My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Ready, Steady, Go!

It is time! Time for Part One of the Shetland Pi Shawl! Get yours here (It’s in pdf format).

Because Part One is relatively small and will not take too long to knit, I will be posting Part Two on Wednesday afternoon (August 18). Part Two also does not involve much knitting , so Part Three will be posted next Sunday (August 22). Then Parts Four and five will be posted on the following Sundays.

To recap, each part will be posted on the following dates:

  • Paret One – Sunday, August 15
  • Part Two – Wednesday, August 18
  • Part Three – Sunday August 22
  • Part Four – Sunday, August 29
  • Part Five – Sunday, September 5

Of course you can start anytime you want — earlier pieces of the pattern will not go away, and the url for each pdf will be posted on the Shetland Pi Ravelry page.

ETA: Some of you are having trouble opening the “help” links in the pdf. Here they are:

You may find it easier to work the first round if you lay your work down on a cushion or pillow. See my August 4, 2010 blog post for a discussion of an easy way to start a circular shawl.

An alternative cast-on you can use is Emily Ocker’s Cast-on, which is documented in photos here.

Another alternative that looks very simple is the “Belly Button Circular cast-on” documented here.

There are many videos available online that demonstrate circular cast-ons. Here is a listing of videos I found via a Google search.

There were a couple of Shawl-Related Questions in the comments lately.

Sally asked:

How do you wear this circular shawl? Do you fold over a portion and put that over your shoulders?

Exactly. 🙂

You could also use it as an afghan or a lap blanket or a baby blanket.

Hannah asked a multi-part question:

How do you pin a wet shawl to the carpet? Will it harm the carpet? How long would it take to dry?

I block most of my lace by pinning it directly to the carpet and don’t bother using my foam blocks.

I have wall-to-wall carpet with nice thick padding underneath, so the t-pins sink in quite securely. I have been doing this as long as I have lived in this condo (which I bought in May 1994) and have  done no harm to my carpet by using it as a blocking board.

How long it takes to dry depends on how soaked the fiber is, how warm it is and how humid the air is, of course. Probably different fibers dry at a different rate if speed as well. But my experience is that a blocked piece dries in as little as a few hours, and at most has never taken more than 24 hours to dry.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to block this:

Lucy has been resting up so she’ll be ready to help.


  1. Thank you Wendy for always sharing your incredible talent with all your knitting admirers!! You ARE the next Elizabeth Zimmerman! Having a little trouble with the links….maybe it’s me???

  2. I think the links in PDF files are different in the way they’re set up, but I could be wrong. Am starting this afternoon.

    Thank you, Wendy for sharing this. I’ve also decided to master toe-up socks (after years of top down socks) and your 2 books arrived yesterday. My *other* project will be to continue Nancy’s socks.

  3. The PDF link works for me. Thanks!

  4. I love the way the colors are spiraling in the center of your pi shawl! Since I have 2 shawls and 3 pairs of socks on needles right now, I won’t be starting the new shawl right now. I’ll probably add it to my queue though. I have a set of 50g balls of various fibers in blue and green colorways. I’m thinking maybe I’d do each section in one or two of those. I’ll probably wait and see what the shawl looks like. As always, thanks for sharing your design talents with us, especially when it’s for free. I have several of your sock patterns in my Ravelry queue.

  5. I envy how quickly you were able to finish your Anniversary shawl! Thanks for the free pattern…doing a little casting on and knitting today will help chase away the depressing effect of a thunder-and-lightning filled day. I also love the way the colours spiral in the centre of your shawl. Wollmeise is such an amazing yarn.
    .-= Dawn Draper´s last blog ..Lattice Socks and Clamshells =-.

  6. Woot! Knitting has begun; the link works great for me 🙂

  7. Yay!

  8. Hmmmm, cinnamon bun again! Love the color swirl! It’s really pretty in the unblocked stage. Now, to get that pdf hope my yarn is waiting at the PO.

  9. 1horsetown says:

    Curious to see if the swirl is as visible after it’s blocked. I think it’s cool. You can always tell the non-knitters how hard you worked to get that in there. Non-knitters will believe just about anything.

    Plan to cast on this afternoon. Thanks!

  10. Kristine M. says:

    I also love the spiral in the shawl coloring. Wollmeise is amazing!

  11. Good to know about the blocking; my usual blocking venue (basement futon) is currently occupied by a person! Although I’m afraid to block on the carpet; Mookie the cat likes to help far too much.
    .-= pdxknitterati/MicheleLB´s last blog ..ask the designer =-.

  12. i LOVE the spiral shapes made by the pooling in the center bits! How cool is that!?
    .-= Diana Troldahl´s last blog ..Happy Ninth Anniversary! =-.

  13. Does Lucy “help” the way my kittens were “helping” me block my Seaside Shawlette? Thank you again, Wendy, for providing such wonderful knitting opportunities.

    My yarn isn’t here yet, so I am lurking until it’s here.


