Zen and the art of tiny stitches

I am an advocate for simplicity.  As the yarn harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee said in one of her posts, "There's something really nice about simple things well executed. It's like...apples or bread or....some pasta dish with just olive oil and perfect tomatoes. You know?"I spent my holiday vacation working on just such a project.  I took 8 skeins of Shibui Pebble with me to the sunny island of Maui so that I could work on the Peak Scarf.  The pattern description was intriguing enough that I thought I would make an exception to my general rule of avoiding shawl knitting.  "The Peak Scarf, a study in asymmetry, is anything but a traditional shawl. Its modern shape and transfer ribs, articulated by a twisted stitch, create a versatile accessory that can be styled a number of ways. Pebble held double creates a firm and malleable fabric, and the cashmere/silk/fine merino blend make it a delight to wear next to your skin." peak 01Boy are they right about the feel of the yarn.  I LOVED working with Pebble.  The slightly nubby feel of it, and the delightful springiness of the fabric as it (slowly) formed was a treat.  And eventually, it even made the knit through the back loop, purl through the back loop ribbing a pleasure.I will confess that the beginning of the scarf was not fun.  I found the twisted stitches beautiful but a real drag to perform.  The deep purple of the yarn wasn't helping.  The dark color made the stitches difficult to distinguish (yes, it probably is time to get a new pair of prescription lenses).  And, the two fine strands of yarn were a bit tricky to gracefully manage through the back loop. peak 02So, I tried something a bit different.  I went outside.  In bright outdoor light the stitches were perfectly easy to see and work.  I found a shady spot in my Mother-in-law's garden, and found that I could work happily for hours.  Listening to an audio book kept me entertained, and left my eyes free to carefully track my work and ensure that stitches weren't dropped or partially worked.As the rows and stitches began to add up, and the width of the scarf began to grow, I found that I was really enjoying the repetition of the stitches.  I found the simplicity of it to be very relaxing.  A wonderful vacation.I would encourage you to look for the simple pleasure that can be found in the stitches on your needles.  If your struggling with your current project, take a break.  Perhaps with a bit of time you can come back to it with fresh eyes or with a new outlook that may make what feels onerous to you today, feel like fun tomorrow.  Then you'll be able to enjoy the process as much as the finished project.Or try casting on for the Peak Scarf.  It's lovely.