Today is March 14th, which makes it Pi Day! This day, which can be written 3.14, is a fun excuse to celebrate all types of pi(e). Other than the obvious (and delicious) option of making and/or eating a pie, we knitters can also observe Pi Day by casting on a project inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann! Knit author Kate Atherley, writing for Interweave, explains that the Great EZ “realized that the application of a simple fact of geometry could make knitting a circular shawl significantly easier and more fun”. Atherley’s article, “Demystifying The Pi Shawl: Create Your Own One of a Kind Circular Shawl” is a perfect quick read for today.
EZ’s full original pattern for the Pi Shawl is in the Knitter’s Almanac and Knitting Workshop, both of which we have on the shelf at the shop. But one search in Ravelry will show you the influence that she has had on the knitting world. When I searched “pi shawl”, I got eight pages of results! The beauty of EZ’s genius is in the way it empowers knitters, and transforms complicated or tedious concepts into inspirational springboards. One of my favorite designs on Ravelry is Mwaa Knit’s “EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Camping” pattern. The designer pieces together four carefully chosen motifs to create a stunning shawl that is a tribute to EZ’s writings, specifically her tales of wonderful camping experiences. The final piece is a work of art.