When your knitting makes you limp...

Now, it's all become clear to me. Why were people been asking me repeatedly whether I had blocked the Hemlock Ring and if not, when was I going to do so? Even my sister was been contacted by an old friend with this question.

Tonight, after supper, I thought I'd just run upstairs and get it over with and then get on with knitting the blue Twilley's cardigan. Ha ha. Very funny.

I almost panicked after my first try. I just couldn't pull it out flat. I thought maybe I mis-knit it somehow. Wasn't there something about an error in row 33 or 35. Maybe the yarn I used at the edging wasn't as stretchy as the main yarn. But it was the same Berroco Ultra Alpaca, just not the same colour.... A very unpleasant sensation. Fortunately, we have Ravelry for that.

Really, I had no idea what blocking this baby would entail. I was perfectly innocent. I had not seen the reams of comments on this subject on Ravelry. I had not seen the blog postings by people who gave up and renamed it the Hemlock Ring Bowl. I finished the knitting several days ago and liked it so much I even used it as a throw, leaving it unblocked during the current cold snap.

Just put in a few key words and voila, instant help. The encouraging postings by Susan of the Rainey Sisters were especially helpful. She has knit 3 or 4 of these things and blocked them all exquisitely,

I followed Susans's advice and went back up to block my throw on the spare bed. As advised, I started by pinning down the star in the center and then established the ray segments equally, working outwards massaging the feather and fan sections to eliminate all the ruching and make the thing lie flat. It got trickier as I got to the outer edges. I would pin down one point, then another and another and then the pins would start popping out of the first point. I ripped off my sweater. Ran out of pins. Started strategically removing them from the inner sections. Around and around. Over and over. I had to squeeze up against the wall. Then I pulled the bed out into the middle of the room. I tried something with rope. Kicked off my slippers. Bit by bit, the thing started to look like it is supposed to look. It took about 2 hours and left me with a limp. Totally unlike the woman in the video from the Scottish Screen Archive.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Here it is before and after...


Mary Lou said…
Looks good! Hope the limp gets better. Thanks for a good laugh and happy new year.
Helen said…
Well worth all your efforts. I was toying with the idea of a circular shawl this year, and you may have just given me the incentive to change my mind. Thanks for that. Happy new year too :)
Judith said…
Love your Hemlock ring.I have made 2 Hemlock rings and blocked them and yes they are hard to do. I use blocking boards from Early Learning ( they are really foam outdoor play mats!)I have read on line somewhere at least 2 very earnest discussions about the tendency of feather and fan to form a bowl shape and the secret seems to be trying to find the point to stop increasing and knitting before it does. My latest Hemlock Ring ( I'm Judithknits on Ravelry) is happiest lying on a single bed as a bedspread where it can loll over the edges and look flat but really be gently curved. Other Pi shawls seem to not do the bowl shape for I have knit a lot of EZ pi shawls with pattern variations but it seems only the feather and fan that does the bowl thing.I'm sure there is a clever mathematical explanation for this.

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