Saturday, 14 March 2015

Eleanor's Pattern of The Weeeeeeeeeeeek - Sailing Pi

I had a whole blog post written out for today and then I realised after a text from the Boyf that it's only bloody PI DAY! In fact it's Pi year!!!! I'm not going to explain much about it apart from the number pi - which is a bloody special one - is 3.141592653...... Anyway, today, if you're American the date is 3.14.15. IT'S BLOODY PI DAY! We don't do our dates the same way that they do and we'll be waiting a long while for a 14th month so we've got to piggy back on theirs haven't we? Anyway, it's an excuse for pie and to celebrate my Sailing Pi Shawl. :)

 I'm so annoyed that you can see the join between the two photos now. I know how to get rid of that! Ahhh the things you learn.

So, Sailing Pi was part of the yarn boxes from last year (still in the pipeline for next, don't worry). It was a design that I came up with years ago to use up some handspun and a little bit of Rowan Kidsilk Haze up.

This is one of the only photos of the original. I wore it to death, lost it loads and always got it back until my mum felted it. The bastard. Whilst on holiday in Weston Super Mare I bought the yarn to remake it and ended up with this beaut: 

Which I love almost as much as the original but not quite.

Whilst that shawl was still a twinkle in my eye I got the idea for the yarn boxes and knew that this was the perfect pattern to write so eventually, it got written up. I decided to use the Bamboo Cotton 4ply and DK because the DK is a best seller and most of you will have used it but the 4ply was brand new in at the time and calling my name and most of you wouldn't have used it. A lovely mix of the old and the new. I do think that this design benefits from having a lighter weight and a heavier weight yarn used because it's all part of the texture. However, I am planning a Riot DK version held with the Cosmos for the stripes in the near future. So near it might be this weekend in fact.
So, the stripes in this shawl are based on the Fibonacci sequence and they are incredibly simple to learn. It's explained at the beginning of the pattern as well as written in through the pattern so you really have two options - either read the explanation and do it from that (this would suit my type of knitting) or follow the rows religiously. Either way works!

It's a funny old shape - like a half hexagon. I chose that specifically because I like it after having made a larger shawl like this - it looks good with a big bum. Haha. So although this is on the small side of shawling, I stuck with the same shape.

 (Please excuse the phone screen shot - I've been trying to write this all day - it's got to 6.32 and I want to go home - I also want to write this and my phone's being a tit so you'll have to put up with it).

My top tip though - and it's kind of similar to the top tip in this Pattern of the Week - is read your knitting not your pattern. There are two 'spines' that run down this pattern where the increases happen. They're introduced on the very first row pretty much. The idea is that when you get there you yarn over, knit the spine and yarn over. You don't always do that so I've not just given away the pattern. Haha. But you do do it quite often. Don't think that you have to count count count when actually you can just look look look and then get it right. After a couple of rows I promise it becomes really very obvious. Lots of my customers that have made this have come to me with the same query - I'm getting stuck and feel like I'm counting all the time when you're saying it should be easy - friends, knitting should always be easy. If you feel like throwing it across the room either you're wrong, the pattern's wrong or the yarn's wrong. Put it down and come back to it. But often, like I've said again and again, there are 'markers' in your knitting and once you've found them the whole of everything falls into place. So - read your knitting not your pattern. Yeah?

So, the Sailing Pi is knitted on a 4mm needle with one 4ply yarn (or thinner if you fancy) and one DK yarn. I suggest using a circular needle because you do end up with a lot of stitches and if we're to be reading our stitches then we need to be able to spread them out to see them and if it gets a little heavy on your wrists then the circulars will allow the weight to be placed on your lap. And it really does only into knits, purls and yarn overs (don't know what they are? They're what you do when you go from knit to purl like in ribbing, you pull your wool to the front through the middle of the needles) - a bloody brill introduction to knitting shawls and everybody should have a  knitted shawl even if they think they done like them - Elaine can testify to that after falling in love with her Sailing Pi whilst wearing it around America.

And because I took the photos for this pattern on holiday in Norfolk, I can justify one last holiday pic:

Oh to be back there, drinking red wine out of a plastic cup and eating warm soft cheese and smoked salmon with crusty bread waiting for the sunset. What a holiday.

Next week, I have a pattern of the week that I wrote yesterday which takes some of the pressure of this week doesn't it! Bloody brill!!!!

I'm off to eat some of Boyf's homemade pie because it's PIIIIIIIIIIII(e) DAY!

Love Eleanor. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I have some black and white alpaca fleece that's no longer waiting for me to find a special pattern.