Several years ago, I am guessing about 3, I spun up some Romney that my aunt had gifted me. This Romney was a nice natural grey/tan. I am not a long wool girl. My aunt tells me that she used this roving to make LL Bean type rag wool socks…. I am apparently from the softer socks generation. The idea of wearing itchy Romney on my feet…. not really happening. But I had already finished or was in the process of level 1 at Olds and I decided that I would make it into yarn for a tree skirt. I had one in mind. It had these amazing cables. I tried to spin bulky…. I ended up with a more worsted weight… not to be confused with a worsted yarn.. Then, I went to the Earth’s Pallet conference on natural dying and ended up coming home with an exhaust bath of Brazil wood.
Brazilwood straight out of the pot is this amazing Christmas red. I was hopeful, so I dyed my Romney in the exhaust bath. I did not get the bright cherry red I was hoping for, I ended up with a really amazing Burgandy/rust yarn. I then calculated my yardage and looked at the original pattern…. I was short on yardage. So this yarn has been taunting me all this time. I have moved it even. I have known, it would be my tree skirt.
Last year sometime, I picked up Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac and saw the Pi Shawl pattern again. I realized it could become a really amazing tree skirt. Now, in my head, I thought that the shawl in EZ’s book was knit on small needles with fingering yarn… I mean it is a shawl right? She does say use sock needles. Why I decided to ponder this one evening I do not know. I never looked at the gauge, I mean I was knitting on size 10 1/2 needles, it was for a tree skirt, why check my gauge? So here I am reading through the pattern again trying to figure out if I have yarn to expand my circle one last time and then for the 8 st cast off border, when I happen to see her gauge listed. “Yarn and needles to get 3st/inch”. My shawl, is almost exactly 3st/inch. What??? Then I remember that EZ lived in the North Wisconsin woods… Having also lived in the Frozen Tundra I understand. This shawl was not the dainty lace weight variety. No, this shawl was to be knit with worsted weight Shetland! I will have to go back and measure what my radius is blocked, but it was around 24 inches before blocking which worked well for under my tree.
My only problem, I needed to steek. Are you having a panic attack? So was I. Steeking, for those who have never heard of it, is the where you sew or crochet two seams into your knitting and then cut between them creating a seam. Here is the site I used. I liked the pictures and the Crochet version of steeking which I felt would work best with all the open work.
As an aside I feel that EZ would approve of this as she steeked many of her sweaters.
And now the moment……