Monday, 23 November 2015

It's An Illusion

Last week we had the monthly meeting of the local Knitting & Crochet Guild branch, with a workshop in Illusion Knitting, aka Shadow Knitting.  It was led by Ann Kingstone, one of our members, who had designed a square for us to knit, with a pattern of a star.  The star is more or less invisible when looked at straight on, lit from in front (or in a flash photograph) but appears when the square is lit from the side and/or looked at from an angle.

No star

Star lit from the top 

Star seen at an angle

I started my square with a provisional cast on, to allow for picking up stitches all round to add a border, as Ann suggested, but I haven't decided yet what to make from it.

To introduce us to illusion knitting, Ann had brought a shawl that she was given by Steve Plummer and Pat Ashcroft  of Woolly Thoughts - it has a portrait of Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films knitted into it.

Hagrid shawl, from 
At the workshop, we were wondering where the idea for illusion knitting came from - it seems such an unlikely technique to invent from nothing.  Later, I looked in Vivian Høxbro's book Shadow Knitting.  She says that first came across the idea in a translation of a booklet by a Japanese woman, Mieko Yano - a similar account is given on a blog by Mrs Petersson here, who says that Mieko Yano was teaching illusion knitting and other Japanese knitting ideas in Sweden in the 1980s.   But I don't know if Mieko Yano invented the technique, or whether it was developed earlier in Japan. Intriguing. 

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