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Tree of Life Knit-Along #1

May 7th, 2008

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Tree of Life Knit-along badge

UPDATE: Thanks for your comments on this Knit-Along suggesting that the pattern be free. We are offering this pattern free until 6/1/08 for anyone who would like to join the Knit-Along. Please click on the image above to get the pattern.

In need of a good spring project, I decided on the Tree of Life afghan designed by Nicky Epstein. The pattern was originally written for Lion Brand in Wool-Ease but I thought I’d give it a try in Fishermen’s Wool, in Natural, which is a great airy off-white. The Twin Trees and Flower Garden patterns that make up the design inspired me that by the time I’m finished, the weather will actually be perfect for a day in the park.

After doing a quick swatch, the gauge worked out perfectly, with 18sts to every 4 inches, so I’m off to a pretty good start. (For more information on gauge, listen to this week’s YarnCraft podcast episode.)

tree of life Knit-along badge

I hope you’ll join me for this group knit-along as we work on this classic pattern, a long-time favorite for over 10 years, together. I’ll be sharing my progress every two weeks, and I hope you’ll ask questions, comment, and share your progress too.

Feel free to use the knit-along badge above on your blog. (Right-click the image — or Ctrl+click on Macs — and select “Save As” to save it to your computer.)

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  • Kay


    Am on the Flower Garden and the second set of Flowers . Have 7 repeats on the border. Still plugging along but will get there. Stopped to start a pair of mittens from the new Vogue Knitting Mag. Just can not help myself. They are the Pagliaci mittens and so neat. Now back to the Flower Garden.

    How is everyone else doing?

  • Beth K

    I finished my afghan last week. I wish I’d thought of binding off in k1p1 to transition into the border more subtly. That is a great idea. But I’m still happy with the way mine looks.

    I used the mattress stitch to sew the border on. I like how it is virtually invisible — almost like grafting the border onto the afghan. I’d be afraid that a crocheted seam wouldn’t take the corners as well.

    I made sure that the border always hits each corner at the same spot, in the middle of a repeat. I just liked the way the border looked when I did that. I gently gathered the border as needed to make everything line up — NO STRETCHING! As a result, a full 78 repeats (as opposed to Corinna’s 77) went around perfectly. Then I grafted the end to the beginning. I’m not good at grafting, so the seam is slightly visible, but you have to look for it.

    I had blocked the afghan before attaching the border, so afterwards I just lightly steamed the border, especially the corners, and called it done. Now I can go back to finishing a sweater I’ve been working on for months. :)

  • Diane SC

    I had to set my afghan aside for the Olympics. The church is having an Olympic Afghan Challenge. We are knitting/crocheting squares from the Warm Up America Pattern during the Olympics. This Saturday, we are all getting together to piece them together.

    I have to finish afghan soon though. It is a wedding gift for Sept. 27. I have one more set of trees and about half of the border to go. YEA!!!!

  • http://Comcast Loretha

    Hello my name is Loretha and I used to knit along time ago (> 20 years). I recently tried to start again with making socks, no luck there with the DP needles. I am going to try this afghan on this forum to see how it goes. It will be nice to pick up my needles again and complete a project. This looks difficult, but I am going to give it a try.

  • Cheryl

    Loretha, it is like riding a bike. Just a little practice and it all comes back. I cast on with regular needles and then knit onto a circular needle. Don’t forget the 4 stitches between trees, the purl row between the divided area and you will be fine. Good Luck. I am currently working on the second pattern of flower garden and have the border up to 18 repeats. If you read all the posts it really helps. Others have great ideas on how to make this beautiful afghan turn out for the best. Good Luck

  • Jill

    I am on row 16 of the trees section and stumped. I have 20 stitches left at the end of this row. What do I do with them? Please help. Thank you!

    Zontee says: Hi Jill, you missed the k4 repeated between each repeat of the tree motif. Please see Jackie’s note in comment #78 for a full explanation. Also, please note that since the Tree of Life Afghan KAL is not active, you may want to e-mail directly for help with the pattern.

