Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Wind It Blows

We had the windows open all night and I lay in bed listening to the wind blow through trees, around houses and down the street.  It was lovely, soothing and I was reminded of something one of my meditation teachers told us, years ago, when she was trying to explain the essence of what we were examining in meditation practice: "Think of the wind, blowing through a canyon.  We're not interested in the rocks; we're only interested in the wind."

I thought that was a wonderful description of our search and I think of it often, when everything seems like a struggle and I'm forever slamming against metaphorical rocks.

I finished the sweater I knit for the Spin to Knit class, just in time for those howling winds and 30C heat.  I spent Monday weaving in what seems like a million and four ends (there was a lot of yarn blending going on in this garment, despite what those stripes may say otherwise).  I washed the sweater on the Knit cycle in my washing machine, then let the garment dry on my blocking table.  I don't usually pin out sweaters, but I did a bit of pinning here and there, just to even things up.  Here she is in her present incarnation:

People from the Spin to Knit class may notice a few changes.  I reknit the collar and bottom hem in different yarn, with a shallow tubular ribbed edging. I left the stripy sleeve as it, as a reminder of what happens when you freeform things.

I mentioned in class that the sweater would grow a size when I washed it in my machine.  This seems a curious thing, especially when the yarn is a softly spun Blue-faced Leicester, but the combination of my spinning techniques and the fact that I'm a loose knitter makes my garments relax when I finish them, so I plan for this in the knitting.  Your results may vary, so I don't recommend taking my word for this with your own knitting, but here are the before and after measurements for this sweater:

  • Body Circumference Before Washing 32 inches; After Washing 34 inches
  • Body Length From Back Neck Before Washing 19.5 inches; After Washing 22 inches
  • Sleeve Length From Underarm 16 inches; After Washing 17 inches
The plan,such as it was, was to knit a simple, cozy pullover to ease the summer evening chill.  I think this sweater will do that.  The yarn was spun with no plan in mind, so it's a bit soft for durability.  I expect the sweater to pill.  The sleeves are a bit too long, which is better than too short, so I think I'll leave them as is.  The body length is good, but the shallow hem may flip up when I wear the sweater.  If it does, I'll cut it off and reknit the bottom edge. 

So there you have it--my Spin to Knit project, a warm, useful sweater which will win no prizes or draw much attention.  It makes me happy. What more can I ask for from a simple project?



  1. I like your sweater a lot! But what is this summer evening chill of which you speak?

    1. I'm thinking of Olds, where it can be a bit cool in the evenings. The mosquitoes can be quite horrid, too, so any extra bit of protection helps. Besides, you know that there will be an evening chill at some point!