Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Zen Garden

I just finished knitting this:

Yarn: Naturally Harmony 10ply, color Oatmeal Heather. 7 hanks
Needles: US #6

It was inspired by Japanese Zen Gardens.
I'm in the process of knitting up the second version and writing a pattern for it.  Being totally broke and fear of possible unemployment (yet I cannot collect any unemployment benefits since I'm hired by contract every semester,) making a pattern is one of the few ways I could think of  to maybe raise a little donation to Japanese earthquake / tsunami relief.  I was thinking about a quick and easy design that can be done in a short time. Then out of the blue, completely unaware of my plan, Paul showed me some pictures of Japanese Zen Gardens on the web.  Immediately I was thinking about how this could be like a sweater.... so the idea was born.
I'll post it here when the pattern is finished.

It really was a super quick knit since it was top down raglan construction with worsted weight yarn. Speaking of yarn, I really liked the Naturally Harmony (10 ply) - that's a good thing 'cause I bought a boat load of it when Elann had it on sale for dirt cheap a while back ($2.08 per 50g hank - so it cost me less than $15 to make this sweater.) The oatmeal heather color actually looked like sand color of a zen garden.  It was perfect. Harmony looks rustic yet soft enough against my sensitive skin.  It blocks really well and softened up a bit.  I have a feeling it's not gonna pill much. Love this yarn. It really feels woolly. 

I knew I wanted some stone buttons and was able to find some here at StoneMe on Etsy.

I'm currently making another one of longer version with Mirasol Qina which is a yarn of alpaca/bamboo blend with way more drape than Harmony.  It will be interesting to see how different they look.   It also has a little less positive ease.  This one has 3"-4" of positive ease which is great for comfort and works well with the woolly Harmony.  The one on the needles will have only 1"-2" positive ease (unless it stretches during blocking.)   I'm a bit concerned of alpaca/bamboo since neither holds shape well and both have tendency to stretch.  But it is such pretty yarn though.  (Elann currently has them on sale right too.)

I'm pretty happy with the result.  It's simple, nothing fancy, just the way I wanted it. 



  1. That is so lovely, both the sweater and the idea :-) Being from NZ I love that you've used a New Zealand wool so I'll actually be able to find it here. Looking forward to the pattern.

  2. What a beautiful design. I'll be looking for the pattern!