Popknits‘ Spring issue went live today, so you can get the Day’s Eye pattern now! I thought I’d tell you all a little more about that pattern today, and the process that went into designing it. The pictures accompanying this post are the pictures I decided NOT to send to Popknits. It was cold out when we did the shoot, and the original pictures had me in coat and scarf, which I decided was probably not the best idea for a Spring issue.
This is, to date, my best planned pattern. I drew the cable some time in December on a piece of graph paper and liked how it looked, so I knit a swatch. I had the cable in mind for a hat from the moment I drew it, so when I knit the swatch, I incorporated the decreases I planned to use in the crown of the hat. The swatch in question was knit with leftover Cascade 220, and it came out bigger than I intended for the final hat, but it was a great roadmap for when I actually sat down and made the hat itself. It was basically a matter of transcribing the swatch into a chart, and that was 90% of the process that usually bogs me down out of the way, there.
Now, a more experienced, more naturally organized designer would probably have been planning projects in this logical way all along. I am not a naturally organized person, so this sort of planning is a major milestone for me. I usually sit down with skein and needles in hand and have only the basic idea that I want to make a hat, or a scarf, or a sweater, or whatever, and then I go from there and have to go back and decipher what I did later. Not truly the best way to manage things.
So, the planning out of the way, it was a matter of choosing yarn and making a hat. I settled on Felted Tweed pretty early on. I wanted to pick a yarn that had enough yardage to make the hat from a single skein, and I’ve been itching to work with Felted Tweed again for some time now. I’d originally planned on a different color, but the colors I wanted weren’t in stock at my local yarn store, and the purple seemed to fit well with the daisy pattern on the top of the hat.
The pattern is called Day’s Eye because day’s eye is the Old English name for the daisy flower. One assumes it refers to the way the blossoms open and shut in response to the sun – the day’s eye opens in daylight and shuts at night. Chaucer referred to the flower in verse:
Men by reason well it calle may
The Daïsie, or else the Eye of Day,
The Empresse and the flowre of flowres all.
Daisies are one of my favorite flowers. In general, the daisies I peer at on my walks are probably not the day’s eyes referred to by Chaucer or Ben Johnson. The term is used for a wide variety of flowers, but they all have a basic shape in common – a simple center surrounded by elongated petals that rarely overlap.
I hope you enjoy the Day’s Eye pattern! It was a great deal of fun to create. I think I may make one for myself, actually. The one shown here was given to my sister after she tried it on and it looked adorable on her.