I have been ogling Nicky Epstein's Tree of Life (or Tree's Breeze) pattern for a long time. I actually contemplated making it for my sister's wedding two years ago, but I'm glad I waited until now, because I'm a much more confident (and competent) knitter. Oh, and I had a two-month old and a 2.5 year old. Not exactly a recipe for success on a complicated pattern.
After making the Serenity blanket, I knew that I couldn't go back to a standard acrylic ribbed or basketweave baby blanket. So with babies, babies all around, I cast on for the Tree of Life. (I'm using Lion Brand's Cotton Ease, which I'm really liking for baby blankets. Soft, yet easy-care and drapes well.) I first was going to just make the baby throw version, but the reviews all talked about how it was disappointingly small. I'm a go big or go home girl, so I was just going to double the width and realized that was the same as making the full blanket. 180 stitches per row is a lot of stitches I'm finding, and it's also almost comical that when I was looking at other people's projects, they had given themselves months...lots of them...to finish their blankets, while I'm giving myself less than that. Substantially less. So, here I am, two days and a little carpal tunnel later and I'm almost half-way through. Oh, I meant half-way through the first skein of yarn, the first of 6 motifs. Oh, the hilarity.
But I have to say, I'm already loving how the stick-like branches are twining through one another with nothing more than simple cables. The more projects I knit, the more I'm astounded by the looks that can be achieved with the most basic skills. It's marked as an 'experienced' pattern, but I wouldn't let that scare you. If you can knit and purl (and knit and purl and knit and purl ad nauseum), have a row counter, a cable needle and some waste yarn for a lifeline, then I say cast on my friends. Cast on.