Monday, June 25, 2007

Illusion Knitting--Wha?

A few weeks ago I was randomly searching knitting patterns online, and I came across this: a pattern for a scarf, illusion knitting of the card suits. If you look at the scarf from one angle, you see stripes; look at it from another angle, and pictures of the card suits appear. I printed it, thinking that it would make a great gift for my bridge-playing grandmother. Now that she's sent me the Ancestral Needle Case, I wanted to adapt the pattern to something more summer-y, so it can be a thank-you gift. I decided at first to try placemats and coasters, but I ran the idea by Mom first, and I'm glad I did--apparently, Grandma doesn't use placemats. Coasters are the way to go. As an added bonus, this way I only have to knit the actual charts--there's none of that complicated "adding blank space to make it a placemat" business.

I had also mentioned the plan to Robyn, my sock knitting teacher, who proclaimed that illusion knitting is super easy and I would have no problems with it.


Here's my problem, as far as I can tell: I've never worked from a chart before. Give me a nice, long string of "With MC1, K7, P7, K32131, P347856," etc. and I'm good to go. Show me a chart with boxes in 3 different colors--none of which corresponds to a yarn color--and you're likely to get a blank stare, followed by a lot of cursing as I knit, tink, knit, and tink some more.

This is especially odd in light of the fact that I'm usually a visual learner.

So, this morning before work I cast on 21 and got started. Knit all odd rows, cast on row is Row 1--got it. On even rows, knit the colored squares and purl the blank squares. 'Kay; knit light grey Row 2. Row 3: knit! I get to the end of Row 3 and realize that I was supposed to have changed colors at the beginning of it. Crap. Tink it. Change colors, reknit the row. Row 4, knit! No, wait--Row 4 is all blank squares. Purl Row 4. Tink. Purl. Forget to change colors again and knit Row 5. Tink. Oh my god this is going to take forever. Especially if I keep doing everything 3 times!

I just hope I get the hang of this soon! I'll post a picture of the work in progress as soon as I have enough yarn hanging off my needle to photograph!

Anyone who doesn't already know about it should stop by my mother's blog to congratulate her on her good news! Hell, go over and squee with her even if you do already know!


bookie said...

Tink? Ah, I get it, it's knit backwards. Wow, you didn't waste your college money after all. Obviously, I was a bit of a slow learner. Is there a reason why the last stitch on my baby knitting attempt is bigger than the rest? The ribbon below my last stitch just gapes. I'm hoping it'll fix itself when I'm a better knitter--eventually--when I'm really old.

bookie said...

Can't wait to see your illusion knitting. I feel the same way about crochet patterns that are nothing but symbols. They look like ancient runes!

Psyche said...

Sadly, I wasn't clever enough to make up the term "tink." I read it in a book or a blog or something.
It seems to help the gaping-stitch thing if, after you insert the needle for the first stitch of a new row, you give a tug on the yarn, then knit the first stitch; does that make sense?
I can't wait to see my illusion knitting, either! I spent some time working on it at lunch, and I still haven't made it to the picture part! Yikes. This might end up being a Christmas present, at the rate I'm going.