Posts Tagged by Pi shawl
|17 March 2014||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
Six skeins of luscious yarn + a fascinating pattern + an arbitrary deadline = a lot of fun.
I blocked the Event Horizon Pi Shawl the day after I finished it. Remember that it was only 40″ in diameter off the needles?
I knew it would grow, so Mike and I moved around a little furniture in the guest room, laid down a sheet, and hope there’d be enough room.
Then it was into the sink while I went for a walk, then back to drain, squeeze, roll, stomp, and then up to the guest room. I measured the centre at 3.5′ from the things I couldn’t move: the closet doors and the table with the loom on it. I figured I could go under the bed if I had to, and there was more room on the opposite side from the table.
I started with each 16th marker. If I’d been smart, I would have done them in four sets, so there would have been only four colours all the way around. It would have made checking the right-angles easier. It wasn’t difficult, per se, but I did spend a bit of time counting pins as I did the third and fourth sets to make sure I was measuring the right ones. I also just eyeballed the angle, rather than dig out a protractor to make sure it was 90 degrees. It took about an hour to get these sixteen pins right, but after that, it was easy sailing.
I blocked it hard. No word of a lie, even though I put the first pins in at an angle, some of them were pulled almost out by the time I got around to them when adding the pins in between. It dried under a lot of tension, and I admit to being a little worried, even though I knew the yarn could take it.
And it grew. From 40″ in diameter to almost 72″. Exactly what I’d hoped, and what I’d wanted when I ordered the sixth skein of yarn. I’m 6′ tall on a good day, and was sure that a 5′ diameter shawl just wouldn’t hang as well on my frame as a 6′ one. And…
Boy, was I ever right (and yes, you actually get to see my face for this one 😉 ). Special thanks to those at RCY South when I got there for figuring out how I should wear it, and loaning me the shawl pin, because that there, that’s got to be the best way to wear a circular shawl.
And don’t let anyone tell you a lace shawl can never be warm, because by the end of the class, I needed to take it off, I was getting too hot! Now with spring here (hopefully… oh, I hope so), maybe I can trade a jacket for the shawl on a nice day.
Final opinion on the Event Horizon Pi Shawl: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the pattern for a beginner lace knitter, but someone who’s done a little bit of lace knitting shouldn’t have too many problems. Stitch markers are your friends. This yarn is amazing: great colour, and took that hard block like a pro. I would do something different with Lace Circle 5 if I were to knit it again. And would I knit this again? Yes, I actually think I would. It was that much fun.
|15 March 2014||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
Back when I started the border of the Event Horizon Shawl, I divided the stitch count into 16ths. I did this for a variety of reasons. First, 72 is a lot more reachable than 1152, or even 288. 16ths seemed like good goals. Second, I knew from past experience that blocking a circular shawl without reference points is really very difficult. So I gave this a great deal of thought, and when I divided the shawl up into 16ths, I did it with pairs of stitch markers.
I made up eight pairs of coordinating stitch markers from my collection, taking great care to choose ones that I thought would stand up to being washed without breaking, tarnishing, or otherwise failing. Each one of the pair was exactly half-way around the circle from the other, which would make it much easier to line things up when it came time to block. But as I was knitting my way around the border, I couldn’t stop worrying about it. I couldn’t use the salad spinner to get out extra water, because the shawl was too big, so I would have to use the towel-roll-and-step method, and some of those stitch markers probably wouldn’t stand up to that. Also, what if the wet yarn snagged on the dangling stitch markers? What about attaching them to the border? I only have a few coil-less pins, and would have to use safety pins for the rest. Maybe I should go buy some of those plastic coil-less markers. If they came in enough colours, then I could just use those. But they’re plastic… Would they stand up to the towel-and-stomping? And when would I find the time to go to Michael’s?
Around and around these thoughts went as point after point was knitted, marker after marker was reached. And it wasn’t until I was almost done that the solution to all my worries hit me.
I am a knitter. Therefore, I have yarn. Therefore, I have yarn in a variety of colours. And also, because I’m me, I have a whole bowl full of my cut ends from the last several years.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions just don’t occur to us. We love our little gadgets, our pretty knitting jewelry, and can’t think beyond that. The really sad part is, I was involved in a discussion earlier in the knit-a-long about how to make stitch markers using contrasting colour yarn. And yet…
I unearthed eight different types of yarn ends from my end bowl, and suddenly, all my worries about the stitch markers breaking/snagging/tarnishing/falling off were gone. And did it work?
Of course it worked. With a pin at the centre and a makeshift plumb line that I used to go across and to measure right angles on the quarters, it worked like a charm.
I had room in the guest room (barely, and only after we moved almost every piece of furniture), and I only used pins this time (no wires). It’s blocking hard and I know it will draw in again once it’s unpinned, but it’s a half-inch shy of six feet across. For all the complexity of the pattern, for all that there were 1152 stitches in that final round and two rows for each stitch cast off in the border, a simple finish, gadget-free and just with some yarn and pins, seems fitting.
|14 March 2014||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
It’s Pi Day, and that means that the New Year’s to Pi Day Event Horizon Pi Shawl KAL has technically ended. This is a short post to prove…
…that I made it. Tomorrow’s job is to figure out where to block this thing because…
…I have a few ideas as to how to move furniture or MacGyver a set-up to block this, because it will be at least 72″ in diameter blocked. Stay tuned!
|23 February 2014||Posted by Ness under Podcast|
In which I find sources of light in dark days and already miss my two sheep friends, have a bit more success in Master Spinner Level 3, do a pretty good needlework yarn in Level 2, knit the Pi shawl and that’s pretty much it, and reach the point I wanted to be at on the Tapestry. Thanks for listening!
Light in Dark Days
- Master Spinner Program
- Fibre Week at Olds College
- Badger Balm (yes, got it at Lee Valley, the unscented)
- O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream – you can pick this up almost everywhere now, but this stuff has been really, REALLY good for my hands.
- Event Horizon Pi Shawl by Donna Druchunas – My project page, the pattern page on Ravelry, and link to the KAL thread on Ravelry.
- Ribbed Watchman’s Hat by Channah Koppel. I am knitting it in Rowan pure wool worsted in black. No project page yet
By The Wayside