Sunday, July 15, 2007

Elizabeth Zimmerman Pie Are Square Shawl: Sawtooth Border

I am finishing up the "Pie Are Square" Shawl, from the fabulous Elizabeth Zimmerman book, Knitting Around. When I got to the border, I had trouble with the instructions, and could not find any help on the Internet, so I thought I would post my solution. I wanted to write it all down while I still remember How I Did It.

I did the "sawtooth" border, which since my shawl is green, looks kind of like dragon scales. It is a nice border, if you are using worsted-weight yarn. I tried the lace border also, but it didn't look good in this weight. Might do that one next time, in a lace-weight or sport-weight.

I was confused by the book's instructions, when it came time to do the "down side" of the sawtooth. I guess I am an "intermediate" knitter, as I have knit 3 or 4 sweaters, a few pairs of socks, a couple baby blankets, but no lace yet. I think the instructions were written for a more experienced knitter, but if you follow my "dummy" instructions, even a beginner should be able to do it. You will need 2 point-protectors, and two double-pointed needles in the same size as the ones you are using for knitting your shawl. I knitted my shawl on a large circular needle, then when I was ready to knit the border, put point-protectors on the ends, to stop the existing stitches from slipping off while I was knitting the border. I used the circular as a stitch-holder only from that point on, knitting the border on the 2 double-pointed (DP) needles. If you don't have any DP needles in the size you normally knit with, I recommend getting them anyway. DP needles are useful to have, for circular knitting. I like circular knitting (Lopi sweaters, and socks) because I hate sewing seams, and for multicolor knitting it is MUCH easier than flat knitting. You can also knit flat with circular and DP needles, as I have used them here, so they are quite versatile.

The sawtooth has an "up" side and a "down" side. I started with right side facing, and kept some little stitch markers (you could use safety pins) in the front of the work, just to avoid getting confused which side was which, since I knit in garter stitch and both sides look very similar.

Slipped stitches are slipped Knitwise unless otherwise stated. K=knit, SL=slip stitch from one needle to the other without knitting/purling, PSSO=pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knit.


1. Using DP needle as right needle and circular needle as left needle, K2, SL1, K1, PSSO, K8.
2. Put point protector on end of circular needle. You will now knit the "Up" side of the sawtooth, using the 2 DP needles only. Just ignore what is on the circular needle for now.


1. turn
2. SL2 purlwise, bring yarn to back, Knit until you only have 3 sts on the left-hand needle, bring yarn to front, SL3 purlwise.
3. turn
4. K2, SL1, K1, PSSO, knit to the end of the row.

Repeat steps 1-4 until you only have 5 stitches left. DO NOT TURN*.
Repeat step 4 two more times. You will now have only 3 stitches remaining.

*This is an I-cord border, and in I-cord you just keep knitting and do not turn. It makes a sort of tube. You might want to try knitting some I-cord just to get the concept, before you attempt this. It is more complicated than I-cord alone, because of the shaping for the "up" and "down" sides of the sawtooth.

Looking at what you have done, you now can see that you have formed a triangular shape, with your 3 stitches on the needle at the tip of the triangle. The UP side is done, but the DOWN side still needs to have the I-Cord edging added.

Use the free DP needle to pick up (BUT DO NOT KNIT YET) 8 stitches along the down side of the triangle.** This needle is now your LEFT needle. Slip the 3 stitches off the RIGHT needle onto the LEFT needle. Note, there is no turning, as this is I-Cord.

1. K2, SL1, K1, PSSO. Do NOT turn. You now have 3 stitches on the right-hand needle.
2. Transfer the 3 stitches from the right-hand needle to the left.

Repeat steps 1-2 until you only have 3 stitches left.

You have now completed one sawtooth. Take the point-protector off the circular needle, knit 8 stitches from it, then put the point protector back on. Go back to instructions for "UP" side of sawtooth.

**You might want to do a practice swatch to help decide which 8 stitches to pick up. It isn't obvious. I don't think it really matters if you choose stitches at the very outer edge or the next stitch in, as long as you are consistent which ones you pick up each time. I did not pick up the very outermost edge, I did the next stitch in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for posting this. Your instructions will be most helpful when I knit my Pi Are Square.