Remember the crazy eyeball yarn I got for my friend E's birthday? After being suitably admired by family and friends it made its way back to Melbourne in a parcel with various other bits and pieces. My mission: to turn it into a hat. The skein has been hanging over one my lounge chairs since then. You can imagine how a random eyeball might look peeking out from whatever else was sharing the back of the chair . . . I picked it up the other day to see what I could do with it. Normally this wouldn't be a summer activity, but I've sipped my first cup of coffee with temperatures in the low teens every morning this week.
Any well trained textile artist will tell you that the secret to success is sampling. In this case that was impossible. 100 grams of core-spun merino-bunny-silk yarn with needle felted eyeballs is not available for sampling. Fortunately I'm not too well trained to just go for it sometimes. After winding off the yarn from the skein, I looked at a few of my huge crochet hooks. I decided to go with the 12 mm one. Winding off the yarn gave me some idea of how the features were distributed. There was a length at one end free of eyeballs. I started there to form the top of the hat. I worked down the side of the hat, shaping just a little and making sure that all the eyeballs ended up on the outside of the work. I soon realised that finishing the crown of the hat would be a close thing. As I decreased stitches and made the last couple of rows I was running through options in my mind. The colours and textures of the yarn are so varied and individual that I couldn't even imagine trying to match the yarn in any way. Instead I decided to go with a bit of black. I just happened to have a small ball of fine black handspun merino plied with black lurex hanging around--as you do. I doubled it, joined it into the work and started to form the brim. That's as far as I've got and I think it will do. There's really no use attempting any subtleties here. It's a case of letting the features shine out in all their gory glory.