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March 30, 2008

From Susan — Brief Hemmie Update

Filed under: Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 10:03 am

Literally thousands of people have downloaded the Hemlock Ring Throw pattern over the past few months.  But just recently I got wind of a little problem: why isn’t there a key to the feather and fan chart? 

I took the F&F chart directly from Jared (aka Brooklyn Tweed — with his permission of course!), and there was not a key with it.  The symbols are standard and I did not think a thing about it: / = k2tog, \ = ssk, etc.  But enough people have struggled with it that I thought I should add a key to the chart, which I just did.  The new Hemlock Pattern download has the key.

I’m sorry if any of you had problems due to this oversight!

Hemlock2010.jpg picture by lv2knit

I still love my lil Hemmies!!

November 16, 2007

From Susan — Hey, Don’t Blame Me!!

It was brought to my attention that the Hemlock Ring Pattern has a mistake — the mistake was in the original pattern written in 1942.  And I know this for a fact because Diane brought a vintage pattern book to knitting group and the pattern was there, mistake and all.  When I knitted my Hemlocks, I must have just fixed it as I went along and did not pay much attention. 

Round 35 (original): 
35th rnd: O, k 1, O, * sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, O, k 4, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (O, k 1) twice; sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (k 1, O) twice. Repeat from * around. 

Round 35 (revised):
35th rnd: * O, k 1, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, O, k 4, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (O, k 1) twice; sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, k 1. Repeat from * around. 

I revised the Hemlock pdf that is linked in the Free Patterns section of our blog.  I’m sorry if any of you had problems with the pattern!! 

As far as my other knitting is concerned, I am done with the back and both fronts of the Lopi Cardigan.  I’ll start the sleeves and may even finish them this weekend.  I can see why people like knitting with BIG, FAT Yarn!!

September 22, 2007

From Susan — Another One Bites the Dust

Filed under: Back Story,Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 1:46 am

Are you tired of seeing my weekly Hemlock updates?  Well, this should be the last one.  I am done with Hemlocks for a while, though my love affair with them has not ended.  I do anticipate knitting one or more of these in the future.  I just love making them — and because you can finish one in a week for around $30, it’s a great gift idea.

So, here is the last of the Hemlock Hat Trick — this “blob” picture really looks like a blob :( — it looks like Sally took the picture (Susan says with a wink ;) , thinking back on Sally’s Yarn Harlot photos).  And before you yell at me, Surly, I do think most of your photography is fabulous!!

SusansHemlock001.jpg picture by lv2knit

And the blocking shots:

SusansHemlock006.jpg picture by lv2knit

SusansHemlock008.jpg picture by lv2knit

SusansHemlock009.jpg picture by lv2knit

I am now in between.  I certainly can go back to the Kauni Cardigan — one sleeve and the front bands to go.  Not a lot left to do.  I also was working on the felted Modular Purse.  The class was supposed to start tomorrow, but got cancelled — try making a living from that, mes amies!  It took the wind out of those sails.  I could start Plisse, but just looking at the directions made my head hurt.  Lots of odd shaping and tiny print to decipher. 

OR I could start the Large Lace Collar.  After seeing Michelle’s (sorry, Michele with One L!!) Michele’s masterpiece, it is very tempting:

LargeLaceCollarBohus.jpg picture by lv2knit

It is beautiful to see but even more wonderful to touch — like rubbing the soft underbelly of a baby kitten (I got to hold it at the knitter’s guild meeting).

We’ll see.  The nip of fall in the air certainly encourages winter-type knitting — real wool and rich colors.

September 15, 2007

From Susan — Motivation…

Filed under: Back Story,Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 8:17 pm

I want to thank everyone for their kind comments about my “generosity” with the United Way gift bag, but also want to set the record straight.  I am not much of a charity knitter.  I know many people who knit quite a bit for others — either family and friends or for charity.  But most of my knitting is for me.  Sorry, but it’s true!  The Market Squares bag that I donated is one that I did not use, so its loss will not be greatly felt.  However, I do hope that someone else will love it and use it.

