I told you I would get back to the knitting! Although, fair warning, this post does have some marriage content – only, it’s not my marriage but the marriage of our fair knitting matriarch, Melody! I call her our knitting matriarch because she taught all of us girls how to knit something like 7(!) years ago. And if she hadn’t, I would never have been able to make this to celebrate her recent marriage . . .
In retrospect, I’m starting to think she taught me completely out of self-interest! : ) This blanket (called the Hemlock Ring Blanket on Ravelry) is from Brooklyntweed‘s adaptation of a vintage doily pattern, and I’ll admit it – I wanted it to look exactly like the one he made (which is usually what I want after I see, oh, anything knitted by Jared).
I love knitting blankets in the round (and I don’t care if the non-knitters in my life don’t really understand the concept of a round blanket – they’re pretty), and this one was a particularly fun knit. The flower motif in the center is so simple and beautiful, and I’ve always enjoyed knitting feather and fan.
Brooklyntweed has very helpfully charted the feather and fan pattern, indicating where he stopped in order to make his smaller lap blanket and extending it beyond for those who want a larger one. The Rainey Sisters have also helpfully combined the whole thing into one pdf (the original doily pattern + Brooklytweed’s charts) here – so now I guess you have no excuse not to make one for yourself! The edging is a bit time consuming (like all knitted on edgings, I guess), but I think it’s lovely – very light and pointy! : )
I used US size 8 needles and Cascade Eco Wool (most of two skeins). Wonderful, soft, wooly smelling yarn! I love knitting with it. I worked the feather and fan section to the end of the chart given by Brooklyntweed – I might have liked to go a bit farther, but the amount of yarn I had left wouldn’t have made it another repeat. After working the edging, though, I’m glad I stopped where I did – I think it ended up the perfect size for a nice, light-weight blanket.
Melody and Nik’s Hemlock ring ended up being almost 6 feet in diameter (at the tips of the feathers – or are those the fans? – in any case, at the widest point). I’m not really sure how I convinced myself that blocking this would be as easy as blocking Girasole (I think it went something like – “they both have knitted on edgings that make points, so just pin out the points – easy peasy!”). You may have noticed, though, that Hemlock Ring has quite a different shape than Girasole (thanks to the feather and fan), so it’s not really as simple as pinning out a circle. Thanks to much pinning, pulling, re-pinning, staring at the floor to see if it looks right, and re-pinning again, I did finally get the thing into the right shape.
Isn’t the flower pretty? Ah, symmetry, how I love you. I liked the idea of making a blanket from a vintage doily pattern for Melody because it really seemed to fit her style, and I new she would love the natural color of the wool and the utter wooliness of the wool. Cables are her thing (you should see the blanket she made for me and Sasha - rav link) and lace is mine, and one of my favorite things about knitted gifts is that you not only look for a pattern that you think the recipients will like, you look for something that represents you as well. It seems especially important when knitting for another knitter! : )
Congratulations Melody and Nik! We’re all so happy for you!