Illusion Knitting

In the spring of 2011, my friend Anindita Basu Sempere showed me a scarf that she’d knitted for her husband Andrew. At first glance it looked like an ordinary striped scarf… but when you looked at it from an angle, a skull appeared. Wow! I immediately asked her to write a how-to on “Illusion Knitting” for UNBORED. She did, and it appears on pp. 144–145.

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UPDATE: Whoops! The pattern illustration we published in UNBORED doesn’t quite match Anindita’s instructions. Here are a few amendments:

P. 144

Under HERE’S A SAMPLE PATTERN

* “There are 22 columns and 15 rows.” should instead read “There are 24 columns and 15 rows.”

* “this pattern describes 60 rows with 22 stitches in each.” should instead read “this pattern describes 60 rows with 24 stitches in each.”

* “In this example, that means casting on 22 stitches.” should instead read “In this example, that means casting on 24 stitches.”

* “Row 1-2: Knit the white boxes. Purl the grey boxes.” should instead read “Row 1-2: Knit the white boxes. Purl the green boxes.”

* “Row 1-4: Purl the white boxes. Knit the grey boxes.” should instead read “Row 1-4: Purl the white boxes. Knit the green boxes.”

* “Row 1-1: Using the main color, knit 22 stitches.” should instead read “Row 1-1: Using the main color, knit 24 stitches.”

* “Row 1-2: Knit 4, Purl 3, Knit 3, Purl 2, Knit 3, Purl 3, Knit 4.” should instead read “Row 1-2: Knit 5, Purl 3, Knit 3, Purl 2, Knit 3, Purl 3, Knit 5.”

* “Row 1-3: Switch to the background color. Knit 22 stitches.” should instead read “Row 1-3: Switch to the background color. Knit 24 stitches.”

* “Row 1-4: Purl 4, Knit 3, Purl 3, Knit 2, Purl 3, Knit 3, Purl 4.” should instead read “Row 1-4: Purl 5, Knit 3, Purl 3, Knit 2, Purl 3, Knit 3, Purl 5.”

* “Answer: Row 2-1: Using MC, K22; Row 2-2: K2, P3, K1, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P3, K2; Row 2-3: Using BC, K22; Row 2-4: P2, K3, P1, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P1, K3, P2.” should instead read “Row 2-1: Using main color K24. Row 2-2: K3, P3, K1, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K1, P3, K3. Row 2-3: Using background color K24. Row 2-4: P3, K3, P1, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P1, K3, P3.”

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Anindita designed and knitted a scarf for UNBORED — it’s a “ghost” from the 1980s videogame Pac-Man. (At least, that’s what I’ve been assuming it is.) After bothering Anindita for months to take photos of the Pac-Man scarf, we ended up asking illustrator Heather Kasunick to draw pictures for the article. In other words, we didn’t use the photos after all that hassle. Sorry, Anindita! Here they are now:


NOW YOU SEE IT

NOW YOU DON’T