- Arts and Design
Make an 8 Point God's Eye
A Variation of the Traditional 4 Point God's Eye
The God's Eye, or Ojo de Dios (Eye of God) is frequently seen as a children's craft. These objects, however, have an ancient, spiritual history among the Huichol and Ancient Pueblo, with an 8 pointed version among the Navajo. The meanings attributed to them changed, depending on the time and location. The God's Eye symbolized the power of seeing the unseen, and knowing the unknowable. They were made as objects of celebration or blessing, and given as gifts to bless a home. They were placed near paths and workplaces. The process of making them was often a form of meditation and prayer, and they were used as spiritual objects, or for rites of passage. They were also used as decorations and religious objects.
In recent times, the making and use of God's Eyes were removed from their spiritual aspects as they were made more frequently for sale or enjoyed as an easy children's craft, while other groups have given the spiritual meanings a rebirth.
Making an 8 point God's Eye is a bit more awkward than the 4 point version, but it is still an easy and meditative craft. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I have!
Step by Step Instructions for your 8 Point God's Eye
For these versions, I used bamboo skewers as a base to wrap. The skewers work great with finer yarns.
Time required: Variable
- yarn of choice
- bamboo skewers
- tacky glue
- wire cutters
- medium or fine grit sandpaper sponge
- X-acto knife
1. Begin by taking 4 bamboo skewers and using the wire cutters to remove the points, making sure they are all the same length. Use the sandpaper block to sand the cut ends and slightly round all the ends smooth.
Find and mark the centres of each skewer. Using the X-acto knife, carefully cut a small section out at the centre mark, no more than halfway through the skewer. When placed at right angles, the skewers should fit into these slots. Use a bit of Tacky Glue and affix pairs of skewers at the slots. Let dry.
2. Starting with one pair of skewers, attach your yarn in the middle, diagonally, leaving a tail long enough to reach past the end of a skewer by 2 or 3 inches.
Note: for this God's Eye, I am using Tweed Stripes Yarn from Lion Brand, which is a bulky weight yarn.
3. Begin wrapping the yarn around the skewers by first taking the yarn over a skewer, down and around it, then across to the next skewer, turning the joined skewers as needed. Do this for about 2 or 3 rounds.
4. This next part is a bit tricky to hold. Take the second pair of skewers and place them behind the wraps, at a 45 degree angle from the first pair. Continue wrapping as before, this time including the new skewers. For the first few wraps, the bottom skewers will want to line up with the top ones, so you will have to take care when wrapping to keep them in position.
5. After a few wraps, the yarn will hold everything in position and the wrapping will go much easier. Your 8 point God's Eye should start looking like this.
6. This is how it will look from behind.
Note that I am keeping the tail end along one skewer, so that it is being wrapped, too. You can also leave the tail end loose in the middle.
7. Optional variation: After a while, you can change up the wraps by wrapping the yarn over one skewer, then under the next, and continuing to alternate around. To make it a bit easier, the sticks that I have wrapped under are the ones from the top pair of skewers, so they are slightly higher.
8. Optional variation 2: After a while, you can reverse which skewers are wrapped under and which are wrapped over. I did this for the same number of wraps as the first variation, then went back to wrapping them all with the yarn over.
Note: about an inch or so from the end, I stopped including the tail end in the wrap, allowing it to hang loose underneath.
9. Optional: When nearing the ends of the skewers, apply a small amount of Tacky Glue to keep the yarn secure. Just a warning, though - it's rather difficult not to get glue on your fingers after this!
10. When finished wrapping, trim your yarn long enough to tie. Working on the underside, gently pull the end down and tie it to the tail end. Be careful not to pull any of the yarn strands out of position. After tying the ends securely, trim the ends short.
11. Here is a front view of the point where the yarn ends.
If you've used glue on the points, leave the God's Eye to dry.
Once dry, decorate the remaining points as desired.
12. Here is an 8 point God's Eye without the optional wrapping variations. The yarn used is Patons Kroy Sock Yarn, Stripes.
13. In this back view, you can see that the starting tail of yarn was left hanging in the middle, rather than being wrapped along with one skewer.
14. Here are some more traditional 4 point God's Eyes. The red one is made using a discontinued brand of yarn while the other is done using Woodlands yarn by Loops & Threads.
The glittering spot in the middle of the red one is metallic gold pipe cleaner. Rather than gluing the skewers together, I cut a small amount of pipe cleaner and twisted it around the middle to fasten them together.
15. Here's a variation using the same technique to wrap a plain wooden cross. The centre portion is wrapped the same as a 4 point God's Eye until it is completely covered. I then reversed the wrap, taking the yarn under instead of over, the cross pieces. Once the top and sides where wrapped, I just continued wrapping the longer bottom evenly.
As with the 8 point star, I used a bit of Tacky Glue on the sides to be sure none of the strands would later slip off.
The yarn used here is Boutique Unforgettable from Red Heart.
16. A back view of the wrapped cross. The cross has a hole for a hanging nail that is almost, but not quite, covered by the yarn.
Plain wood crosses like this can be found in craft stores and can be painted or stained before wrapping, if desired.
Have you made a God's Eye before?
Different tribes made use of the God’s eye in different ways. For example the Huichol people, dwellers of northwestern Mexico, took the God’s eye as a symbol for the power of sight and comprehension of the unseen. For them it was a symbol of insight into the mystery of life.— http://globerove.com/usa/native-american-art-god-s-eye/2231