I also want to mention that I added a few pdf files that can be found as links in the upper right hand corner of our blog.  I finally figured out how to put pdf files on our site (I know — it’s not that difficult!!).  There are three beaded knitting patterns: amulet bags, the Wedding Purse, and a small cell phone purse designed for beginning bead knitters. 

In addition, I created a pdf for the Hemlock Throw that combines all the pieces into one place.  I mentioned this at the end of yesterday’s post as a “PS” but thought it might get lost in the shuffle.  I made changes to the pattern to reflect the new version in heavy yarn vs thread and updated some techniques (i.e., ssk).  I want to thank Jared again for his wonderful concept!!

In response to Sue: In our signature photo (at top of page) Sally is on the right and Susan is on the left :)

PS to Astrid: I didn’t “fix” the problem people have with SSKs — the original pattern says to slip 1, knit 1, passover…which is even more asymmetrical than regular SSK.  So I changed the wording in the pdf to say ssk instead.

September 10, 2007

From Susan — Respond to Hemlock

Filed under: Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 5:45 pm

My second Hemlock is totally done.  This picture actually looks far better than it looks in real life!! A couple of you had questions.  The Hemlock Throw was knit in Cascade Eco Wool (250 grams, 478 yds).  The oatmeal version was knit in Color 8016, the teal is Eco Plus in color 8462.  I started each with US Sz 10 dpns and switched to 10-1/2 circulars when I could.  Why did I change needle sizes?  Because I don’t have Sz 10-1/2 dpns!  It takes less than 2 skeins to make a throw — you could make two of the same color with 3 skeins.

Hemlock2011-1.jpg picture by lv2knit

I am making my personal throw out of Berroco Peruvian (100% Highland Peruvian Wool, 100 grams, 174 yds), Color 7137 to match my LR sofa:

Yarn3001.jpg picture by lv2knit

It takes 2.5 skeins of Peruvian to equal 1 skein of Eco Wool so I bought 7 or 8.  It is like butter and a little fuzzier — I hope it works.

I have not used a lifeline in the Hemlocks — it is much bigger knitting and even though I have had to rip a couple of times, it is NOTHING like ripping out a fine lace shawl with hundreds of sts!

Re: The Betsy sweater (see Sally’s post) — I found the book on ebay and bought it on the spot.  Woo Hoo!  Thanks, Ann. :)   Our blog-tectives are the best in the land!

PS — another question: I used the Emily Ocker cast on to start the Hemlock.  Also, if I sent you a copy of my pdf file of the pattern, there is a mistake on Rnd 46: k9 not 10.

Another question came up; What does (O, k1) x 8 mean?
Response: at the start, you cast on 8 sts and divide onto 3 (or 4) dpns.  After working a couple of plain rnds of 8 sts you do the (O, k1) x 8.  The pattern is telling you do do a yarnover before every single st. 

To do the YOs before the first st on the dpn: insert new dpn into 1st st as to knit, bring yarn around the needle from the front (not from the back as you normally would). 

This creates a new st before each st — so there are now 16 sts.  You do the YO before the first stitch a couple of more times in knitting the small medallion in the center of the petals.  Once you have enough sts to change to a circular, it does not seem as strange.

September 9, 2007

From Susan — It’s Deja Vu All Over Again!

Filed under: Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 11:25 pm

It’s the return of the Blob!!  I finished my second Hemlock Ring and already started the third. I just can’t get enough of this project, I guess :) .  This one is for Friend Number 2 and the third is for me.  After all this knitting, I need one of my very own.

