Thursday, February 3, 2011

Active Meditation for Serious Relaxation

There are many ways to "Meditate upon the Word."  "Our grandmas may have been on to something.  Experts agree that knitting is a great way to relax because it's a form of "active" meditation.  As someone who finds it hard to sit idly without something to keep my hands busy very interesting and a little validating.

I've enjoyed cross-stitch for years, but now it requires too much concentration and I find it tiring.  Even though I'm only a novice, my favorite form of active meditation is knitting.  I have found that I enjoy knitting very simple projects.  I encouraged my daughters when they were growing up to knit by purchasing child-friendly knitting kits.  They were able to accomplish many useful projects.

Bev's Journeyings Blog has been a wonderful source of information about knitting, etc., especially as service projects.  I highly recommend it!  One of the two projects I'm sharing here are knitted hangers.  I love this simple project that I learned to do in Merrie Miss.  Actually, my mom taught us MM girls to knit.  

This pattern includes an adorable sachet.  I've already knitted a couple of these for my closet.  It might be difficult to find the wooden hangers pictured, so mine are slightly different.  "With this project, old hangers will find new life.  Fill the sachet with dried flowers, aromatic herbs, potpourri, or cedar shavings."

Binding off--BO
Casting on--CO
Knit 2 together--k2tog
Yarn over--yo
Hanger cover:  Approximately 16 inches
Sachet: 2-3/4 x 2-3/4 inches
Gauge: 21 stitches, 11 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch

Yarn: 60 yards worsted weight yarn for hanger cover (yarn A); 20 yards coordinating yarn for sachet (yarn B)  
Yarn shown: Paton Grace (100% cotton) #60903 lavender (yarn A), 1 ball and #60005 snow (yarn B), 1 ball
Needles: US size 5
Notions: Size F/5 crochet hook; tapestry needle; sewing needle and white sewing thread; 1/2 inch decorative button
Miscellaneous: Straight wooden hanger with metal hook

Making the Sachet: 
Holding 2 strands of yarn B together as 1, cast on 15 stitches.  Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for about 5 inches.
Next row (eyelet buttonhole): Knit 6, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 7.  Knit 5 more rows; bind off.  Fold piece in half, and weave sides together using mattress stitch.  Placing seam in middle of back, sew bottom together using mattress stitch.
Crochet Chain: Insert crochet hook into 1 side seam, just under top edge.  Using 2 strands of yarn B, work a crochet chain for 7 inches.  Cut yarn, leaving about 6 inch tail.  With threaded tapestry needle, attach chain to opposite side seam under the top edge and to the inside.  Weave yarn ends through several stitches on wrong side of work, and secure.  With sewing needle and thread, attach button in position on inside of sachet, opposite eyelet buttonhole.
Two Birds with One Swatch
For this project, you can use almost any medium-weight yarn.  Make the sachet first, and use this piece as your gauge swatch.  Measure how many stitches fit in 1 inch, and multiply that number by the  length of your hanger in inches.  That number is the total number of stitches to cast on for the hanger cover.
Making the Hanger Cover
Holding 2 strands of yarn A together as 1, cast on 80 stitches and work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 2-3/4 inches.  Bind off all stitches.  Cut yarn, leaving about 30 inch tail.
Find center of knit piece, and slip it over the metal hanger hook, taking care not to snag knitting.  Fold knit piece in half lengthwise over hanger.  Thread tapestry needle with yarn tail, and weave loose ends to wrong side to secure.  Pull yarn snugly to gather and tighten side edge and enclose it over hanger end.  Close other side in the same way.  Weave loose ends to wrong side and through a few stitches to secure.  Sew cast-on and bind-off edges together neatly.  Weave last remaining yarn tail to inside and secure.

Even though the following is found on Bev's blog, I felt that at some point they might not be and included them here as well.  The bandages are so easy once you get the hang of knitting with really small needles.  I have put several in my 72 hour emergency kit and first aid kit.  Keep this knitting nearby when you basically need something mindless to do with your hands (i.e. long car rides, waiting rooms, etc.)

Size:  approximately 3 inches by 4 inches wide and 4 feet long
Materials:  number 10 knit Cro-sheen, 100% mercerized cotton in white, cream or ecru.  (1 small ball 225 yards should make 1 knitted bandage)
Knitting needles:  US 2 = 2.75mm=UK size 12 or US 3 = 3.25mm=UK size 10
Do not use dyes/colors
When completed, roll bandages and secure with a large (2") safety pin.
Put in plastic bag, remove air, and seal.
Hand Knitted Bandage:  Use US size 2 knitting needles if you knit average or loosely or size 3 needles if you knit tightly.  Cast on 24 to 27 stitches so the bandage measures 3" - 4" across.  Knit every row until bandage is desired length of about 4 feet long, then bind off, leaving a 2-3 inch tail to weave in.  The edge looks neater if you slip the first stitch of each row instead of knitting it.  Secure tail by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a small knot, and weaving end back through stitches.

Spirit Soothers
Scents that Soothe
Aromatherapy Bath Potpourri "Tea" Bags
Meditation Made Easy

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...