  • Cheryl J

    I think the rest of us that are still working on our tree of life afghan should show ourselves so we can help others. I am sure there are others out there that have set it aside and work on it occasionally or like myself have also joined in on the CAL and are working on both.

    How about it? Are there others out there still enjoying their days working on the Tree of LIfe Afghan? Some might need a little encouraging to finish it, or maybe a little slower. Lets pull together and finish this beautiful Afghan!!

    Cheryl J

  • Patricia

    Yes I am still working on it. I generally work on several projects at a time including charitable projects. I am just about to begin the last set of trees and still need to do most of the border. I hope all this info stays on this site especially when I get to attaching the border.


  • Kay

    Yes, I am still working on it, too. I am on my second set of trees and it is going faster and smoother. I so want to finish it for X-mas but have so many other projects going and to finish for Xmas also. I try to do at least 2 rounds a day and then work on other things, mostly mittens and fingerless gloves. This knit a long was my first and I have learned so much and am more confident in my skills. Thank you Lion Brand Yarn.

    Kay in Virginia

  • knitty kitty

    I agree with Cheryl J. please keep commenting. i have loved this project so much and learned so much.i am starting on the 2nd tree section. i have taken back areas multiple times but learned as i go.this has really streatched my knitting skills but i am so glad i tried it.i don’t know how long it will take but i really want to finish.

  • Cheryl J

    I am still knitting on the Tree of Life also. I have the border almost all knit but havn’t started putting it onto the afghan. I still have 1/2 flower garden to go and then the last set of trees. But I am hanging in there!! I have had so many compliments on it makes me really happy to be able to do something like this.

    Happy knitting to all!!

  • Maggie McLoughlin

    I just finished the flat part of this afghan this afternoon, and have started the border. Last year I took my knitting with me to the Sweet Adelines International Competition in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This year I was financially unable to attend the convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, so I’m watching it online. I found it much easier to knit when I’m home (with the light on!). So far I’ve finished 5 tulips on the border (they’re not as easy as one might think–gotta read the pattern every row!). But it goes quickly when you’re watching the competition!

    My daughter can hardly wait until I finish this afghan. She has spoken for it! I may be slower than most, but I’m having a ball!

    Thanks for the incentive to do something much more difficult than I would ordinarily attempt, and the opportunity to improve my skills and confidence.

  • Cheryl J

    I am glad to see that there are people out there still finishing their afghan. I have set mine aside to crochet afghan for my mother’s bed at the AFC and now working on premie hats for crafty angles, a charity for babies in poor countries. I need to get back to my Tree of Life so I am not the last one to finish.

  • Sherry Brace

    I would like to join your knit along, however I do crochet and was wondering if a pattern would be available.

    Thank you

    Zontee says: Hi Sherry, this pattern is not available in crochet, but please keep an eye out for our next crochet-along, which will happen in early 2009. There are also people who are still working on the first crochet-along, the Crochet Sampler Afghan. Click “crochet-along” under “Categories” on the right-hand bar on the blog.

  • Maggie McLoughlin

    Well, I’m going a lot slower than some people, but I’m finally finished with the basic afghan, and am now working on the border tulips. People I show it to are really impressed with this “work of art,” and are all jealous that I’m not giving it to THEM! Even the folks down at my LYS are really excited about my project, and many of them say things like, “Gee, I don’t think I could have the patience for this one!”

    I have 18 of the tulip buds on the border done, and I try to do at least one a day, so that it will get finished soon, but sometimes it’s hard to find a time to really concentrate on it. I haven’t been able to really memorize it, although the patter is much easier to follow now than it was in the beginning.

    Can’t wait to announce that I’ve finished it.

    Maggie McLoughlin, San Jose, CA

  • Leslie Buff

    For all of you out there who have not yet finished the Tree of Life afghan, I join you. Although I am disappointed I have not yet finished this piece, I have been very busy with my son who is a senior in high school, oh so much to do, looking at colleges, finish paper work on applications, it sure has taken away from my knitting. To say the least I also got hung up on the flower garden and disappointed on how it looked, so I am trying to find the courage to get involved again. I looked to see if anyone else was still working on the afghan and to see that there are, gives me hope, so now I will go and try the flower garden again. Thanks everybody for your comments.

