Now Listening: Harry Connick, Jr. – There’s No Business Like Show Business
Mood: Greenish

First off, I have three more weeks of school left. Odd, huh? The words of a certain Grateful Dead song come to mind.

So how’s you guys? I’m queasy right now; the breakfast I ate was definitely needing less chili. Danged Mom and her last-minute additions of jalapeno peppers. *sigh*


Once again, a pic of me knitting The Blanket. While The Scarf and The Sweater are gently gathering dust in the Procrastination Bin, and therefore will not be any subject to my knitting anytime soon.

Instead, let us talk about pi shawls.

Last time, I left a footnote concerning me designing half-pi shawls. To the non-knitter, this might leave you scratching your heads, so allow me to explain.

Pi shawls were originally mentioned in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Almanac, in which she mentioned how an outwardly knitted circular shawl could be made by adding shaping rows only six times. The reason for it lies in the geometrical rule that when you double a circle’s circumference, you also double its diameter. In knitter-speak, you double the rows knitted when you double the stitches knitted.

Like so.

Full-pi shawl diagram

These are done circularly; technically no wrong (back) rows. Nine stitches are cast onto the needles, and you increase according to the directions. Here, the dotted lines represent the increase rows. It’s an easy traveling project, because it is all knitting and nothing else really. Just the increase rows, usually yarn overs in between every knit.

Mrs. Z. also made mentions of how the plain knitting rows could be livened up with lace knitting, and she also put in a pattern with that in the book (Seriously, even if you don’t knit, read it. The book is fantastic for the non-knitter as well.)

Now, I do not know who figured this, but Ravelry has patterns for half-pi shawls. The principle’s the same, but it goes for half-circles. Dotted lines represent the increases as before.

Half-pi shawl diagram

Now, I mentioned that the blank rows could be filled with anything. Since the half-pi shawl is needing to be done back and forth instead of circularly, it could come out into a garter fabric shawl – knitting on both sides. In that case, the increases could be yarn overs, resulting in semi-invisible holes, or could be done with some other increase, make-ones for instance.

Also, seeing that you have to do a wrong-side, you can work on knit/purl designs, cables, and assorted color work.

Mosaic shawl, maybe halfway done?

Or, in this instance, mosaic stitches. You can do the shaping rows in garter and the colorwork in stockinette, but that’s an idea for someone else to try later on. But you can see how the effect is going.

Of course, you can do this.

Half-pi Revised shawl diagram

The shaping rows are still intact, mind you. However, the radiating lines could be slipped stitches. In the case of, say, garter stripes. Or some other basic colorwork. And if we treat the shaping rows and the lines as borders of the main color, then we can treat the entire shawl as a grid, in a fashion, resulting in something like this.


A slightly Mondrian motif, if I do say so myself. However, the procedure to make blocks of color in this fashion eludes me for the moment. It’s intarsia, true, but to figure out how the ‘grids’ with the blocks connect is only to give me a headache.

Color-pi shawl diagram

And done one step forward. I don’t think I can ever do something like this, though. Too much hassle for me. I am sure, though, that these ideas can work for full-circle pi shawls also. I’m leaving pattern creation for those willing to put their minds to it for now.

Recently, I came across Mrs. Z’s pattern for square pi shawls, which is mind-blowing for me. I’m now wondering if these ideas could be used for those kind of shawls as well. Hmm…


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