I need a Mentor.... :D

Hi All,
I have been coming to this forum for quite sometime and all the help and support that I have recieved here is truely invaluable! Thanks ALL for that!
So here’s my dilemma:
I am attempting to do my first big project. Here is the pattern. I have yet to get the yarn and needles and would like some help on this.
http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.com/2007/08/hemlock-ring-blanket.html (finished product)
http://www.angelfire.com/folk/celtwich/KnitHemlockRing.html (original doily pattern)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68971937@N00/1161874254/ (and the added chart)
I looked into the pattern and it’s not a hard repeat/pattern. And I think that I am ready to do this. (I have done a few fan and feather lace scarves.)
I just need help with the start and getting them onto the circular needles and I can take it from there. I have looked at the tutorial using the magic loop way, but I am a little confused at how to keep track of my increases and decreases. So, maybe to start with this pattern I should do DPN/'s, but once again, I have not done that as well.
So, I was wondering if someone out there with some time would be able to help me do this via PM’s or chat. I live in CA/PST. It may be a few weeks before I am able to start, since I need to get the yarn and needles for this project, but waiting to hear what size needles to get and to start off with. (DPN’s or Circular for Magic Loop) Either way, I will be getting the 40" Addi’s.
Since I haven’t tried DPN’s, it may be a good way to learn the Magic Loop Method instead.
Thanks for your help and looking foward to hearing back from someone.


I found the easiest way to start a circular knit with just a few stitches is to use fewer needles. To start with dpns, CO the sts then put them on only 2 needles and use a 3rd to knit with. When you have a few more increases, you can rearrange the sts and add the 4th needle (and later the 5th one if you have a 5 needle set). To start with circs, CO the sts to one needle, slide them down to the cord, pull out the cable halfway between them and slide the sts back to the ends. Then use another circ to knit with (similar to the 3 dpn method) or if you use only one, loop the right needle and you’re doing magic loop.

Have you ever knit a pattern like this before? I’ve been knitting for a long time and it looks daunting to me! I’ve never done a fan and feather type of pattern though. I’m not trying to dissuade you, but there are so many things that you could knit that would fit the definition of a “big project” that might not be as difficult as this looks. Although, it’s GORGEOUS!
Go to the knitting help tutorials, at the top of this page, she has great videos including how to cast on with dpns. I just finished my first pair of socks and I used her video to start off. She shows how to cast on and start a project with dpn’s. It’s very clear and easy to follow.
Good luck!

Just wanted to say that blanket is an amazing piece and best of luck with it! I bookmarked it… someday I may be ready for something like it.

I love to knit in the round like this. Worsted and size 10s, should work up fairly quickly. Here’s another gorgeous piece: http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/doilies/theresastablecloth.htm
that someone sent to help me add a decorative edging to my “Leftover Circular Afghan”:http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b94/MMQC/Knitted%20Items/002.jpg

I started mine with DPNs, size 10.5 and based my increases on multiples of 6. Your blanket appears to use multiples of 8. Will be glad to knit along and/or help. Although, I’d love to drop my needle size and just make it larger as a tablecloth. Lovely piece…these usually become family heirlooms, too!

That is positively beautiful! If I hadn’t just cast on another large project, I’d do a KAL with you. Good luck!

Haven’t tried magic loop yet. Suzeeq, looking at the original pattern, does the O mean YO?

Also, Gino, it looks like after you get into the pattern, after the initial center design, that increases occur every 5th round.

Not to this extreme. The lace isn’t too hard to do. And I have knitted lace before with some pretty good outcome. This is just a large project with so many different things to do. I wanted to knit this for my Mom for part of her retirement gift. I am going to try this out for me first and if the outcome is somewhat decent, I will knit another one for my Mom. LOL

Thanks! Maybe the next big one!

I started mine with DPNs, size 10.5 and based my increases on multiples of 6. Your blanket appears to use multiples of 8. Will be glad to knit along and/or help. Although, I’d love to drop my needle size and just make it larger as a tablecloth. Lovely piece…these usually become family heirlooms, too!

Hi Mary,
That sounds great. I would love to do a KAL with you. I have never done this before and I think it will be fun to do with someone else.
And yes, it looks like it’s an increase every fifth row, so once again, not too hard.
There are just a few questions that I have with the pattern, since I have really looked it over, and the last row there are a few questions for that as well. But I think that is a long time coming.
I’ll private message you once I am ready with my needles and yarn. But one quick question for you, should I do DPN’s like you since you know that better? Or should we both try the Magic Loop Knitting together. :stuck_out_tongue:
The pattern link that you sent us to changes circular needles a few time within the pattern. So, if we don’t do the Magic Loop, I would need to get a few different needle sizes in circular? (right)
Soooooooooooooooooooooo Mary, all I need to know is what needles and sizes do I need to get. Not worried about the cost etc. As long as I get everything that I need to start. Of course I am going to use bamboo for the DPN’s don’t want slipped stitches. LOL Also, if you think that bamboo will work better than the Addi’s since it’s not as slippery I can get those too.
Thanks and REALLY REALLY looking foward doing my first KAL with you.
Anyone else want to join the fun?


