Friday, March 14, 2008


Happy Pi Day!Book and yarn It's 3.14, a day to celebrate the never-varying relationship of the circumference of a circle to its radius. I've got the necessary for a knitterly observance: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac and yarn, Yarn Place Graceful. I'm starting my first pi shawl!

EZ's simple design concept had always appealed to me, but the vast quantities of yarn required – as much as 3,400 yds or 3,100 m for some variations on the theme – and the concomitant investment of knitting time formed a high barrier. But then I told myself, Self, it's a shawl. Why obsess? I decided to wing it – when the ball o' yarn is finished, so is the shawl. Trala... la?

Weighing yarn

The first step was to weigh the ball o' yarn because [waves hands over math] when one-fourth of the yarn is knit, the shawl will be about one-half its finished diameter. Alas, the weigh-in revealed that the 100-g ball is 10% underweight. Plus the Yarn Place website indicates the yardage on the label is overstated by 40% due to a misprint. I'm guesstimating I have 1,600 yd (1,460 m), sufficient for a 50-inch (127-cm) shoulder shawl. Not quite what I was hoping, but fair enough.

Moving along, I finished the no-purl mini Monkeys. Alternating the MC with the CC at the ball of the foot initially was an expedient, but I like the way the solid contrast yarn makes the shyer colors in the variegated yarn pop. (Sorry about the still-blinding legs and allergy rash.)

Mini Monkey socks

There'sInside detail a small ridge inside the sock where the colors are twisted together. It runs up the middle of the sole and doesn't bother me, although people with sensitive feet might want to place it elsewhere and people with very sensitive feet might not be able to tolerate it anywhere.

Overall, I'm very happy with my mini Monkeys, especially their mischievous stripes on the heel and gusset. They're just the thing to wear while cherry blossom viewing in Branch Brook Park...

Mini Monkey socks

... or while gawping at Heliconia at the Flower Show.


The similarity of colors and shapes wasn't intentional on my part, but perhaps it's yet more proof of that some plants engage in subliminal communication. Hm....


Bezzie said...

Sigh. Spring is right around the corner. So bittersweet!

Love the Monkeys--good solution to fix the yarn shortage problem.

Lisa said...

Are there cherry blossoms yet? It's so rainy here today that everything is just a soggy mess.

Great Monkeys! Need to work on mine!

Nancy said...

I see the tiniest hint of spring in my yard - my forsythia bushes are starting to pop ever so slightly.

Your Monkeys look great and I like the way the two yarns work with each other.

I just bid on a HC copy of EZ's Almanac, the Pi shawl looks amazing and fun to knit!

Jessica said...

Can't wait to see your shawl! I've been thinking about lace a lot lately.

Kim said...

Happy Pi Day! Just jump right in there and start knitting. I liek the coco colors of the yarn you chose. The mini-monkeys look wonderful & match that funny plant.