In Which the Pirate Yarnovers.

The idea behind a Pi Shawl, or in this case a half-Pi shawl, is that you double the distance between the increase rounds, which double the number of stitches, and you end up with a round (or in this case, half-circle) shawl. It’s not really so much about pi as it is about geometry: a circle will double its circumference in doubling the distance from the last doubled distance/circumference… which is confusing, and so it’s a lot easier to say pi.


I’m using Lisa Souza “Montreaux” laceweight to knit the EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half-Circle shawl, which was designed as a tribute to Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was to knitting what Julia Child was to cooking. So far it doesn’t look like much – but this is pretty much what lace looks like at the beginning, before the designs really start to show up and before a good blocking makes the stitches and yarnovers stand out properly.

Camping Half-Pi

The rows are rather short now at 79 stitches, but soon it’ll be 154 stitches per row, and then 309. Shawls are tricky because they start so fast, but then as the rows get bigger and bigger, each one takes longer and longer. I’m sure there’s a mathematical way to figure out what percentage of Pi I’ve completed, but I don’t know what it is other than by figuring out the total number of stitches in the whole thing – and that seems like it might be discouraging.

The variegation shows up much more in the picture than it does in real life, but it’s a fairly accurate representation of the colour – a rich, plummy purple. The sheen of the silk content should help it show up against a black dress, as it’s fairly dark. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have to get a lighter-coloured dress!

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