Blocking a circular blanket part 2: how it worked out

Thanks for the feedback, guys! So here's how things went down:

I went to the hardware store and did some pricing, and then went back to the drawing board to work out the details; the shop didn't have one of the pieces I'd need, so I put the idea of a frame on hold until the weekend. Before that time rolled around, my partner convinced me to at least try blocking the blanket folded in half, and if I didn't like it, I could still go with my crazy and significantly pricier option of building a frame. As it turned out, the soak combined with a little stretch in all directions at once was enough to sufficiently block the piece without resorting to purchasing any new equipment or even folding it. After all, it's a blanket, and I don't need it to be blocked to its maximum; I only need it to lay flat.

Blocking LOG

I can't wait for it to dry so I can hold it up to the light of day.

The pattern is Jared Flood's Leaves of Grass, named after the collection of Walt Whitman's poetry by the same name. During the early charts I was able to actually sneak in some exposure to the poetry on the plain rounds, thanks to e-readers. It was a nice ride, and I was happy to use the excuse to do a bit of sorely needed reading.

The yarn is a merino/bamboo blend dyed by Briar Rose Fibers, and it's actually from a wonderfully generous gift of the guys at the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat the year I was able to be a part of the fun. Several times through this year I began to have wondered if I should have saved the yarn for a sweater, but I absolutely love how it turned out. The bamboo gives it a sheen that makes for a better lace blanket than a sweater I'd be inclined to wear, and I love how the blues seem to ripple in the pattern like water on a lake. I do hope I can get better pictures; our camera died right before Rhinebeck, and I'm currently trying to make do with my old iPhone. Anyway, I have some of you guys to blame for introducing me to Briar Rose Fibers, and I'm grateful. I seem to be developing a bit of a collection of items knit from Chris's yarn.

Blocking LOG

Blocking wasn't too bad; after a preliminary pinning, I divided the 72 points into quarters and then into eighths, trying to balance the distribution along the edges of the square mats; I used a cardboard tube (actually the one that holds my blocking wires) to check the radius from the center motif to the edge and adjusted accordingly. That's that. I know I've said it before, but blocking lace is such a blast. One of the features I enjoy in this particular pattern is the knitted on edging, which reads beautifully once it's been blocked (not to mention how easy it makes blocking). I'm a little disappointed that I didn't end up making a PVC frame, but maybe some other time...

Edited to add a couple photos taken by the light of day:
Leaves Of Grass

Leaves Of Grass

Leaves Of Grass


Tom Hart's picture

Wow! Magnifico! Huge success!

Bill's picture

Willy, That's absolutely beautiful!!!

Thunderhorse54's picture

So beautiful! I am in awe and humbled.

Nehkhasi's picture



Joe-in Wyoming's picture

That is one gorgeous bit of knitting, Willy. Congratulations.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

KenInMaine's picture

Just beautiful knitting! Jared's patterns are great to work with and you did a wonderful job!

WillyG's picture

Thanks for the love, guys! It's a big accomplishment for me. While the knitting itself is not harder than anything else, it is an exercise in perseverance. I think it's my largest continuous knit so far; I've made a couple blankets in squares that are seamed together, but this just flowed from one section to the next. At knit night this week I sat next to a gal who is knitting a pi shawl (after Elizabeth Zimmermann's recommendation), adding her own selection of lace stitches as she goes; some day I hope to work in that manner, but I could not have dreamed up a couple of those charted sections you see above, even if I spent a lot of time swatching to get the stitches to flow into each other. Jared always does a beautiful job laying out the pattern clearly, and I admire his vision. To anybody interested in trying it out, this is one lace project I highly recommend.

Crafty Andy's picture

You dropped a stitch! Just kidding, it looks very nice.

WillyG's picture

Hahaha! I did accidentally skip a plain row in the outer ring chart, though. I mean, I did it intentionally...

MMario's picture

Good thing! That round would probably have made it way too huge....
VERY striking....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

chipsir's picture

This is amazing, what wonderful piece both the knitting and the blocking are outstanding!

CLABBERS's picture

You should enter this in every competition there is out there! It is stunning!

phew's picture

Willy: It is wonderful to see something so beautiful made by human hands instead of what has become the standard i.e. machines. Gives one hope!

bkeith's picture

Catching up here after and absence, and when I saw this my jaw dropped. Stunning!