In unusual times, crafting can be powerful therapy. We’re invited to slow down, focus on the project at hand and be fully present in the moment. Lea Redmond’s inventive Knit the Sky scarf is a fun and satisfying way to combine crafting with mindful nature observation. Using the basic knit stitch, a pair of needles of any size and a range of sky-coloured yarns (though the project is written with lace weight yarn in mind, any combination of weights and types will do), you can track the changing weather, day by day. From April showers to May’s deep blue tones, spring is a perfect time to create your own unique weather chart in yarn. (And if you’re not a knitter, try sewing together sky-colored scraps of fabric or felted wool instead).

When was the last time you lay on the grass and watched the clouds drift can you recall whether the sky was a brilliant blue or a hazy shade of gray yesterday? What about the day before? And the one before that? Did you take the time to notice? It’s surprisingly easy to forget to look up and appreciate the colorful show that swirls above our heads at every moment. This project asks you to keep an eye on the weather and to track its comings and goings more closely than usual.

As your daily observations meet the clicking of your needles, nature’s patterns — both predictable and erratic — will emerge as the days pile up. Just like the weather your scarf design will largely be out of your control. You are likely to be surprised by delightful sequences of alternating colours that you never would have devised on your own. Winter’s whites and grays might tire you. But as you heed nature’s ways, you might also learn something about the beauty of waiting. Is a bright blue sky lovelier if you’ve knit a month of gray stripes in anticipation? Is a gray stripe more meaningful if you remember getting caught in a sudden storm with a friend and no umbrella?

With each sunset, the colours of an unrepeatable day fade into the night. Unlike knitting, we can’t unravel a day and relive it. But as the days slip through our fingers, so does our yarn. At the end of a year, you will have a scarf that the clouds have drifted through. Bind off, keep warm, and let your beautiful garment remind you to keep looking up.

Prepare Your Palette

First, gather balls of lace weight yarn that correspond to the various colors of the daytime sky: bright blue, light blue, white, light gray, and dark gray. Using lace weight yarns means you can use the strands doubled so that you have more colour options for illustrating the sky. Using US 3 needles, you’ll get a gauge of about 7 stitches to an inch. For example on a partly cloudy day you might select white and light blue. For a thunderstorm, you might combine light gray and dark gray. And for a pure bright blue sky you might choose to knit the stripe with two bright blue strands. Make two separate balls of some colors so you’ll have the option for the latter. I’ve found that it’s usually sufficient to split only the two blues (the bright and the light blues) in half. Virtually all weather conditions can be represented by creative pairings of the resulting seven balls of yarn.