Perfect Travel Knitting?

Recently I have joined the Zimmermania by becoming enthralled with Elizabeth Zimmerman's ingenuity in design. Her style of writing appeals to me and whatever pattern I am reading about captivates me and makes me want to knit it right away.

One such pattern is the PI SHAWL which EZ deems is 'perfect travel knitting.' While reading about it in The Knitter's Almanac, this proclamation caught my attention because, as many of you know, I will be leaving on a Mediterranean cruise in a couple weeks. I'll be gone for 17 days. And, instead of contemplating my wardrobe I've been contemplating what knitting to bring for, naturally, I never go anywhere without it!

EZ says that a shawl is perfect for traveling because it takes up little space. It can be knit on a circular needle which is also perfect because one of my greatest traveling fears is loosing a needle and not being able to knit. And since the shawl is knit on circular needles it can be tossed here and there with no dread of accidently pulling out a needle as you pick it up.

Now there is something you must know. I have NEVER knit a shawl. I've never enjoyed intricate lace patterns with all those yarn-overs. So to me a shawl seems like it would be a nightmare waiting to happen on a trip. However, after reading great reviews on this pattern, the concensus is that it is an easy, mindless knit. I think even I can manage this!

I decided that this would be an ideal project to take on the cruise. The knitting will be mindless because this will be a circular shawl with only six shaping rows in the whole shawl! That means that there is quite a bit of mindless knitting inbetween those shaping rows.....endless rounds....no thinking.

I set out to choose the best wool in a color that I love since there will be much mindless knitting involved. Ravelry is a fantastic place to see patterns knit up in different colors and yarns. BTW, there are two EZ groups on Ravelry. I spotted JARED'S PI SHAWL and immediately knew I would also be using the Un-spun Icelandic Wool from Schoolhouse Press. It took me a few weeks to decide upon the color.

The package arrived today. Do you see Meg Swansen's name on the label? Proof positive that knitting talent can be genetic.
One of my favorite colors, Eggplant. This wool comes from hardy Icelandic sheeps. It is put up into 'wheels' that look more like cow patties than skeins of yarn. When I saw them on Ravelry they looked small but here they sit in a pie plate to show you how large they really are.

Someone needs to tell me that I CANNOT start my PI Shawl yet! Hide my needles!
I'm very curious to see how many of you have knit this lovely garment. If you have, what length circular needle did you use? Did you use wood or metal needles?