Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Sick Day Pi Shawl

So, you may remember this from last December... 

The Sick Day Pi Shawl – so-called, as it is simple enough to be knitted when you're feeling flu-ey and are dosed up to the nines on cold medicine.

Since I knitted it in Yorkshire, of course, it made perfect sense to take it back to Yorkshire to finish off (i.e. weave in the ends) and block.  I'd started off on the ends, but hadn't quite completed them.  The pattern says that it's very forgiving of the wrong number of stitches, which is a good thing.  After the last increase, I was supposed to have 295 stitches; I ended up with 302 with a couple more possible increases when trying to catch a runaway stitch.  I loved the project; clear pattern, very simple to knit, and the seven row repeat was quite easy to memorise, which surprised me.

I used Rowan Summerspun, (which knits to a double knit thickness), on 4mm needles.  The pattern calls for an Aran weight yarn, so my sick day pi was less of a shawl, more a frothy little shoulderlette.  The yarn itself is made up of two thinner strands, loosely twisted together.  There were a couple of occasions where I managed to knit just one of the two strands, instead of both.  (The first time I assumed I’d just caught a thread in the wrong place and dropped it off the needle and with it went the stitch.  Do not try this at home).  I reckon it'd be possible to unravel a ball and use the two strands for a four ply-ish project.  As I don't know what to do with the yarn I have left over, I'm tempted to do just that.  There was one occasion of fraying/near fraying (I forget now), meaning I had to start a new bit of yarn in the middle of the row.

Annoyingly, I also cocked up on the cast off, by not making sure I had enough yarn for the Russian Lace bind off.  Not that I think it would make a difference which bind off I used.  As the yarn is only 50% wool, I couldn't do the clever trick of felting the ends to a new ball.  I did try unravelling the old end and the new end, twisting old strand A with new strand A and old strand B with new strand B and then twist the As and the Bs back together to make a seamless length of yarn.   If it sounds like a faff, it was and it didn't work properly either.  I ended up knitting and casting off three stitches with both yarns and hoping! 

Why yes, I was knitting over breakfast in Weatherspoon's

The plan for completing was to take the shawl to Sheffield, finish the final ends and then block in the hotel room between the matinee and evening performances.  I even packed the pins!

Should anyone wish to use this yarn, the water after wetting the shawl looked like this:

Goodness only knows what the staff made of the towel afterwards, but this is a hotel.  They must have had worse things on their towels than Rowan yarn dye, right?

The shawl in the process of being blocked, 

And the eyelet pattern:

And finally, a shawl selfie:

Would I knit this again ?


Why did I like it ?
Easy to follow, easy to remember, simple and pretty quick to knit.  Also learned the Russian Lace bind off.

Why didn't I like it ? 
Nothing I didn't like. 

What would I change ?
To start - use the proper weight of yarn.  After the final increase, the five row pattern can be repeated up to fifteen times.  This time, I did three repeats; next time I would like to do more.

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