Here it is in the blob stage:

Hemlock2003.jpg picture by lv2knit

Here’s the “bedroom cheesecake” photo:

Hemlock2004.jpg picture by lv2knit

A close up of the center petals:

Hemlock2009.jpg picture by lv2knit

It looks splotchy because I sprayed it with water to keep it damp and it did not sink in evenly.  The color is a very beautiful dark teal and not uneven at all.  Here is a close up of the feather and fan:

Hemlock2010.jpg picture by lv2knit

The color in this shot is probably the truest.  So there it is.  The blob is not a blob any more.  I will be smarter this time and steam press it before I unpin! 

I’ll keep working on my Hemlock and post a picture after it is farther (further? — Sally, fix it!) along.  I made a huge, ridiculous error and had to rip back, but it really does go pretty fast.  My biggest thrill is that two Christmas presents are D-O-N-E!! 

And I’m halfway through Harry Potter Number Five (The Order of the Phoenix)…

HappyBirthday.jpg picture by lv2knit
PS: Happy Birthday to CF — a mere baby at 48!!

PS2: I wondered if anyone would notice Lettie’s “boyfriend” and Marina spotted him instantly! ;)

PS3: Welcome Home, Mattie!

September 4, 2007

From Susan — Just One More Picture…

Filed under: Hemlock Ring,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 7:28 am

This picture shows the Hemlock after steaming.  It still does a little of the typical feather and fan ruffling, but it looks much better.

Hemlock012.jpg picture by lv2knit

I may need to make me one of these ;) .

And in response to Bonnie and Thomasean: This isn’t a stupid question at all — I just thought it would be too complicated to describe, but here goes!!

When you look at k2tog [ssk] for instance, the sts that are actually crossed are from the row BELOW the action of knitting the 2 tog [ssk].  On the row when you k2tog or ssk, the crossed sts will appear right below the needle.  The st on the needle is a normal looking st.  If you worked a k2tog [ssk] and counted the first plain st above the “crossed” stitches and the row on the needle, you would be counting an extra row of plain knitting because the first st was “zero” — it was created when the sts were decreased.

With a yarnover, there is not a st on the row before because you are essentially creating a new st with the running thread between two sts.  On the row when you make a yarnover, all you see is a hole with the running thread carried over the needle.  The first row worked after a yarnover is the first real st created and so there is no “zero” row as described above.

Whew — my brain hurts!

September 1, 2007

From Susan — The Blob

Filed under: Hemlock Ring — lv2knit @ 4:21 pm

I’m sorry, but unblocked lace is b*tt ugly!!  It just is!  Look at this blob — would you want it as a gift?  Would you want to knit it for yourself?

Hemlock9-1-07002.jpg picture by lv2knit

Blocking is certainly a help!  I decided to try using the bed in our guest room as a blocking surface.  The idea of crawling around on my decrepit hands and knees wore me out.  It worked quite well for this relatively small piece:

Hemlock9-1-07005.jpg picture by lv2knit

And see how Lettie is overseeing the blocking process?

Hemlock9-1-07009.jpg picture by lv2knit

The knitted pillow is a former UFO that I made into a pillow.  It was a sweater that never got off the ground — it sat for years in a bag.  The back was at least 4 inches wider than the front, due to either my bad miscalculation (lots of cabling on the front, plain basketweave on the back — does the word “compensate” mean anything?) or a poorly written pattern.  It was so long ago I can’t remember.  I grafted the ribbing from the back of the sweater to the top of the front for symmetry and length, and used the back as the back of the pillow.  So I got a pillow out of the deal, which is more than I can say about my other UFOs ;) .

I am going to give this Hemlock Ring to a dear muggle friend and make another immediately for another muggle friend.  We’ll see if after making two I have the stamina to make a third for me.  They are two people that really do appreciate handknits and so I have made special things for them in the past.

Now I’m off to wind a skein for the second Hemlock.  By my reckoning, since the first one took a week to knit, the second should take at least 3-4 weeks?  Months?  If I want it for Christmas, there is no time to waste!

