There are definitely times when a simple, easily memorized project is the perfect thing to have on hand. It may be a social knitting situation, where following a chart is bound to lead to frogging one's progress at the end of the night. It might be travel knitting, where too much looking down in a moving car would not be the best thing. And sometimes you just need a project that can keep your fingers moving while you sit with an ailing friend.
When I packed to go spend time with my Aunt Peg last year, I thought I'd get through a lot of knitting. I brought the usual overburden of WIPs—mostly sweaters—and even yarn for a new design. But sitting at her bedside, it was impossible to work on any of them. I didn't have the bandwidth. What I really needed was a simple rhythmic project that would let me focus my thoughts on her—the knitter's equivalent of worry beads.
I'd been experimenting with using bands of slipped stitches in another design, and was captivated by the way that they could create sleek columns of double knitting within a plain garter fabric. I liked the way they tamed my sometimes-wobbly garter, giving it a clean, tailored look. Alternating slip-stitch columns with garter added just enough interest to keep me from nodding off where I sat, but the pattern was simple, simple. The elements combined to make a soothing knit that was just what I needed right then.
The skein of Shalimar Yarns Paulie I'd brought with me was the perfect thing—soft and delicious and in the colors of the sea. When I'd knit to nearly the last yard, I finished the end with an I-cord button band, and closed it with small silver buttons.
I love wearing this piece. Yes, it's wonderfully warm and cozy, but more than that, it's a tangible record of the time I spent with Peg—each moment counted out, stitch by stitch.
Find out more about the Meditate cowl pattern here.