Enso Sweater


It has been such an exciting week with the launch of the Zen Variations! Thank you to everyone who has shown your support; it means so much!

ENSO is a Japanese word for ‘circle’. The sweater features a round, scoop neck, garter panels along the sides, and a curved hem for a classic shape and a wardrobe staple.

Zen Variations Enso Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan skirt

The idea of enso in the Zen Buddhist context is a beautiful one. A single stroke of black ink on white paper is made in the space of a single breath, describing a perfect circle. The painting is a symbol of enlightenment and embracing the void.

Enso painting

An enso painting from the 2014 exhibition at the St Lawrence University

I have taken the concept of enso and applied it to the shape of the neck line and the hem: the circular shapes gently repeating in the sweater.

Zen Variations Enso Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-25

Enso sweater is my corner stone of a handmade wardrobe: simple and easy to modify with just a few beautiful details.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-24


The sweaters are sized from 1-11, with finished garment bust measurements of 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51) inches/79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5) cm.

The sweater is intended to be worn with 2 inches/5 cm of positive ease.

Enso Sweater by Renée Callahan schematic



The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yards/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Driftwood: 8 (8, 9, 9, 9, 10)(10, 11, 11, 12, 12) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Enso uses approximately:

355 (375, 400, 415, 435, 460)(490, 510, 535, 560, 585) grams

1035 (1095, 1165, 1210, 1265, 1340)(1425, 1480, 1560, 1630, 1700) yards

945 (1000, 1065, 1105, 1155, 1225)(1305, 1355, 1425, 1490, 1555) metres

21 sts x 31 rows = 10cm (4”) in St st blocked with 3.75mm (US 5) or size needed to get gauge.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Enso Pattern: 

The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,


Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.


2 thoughts on “Enso Sweater

  1. Pingback: Buji Tunic | EastLondonKnit Shows & Tells

  2. Pingback: A whole lotta Zen | EastLondonKnit Shows & Tells

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