Tag Archives: Hemlock Ring Blanket

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

Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief