The Pi Shawl has started to be more or less an annual knit for me. I finished my first one four years ago, and now I’m nearing the end of my fourth one. Eventually I’ll have to start giving them away, or else find a way to integrate them into my decor, or (gasp) stop knitting them, but I confess I don’t plan to stop knitting them any time soon. There’s something appealing about how easy they are to get started, and how simple they are to execute. I finish one, feel relief that I got to the end of it, then a few months later start asking myself what colour I want the next one to be, and then here we are.
I love wearing them wrapped all around my neck and shoulders like a loose cowl, and they’re great transitional accessories in spring and fall for that very reason. The pattern guidelines from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book are general enough that you can use virtually any weight of yarn as long as it’s at a loose gauge, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered doing a blanket version in worsted weight wool. These suckers are awesome.
The only downside of the circular shawl is right about where I am now. I’m on the outer section that is about 600 stitches around (the Pi Shawl construction works on the principle of doubling the stitches every time you double the rounds, so every time the stitch count increases so does the amount of time you are spending knitting that section). It takes me about 45 minutes to knit one round at this point, and I’ve got about 24 rounds left before I can start the knitted-on garter stitch border. It’s the long dark tea-time of the soul, the part of every knitting project where you’re convinced it’s never going to get done but then you look deeply inside yourself and realize that you can keep going and make it after all.
This particular Pi Shawl (so named because of its circular structure) got started about a month after Rhinebeck last fall, when I wore one of my other Pi Shawls around all weekend and the other gals in my group all decided to cast one on too. We gave ourselves Pi Day – March 14th – as a loose deadline and I am pretty sure that I am now the last one to finish. (At least two others in the group have finished their first as well as a second, which….damn. Give it up.)
I like the idea of Pi Shawls on Pi Day because every year when Pi Day rolls around, people exclaim about it on the internet and I wish belatedly that I’d planned to make a pie that day because why wouldn’t you want a pie on Pi Day? Or a Pi Shawl for that matter? And really, it’s all an excuse to geek out about numbers, especially this year, since we’ll get not just 3.14 but the first 4 decimal places 3.1415 (March 14th, 2015, heh), and if you make a note to check your watch at 9:26 am or pm, you’ll get the first seven decimals at 3.1415926. (I swear if we had done math this way in school I’d have had a way more fun time with it. Was Pi Day a thing in the 90s?)
The long and the short of it is that now I have 1 week to finish and block this sucker, and it’s going to be a photo finish I can tell. Nothing like sticking to a self-imposed deadline to make you get something done!
Catch you next week knitter friends, and I hope your weekend has some awesome knitting in it.