Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Ruby Pi Shawl

Pattern: Ruby Pi Shawl by Aisling M Doonan
Yarn: Jameson's Ultra in Lava (527)  1,725 yards used
Needles: 3.5mm

Pi shawls are magic. Did you know that? Firstly, as you are knitting in the round, much like socks, all your knitted stitches by some form of sorcery end up as beautiful neat stocking stitch (not magic really, but it sure feels like it) and secondly, you knit and knit and knit and then double your stitches and repeat. More witchcraft ensues and you finish up with a perfectly round, flat circle. There has to be a sprinkle of fairy dust in there somewhere!

In the magical beginnings of this shawl, I started with the yarn. I had been gifted a ball of the Jamieson's Ultra in Lava and I fell in love with it's beautiful garnet warm  hues. I immediately went out and bumped up stash numbers from one to eight with the idea forming of a nice warm pi shawl to keep my company and cosy.

The came the pattern. I do like triangles and squares but as I wanted to knit up nearly all of the yarn I had in stash, I thought a circular shawl would be just the ticket. That way, I could knit until 6 balls of yarn disappeared and knit the edging on with the final two. Of course, I did absolutely no maths whatsoever, totally winged it and ended up short in the end. Oh well, lesson learned. 

I chose simple pattern motifs, ones with rest rows, so that I would have acres and acres of soothing garter stitch to keep my hands busy but my brain free. Free for things like watching Victoria on UTV (I quite liked it but 6 episodes, are just NOT enough) and munching through several packets of chocolate digestives.

Then it was time to crack on, get knitting and enjoy the journey. I did have some minor distractions, we had a week of very fine weather, warm, dry and pleasant, something we are not used to at all in Ireland these days. So that threw everyone off course, farmers started cutting silage at all hours, the wasps woke up again and everyone blew the dust off their flip flops.

My copy of Shetland Wool Week Annual 2016 also arrived, which I was very excited about. I have knit a Crofthoose Hat already and I'm going to knit the mitts to match as soon as I have cast off on my latest project.

The Ruby Pi didn't take long to knit at all. The first few tears are always finished in a week and the last two take a little longer. Including a wait for more yarn to come in the post, this shawl took under 6 weeks of knitting here and there. I wasn't under any time pressure and I could just enjoy it, so that's exactly what I did. There is something so snug and comfy about Shetland wool and I always enjoy working with it.

The shawl turned out so nicely, I am also knitting it in lace weight with 3.25mm needles. This makes it quite open and lacy, but I hope that the size with be very similar when it's finished.

I have a pattern almost written up and I will be looking for some test knitters very soon. I have a few patterns for test knitting, namely cowls and a hat or two, as well as some more complicated lace shawls, so if anyone is eager to knit, let me know in the comments.

The lace weight version is light and open and will look gorgeous draped around the neck as a scarf or as an evening wrap. I can't wait to see it blocking.

The Jamieson Ultra version is a perfect shoulder wrap or lap blanket, it's still small enough that it is easy to bring with you on car journeys or when travelling. As much as I'd love a blanket sized one, sometimes, they are best left at home.

So that's all for the moment, happy knitting



  1. I'm eager to knit! My plate may be too full ... but please check. I like knowing what's going to be on my needles next, and my list is way too short at the moment.

  2. In the name of full disclosure I should tell you that I have never been a test-knitter. BUT I would love to be a test-knitter for you if you are willing to take a chance with me. I love your designs (still hoping for a shot at knitting Lusna.)

  3. Hi! Like Sally, I also have never been a test knitter - but I would love to if you're willing to take a chance on me! I've knit all kinds of things - sweaters, lace shawls, toys, hats, mittens, fingerless mitts, scarves, socks (my favorite!), tea cozies, wash cloths / towels - you get the idea, I'm sure! Anyway, I do love your designs and would love the opportunity to test knit something for you!

  4. I must tell you you are very talented!!!