Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Simple Comforts

We returned home after a trip to Kelowna to see our kids.  Matt was heading out to tree plant; there were birthdays to celebrate, so we packed our gear and set out on a two day drive through the Rockies:

Morris did remarkably well, considering this was twice as long as he'd spent on the road in his life.  He slept while we were driving and was (mostly) quiet in the motel.  Once we arrived, he went wild with delight upon seeing his kids.  He immediately chased one of Ali's cats up a walnut tree, much to the dismay of Helena, the cat foster mom next door.

Heidi, the shy one

Chloe, after her tree rescue

Once we sorted out living arrangements-cats upstairs, Morris on the ground floor-things went more smoothly, although Morrie was too excited to be let off leash most of the time, even at the dog park or in the backyard.  He was content to spend his time being adored.

I set up in a small spare bedroom upstairs in the old house.  I had an air mattress with sleeping bag and hand spun, handwoven wool blanket, my suitcase, books, painting gear, fibre projects and a yoga mat.  For nearly two weeks, those few things were all I had to keep me occupied, apart from my family, our walks and the beautiful spring weather.  It was wonderful:

I came to awareness of how much we are tied to material things, our preoccupation with gadgets and goods which keep us busy, but inactive.  I am no different-I love my computer, my mp3 player, my stuff.  When it comes to shopping, I'm in with the best of them, especially if shopping involves fibres, art supplies, bags or shoes.  I did my share of consuming on our holiday, but the best times I've had in years were the moments spent in that tiny room, listening to the hum and buzz of family coming and going, engaging in intense discussions about life with my grown children and Mr. DD and generally, just Being.

The fibre and art work I did while away was simple. Much time was spent frogging planned projects.  What I did finish was nothing remarkable-an easy Moebius cowl in garter and seed stitch, in sky-coloured bamboo ribbon yarns, some meditation spinning and a small scarf whose pattern I've been meaning to write down since I knit it as a sample for Golden Willow a while back.  I took along the original sample, knit in Louisa Harding's Mulberry Silk.  I knit a second sample in a 4 ply cable hand spun bombyx silk yarn, in a vibrant colour I dyed years ago with Lanaset dyes.

Off the body, the scarf doesn't look like much.  It's one long swatch in a variety of patterns moving from easy lace to stockinette to K1 P1 ribbing and back again.  The original piece was designed to demonstrate what beginning knitters could do with one ball of this yarn.

The scarf improves when worn.  The silk is elegant enough to dress up a coat-here's the hand spun version paired up with my dress coat:

It's simple and light enough to tuck under a jacket for extra warmth.  I used it to protect my neck against the warm rays of the Kelowna sun.  The scarf came in handy as a headband when I needed to ward off the chill mountain air.  It reminds me of the easy pleasures I enjoyed on our vacation.  That's pretty fair value for such a little thing.  With this in mind, I present you with:

 Louisa's Simple Comfort Scarf

I used 39 grams of the 50 gram ball of LH Mulberry Silk.  This yarn is 100% silk, 136 yards/124 metres per 50 gram ball.  The recommended needle size is 4 mm for a gauge of 22 stitches per 10 cm.  I used 3 mm needles for a gauge of 7.5 stitches over the stockinette section. The finished scarf is approximately 40 inches/102 cm long. Scarf width varies from 4.5 inches/12 cm to 2.25 inches/6 cm.  Buy enough yarn to complete the project.

The hand spun version used 36 grams of a 4 ply cabled bombyx silk yarn, 16 wraps per inch.  The finished hand spun version was 44 inches/112 cm long.  Width varies from 4 inches/10 cm to 2.25 inches/6 cm.

Loosely cast on 25 sts.  (I used knitted cast on for the Mulberry scarf; crochet cast on for the hand spun.)

Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 6 rows or 3 ridges.  Begin the Lace Section on a Right Side row:

Lace:  Every row:  K1, *yo, K2tog,* repeat from * to * for 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm).

Knit 6 rows in garter stitch.  Begin the Stockinette Section: 
Row 1 (RS):  Knit across the row.
Row 2:   K3, Purl 19 sts, K3.

Work in pattern for 3 inches/7.5 cm.  k 6 rows (3 ridges) garter stitch.  Begin the Ribbing Section: 
Row 1:  K1, P1 across the row, end K1.
Row 2:  P1, K1 across the row, end P1.

Work in pattern for 8 inches/20 cm.

Reverse the sections to complete the scarf, ending with 6 rows (3 ridges) of garter stitch.  Bind off loosely.

Darn in ends and hand wash your scarf in a no rinse wool wash product.  Block it by pinning along each section to size.  Let dry completely.


  1. Those mountain pics make me long for a trip to the mountains too. I've always loved the mountains and it's been a long time since I've been there.

    I'm glad to hear that you had a nice visit with your kids. You sound very centered right now. The scarf is lovely too!

  2. Thanks, Susan! I love the mountains, even though they scare the &%*$ out of me up close. My family had to pry my fingers from the doorposts to get me out of there. It was so nice to be together again.