Optical Illusion shadow-knit scarf with heartsIn my last post I promised  more optical illusion fashions. Shadow knitting is a clever optical illusion technique that produces patterns which vary with the direction of viewing.   “The visual effect of shadow knitting is due to the different height of the knit stitches on the wrong side rows. A knit stitch is flat, while a purl stitch is raised. Therefore, one can change which color (dark or light) stands out by changing from knit to purl. So the basic idea is to create a pattern in knit stitches in the colors one wants and purl stitches in the background color. When looking straight at the knitted piece, the stitches look much the same, but from an angle only the raised purl stitches are visible.” Wikipedia Shadow Knitting.Shadow- knit aliens scarf

The scarves above and right look like any others until seen from the correct angle – then they reveal hidden patterns between the stripes.

Got a Harry Potter fan in the family? You can obtain patterns for clever Harry Potter shadow knitted patterns by Vivian Hoxbro.

Hufflepuff Shadow-knit soxGryffindor shadow-knit sox  Gryffindor shadow-knit mittensSlytherin shadow-knit sox

Here’s a great opportunity for playful knitting! Patterns don’t have to be simple repeats. What about mixing opposites – like angels and devils, stop and go traffic lights or smiles and frowns.  Great conversation starters! Got any other ideas? Please share them in a comment.