I don't know if it's the cold weather or what, but lately all I want to do is knit blankets. There's something about curling up on the couch with a warm blanket that sounds so appealing right now.
I finished this Hemlock Ring blanket in early December, but didn't block it until early January. I had hoped to get it washed and blocked by Christmas, but it was not to be. The week I finished it I was dogsitting for a family that has a giant carpeted basement/playroom - I had hoped to be able to block it there, but I didn't think it would be dry before it was time for me to head back to my own home. My apartment has hardwood floors - which I love, but does make it more difficult to block large items, since it's not really feasible for me to block on my bed.
For Christmas, two of my siblings went in and bought me some interlocking foam mats to use as a blocking board. So, after I finally cleared my lving room floor of the fabric from last weekend I put down the mats and pulled out the pins. I had to go buy more T-pins, and as it was, I ended pinning out every other "ruffle" on the edge. Another bonus to using these mats is the foam doesn't absorb water like carpet or towels, so the blanket dried much more quickly.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I wish I had made it a tiny big bigger, as I have a ton of yarn left, and it seemed awfully small right off the needles. (My Dad stopped by a few weeks ago and noticed the foam mats out and asked what I was going to do with them, again? I pulled out the wrinkly, crumpled mass of knitting and he was a little skeptical of the magical powers of blocking...I'll have to send him the pictures!) After a wash in the tub with Soak and being pinned out, it grew quite a bit. I took it off the blocking board on Saturday annd I love it! It's a great size for keeping my legs warm on the couch and it goes great in my living room.
Pattern: Hemlock Ring (doily pattern rewritten for blanket by Jared Flood)
Yarn: Cascade Eco+, 1.75 skeins (purchased 2 years ago at a Fall Sale at KnitPicky, originally intended for Starsky. I like this better!)
Needles: Size 10 1/2 Knitpicks Options - started with Magic Loop on 32 inch, and used both 40 and 60 in cables
Time: 40 days
Mods: none, really! Went through the extended chart on the Rainey Sisters blog - 3 extra repeats from the original doily pattern
So, next up in the urge to make sure my home is never without enough blankets? This cabled blanket from the Bernat website. Melinda's mom made one for her, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one!
I also have picked up the Great American Aran Afghan book, and would like to make that...as a long-term project. Probably not for a while. I'm also dying to make the Liberty Blanket from the latest Mason-Dixon book, though I'll change the color scheme.
Now, I'm off to curl up under my new blanket with a cup of cocoa and a good book.