Tortured Eyes by Josh Ryks-Robinsky

Tortured Eyes

September 2014
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
6 stitches = 1 inch
in Garter Stitch
US 5 - 3.75 mm
650 - 700 yards (594 - 640 m)
One Size
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“O beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” - Othello by William Shakespeare; Act III, Scene III.

Othello the Moor is an outsider throughout this play. The eyes of everyone are watching him, seeing what he does and passing quiet judgement on him. You can feel the racial prejudices and pressures of the environment all around him and you begin to understand why he does what he does. He fought hard for his rank and social status and he protects that with all his might, even stooping to the horrifying task of murdering his wife for her supposed infidelity with the righteous rage of a wronged lover.

This play is a mad, mad roller coaster of emotions and this one has always been difficult for me to grasp. It is a dark play that feeds on the fears of racial differences, the pangs of a jealous lover, and invokes the hatred of humanity with all its ills and faults. It seems bizarre, out of place, and descends into pure chaos at points. But for all that, the play remains as a haunting reminder of how far a someone will go to protect their hard-earned status and love.

As I was reading the play, I was struck with how often eyes are mentioned throughout this play. I drew my inspiration from the quote above and sought to capture the windows to Othello’s dark, tortured soul. This is where the “eye” motif comes from and the modular knitting in the shawl makes this one fly off the needles.

Size: 19 inches (48 cm) along the center spine X 62 inches (157 cm) along the top edge. Size will vary due to knitter’s gauge, yarn combinations used, and blocking preferences.

Recommended yarn: Three colors of fingering weight yarn in semi-solid/tonal/solid colors. Sample used Sun Valley Fibers Single Ply Merino Fingering (100% superwash merino; 400 yds per skein) in the color ways Oliver (A), Woodside Gold (B), and Kent (C)

Yardage: Color A: 200 yds/ 183 m; Color B: 200 yds/ 183 m; Color C: 300 yds/ 275 m

Needles: 32 US size 5/3.75 mm circular needle

Gauge: 6 sts to the inch in garter stitch

Notions: stitch markers, stich holders or waste yarn, scissors, tapestry needle.