Yes Mary - O is for YO.

I got your pm, Gino. Since I’m on a cover repair job this morning, won’t be able to communicate too much til this evening. I’ve copied the original pattern and the chart and will be studying it. I am inclined to just stick with the dpns.

If you’re going to do yours like the one on Ravelry, the size 10s (7") dpns and size 10s (24-36") circulars are what you’ll need. And I would suggest checking out the off brand bamboo circulars they have on Ebay. You can purchase an entire set with all sizes in either 32" or 40" lengths for less than $15-20. I honestly think you’ll be able to fit all the sts onto a 36" or 40". Should be able to use the dpns until you get to around 60-70 sts. on the needles, then change up to 24" then onto 36 or 40". More later…

So is the project really just the doily on larger needles and with larger yarn, or is something added to it? I’m guessing he just charted the F&F part because he didn’t like to read line by line directions, but is it the same as the doily or is it different is some way? Is the blanket edging the same as the doily?

Yes, O in the original pattern means YO. I’ve seen that used before.

Some beautiful worsted weight wool and the size 10 needles would be the ticket. Exact gauge probably is not important as long as the result you get is something you like, but it could effect the size.

The doily pattern says to use dpns, so it would work to start out with them and then move maybe to two circulars (one being the 40 incher) to handle the too many stitches for the dpns but not enough yet to reach around the 40". Then move to the one circular. I don’t know how to do a magic loop and two circulars would seem awkward to me to start with, but some like them.

This piece is beautiful. Your ambition to make 2 of them is remarkable. I’m sure it is a good idea to make one to try it out on, but making two of something is boring to me many times. LOL But some people love to do that sort of thing and don’t find it boring.

I’d be happy to help all I could, but I don’t think I’m up to making one right now to be certain of how it all goes. I’m in PST as well. Feel free to PM me anytime. I don’t know if I’ll have the answer you need, but I like to help and will give it some attention anyhow. :slight_smile:

I think that’s what it is; many people have used other lace doily patterns and just use bigger needles and yarn on the same pattern. You don’t need to adjust anything, it just becomes larger that way, though you may need to keep doing repeats until it’s the size you want.

Thanks for the helpful reply and advice. I know I know, I am the same way about doing a project and making two can be boring at times. I think a lot of us have ADD when it comes to making something again. But since this is going to be for a gift, I’d figure I’d love one for myself too. :slight_smile:
That is very kind and generous of you to help out. And I will probably need that soon enough too. So, get ready for the questions!
Thanks again for your input!


No, what you have to do if I am correct is you start off with the original pattern and then on row 47 you start with his charted pattern.
Here is a quote from his blog:
[COLOR=#336666]“The original pattern as-is guides you through 87 rows of lace knitting, which I expanded in order to transform the doily into a blanket. The great thing about feather-and-fan is that you can just keep doing it in order to make a larger piece. Also, it’s purdy.”[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#336666]“As far as ‘expanding’ the pattern that’s given you, I’ve already done the grunt work of charting out the expandable feather-and-fan section here for your convenience (When it comes to lace, I have a serious aversion to line-by-line pattern writing). A special note about the chart: [B]I did not chart out the entire pattern, only the feather and fan section. Row 1 of my chart corresponds directly to Row 47 of the original doily pattern[/B]. (You’ll still have to do a little line-by-line knitting). Also, the beginning of the round in the pattern starts in the CENTER of my chart. This will be more clear while knitting - just follow along with both pattern and chart until you orient yourself to the new setup.”[/COLOR]
Because I think that even if you made it with larger needles and heavier weight yarn, it still would not be as large as what you see here. He said that the finished blocked piece measured over four feet.
Hope that helps. I wanted to do this so she could wear it as a shawl or lap blanket etc. Now it’s just choosing the colors! There are so many great natural colors that Cascade Eco Wools use. I am torn by so many. sigh (what to do what to do) Malabrigo might be fun too… but don’t know if the colors will mess with the pattern too much. What do you experts think?

Thanks Mary,
No rush on anything. I’ll do some research and get to work on the needles.
Have a great day! Also, what do you do? Cover repair job? Sounds interesting!

I finished this up last month…it was a very easy knit! The best thing to do is join the yahoo groupthey have charts for the 47 and beyond rounds…I think it went to 122…and then you go back to the pattern and BO with the last row…

I started mine off on dpns and then moved to circs…first 24" cables then I think my 40" cable in options…I also had stitch markers for every repeat :thumbsup:

If you need any help just lmk

That is so beautiful. I don’t know if I’ll ever get up the nerve to try that. LOL