What a fabulous and unique eyeball shawl pattern by the adorable Stephen West of Westknits. This was a long-term project for me, but I’m so happy that I pushed forward and finished it. Sometimes it’s great to have a project travel with you and knit it over time, not rushing but just enjoying every stitch knowing that it will be fantastic when it’s done. For me this project was like that.
The inspiration for this project was this gorgeous Wren & Ollie yarn, which makes up the iris of the eye. When I purchased just one skein of this colour called Pollux, I wasn’t sure at first what it would be. After a while, admiring the different flashes of blues, it reminded me of the different speckles of blue when you looked into someone’s pretty blue eyes.
The whites of my eyeball shawl were originally going to be some cream Hedgehog Fibres from my stash as I had two skeins already. However, thinking about actually wearing the shawl I decided that it was more important for it to look pretty and be wearable (i.e. in colours I like and will go with my wardrobe) than to actually look like a real eye. I’ve seen some very pretty pink eyeball shawls knitted up so that confirmed my colour choices for a blue eye.
You need two skeins for the sclera (white of the eye) so I had to purchase some more of this Glacier colour in order to have enough to finish my shawl.
The edge, brioche and pupil of my eye are knitted in the Graphite Hedgehog Fibres Sock yarn. Stephen uses the two colour brioche on this shawl to give the edge a graphic eyelash effect.
I had been practicing some two colour brioche with a simple cowl so that by the time I came to the edge I was able to knit this in the brioche stitch. The patter has an option for a striped garter stitch border if you are not confident in brioche. I’m really happy with the result and I love learning new things in knitting so the brioche was a nice challenge for me. There were some brioche increases as well which was a first for me but I feel like I really understand brioche now and the way it’s constructed. I’m even able to fix some mistakes thanks to the Brioche class I took at Knit August Nights last year.
An i-cord bind off is used for the very edge of the whole eyeball shawl and it does take some time to complete but the results are well worth it with a neat little puffy rolled edge to the shawl as well as a graphic black outline.
Growing up with a Dad who was extremely interested in ancient Egypt, this eyeball pattern really called out to me and reminds me of that part of my life. It reminds me of all the art and sculptures we had around our family home of Egyptian eyes, the windows to our soul.
Of course it doesn’t always look like a big eyeball when you wear it, which is nice too. The brioche border gives a lovely edge and it sits really nicely over my shoulders, then when I turn around, it reveals beautiful big graphic circles.
Being a busy mum of 4, you do have to have eyes everywhere around you, so it’s probably going to come in handy that I have a big eyeball on my back now too!