Tuesday, 26 May 2009

An eye pillow and two kinds of patience

So, the three day weekend was gloriously sunny and I revelled in idling. Reading, lolling, eating cherries in the shade of a tree and the warmth of the sun; soundtracked with traffic hum and kids shrieks and pigeons' cooing. Lovely.

I didn't make the skirt I thought I might (see last post) as I couldn't find any fabric in my stash big enough. I did however get round to the Imitation Larabar Project, which went smashingly - photos to follow.

This though is a project from a couple of weeks back. I had seen instructions to make a yoga eye pillow on a yoga teacher's blog (sorry I can't remember which one!) ages ago, and it seemed to me just the thing for a) my current level of sewing skills and b) the scraps of silk I had left.

It's a really really simple project, though I still managed to end up with something a little less than perfect... I was reflecting the other day how there are two kinds of patience. People often say to me about knitting that they wouldn't be patient enough to knit. And I always think it bizarre because to me there's no patience to knitting. You can just throw yourself in and get on with it. To sew, on the other hand, you have to measure, you have to press, you have to trim and measure again and press again and so on and so forth. This kind of patience - the patience of doing something properly - I am just not good at. The knitting patience - the kind that just requires an ability to be happily absorbed in a simple repetitive task - I am very good at. I have always been quite happy to get absorbed in simple repetitive tasks.

Anyway, I'm off on a tangent. Back to the eye pillow. You can do a simple one where you just stitch all bar 1" of a rectangle (about 8" x 4"), fill it and finish the gap by hand neatly tucking the edges in, but I think doing an inner bag and an outer case is better. Less chance of filling leakage, easier to be neater, and also allows you to wash the cover.

The filling is equal parts linseed and rice. Lavender is recommended, but I don't really love lavender so I tried adding lime leaves and dried mint. It smelled lovely the first time I tried it but I don't notice any scent now so this was fairly pointless in retrospect.

So, the first step is to sew two rectangles together, leaving a 1-2" gap on one short edge. The next is to funnel in your mixture until it's about 3/4 fill. Then, sew the gap closed.
For the cover I added 1/2" all round to the measurements and an extra 2" to the length of one piece. This extra bit gets folded over first, then the two bits sewed together along the other three sides (so there is a little flap on the right side when you turn it inside out).

The inner bag now fits nicely inside the outer, and the flap can be flipped over to hold it secure (you can't see it on this photo as it's on the other side).

We have enough room in our flat to roll out a yoga mat so I practice at home fairly regularly and it is really nice to have a nice cool, silky heavy eye pillow to aid rest at the end of practice. It helps encourage me to actually rest, rather than just jump up and make a slice of toast or watch TV. Nice.

And what do you think of the new title banner btw??? I'm experimenting...


Marie said...

I like the new banner although I think I prefered your little lady. I still miss saucepan lady. But the colour of the flower is lovely. Perhaps more flowers?

Jessica said...

"revelled in idling" is the PERFECT term for this past weekend! I must make eye pillows for holiday gifts this year. And, I love the banner!

fresh365 said...

I could use an eye pillow just about now! Sounds very relaxing!

Kylli said...

I actualy agree with Marie - how funny she said the same thing I was going to say. love the little lady.........really love the flower colour. Can you mix?