Friday, 16 September 2011


A couple of weeks ago, sitting watching TV in the evening, I suddenly thought ‘I wonder what a knit-and-purl pattern pi-shawl would be like? I wonder if I can do it?’

I dug out my copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters Almanac, the place where the pi-shawl was born, and looked through the chapter that included the pattern. In her pattern notes she mentions that one of her favourite shawls was ‘brick red’ and talks about moving away from pastel-shade light-weight yarns.

Running through the idea, I eventually came up with Hearthstone, the final evolution of an idea for a textured knit-and-purl shawl that I’ve been batting around for a few months in different forms. The pi-shape helped overcome the structure problems I’d had with working out sideways from the centre, which tended to produce droopy wings.

I worked in DK cotton/acrylic, which produces a knit that has a slight lustre and more weight than acrylic alone, but still has loftiness and warmth. I’m unfortunately very sensitive to wool, so I don’t like it close to my neck at all!

Anyway, here is the result; the final version will be worn with a ‘collar’ at the top folded back and a single big button fastening, sort of a cape design rather than a classic shawl, although it could be knitted that way. It could also be knitted much larger, into an afghan or a really sumptuous wrap.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with it. It has a lovely subtle texture, and I really like the ‘homely’ feel. It feels sort of wholemeal. The pattern - with slightly bigger pioctures, I'm afraid my camera is terrible at wide shots! - will be in the e-book, releasing in around the next month or so. I hope you like it!

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