Here’s a pattern for a lace swatch that you can knit to try out your yarn for the Shetland Pi Shawl:
Using the needle size you plan to use for your shawl, loosely cast on 24 stitches. Knit 3 rows. Start the pattern:
Row 1: K 3, [yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1] 3 times, k3
Row 2: K3, p 18, k3
Row 3: K3, [k1, yo, sl 1 k2tog, psso, yo, k2] 3 times, k3
Row 4: K3, p 18, k3
Work these 4 rows 5 times, for a total of 20 rows worked. Knit 3 rows, then bind off knitwise.
And for those who like charts, here is a chart of the swatch pattern (remember to work the knit rows as described above before and after working the chart rows):
And here is a list of what the abbreviations mean:
K – knit
K2tog – knit 2 together
P – purl
PSSO – pass slipped stitch over
Sl – slip
SSK – Slip one stitch as if to knit, then slip the next stitch as if to purl. Insert left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together from this position (through the back loops)
YO – yarnover
Okay, so I knit up my swatch for my Shetland Pi Shawl in my yarn of choice. Here it is, pre-blocking:
There is a garter stitch edging all around the swatch. The lace portion of the swatch (not including the garter stitch) is 18 stitches wide by 20 rows high, and it measures 3.75″ across and 2.75″ high.
Now, let’s block it.
I’ve put it in the sink in warm water with a squirt of woolwash added to the water and let it soak for a few minutes.
I then rinsed with clear warm water and gently squeezed the swatch to remove excess water. Then I pinned it out on one of my foam squares.
I’ve stretched it out enough to open the pattern up nicely, as you can see.
I could have stretched it out more, but I like the way it looks now.
Pinned out, my blocked lace now measures almost 5″ wide by 4″ tall (excluding the garter stitch borders).
My row gauge after blocking is 5 rows per inch. There are around 165 rounds in the shawl, give or take a round. Divide that by the number of rows per inch and you get 33″ — and that is approximately half the diameter of the completed shawl. The actual finished size of the shawl will be bigger, because the swatch grew quite a bit in width as well. I’m not sure how much that will affect the final size, but I’ll find out when I finish.
Meanwhile, Lucy is having a stand-off with her fuzzy rat.