PS — I had quite a bit of yarn left over.  You could easily make this larger with just the two skeins.

In response to Susanne: I blocked my Hemlock Ring to a full 48-50″ HOWEVER, when I unpinned it, it snapped back to about 44″.  It also looks a little wonky, not crisp like Brooklyn Tweed’s.  So, before I post finished pictures, I plan on repinning it and steaming the daylights out of it.  It may be a day or two before I feel motivated to repin the lil sucker! 

August 31, 2007

From Susan — Hemlock Ring-a-Ling

Filed under: Hemlock Ring,Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 12:13 am

I thought it was time to update the progress of the Hemlock Ring.  It is a very fun project — and basically mindless knitting once you get past the center floral motif.  You just do one pattern row (standard feather & fan) once every five rounds.  The rest of the time is straight knitting.

Hemlock8-30-07.jpg picture by lv2knit

With ~15 rounds to go, mine is 38″ diameter — Brooklyn Tweed said his ended up being about 48″.  And of course you can keep on going and make it larger.

The pattern is adapted from the Hemlock Ring Doily Pattern found here with some other vintage doilies.  It would be really cool to knit some of these as actual doilies with the tiny thread that our grandmas used to use.  Or knit this one into a flipping gorgeous shawl:

DanishDoily.jpg picture by lv2knit

What an intriguing way to link to the past.

Tonight was knit night and of course I enjoyed meeting up with the peeps.  [M, thank you for the very sweet note :) ].  Two weeks ago, AuntieAnn was in town visiting friends.  She brought them with her to Panera’s and joined our group for the evening.  What nice people knitters are!  From left to right, here are Lisa, Nancy and Ann:

LisaNancyandAuntiAnn.jpg picture by lv2knit

They fit right into the group.  Come back any time!

Several people commented on the fact that they love The Big Book of Knitting which validated my purchase — thanks for your “reviews.”  I think I may do that spiral binding thing for this one. I still have my sock book in the car. I drag it everywhere but forget to get it bound.  Maybe if I drag TWO books around I’ll remember.

Now I must knit!!

PS:  From Susan to Marina: do they scare you cuz they’re ugly or cuz they look hard to do? If it’s the latter, they really aren’t hard: Set up row: do a double yarnover; next row: drop 1st YO, [(k1, p1)x4, k1] in the second YO to create 9 sts.

PS2: I forgot to mention that I am still on the first ball of yarn!!  I will tap into the second fairly soon.

PS3: EeeeK!  I just used my infamous formula for figuring out how much shawl I have knitted and I am only 62% done!  THAT is very depressing ;) .  I thought I’d be blocking this by the weekend!

Response to Carol: The How Much Shawl Have I Knitted So Far? formula is a link in our side bar.  All it does is compare the area that you’ve knitted so far to the total area of the finished shawl — in a percentage format.  Sally notes that it under-reports your progress because it is based on an unblocked area whereas the finished measurements are usually blocked measurements.  So, even though I may actually be closer to 70% — I still have a long way to go. :)

PS4 (3-12-2014) — Katja actually knit the gorgeous doily with the violin as a shawl or large wrap:

Beautiful — thank you for sharing!! ?

August 25, 2007

From Susan — Sucked into the Vortex

Filed under: Hemlock Ring,Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 10:46 pm

Man! I didn’t even see it coming!  Flashing lights or a siren would be helpful ;) !  I was sucked into the vortex so quickly that resistance was futile — and I had no way to call out for help!  That’s my excuse anyway.  So this is a quick view to show how the obsessed knitters of the world spend their afternoons!

Hemlock8-26-07.jpg picture by lv2knit

And this also explains why I have not opened the Cat Bordhi sock book ;) . I don’t know why this struck such a chord with me but I do think the pictures of Jared sipping coffee with the Hemlock draped so beautifully on his lap may have had something to do with it.  It also made me want a cuppa.  On to the F&F portion.

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