Easy as Pi

I don’t know about you, but this has been the hardest April I can remember. In fact, I dont think I’ve ever experienced such a difficult start to the year. In December I got a promotion at work. I was in a job I didn’t like, and now I have a job that I enjoy a lot. But the job comes with more responsibility, and with responsibility comes stress. Cue knitting to save my sanity.

A few months ago I finally bought the Knitter’s Almanac. I walked through Elizabeth Zimmermann’s fabulous “unventions” and sage advice, and decided that now was the time to cast on a Pi Shawl. Sometimes you start something and you’re not sure why, but it just seems like the right thing for the time. This shawl is what my brain and my heart have needed over the last few months. I sit down to work on it and it helps me to slow down and stop worrying. The yarns are beautiful and make this knitting a very tactile experience.

Earlier this month I got a call that my grandma was very ill and might not make it for much longer. I bought a plane ticket, packed a bag, and went to be with her. This shawl was such a comfort as I travelled and sat in waiting rooms. I showed it to her and she thought it was so beautiful. And then as she started to recover I knit on it in joy, so pleased that I was not knitting in mourning.

So often in my knitting I try to be smart. The easy solution or the obvious solution are not good enough, I have to do it the hard way. But sometimes I need something easy so that my brain can stop working on overdrive. That is what this shawl is for me.

Dragon Scales

Almost a year ago I bought a single skein of silk laceweight yarn. It was expensive, but I couldn’t help myself. The colours reminded me of the desert where I grew up – reds, oranges, and yellows. Home. This yarn was special and it needed to be knit up into a special project. And I had the perfect shawl pattern in mind…except I needed twice as much yarn as I had. So I began a search for a new pattern.

After a long and strenuous search on Ravelry I knew I was not going to find the perfect pattern. So rather than settle for imperfection I decided to make my own pattern. My shawl is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Pi Shawl – every time the row number is doubled, the stitch count is doubled. I cast on, knit for a while, increased, knit for even longer, and then started a lace stitch pattern I had found.

And then the shawl sat neglected for…a long time. I came back to it a few days ago to find that 1) it hadn’t knit itself (darn!), and 2)the stitch pattern was a lot easier than I remember it being. Needless to say, I’ve been making some good progress on it over the last few days, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it is turning out!