Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Illusion Knitting

Illusion knitting is so intriguing, but I've never been able to understand the directions. And most of the patterns I've seen were for scarves, which aren't exactly my cup of tea. But then . . .

A helpful knitter/enabler pointed me toward an illusion sock pattern. Free, too – my favorite price. It's called Alice's Illusion Socks ("Wonderland Socks" on Ravelry) and it is cuter than cute. I couldn't resist.

Here we have what looks like an ordinary pair of gray and white striped socks. Right?


But when viewed from an angle, suddenly we see a little gray kitty sitting on a pair of white socks.


This kitty has a long plumy tail that curls all the way up the outside of the leg.


How does the illusion work? Well, it's a lot easier to understand when knitting in the round, because you are always on the front of the fabric. Each row of the pattern is done four times – twice with gray (kitty color) and twice with white. Rows one and three are easy – just knit around, no worries about the pattern. On row two you KNIT around (with gray) and PURL the kitty stitches. On row four you PURL around (with white) and KNIT the kitty stitches. That's it. The gray purl bumps make the picture, while the white knit stitches create a little valley that provides the view of the picture.


The pattern as written is toe-up with a short row heel, but I changed it to cuff down with a flap-and-gusset heel. I managed to divide for the heel at a point that left enough room on the foot for the remainder of the pattern, but it was a close call. I was prepared to shorten kitty's tail a bit if necessary. And since the tail needs to go up the outside of the leg, it was important to mirror-image the pattern from one sock to another.

8 comments:

Sharon said...

I'm impressed, I'll admit. I'm sending this to friend Amy since she's a toe-up knitter. I am not, nor at this point am I inclined to learn, though this pattern is tempting.

Marjorie said...

Those are great. I haven't tried that kind of knitting, mostly because I didn't think the motifs were interesting. But that is a very nice pattern.

Luni said...

Very cute socks. I've been tempted to try a pair of illusion socks, and it doesn't bother me that the pattern is toe-up. I think those would look great with a garter-stitch short-row heel. I'll check out that pattern. Thanks for the fine example.

Delighted Hands said...

You are amazing and so is the pattern! Thanks for sharing-I will make them toe-up for the grandkids who have begged for new socks since they outgrew the ones I have previously made! This is great! So, you are now a cat person!

Leigh said...

These are so clever and so cute! Thanks for sharing. I have just the person in mind to get a pair of these for of these for Christmas.

Sharon said...

I wish you would add your email address to you profile - I just gave you a Blue Ribbon but couldn't email you to tell you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this pattern - It looks like so much fun!

bspinner said...

How clever!!!!! I love them!!