About a week ago, I gave my finished Pi Shawl a little cold-water bath in the sink and laid it out for blocking. In the process, it looked something like this:
That’s a relatively mediocre iPod Touch photo, but you get the gist. Essentially, it took all the blocking pins I had and covered most of the span of a double-bed-sized flat sheet laid out over a carpeted floor. It turns out a circle made with 1250 yards of fingering weight yarn on 5.0mm needles results in a fairly substantial shawl. (You can also tell pretty easily from that photo that the skein that formed the centre of the circle was noticeably lighter than the outer 2 skeins. At least when this happens on a circular project, you don’t have to worry so much about dye lot differences interrupting the finished look of the project.)
Now, post-blocking (and a bit of wearing), it looks like this:
I measured the final size at about 5-and-a-half-feet across, which is big enough that it’s even hard to find a surface to drape it over for easy photographing. It turns out you have to go find a fence to accommodate that.
Am I complaining about the finished size? Abso-freaking-lutely not. I love it. I’m a 5-foot-9-inch-tall gal and a bit of extra length on a shawl is just fine by me.
I like the simplicity and versatility of this pattern, because it really is good for all occasions. It can be a wrap-up-while-watching-TV shawl or a drape-over-the-couch-for-whenever-you-need-it shawl, but is pretty darned fine as an I-am-impossibly-elegant-while-wearing-this-with-jeans-even-though-I’m-only-dashing-out-for-Starbucks shawl. Anything goes.
In her pattern instructions (well, more like guidelines, really) in the Knitter’s Almanac, Elizabeth Zimmerman gives you a few options for finishing the border. If I did this pattern a 3rd time (because this is actually my 2nd go at it), I’d probably go for one of the lacier border options, but the garter stitch edge is simple and practical and does the trick. It also lets you conserve brain cells right up until the very end of the project, and save them for other more complicated knits in your life.
In the end I worked (I think) 70 rounds of the final section, and if I’d stopped at 60 that would have been fine too – and probably would be an adviseable stopping place for shawl-wearers more petite than I. I judged the final length by holding up the width from centre to outside edge against my arm, and when it felt like I was just about at half of my own ‘wingspan’, I stopped the rounds and started the knitted-on border. It’s the sort of project that lets you do that kind of thing, without encumbering you with too much decision-making. That Elizabeth Zimmerman was pretty groovy, I tell you what.
I won’t lie, there’s probably going to be a 3rd one of these shawls in my knitting life. I don’t know when exactly, but it’ll happen. A girl can never have too many shawls, can she?
Happy knitting this fine weekend!