best travel project discovered

February 23, 2015

So what is the best travel project ever?  I'm pretty much an expert on this subject and while I know many of you are shouting "socks" or "Citron" or "Easy Folded Poncho"; and I do agree that they are all great for travel knitting...I did, however, find a project that bested them all by far: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl.  In her book she tells you why she also thinks it's the best, and I agree on all points:  1.  It takes lightweight fingering weight wool so takes precious little luggage space.  2.  It takes forever to knit, so it doesn't matter how long your vacation is, you needn't worry about running out of knitting.  3.  It's purely mindless knitting in the round so you can chat with friends, read a map, etc., unless you want to add fancy lace, and I didn't as I really truly needed it to be mindless.  I did, however, add a few inches of gull lace before the bind off.  4.  Because it's mindless, it picks up and puts down quickly and easily; you'll never have to figure out where you are.  5.  Lastly, it folds up into itself with the yarn inside like a hobo's bindle, and off we go together, into the plane, the train and the automobile.  Carefreeeee, tra la la.

I had 14 skeins (1680 yds.) of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply in Lime and knit until I had one skein left, then started the gull lace edging (also in the book) leaving a bit for the bind-off.  This yarn has been in my stash for years and it's one of those old Rowan discontinued classics that I'd been saving/hoarding for the perfect project.  When we recovered our living room wing chairs in this fabric with it's inky gray/navy and limey/pucey green medallion, I thought, hmmm, don't I have yarn in this color?  Of course I do!  It makes a nice afghan.

I think you can find Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl formula in several of her publications, but I got the pattern/recipe/formula from her little book, The Knitter's Almanac.  It's quite old, but it's still in print and a must for every knitter's library.  It's got some classics in it, plus her style of writing is so endearing, it reads as a bedtime book.  Sweet dreams!

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  1. I've heard lots of similar things about the pi shawl, I just haven't figured out how I would use one if I ever made one. All that knitting must be used for something, and I don't think I'd wear it as a shawl. However, I really like the idea of it as an afghan, perhaps even in a thicker weight. I love it with your chair!

  2. Beautiful, are you sure it's mindless?

  3. I agree! I'm knitting one right now!

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