and crocheters, there’s always laughter around the knitting table at Purl By the Sea. It sends out such good vibe that my husband likes sitting in the spouse rocker and hearing the joyful chatter.  

 

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

On July 5th, there was a local spinner giving a demonstration and selling her roving and yarn, both merino and alpaca. The spinner’s wares were spread through out the store.

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

 

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Additionally, Nora Franzetti, the owner of Purl By the Sea, had been to TNNA and stocked up on new yarns and wonderful books. She brought back samples of yarns and books that she’s considering. She showed me a stack of signed knitting books to make any knitter jealous.

Since I am still swatching and testing the Botanica Medallion from Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting, I bought more Tahki Cotton in aqua and forest green to add more color to the top.  I was lucky that I picked a color that many of the Purl By the Sea knitters don’t like!

For me, the entire day was a knitting adventure. I had time to work on several projects including the Fountain Pen Shawl and the Hemlock Blankie which has been a great beach project. 

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Sunset on a Knitting-filled Fire Island Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

 

The end of vacations is always bitter sweet, especially summer ones on Fair Harbor’s car-free beach. While the weather wasn’t sunny and bright every day, it allowed us space to re-charge our batteries and get away from the everyday routine. 

One great advantage of vacation knitting is that you have a tangible reminder of your joy-filled hours of sitting by the beach adding stitch after stitch to your projects.  As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different projects to keep me busy and depending on other factors some may not be appropriate. For example, I brought the Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl which I’m making out of Malabrigo sock yarn. It was too thin to knit in the oceanside wind. (So much for finishing it on vacation!)

Some of the sunsets we experienced during our vacation. Sunsets in Fair Harbor are spectacular even if the weather has been poor. The third sunset occurred miraculously between thunderstorms.

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Here’s the progress that I made during our Fire Island stay:

– Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl – Using  Malabrigo Sock Yarn bought at The Point NYC.  Source: Interweave Spring 2009. Finished 6 out of 10 repeats. Although given how the yarn is being used, I may add 1 or 2 repeats (if I have the stamina.) This pattern is relatively easy with only one nupp per 16 row pattern. It borders on being boring.

– Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl – Using cobweb weight cashmere yarn from Silk City Fibers and a free online pattern. The pattern is interesting in that there is no center spine. It is probably better done with a single YO in the center but I decided to keep mine consistent. I like the way that the patterns expand and squeeze in. If the yarn wasn’t so TINY, I would probably be done with it. It hurts my eyes to do.

– Hemlock Ring Blankie – Using the pattern by Brooklyn Tweed, I am having fun with this project (although it out grew the needles while I was on vacation!) It turned out to be the perfect yarn for the weather. Thick enough to with stand the wind. I had fun changing colors. I finished 6 out of the Feather and Fan repeats. I think that it will look good once it’s done. It lays flat (unlike the sample in The Point).

– Heirloom Doily Placemats– I finished 1 1/3 of the Liz Snella Heirloom lace pattern using Cesari Wool. I think that this wool will hold up for this use. I find it rough on my hands. Also, since it’s not a very processed wool, there are bits of stuff that haven’t been cleaned out of the wool. (The plus for those who want to wear the yarn is that it has lanolin which helps for rain protection. (I also finished 1 1/3 of the Two Color Lace Doily which I frogged.)

-Green Mitered Tank Top – Out of a 100% cotton with a slub (which is great for those of us whose knit stitch isn’t perfect!) It’s a hospital green that seems to be in all of the windows along Fifth Avenue this spring/summer. The pattern is a Norah Gaughan from the Vogue Knit Summer 2009. It’s an under rated pattern since it is great for all types of figures. I finished the main knitting portion (I didn’t do any sewing, etc. on vacation.) I was very proud of myself for making the increases in the front following the mitered corner to look like darts. 

– Long Sleeve Linen in Grey, Beige , White – I think that I finished the front of this long sleeved ribbed sweater and plotted out the sleeves. It’s been taking WAY to long to finish but I’ve lost interest and keep plodding along. 

Do you keep track of your vacation knitting? Do you find that it gives you special joy? Please let me know in the comments section.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Beach Knitting-Hemlock Ring Blankie Progresses

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Beach knitting is one of my favorite forms of knitting in public (KIP). Unlike subway knitting where I’m filling time that would otherwise be unproductive, I enjoy being on the beach where the constant sound of the ocean kissing the shore is reassuring and peaceful.  With knitting in hand, I combine two of my favorite activities enhancing my relaxation. 

Unlike swimming, the benefit of having knitting on the beach doesn’t require specific weather conditions (although I am not a fan of knitting in the rain). The cooler than average June weather actually enhanced the experience since it kept the beach relatively deserted. Due to the slight wind (which was great for my husband’s windsurfing), I had to knit with a thicker yarn which translated to lots of progress on my Hemlock Ring Blankie. 

As with any large project, I find that the beginning goes quickly since there’s the sense of adventure and I haven’t had time to get bored with the project or an uninteresting repeat.  With the Hemlock Ring Blanket, the number of stitches per row increases significantly which means that progress is REALLY slow. 

 
Hemlock Blankie on Fair Harbor Beach

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring BLankie

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

 

Despite bringing two sets of 10.5 needles, I still ran out of room to keep knitting. It became work to squeeze the stitches onto the needle. Thankfully, I have a set of interchangeable Denise needles at home so that I can extend the length.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief