Monday, July 26, 2010

New Pattern: Qina Eye Pillow

Qina Eye PillowHaving trouble taking an afternoon nap because of the sun shining on your face?

Then this eye pillow is for you!

Don't I look happy and relaxed using it? I hope so because taking your own picture when your eyes are covered isn't easy.

The pattern calls for one skein of Qina by Mirasol. This yarn is 80 percent Baby Alpaca and 20 percent Bamboo. It is soft and snuggly with good drape, perfect for hiding your eyes after a rough day.

The yarn comes in 50g/83m/91 yard skeins. The prototype actually took just over half the skein (measured by weight). This leads me to suspect you can probably make a second, smaller one although I haven't tried yet. I used color 922 "Silver Fox" because it is actually for Hubby. You can see the other colors here.

The label suggests you work the yarn on US 6 needles at 5 sts/inch. However, I call for working it on US 4 needles at 6 sts/inch in order to get a dense fabric so the flax seed and lavender stuffing won't slip out. Despite being worked at the smaller gauge it is still soft and snuggly.

Easy Peasy
This project is suitable for an advanced beginner with experience working in the round on double points. I wrote it assuming you know how to work Judy's Magic Cast On, which is what knocks it into the "advanced" category. The middle is plain stockinette stitch. The opposite end is closed using Kitchener stitch.

This makes the two ends uniform, in my mind.

If you are a raw beginner, or don't feel like fussing with JMCO, you can always use the long-tail cast on instead. You'll have to sew the CO edge shut at the end. Obviously you'll have to wait to stuff it. I'd suggest still Kitchenering the opposite end shut, then stuff it, then sew the CO shut.

The increases and decreases used were also selected with stuffing control and a uniform appearance in mind.

The increases are simple KFB (knit front and back) to minimize holes.

The decreases are simple K2tog and SSK, but I've "feathered" them by placing them against the fabric grain so they are less noticeable.

Did I just loose you? Qina Eye pillow
You know how when you work a sock toe you usually SSK at the beginning of a needle and K2tog at the end resulting in a nice crisp ridge? Or when working the armhole shaping on a sweater you lean the stitch toward the center to get a nice detail?

Well, I've done the opposite. I have you work the K2tog at the beginning of the needle and the SSK at the end. This breaks up the line and prevents the ridge forming.

It would have looked silly to have ridges on one end and none on the other!

Stuff it!
This project came about because I had to refresh a commercial eye pillow with fresh lavender. That pillow was just filled with flax seed. After I mixed my lavender buds in I had more than I needed to refill the pillow.

Flax seed should be available at a health food store. My original pillow had about 7 oz in it.
For lavender buds check your local farmers market. I got mine at Lavender by the Bay in Long Island. It looks like they do mail order. Hubby was there in person and bought me a half pound bag. So, yeah, I need to find more uses for dried lavender!

Other options would be the flax seed with some drops of essential oil. Or plastic stuffing beads from the craft store with essential oil. The list goes on.

I did not line my pillow. Hubby may live to regret my decision. However I was fussing with it quite a bit while stuffing it and kept squeezing and squishing it and nothing leaked out.

Still, you can always make a liner with some thin cloth just to be safe. I can't sew to save my life, so you're own your own with that one.

Get It Here
I think that's about all there is to tell you about the eye pillow. Small, sweet, and simple. What more could you ask for? Oh, right, it's free! (when you click "it's free!" a pdf download will launch. Or you can find it on Ravelry.)


  1. Love the eye pillow. It really does look relaxing. Can't believe you took that picture. How did you manage to get it just right?

  2. Nice little project Ann! Perfect picture as well. :D