stitches & squid: an illusion knit scarf

knit squid scarf (3 of 6)knit squid scarf (4 of 6)

It seems that I only turn to knitting exactly once a year: something I hope to change in 2018! My single project for 2017, though, was typical fiber fare for me. I’ve been dazzled by illusion knits since I was in high school, and I have crafted a number of such scarves as holiday presents over the years (my personal favorite was the miniature helix scarf I attempted as a secret Santa present for a friend in college). This time, I decided to design my own pattern, inspired by Generic Squid Characters In No Way Associated With A Game My Fiancé Enjoys.

By the time you read this, he will have already opened this weird and whimsical gift at our belated second-Christmas celebration in January, so it can be safely revealed to the world. I, however, am writing this in the past, and at this moment in time all I can say is that I truly hope he likes it!

knit squid scarf (6 of 6)

In case you’re unfamiliar with illusion knitting, allow me to reveal its enchantment for the first time through this series of photos. The conceit? You have a perfectly normal striped scarf that appears innocuous to passerby…

knit squid scarf (1 of 6)

…until you happen to look at it from the perfect angle and reveal its nerdy secrets.

The illusion is created by alternating knit and purl stitches and your two colors of yarn: knitting, essentially, each row multiple times with slight variations. The textural interplay between the two types of stitches creates an elusive illusory motif that appears only rarely!

knit squid scarf (5 of 6)

See how the smooth sections complement the raised bumps? (That means, somehow, I did this all with no mistakes!)

knit squid scarf (2 of 6)

I don’t exactly intend to start a knitting pattern empire anytime soon, but I must admit that I’m rather pleased with how this design turned out. Though I’ve converted patterns into illusion knit before, this was my first stab at coming up with a pattern completely from scratch: I sketched out this Generic Squid on a graph, spent ages carefully counting the stitches, and eventually scrawled hundreds of quickly-calculated stitch directions on scraps of paper.

Can I possibly start another knitting project before December 2018? That remains to be seen! In the meantime, I’m happy that my little squid army has found their home at last and can take care of my fiancé in my absence.

4 thoughts on “stitches & squid: an illusion knit scarf

  1. IdleEmma January 22, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Well I think the scarf looks wonderful!

    • Mailbox Mermaid January 28, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      Thank you so much! That yarn was SO soft; I actually really miss making it 😛

  2. Elena January 24, 2018 / 7:50 am

    I did not know that such knit existed, thank you for sharing 😊😊
    Happy knitting
    (I apologize if you receive this message multiple times, yesterday I hit “post” but it seemingly did not work…)

    • Mailbox Mermaid January 28, 2018 / 6:34 pm

      I’m happy to have introduced you to it! It’s a very fun style of knitting, and certainly has served me well over the years! ❤

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