Illusion knitting or shadow knitting is a relatively new knitting technique. Although the origins of the shadow knitting refers to an ancient Tunisian (Afghan) knitting, this technique is mostly known due to the advances of mathematicians Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth. In 2010, the illusion knitting even has been recognized as an art form. Among the works made by Steve Plummer there are several creations located in well-known world museums.
If you look at the thing created by illusion knitting method at the right angle, you won’t see anything except the strips. But as you change the viewing angle, the image appears. The simplest illusion knitting scheme consist of two colors, so that only 2 colors of yarn are necessary to knit them. But there are also multi-color scheme consisting of three or more colors.
Tools and charts for shadow knitting
You should accurately follow the knitting chart. Image is knitted on only one side of things, and everything else is knitted as usual. Therefore, the chart shows the rows of knitting with the image only. These things are mainly knitted with the needles, but you can use hooks. Tunisian crochet hook differs from the usual only in length (30 cm). But crocheted things are coarser than knitted ones and fine details of the picture are very difficult to crochet. Needles used for the illusion knitting are usual, a thickness of about 3 mm. The length of the needles is not important.
Yarn for illusion knitting
The thicker the yarn used in knitting, the greater the distance you need to look at the product to see the illusory effect. The best is to use synthetic yarn such as acrylic. The thing knitted with this yarn is easy to wash and dry, and also acrilic yarn is more elastic and less wrinkled, which prevents illusory effect to be lost.