Shadow knitting is a technique that creates a pattern when viewed from different angles.
It is not difficult to execute. The pattern is created on the wrong side rows by purling or knitting.
Right side rows are always knit. Wrong side rows are worked with the same color as the previous right side row.
- is always worked with only one color at a time, alternating 2 rows dark then 2 rows light.
- always uses at least 2 colors- one dark, one light.
- is hard to see the patterning as you are knitting.
- will most often be worked with light ridges on a dark stockinette background or dark ridges on a light stockinette background. Both give different effects.
- is most effective when using smooth yarns, such as a crisp cotton, and smaller needles.
A few tips to working shadow knitting:
To keep edges neater, slip the first stitch as if to purl and purl the last stitch on every row.
When changing colors, bring new color up behind old color to begin a row.
Shadow knitting can be read from row by row instruction, but most often will include chars.
Reading Knitting Charts for Shadow Knitting
A few key points to remember when reading knitting charts:
- Knitting charts are read from right to left on right side rows and left to right on wrong side rows.
- Rows are numbered on the side they should be read from.
- Each square, or sometimes rectangle, depicts a stitch.
- Symbols within each stitch will indicate what type stitch is required.
- Although a few symbols are thought of as universal, there appears to be no standardization at this time. A key should be given for guidance with symbols clearly defined.
- Charts show the project as you would be looking at it, from the right side view.
- Sometimes charts show only right side rows. This is most common when the wrong side row will be the same, such as for intarsia charts, or mosaics.
Since Shadow Knitting only requires knit and purl stitches, the charts show the patterning on the wrong side rows with the dot in the stitch as the knit stitch. These knit stitches will create the ridges seen in shadow knitting. This makes it easier to compare the chart to the knit piece as you are knitting.
Just for fun: here’s the blanket I made for my daughter when she left for college (with precious Mirlo)-