Let me tell you, Reader, sometimes a knitting project just goes right. As Lilyriver can attest, I normally start a project at least three or four times, often in vastly different and generally inappropriate yarns and needle sizes, before it starts doing what I want it to do. But this Hemlock Ring blanket and I were MFEO, in internet parlance. I convey emotion through chatspeak because I spend too much time on the internet and have forgotten how to read books.
But no matter. My semester ended a week ago, and since then, thanks to the help of three quarters of a season of Fringe and half a season of DS9, I cranked out most of the aforementioned Hemlock Ring blanket. I can think of no better way to decompress. It was damn near cathartic. You'll have to forgive me, Reader; freedom, even temporary freedom (time marches on; one must prepare to teach one's summer course), makes me ecstatic.
Generally, by the end of a large project, I want to die. The thing about knitting is that most of the work is rote: the repetition of a particular pattern over and over again to achieve a desired result. But I was born in the eighties, and I demand instant results! This is because of music videos, as I understand it. Nevertheless, this project remained enjoyable up until the last 536-stitch repeat of five rows, at which point I started to wish the baby I knit this for was less of a human and more of a Polly Pocket. (The eighties, you know.)
Project notes: I used the Rainey Sisters' helpful compilation PDF, and I followed their feather-and-fan chart all the way, three repeats past Brooklyn Tweed's. The link above takes you to Brooklyn Tweed's project page; he adapted the pattern for a blanket from a doily. His blanket is a HW/Bulky-adult-lap-blanket. To make it light, small, and machine-washable for a baby, I used Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight in Honeydew with a size 8 needle. The yarn is cotton/acrylic and everything you could hope for in a blanket yarn. It's very light and easy to work with (read: not splitty); for this color, at least, shedding was minimal. The blocked blanket (sigh: the pictures are from while it was being blocked; if you want artistry in project photography, surf on over to Brooklyn Tweed) measured 52" in diameter.