Details: I finally decided to just do the Pi, incorporating patterns from Sharon's book Heirloom Knitting (http://www.heirloom-knitting.co.uk/). I had the book handy, and the other patterns from the EZasPi Shetland lace workshop were downstairs on the computer, and I didn't want to wake anyone to get them (a sleepover was in progress for my son and a couple of his friends), and I really liked the idea of doing alternating rose and leaf patterns...what can I say? I’ve been eyeing these patterns for awhile now, and this was just too good an opportunity to play!
Cast on was simple - 9 stitches into a knitted tube of worsted-weight cotton on size 3 Brittany glove needles. That tube makes keeping track of the limited number of cast-on stitches easy for me, and taking the tail back through with a tapestry needle after I’ve completed a few rows is easy. At this point I stopped, drank the coffee and ate some breakfast – the cast-on and first 2 rows still looked good on re-inspection. I kept going.
Yarn is natural-colored gray handspun baby alpaca and bombyx coffee-dyed silk, and I noticed on Saturday that it’s practically the same color and almost exactly the same grist as the KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in the soft gray color. I like the feel of mine better, though (I went with 70 % alpaca and 30 % silk by weight). I’ve spun up about 1200 yards of 2-ply, and hopefully that will be enough (although I think I’ve got most of another 4 ounces of the alpaca and silk blended).
I did stockinette stitch to the 36-stitch section, then began the Little Leaf Lace with a 4-stitch repeat. Only 6 rows are required at this point, so I did a row of knit stitches after the increase row, 9 repeats of the 4-stitch, 4-row pattern, and another row of knit stitches before the next row of increases.
At the next, 72-stitch section, I continued the little leaf lace, with 2 knitted rounds, 2 vertical pattern repeats, and another 2 rows of knit stitches adding up to the 12 rows needed before the next set of increases.
After the 144-stitch increases (24 rows) I changed over to the simple rose pattern, doing only one pattern repeat between knitted increase rows. Very plain with lots of stockinette, and the offset rose pattern provides a pretty contrast and a bit of structure after the very lacy leaf-pattern repeats.
I increased for the 288-stitch, 48-row section late in the afternoon, and continued working 3 rounds of knit stitches before shifting to the Leaf Lace. Plans are to work 3 ½ repeats of the leaf lace (an 8-stitch repeat of 12 rounds) around, ending again with 3 rounds of knit stitches before the next set of increases.
I plan to use the Rose Diamond Lace for the final 576-stitch, 96-row section. It’s a 20-stitch repeat, so I’ll increase 4 additional, evenly-spaced stitches in the first knitted round to accommodate the extra stitches, and do 4 plain knit rows before and after the planned four 22-row pattern repeats.
Gauge to this point on size 4 needles is 3 stitches and 4 rows per inch. This should give a diameter after the 96-row section of 96 inches and a circumference of 301.5 inches, more or less. Since I’m a mere 60 inches tall, this should be more than enough – I may even stop after 3 Rose Diamond Lace repeats. In fact, as I type I’m becoming fairly sure that I will do so – 96 inches doubled is 48 inches sans edging, and I don’t want to drag my beautiful shawl through the mud!
I’m still working on an edging. I may ‘make up’ an edging of simple stockinette points or scallops that include the rose in the widest area, or I may use a Double Scallop Shell edging. Even the Doris edging would pick up the diamond shape from the Rose Diamond Lace, although it would be a departure from the leaf and rose motif. I’ve got quite a ways to go before I get there, so I don’t need to decide right now.
I received two baby shower invitations yesterday, so unfortunately I’ll be sidetracked for a week or so making gifts for them. My shawl will wait patiently, however, until I can get back to it!