My current work in progress:

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


A Really Big Helping of Pi

It is time for Part Four of the Shetland Pi Shawl! Get your copy here (pdf format).

ETA: I uploaded a revised pattern as of 3:30pm on Sunday — there was an error in the written out instructions. The chart was correct. This is why I prefer writing patterns with charts only!

This is a really, really big helping of Pi: on the first round you increase to 576 stitches, and then work 51 rounds (48 of them in the lace pattern).

If you think you may run out of yarn, you can do 1 or 2 fewer repeats in this section. Each pattern repeat is 8 rounds.

There is a funky little maneuver in this pattern: in Round 5 you decrease 2 stitches in each of the 9-stitch pattern repeats, so you number of stitches changes in that round. But on Round 6 of each repeat you increase 2 stitches by knitting in the front and back of the 2 yarn-overs you worked in Round 5, so you will go back to the “normal” stitch count then.

Several of you have asked me why I am calling this a “Shetland” shawl. It is because most of the stitch patterns I am using are either traditional Shetland lace or based on traditional Shetland lace. I say “based on” because I didn’t look any of these up in a stitch dictionary before charting them. I just did it out of my head, depending on my memory. So some of them might be slightly different from a traditional Shetland stitch pattern.

And a couple of you have expressed concern that you might not be keeping up with the group with your knitting. Worry not — there is no time limit on this KAL, you can start it any time and finish it any time you like. As it happens, I have finished my pi apart from the bind-off, but of course I’ve had access to all the parts before you did. I wanted to be a little ahead so I could troubleshoot any problems.

Thanks for all your good wishes on the completion of my manuscript. I’ll talk again about this project when it is a bit further along in the process of turning it into a book. At this time I do not have a publication date but based on past experience, I’d say about a year from now.

And I did celebrate in the right order — I purchased these shoes before I had a margarita.

These are Mephisto shoes, the style is called “Raika.” I love Mephisto shoes — they are one of a very few brands that don’t hurt my feet. I got them from, my favorite shoe source.

Several of you thought I needed a new purse, but I just got one at the beginning of the month. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lucy sez:

“What the heck are you watching?”


  1. Oh, wow. I just finished part 3 last night (whew!) I’m glad that I’m back from vacation and not doing this part in the car.

  2. Hi Wendy,

    I love your entry title!!! So perfect!

    I’ve been working on my EZ Anniversary Pi Shawl. Last night – two hours while watching Julie and Julia. What sublime joy!


  3. love your choice in shoes and beverage — have gotten stalled on part 3 and had to frog back to the beginning but only 8 rows — don’t know what happened exactly but ended up with 4 extra stitches – did not use a lifeline so was hoping if i went one row at a time i could find the booboo and have an easy fix oh well have started part 3 again with more markers to keep count under better control

  4. Bertha Mallard says:

    I’m previewing Part Four and I have problems starting with Round 3. Written instructions don’t agree with chart. Same for Rounds 5 and 7. Help, please.

  5. So I have a different (and, perhaps, premature one at that) question. I’m doing my shawl with a cobweb weight yarn on size 3 needles. I suspect that I will have a LOT of extra yarn and a smaller shawl. Is there anywhere you would recommend *adding* rows?

    (as I type this, I have not finished part 3 and probably won’t until mid-week!)

  6. I’m not particularly superstitious but growing up I always heard “don’t put shoes on the table!”

    And I wasn’t trying to put dirty shoes on the table. lol, they were new shoes…

    Thanks for Part Four!

  7. Loved the shoes! They are gorgeous. I’ll have to check out that brand as I have foot problems and only wear comfy shoes. Also, I am still in love with the Pi and am working hard to get it done. I want to finish it for a Christmas gift. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  8. Congratulations. I will celebrate by buying your new book (and gifting it) when it comes out. The instructions for part four are deceptively concise! It’s a big helping!
    .-= LoriAngela´s last blog ..Catching Up- Meeting Up =-.

  9. LOVE the new shoes….and i can’t believe how much fun it is to wait for each installment of the pattern! Thanks Wendy!

  10. I’m actually wondering how to expand the Pi ๐Ÿ™‚ I need a Really Huge Pi (I have 5 440yd each skeins of yarn to use up!)

    Any thoughts?

  11. Shetland lace patterns have been handed down, based on memory, correct? So, if you are basing your lace patterns on your memories of Shetland lace patterns, rather than looking them up, doesn’t that make them authentic Shetland lace patterns, even if you are not in the Shetlands, as that is how the patterns have passed through the generations? Just a thought.
    .-= picadrienne´s last blog ..What to tell a college Freshman =-.

  12. I noted the revised pattern shows a revision for round 5 only. I’m ready to start round 3 – Should I just follow the chart? The SSK and K2 tog seem to be reversed in the word version for both rounds 3 and 5, or am I reading this incorrectly? Thanks.

  13. Thanks for coming up with this shawl KAL for us. I haven’t knit lace lately except for socks and after doing Parts I and II yesterday, I realize how much I had missed it. Part III is, of course, going slower with so many stitches and I know I’ll be crawling along in Part IV, but loving every minute. Thanks again. Ginny

  14. Not sure if the word version or the chart are the correct path to follow. Might just make a decision and go with it once I finish part 3 later today.