  • Ferdie

    I too am not finished. Unfortunately, I have set this project aside since August, and have not as of yet returned to husband had two surgeries and I had my hands full for the last few months; and now the holidays are approaching again and I do not seem to find the time to sit and knit. I will finish this eventually but I most likely will not be finished with this beautiful afghan until after the holidays when I can get back to it. I just do not seem to find the time anymore as I did went I zealously tackled this project and perservered into the wee hours of the morning. I have to admit I did loose my enthusiasm after I finished one full pattern and was into the second repeat of the design and well…the rest is history. Perhaps someone can share a tip of two as to how I can get back in the grove again.

  • Patricia

    I too am trying to finish by Christmas. It is a gift for my daughter and son-in-love. I am half way through the last row of trees and have a fair start on the border. We will be traveling (air and car) the next month so I’m planning to finish the border while gone and then attach when we return.
    Have been also working on a sweater for my oldest grandson (13) and one for the youngest grandson
    (BORN TODAY !!!! 9lbs 4 oz.) no name yet. Now the happy Bacha (Grandma) of twelve.

  • Cheryl J

    I am so glad to read there are people out there still working on this beautiful afghan. I also have put it aside to work on charity things and some gifts for Christmas. I will get back to it Jan. I love the way it is turning out and Thank Lion Brand for the free pattern.

    It has stretched my knitting skills and now feel like I can make anything and read all the difficult patterns out there. I have the last 1/2 of flower bed to do and the last set of trees. I found the second repeat a lot easier. I have about 15 more leaves to finish on the border too. I read it takes 77 to make it all the way around so I am going for that but will wait and cut yarn after I have it all sewed on just in case come out different.

    Keep in touch girls and Ferdie don’t give up. I have posted a picture of mine in progress at Lion Brand CAL sampler afghan. I did that CAL too, :)

  • Donna Wakins

    I know I’m late for the knitalong but I would like to know if there is anybody I can ask question about the pattern now?

    Zontee says: Hi Donna, if you can’t find the answer by clicking the “knit-along” category on the right-hand column of the blog and reading through the blog posts relating to the Tree of Life Afghan, you can always e-mail us for pattern support at and someone will get back to you ASAP!

  • Patricia

    Just want to proclaim that I am totally finished!! I gave it to my daughter and son-in-love for Christmas (unfinished). They are coming to visit again this next week and will take it home with them.
    I also finished my 14 year-old grandson’s sweater and the baby grandson’s in the interim.
    The Afghan was a challenge for me but I’m very happy with it.
    If you haven’t completed yours, don’t give up! :)

  • peggy

    I have tried and tried over and over again to do the Tree of Life Afghan . . . even had to purchase my pattern . . . I have not reached row 36 and I am completely stumped as it throws the pattern off completely. I even rewrote the pattern with explicit instructions for each of the shortened descriptions . . . anyone out there that can help me . . . before I return the balance of my wool to the store? Thank you

    Zontee says: Hi Peggy, as the Tree of Life Afghan Knit-Along is not currently active, you may want to e-mail and our team of experts will be able to help you out.

  • peggy

    my address was incorrect so I am re-typing this request . . . I have tried and tried over and over again to do the Tree of Life Afghan . . . even had to purchase my pattern . . . I have not reached row 36 and I am completely stumped as it throws the pattern off completely. I even rewrote the pattern with explicit instructions for each of the shortened descriptions . . . anyone out there that can help me . . . before I return the balance of my wool to the store? Thank you

  • peggy

    typo in previous e-mail . . . it states “I have not reached row 36” but should have read “I have now reached row 36” . . . sorry

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  • Sherry Newton Sosh

    Poor thing!I hope not! Don’t worry about the falling though.I have fallen twice this week… Flat feet and crooked legs are no fun!

  • Heather April Crockett

    Help!! I’m stuck on row 9 of the flower garden pattern….no matter what I do…I end up with 3 extra stitches at the end of row 9! All the previous rows I have done perfectly. Any one else having or has had this problem? Thanks, Heather