uzzah! My blanket actually looks like a blanket and not a very hungry octopus. mostly... Getting it that way was a long and drawn out process that involved a bathtub, a 8' x 6' swath of insulating foam, a few hundred pins, string, several hours, and a good portion of my living room floor. Blocking and the waiting for the blanket to try was definitely worth the time and effort since, in the end, I had a warm, cosy blanket that's big enough for a queen sized bed. I can see this being the only blanket I'll need for the rest of the summer.
Blocking and finishing aside, I've spent a lot of time working on this blanket. While I'm glad that it's finally completed, I also miss it since I can't knit on it anymore. It's not like I don't have several other large projects to fill that hole with - a super long Dr. Who scarf, or that other blanket I just started. Ahem... Eventually, I'm going to give Girasole a chance to fill that hole too and it's much larger than a Hemlock Ring.
Part of the reason I spent so long knitting this blanket was because I wanted more than a lap blanket. I wanted it to be big enough for a bed. So, once I'd finished off the existing increases, I figured out how the pattern worked, made up another chart, and got back to my knitting. From my wanderings over Ravelry and interwebs, I know I'm not the only one who wants more than a lap blanket. At the top is my extended chart for your own giant Hemlock Ring or giant, hungry octopus. Have fun.