Starry, Starry Night : The Shawl

My friend, Donna Druchunas, loves pi shawls (made larger by doing massive amounts of increases on rows selected by the pi principle to create a circle) and she is a wizard at designing them.  She asked me to help her make her Mystery KAL design for 2021 an intarsia shawl.  The first design I worked on was a half-pi, worked flat, but neither of us liked the way it was turning out.  I developed a way to do intarsia “in-the-round” (not really, it’s a magic trick. Shh!) and our next attempt was a full circle pi shawl.  This proved to be a winner.  I loved knitting it, and the MKAL started last month.  Knitters have their final clue now, so I am posting my photos of my own WIP.

Every color block needs the same amount of yarn, so they can be cut and wound at the same time, and carried with the project in a small bag. There was a lot of yarn leftover, maybe enough for a hat.  But, I’m thinking some starry night socks might be in my future.

Shawls with any lace in them need severe blocking, and a bed is my favorite spot for this.  I can shut the bedroom door and keep the cats out.  Why do cats think that wet knitting is a great place to lie down? It’s a mystery…

I generally design “on the needles”.  I have a rough idea of where I am going, and Donna wrote up a pattern for the first few rings.  But, I need to knit it to see whether it is easy and fun to knit.  If it isn’t, I’m going to change something to get there.  But, the first few rings were smooth sailing.

The intarsia sections went smooth as silk, the first time, and I knew we had a winner.  The intarsia rings knit up very quickly.  I like to use small circumference circulars, which keep the stitches close to the tips.  This makes for faster knitting.  So, the expanding shawl started to look like a large bag, on my lap!

I sent Donna photos, with measuring tape, so she could see how big it was getting.  We had planned another ring of intarsia, but at this point it was a great size, so we decided to stop here and start the edging.

The knitters have been doing really well on the MKAL.  Some of them used different yarn, and I can’t wait to see their shawls.  I’m planning to knit another one, with multiple colors.  I haven’t decided if I want one main color for the plain rings, and then multi-color blocks, or another variation.  I’m going to keep it in mind, and wait for inspiration when I wander through my stash.  I love working with Donna on projects, and I am very happy with this design.  I hope other knitters will be, also.

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