Mmm, Pi Shawl


I have been knitting the Pi Shawl pattern from the Elizabeth Zimmermann book “Knitter’s Almanac”.


The book has three versions of the shawl: A plain shawl, a shawl with concentric circles, and a shawl with three lace patterns.

I decided to go all-in and knit the three lace version. I’m using my ball of Ella Rae brand “Rustic Lace Quad” yarn in the “Sahara” colorway. There are 1,257 yards in this 200 gram ball. I’m hoping the shawl will use all or most of it!


I’m knitting my shawl with a US7 needle. The center is knit on double pointed needles, then you switch to a circle needle as your circle grows. The patterns says to cast on using what I identify as a crocheted “magic loop” cast on. But I did a regular long-tail cast on instead. The crochet hook I used was too big and my DPNs were dropping out of the stitches! I’ll use the cast on tail to close up the hole in the middle when the shawl is finished.


The shawl is growing rapidly. According to the time stamps on my pictures, I cast on on March 11 and the amoeba picture above is from March 16. The picture below is from the morning of March 21.

The first lace pattern—the band of diamonds-—was not difficult to knit at all. However, my yarn overs seem a little inconsistent. I’m hoping they will even out when I block the shawl.

The second lace pattern—the diamond and zigzag pattern being knit above—proved to be a little trickier. Especially when I was knitting during social hour at my local yarn shop.


I found the best way to stay on track was to place a marker at the end of every repeat. Then on the following plain knit round I remove the markers. This allows me to count stitches in the repeat and also stop mid row if I needed to. (Tea kettle boiling, bed time, you know the usual reasons.)

It might sound like a lot of fussing with stitch markers, but it is a pretty quick process and much faster then tinking back to fix a mistake, which I’ve done more than once so far. (Tink is knit spelled backwards. It is another way to say ripping back or frogging.)

As you can see in the last picture, I have finally reached the second color in my ball of Rustic Lace Quad. Phew! I though it would happen much sooner. I have another lace panel to knit and then the edging. If I’m not further along in the ball by the time I finish the third lace panel I might start looking into options for extending the shawl.

Have you knit a Pi Shawl? Do you have any tips for as I continue forward?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jayna says:

    I knit this 40 years ago for my first baby in a worsted weight wool and she still has it.


    1. annkfi says:

      That’s awesome. I have thought it would make a nice blanket as I’ve been knitting mine.


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