    Have totally enjoyed this project and it led me to design my own Pi shawl using the same general outline with different stitch patterns.
    Wendy, Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Finally finished Part 3 this afternoon and have done the increase row and begun the next row. I still have a few yards of my first skein of yarn! (3 Alpaca Sox @450yds per) I’m worrying that Part 4 will take a whole skein-and how will I finish in a week!!

    Love the challenge of finishing, and have had fun doing the KAL. Thanks!

  16. Dr. Jackie says:

    Oh wow! When you sent the shoe link you didn’t say you’d gotten blue!! Awesome…

  17. Alexandra Graziano says:

    same problem as part three, I cannot download it, can you send it separately again, like you did with part 3? Sorry to be such a bother. I haven’t started mine yet because I decided to wait until I have all the parts. I love the shoes too. Thanks for giving us the source for them.

  18. Phew! In just sat down to start Part 4 of the Pi. I thought I would take one more look at your blog, since I printed it this am just as it appeared on the web….I was glad I did, since you made some changes in the pm. Isn’t the Internet like magic?
    My greatgrandmother, grandmother and all her sisters, and women of those years,used to do fancy knitting without a pattern…I have some beautiful works from those years…..I can’t help but admire what they used to do…
    And I appreciate people like you, for keeping the art of knitting alive…

  19. I had to chuckle, the chart had j d, s, a, and z in the chart but when I printed it out it came out like it was supposed to. My crazy computer. I am having a ball working on the pi.
    At least it keeps me from starting too many other projects. I started a broomstick lace afghan, and I have put it on the side until the pi is finished.

    Cant wait till your new book comes out…

  20. Love the shoes!
    .-= kmkat´s last blog ..Ten on Tuesday- the college freshman edition =-.

  21. LOVE the shoes! That blue is the exact color (at least on my computer) that I’m looking for to use with the Pi shawl. I’ll keep looking.

    In the meantime, thanks for writing the pattern in words as well as in a chart. For some reason I can’t get the hang of charts…I have gotten so frustrated in the past that I began thinking I hated knitting lace. However, I’m willing to give it another try with the Shetland shawl since you have the pattern written out. Only then will I know if I really hate knitting lace or I just hate trying to read charts.
    .-= Ruthie´s last blog ..I Fought For YOU! =-.

  22. I love Mephistos too! Have some sandals that I have worn like crazy the past two summers. And by the way – what WERE you watching????!!

  23. Just love, love, love the shoes. They look good for dancing too!

  24. Finished part 3 last night – I thought I’m walking/knitting through the dessert without any end in sight!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Mephistos look lovely – haven’t tried them yet. But I have bought last year FitFlops and since then I’m wallking on air! My back is much much better – have a look at it! Thanks for everything!

  25. I live in France and ‘live’ in Mephistos. Must hot foot it to see if our Mephisto shop has your shoes in. They’re fab!

  26. The only sensible thing to say is…I LOVE your new shoes!
    .-= Bee@TalesFromAWellStockedLarder´s last blog ..My Sunday- a photographic journal =-.

  27. Yippee! I had less knitting time this weekend then I wished, but I am ready to blow through section 2 today so I can catch up (I know I don’t have to, but it tickles my fancy to make the attempt).
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..a new adventure =-.

  28. Congratulations on your fabulous review in the newest Vogue Knitting. Well deserved. And I am off to Pinner on Thursday for a family surprise birthday party (just letting you know).

    I am just beginning part three using cascade pastiche..pastize? will be huge!!! thanks for the pattern. pic on my blog. xoxox
    .-= Martha Bilski´s last blog ..Pi shawl thus far =-.

  30. Great shoes! Super cute.

  31. Terry Anderson says:

    I’m still working on part 3, but I’m having a great time. I’ve always wanted to knit a shawl and this is the perfect way to start (IMHO). I plan to be flying on Wednesday and I would like to take it with me. Are my metal circular needles going to make it through or should I run out and find some bamboo circulars?

  32. thank you very much for taking the time to share the pattern with all of us out in the ether. There are some lovely photos on Ravelry at the KAL site for this! My husband was giving me funny looks yesterday afternoon, as I get ooohing and aaaahing over all the lovely yarns being knit into Pi shawls.

    And from EZ, through you, and into this KAL…what a wonderful Web it is!
    Smiles and Hugs.

  33. They look like good shoes for showing off knitted socks ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Rhian Drinkwater´s last blog ..A matter of composition =-.

  34. Scarlettcrafty says:

    Enjoy your blog & all the comments from everyone. Speaking of sideways… Listen to Delbert McClinton and he sings about “getting sideways drinking wine” and I love that! Sideways knitting can be great but, easy on the adult beverages. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Wendy,

    I lived in Pinner, too! From the fall of 1968 through the spring of 1969 – I lived with an English family and attended Heriots Wood Grammar School in Stanmore MDDX. Was that anywhere near where you were? I think you are considerably younger, so I probably am at least a decade off !

    Looking forward to starting the Pi Shawl – have been copying all of the pattern pieces, and one of these days …