  14. I’m done with part one! I do have a question. I have 1700 yards of a laceweight yarn for this project. Is there any specific part that you would recommend repeating more than the specified amount so that I can make mine a little bigger? Or can I just pick and choose? Like always, you rock!
    .-= LaLa´s last blog ..Episode 21 – Hank of Yarn! =-.

  15. The new shawl pattern already looks lovely – thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing the completed EZ too. Such a lucky lady to have such a wonderful helper as Miss Lucy.

  16. Thank you for answering my questions concerning blocking and the carpet. I started the shawl and did the easy cast-on you suggested on your August 4, blog post (very easy). I am using a beautiful merino and cashmere yarn. Everything is looking good so far!

  17. Wow, even unblocked it’s beautiful! It looks very organic, like a conch shell.

  18. Many thanks for the free pattern, Wendy. If it’s anything like your other work, I’m sure it’s going to be a stunner.

    I am way over committed at the moment, but would love to do the KAL regardless and am doing some serious thinking on the matter. In fact, I just wound some yarn…just in case!!

    The pattern states that you are using aprox. 1400 yards of fingering weight yarn for this shawl. Do you have any approximations for the amount of yardage needed for yarns in other weights?

  19. how is it that lucy doesn’t wreck all the knitting …doesnt she like to dance and pull on the wool?

  20. Would this make a good table cloth? I don’t think I would wear a circular shawl, but I can sorta picture it on my dining room table for all to admire daily.

  21. Wendy, I finished Part One TWICE! After completing it in fingering weight yarn, I thought I would like it even better in lace weight. So, I changed to lace weight and yes, I love it. It is so delicate and beautiful. This is the wonderful part of knitting. You can change your mind and start again!

  22. Wow, I can’t wait to start this shawl-it’s so beautiful. Thanks for making a fun project for us all. Btw, just wondering how you’re feeling health wise? Hope you are doing okay…lol

  23. Soon! I will cast on soon!
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..two more shows =-.

  24. Is there going to be a Ravelry Group for this KAL? It would be great to see pics of all these shawls as we go.

    BTW, I cast on yesterday and finished part one in a couple hours. I’m DYING for part 2. Can’t wait til Wednesday.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..So long- for now =-.

  25. I am assuming since this is a Shetland Pi shawl that you are using traditional Shetland patterns. Could you name the patterns in the directions, please? I have been knitting a lot of Shetland swatches lately and would like to “match” your patterns with the ones I have (I know names and patterns differ from book-to-book so that’s why I’m asking). Thanks.

  26. Lois Conway says:

    Is there a formula to calculate yardage when using different weight yarns? If fingering is 1400 yards, would I add 10% for sport, etc.

  27. I have tried the pdf on my mac, both in preview and (ugh) adobe acrobat, and the links don’t work in either.

    When I went to Rav to look at the page, the download link goes back to your blog, rather than as a Rav down load…I was hoping to check it out in the Rav Library, but that wasn’t an option. Perhaps, once all parts of the KAL are up, you could combine them, and make it a Rav download? I am trying to store things in the library, there, as backup…

    Do you have any idea how much this might take in lace weight? I’ve been trying to figure out how different weights interact with the same pattern, for size and yardage and weights…and have managed to only confuse myself. But I’ve been thinking that a nice, warm, sock yarn shawl is missing from my shelf….who cares if I already have 2 laceweight shawls started, and a sock weight one in time out…
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..I dont wanna sew =-.

  28. Ok I said I wasn’t going to start another project, and the fact that I think I have a broken index finger should discourage me, but nooooo… I’m off to find lace weight yarn and neeldes,, I’m so IN!!! I love ciruclar shawls, I never wear them, but I LOVE knitting them! thanks for this KAL! -patti

  29. Can’t wait to start this. I do have a question for you. I have 3 skeins of Madelinetosh Merino Light that I really want to use, but I’m worried I’ll be cutting it too close. I usually knit my lace a little smaller – I like the holes in the lace to be a bit smaller – so I go down a needle size or 2. Is it too risky to try this with only 3 skeins??? If I do try it, and run out of yarn, I promise not to hold you responsible 😉 – Cindy

  30. Wendy, I would also like to say thank you for the pattern. I also have a question: All the pi shawls I have knit double the rows knit in each section. The charted section has only 12 rows instead of 16. Is this on purpose, or should I knit one more pattern repeat for a total of 16 rows? Thank you.

  31. Jennifer Eckel says:

    a really beautiful sprial!


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  2. […] wool, 50% Tencel). I think that any of these bases and colors would make a beautiful pi shawl like the one Wendy is doing as a knit-a-long. Are you doing that with her? You will need 1300-1400 yards of fingering weight yarn for this […]

  3. […] I plan to do a second one for my sweet grandma. I’m also considering whether or not to do the Wendy Knit’s Pi Shawl Knit Along.  It looks like a lovely knit, will give me some experience with lacework, and I’d have a […]