Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Anniversary Pi News!

I cast on Sunday morning (January 22) while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, and the powers that be cooperated beautifully all day! I'm now on the 5th row of the 288-stitch section and on 30+ inch rosewood cable needles. A picture of progress to date is below:

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!

No comments: