Manipura (knitted mug cozy)
The yarn I use here is from the Isle of Skye, and it is dyed yellow-gold by the meadowsweet that grows there—the color of Manipura, the third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the chakra of self-confidence. I find that I cannot tap into my own personal power unless I am at peace with myself. Peace and power are intertwined within us, and though they seem to be, they are not opposed to one another. A peaceful cup of tea can bring heat to your solar plexus, stimulating the third chakra and awakening the power within you.
25 yards (23 meters) DK weight yarn (shown in Shilasdair Luxury DK Meadowsweet)
US 5 (3.75 mm) needles
3 17-mm buttons
23 sts and 36 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in Garter st
Gauge is not critical to this project.
First, measure the circumference of your favorite tea mug.
Cast on 16 sts (or fewer, if the space between the top and bottom of your handle is quite small).
Work back and forth in Garter stitch until your cozy is the same length as the circumference of your mug when slightly stretched—for a standard-size mug, knit for about 10 inches (25 cm), or approximately 1½ inches (4 cm) less than the circumference of your mug.
Buttonhole row: *K2, k2tog, yo; repeat from * once more, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k2—15 sts remain. Note: If you’ve changed the number of stitches cast on, make sure to adjust the placement of the buttonholes.
Knit 4 rows even.
Bind off all sts.
Weave in all ends with tapestry needle. Sew buttons to cast-on edge opposite the buttonholes.
Contain (crocheted basket)
It’s amazing how something as soft and pliable as yarn can be made firm if you work it at a tight enough gauge. This little basket is created by growing a tiny circle exponentially by a factor of two, and then growing it in a different direction by ceasing all increases—where once it grew out, now it grows up. Like this basket, we never stop growing, in one way or another, with each day, with each stitch. It is how we grow that makes all the difference.
5½ inches (14 cm) diameter and 3½ inches (9 cm) tall.
40 yards (36.5 meters) super bulky yarn (shown in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, in color Grey Marble, 1 ball)
Size K-10½ (6.5 mm) crochet hook
10 sts and 8 rnds = 4 inches (10 cm) in single crochet
Foundation ring: Ch 3, join with a sl st in first ch.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, 8 sc around ring. Place safety pin to mark beginning of rnds.
Rnd 2: Sc around.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each st around—16 sts.
Rnds 4 and 5: Repeat rnds 2 and 3—32 sts.
Rnd 6: Sc around, join with sl st in first st.
Rnd 7: Turn piece with WS facing, ch 1, work hdc around.
Rnd 8: Ch 1, work hdc around. Note: When you reach the end of the round, you will find that starting a new round leaves a gap. No worries—that will be sewn up later.
Repeat rnd 8 until bowl is 3½ inches (9 cm) high.
Fasten off, leaving a 10-inch (25.5 cm) long tail.
Thread tail in tapestry needle, and weave the tail down to the gap. Stitch it closed and then weave in all ends with tapestry needle.
The projects here are not the complicated sweater patterns found in traditional knitting guides, but simple, beautiful objects anyone can create. Practical crafts, like fingerless gloves and mug cozies, are featured alongside more meditative patterns, like granny squares and crocheted flowers. Each is paired with an inspirational, intention-setting prompt and falls under an overarching theme-Color, Texture, or Structure-that encourages knitters and crocheters of all skill levels to be fully present in the moment.
Author and crafter Nikki Van De Car gently guides readers to look inward as they work, releasing their anxiety as they create something beautiful. For experienced knitters and novices alike, this is meditative crafting of the very best kind.