One of the wonderful things about Ravelry is the multitude of free patterns, all nicely organized and in one spot. I love the section featuring the most active, recently published designs. I am not always one to follow the crowd, but I look at these popular designs as some rite of passage into the world of knitters. It started with the JayWalkers. EVERYONE in my knitting groups was working on or talking about the JayWalker socks. “What’s the big deal?”, I wondered. “It’s sock knitting. Ugh.” So I tried a pair, because I was feeling really left out. And I loved the pattern. And I’ve knit three pairs.
In November, Lisa started talking about knitting the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’ve always liked the idea of a knit-a-long, so when she said she was making one I said I’d do one with her. We picked out our yarn together, got some great tips on knitting the blanket from the folks at Natural Stitches, then cast on soon after. There were emails back and forth of our progress. It may have even gotten a bit competitive. I had to put my blanket on hold while I did a bunch of knitting through the end of the year. I recently picked it up, and, with the help of Susan’s good size 10 needles (vs. the three crappy size 10’s I had been using), and an H hook, I finished it pretty quickly. It hasn’t been blocked yet, but here are some photos of the finished product.
While the pattern is beautiful, I am disappointed with the small size of the blanket. I knit the large size, using two skeins of Cascade Ecowool, but it is still so small. I don’t see it being used effectively as a lap blanket or shawl. As far as the knitting, the beginning, center section kept my interest and I loved watching it take shape. The crochet bind off was new and fun to do. The rounds and rounds of feather and fan knitting over hundreds and hundreds of stitches was quite boring, though.
I think I can safely say that, as fun as knitting in the round can be, the final product is not for me. 3/4 round shawls, round dishclothes, and round blankets are moving to the bottom of my list.