Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Alistair's Rose Pi Shawl
It's been a while since I've knit anything, or so it feels - anyone else noticing a pattern of all-or-nothing going on here? - but I finally got myself to start something up, starting with a skein I've been wanting to use for a couple of years now: Studioloo's lacey-loo in Roseblood. It's a lovely deep, saturated pink that reminds me of honeysuckle (even though I didn't actually know what honeysuckles looked like until I searched them up for writing this post to make sure they are what I'm being reminded of... yes. Even then, they reminded me of honeysuckle) or an overripe fruit, overlaid with a touch of honey to bring forth that almost golden glow - I say almost because there is zero that is yellow or golden to this colourway, and the illusion of a golden pink is only through the slight halo arising of its singles construction, producing the slightest of a golden aura, albeit an imaginary one. The yarn itself is soft and surprisingly strong, and I found zero knots in the entire skein, which meant I had exactly two ends to weave in at the end of all the knitting: the cast on and the bind off. So much for what I love about the yarn, and now onto the murky cons, specifically: it crocked like nothing else (except for maybe that other saturated pink, the madtosh tosh dk that I used for the chevron bomber - I'm tempted to conclude torchere has some relation to torture, that. What's with the pinks?), and subsequently, unsurprisingly, bled into the soak. I tried rubbing it vigorously against a white fabric surface after it had dried to see if it would crock again, but it didn't transfer any colour, so perhaps all the excess dye washed out in that one soak? Probably just my wishful thinking.

It blocked out spectacularly! I also can't aim my camera today.

I knew from the start I wanted to use more or less the entire skein on one project (it took 979 yards total to make this size using 3.25mm needles and laceweight yarn), so a pi shawl seemed the best bet, besides which it had been a while since the last one and I've been itching for a large project since finishing the brioche dress. (There might also have been the little issue of me not wanting to do the whole nine yards for swatching, so garments were out of the picture altogether.) And of course, having such a saturated pink in a colourway called Roseblood, of all things, I figured I should go all in or nothing and look for something flowery in design. Alistair's Rose Pi Shawl seemed (and I think did turn out to be) a pretty perfect fit, so I went for it. Now, the design's lovely and very easy to follow - I think everything's pretty self-explanatory upon seeing the charts, especially if you understand the mechanics of a pi shawl.

Just to see the edging, which I ended up pinning while it blocked.

However. And this is a very stressed however. If you follow the instructions to the letter, your charts will not match up. They will not be centered. It's not by much - one stitch, and what's one stitch in the grand scheme of things? Can you tell I only found out after the first chart? Can you also tell I goofed, twice!, and tried to fix one of them? No? Good. - but if you, like me, are the type to be bothered (but apparently not bothered enough to rip back after discovering that yes, I would have to rip back an entire chart or two) by this one stitch off-centered design, then you just need to insert these lines into the pattern as you work your way through:

  1. Before working Chart 2, after working the yo & K rounds: sl first stitch of round so it becomes the last stitch of round
  2. Before working Chart 3, after working the yo & K rounds: sl first stitch of round so it becomes the last stitch of round
  3. Before working Chart 3B: sl first stitch so it becomes last
  4. Before Chart 4: sl last stitch of round so it becomes the first stitch of the round
I believe that's all. I'm pretty sure the direction of slipping stitches I've provided here is correct, but just pay attention to the numbers (count how many stitches until the center of the chart below, and make corresponding changes to current chart). I made the mistake of not looking through everyone else's projects before starting, also, so although a number of others have made a note of this already, I failed to see it until I encountered it myself.

Perfect size for doubling up as a crescent shawl

The original plan was to keep it for myself, but as with all the best laid plans, this is going to become a gift. My parents mentioned my cousin very briefly while I was knitting this and I haven't been able to get it out of my head thereafter that this shawl is to be hers. Not that I know her very well, unfortunately, but I do think it would look lovely on her, from the couple of times I've seen her over the years. (I'll have to make especial mention of possible transfer of colour though. That's actually quite worrisome.)

I suppose a pi shawl for myself will just have to wait till the next shawl itch comes around.

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