Monday, March 16, 2009
Here it is...Hemlock Ring!
This was such a pleasant knit, easy yet interesting, and on large needles that made it go incredibly fast (well, until it was time for the loooooong bindoff). And, looking at the blanket, I have trouble believing I actually made this. I love it. Gorgeous, if I do say so myself. This pattern is a keeper. The feather-and-fan is elegant.
The center detail is unique, but flows well into the feather-and-fan.
It falls off the needles all scrunchy and hopeless, but blocks easily.
It's a great size for snuggling up.
And Lilah loves it!
The pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket from Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed) using the helpful charts from the Rainey Sisters.
Modifications: I went to the end of Jared's Feather-and-Fan chart, but that's it!
Yarn; Cascade 220 in Tutu Pink, 4 skeins
Needles: Size 10 bamboo dpns, and a variety of circulars. I ended up with a 55" needle.
Notes: I just love this pattern. I would totally do this again. On size 10 needles, it goes fast, it's detailed enough to be interesting, yet repetitive enough to be television knitting. The result is amazing. The scalloped bind-off takes a long, long time. I wish I could remember how many stitches I had on the needles at that point, but it was a lot. Good think I had book club to entertain me while I did the bind-off! I have a limited number of straight pins, and I wish I'd had enough to pin out each scallop, but just doing a relative few turned out well enough. I had doubts about my blocking ability, and wrestling the blanket into a flat shape was hard at first, but it quickly submitted after the first four or so pins were down.
Other knitting: I've got Hjalte on the needles for Matt in Silky Wool. It's a little tricky and I think I need to rip back a few rows on the back and start over. I was confused by the chart a bit, and I'm still not really positive how two purl m1 increases in a row (no stitch between) won't leave a hole, so I need to look that up before I continue. I need a small or mindless project to start, too, though, as this one is not very conducive to television knitting, at least not when I'm trying to actually pay attention to what's on.
Reading: So much. A bunch of reviews at On My Bookshelf. Of special note is The History of Now by Daniel Klein, a novel that balances philosophical inquiry with small-town life in an ingenious way. A really enjoyable book. I have a bunch of review copies right now for books that will be released soon, so once I finish those, I will probably do some breezy fun reading. I recently did a Spring Cleaning post, reviewing Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home and I have been inspired to clean and organize. My mom would crack up to hear me describe myself as a perfectionist, since she's the good kind of perfectionist--the kind who strives for perfection. I'm the other kind--the kind who says, "Eh, I can never get it perfect, may as well not do anything at all." So Mrs. Meyer's "Just do something instead of nothing" approach is strangely helpful to me. I've been enjoying the small improvements more than I thought I would. The sparkling, cleared-off counters in the kitchen are particularly nice since, as you know, I spend quite a lot of time cooking in there.
Writing: Not a thing. Cleaning, exercising, and watching what I eat have been my main activities lately.
Cooking: I have a delightful book called Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber, and I decided to make Belle-Helene, a pear-chocolate confection. Mine didn't gel, but makes a divine chocolate sauce. Between my marketing friend Kris and my web guru Tim, I will soon have this sort of thing available at Lilah Bug Bakes. Stay tuned! I also had some caramel fiascos that turned into a delightful caramel-pear sauce scented with vanilla and lavender. I'm waiting to see if it'll firm up enough to even be a sauce. It may be very expensive, very tasty syrup for waffles. Oh, well. That's what I get for tinkering excessively with recipes...