Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Shetland Sampler Pi Shawl

Yey 2012 is here!  I made a few promises to myself for the year ahead so I'm sticking to my resolutions.  First project finished was my Shetland Pi Shawl in colourmart 50/50 cashmere/silk laceweight (2/28nm) with a 3.25mm needle.  

I had started the shawl in June last year and stopped at the last increase as I had miscounted my stitches and didn't realise until I was about 6 rows into the pattern (1,148 stitches in a row are begging you not to tink them back).  So she sat in a little ruffled heap in my stash bag, sulking for six months before I plucked up the courage to rip (yes, I said rip) out the offending stitches and begin again.  

I might add here that I do not use lifelines, I never have.  Not because I am a fearless or reckless knitter of lace but because when I started knitting lace I had no idea that they existed!  It seemed a little pointless then after finishing several cobweb weight Shetland shawls without tears to begin using them.  In other words I learnt to ride a bike with no stabilisers.

Though I can't say that my mishap might have been less of a mishap had I used them from the beginning of this project!

So I ripped out about 8 rows of 1,148 stitches each row (9,184 stitches in total, eek, imagine tinking that back?) and when my hubby had gone to bed, in the peace and quiet of the empty sitting room I picked up my stitches, caught any ravelling traitors and began again.  It didn't really take that long, though I was probably a little gung ho about it.

Incidentally the stitch patterns used are all from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting.  They are all knit with a rest row in between with the exception of the 'Shetland Twins' motif along the outer edge which is patterned on both rows.

Here is my pattern plan details (to the tune of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Basic Pi Shawl Recipe)-

Tier 1 (9sts)- 1 row plain 
Tier 2 (18 sts) - 3 rows plain 
Tier 3 (36 sts) - 6 rows plain 
Tier 4 (72 sts) - Small Leaf (p57) 12 rows 
Tier 5 (144 sts) - Field of Flowers (p49) 24 rows 
Tier 6 (288 sts) - Horseshoe (p67) 48 rows 
Tier 7 (576 sts) - Madeira & Diamond Pattern (p97) amended stitch count to 580 sts, 98 rows 
Tier 8 (1,152 sts) - The Shetland Twins (p220) amended stitch count to 1,148 sts, not knitting the full 196 rows so figured amending the stitch count wouldn’t affect the blocking of the shawl to a full circle. 
Edging - Iron Brand Edging (p53), 1,148 sts divided by 7 (edging should attach to 6 shawl body stitches but I’m attaching it to 7). This means edging will evenly use up all shawl body stitches, save me some knitting time.

The shawl weighs 144g which works out at 2,208 yards approx.

I have to say that she feels divine, the silk also makes the shawl rustle a little, so I think it would be perfect for a blushing Bride, it would certainly look stunning as a veil or a shawl draped over a snow white dress.  I may have to wait a few years for either my daughter or sister to be in a marrying mood.

I chose a plain enough edging but I think all the patterns come together quite well and compliment rather than fight each other.

The colour is a dark garnet red, and though you can't see it in the photo's there is a beautiful sheen off it.

So there she is in all her glory, my Shetland Sampler Pi!

Happy knitting xxx


  1. Lovely! I was halfway into your post before I realized this wasn't Dale Long's Shetland Tea Shawl. And you RIPPED BACK over a thousand stitches? What stick-to-it-iveness!! (Then again, I just ripped out the entire edging and border of a completed hap shawl ... after it sat in time out for almost 2 years.) It's good to know someone else knows about lifelines and doesn't use them, too.

  2. It does look very similar to the Shetland Tea Shawl, doesn't it? (though it wasn't entirely intentional). I don't have that pattern though I've admired it from afar.

    Yes mistakes sometimes do sit in 'time out' for a while, though usually when I pick them back up again I don't know why I put it down, because it's usually rectified quite quickly and easily.

  3. Absolutely fabulous! I adore the colour. And wow, ripping back all those stitches. it makes you gulp, doesn't it?

  4. Oh my! What patience and perseverance you have to undo all that. You have your reward now in that very lovely shawl. I don't know about lifelines, maybe you can enlighten me please?

    You are steaming ahead with your plan for 2012, well done. Me too although my knitting is sooo much simpler than your lovely creations.

  5. It is too pretty for words! Amazing that is só big! What a wealth to wear it.

    I see you also like to make your own patterns. Once you get the base of knitting, you can go all the way.

    Sorry to hear you had to rip back ánd respect you kept your cool!