knitscene Winter 2018: Black Forest Hat and Cowl Set

The Black Forest Hat and Cowl Set from knitscene Winter 2018 uses a technique called “shadow” knitting (also known as “illusion” knitting), which sounds very mysterious, doesn’t it? That’s because it is mysterious: View the fabric straight on, and all you’ll see are 2-row stripes, but tilt the fabric just a little, and once-hidden images suddenly appear.

Shadow knitting always reminds me of those plastic rings that my siblings and I, as children, would buy from vending machines—the rings with images of popular cartoon characters that would change depending on how you tilted your hand.

Occasionally, you’ll find very elaborate images in shadow-knit objects, such as the masterpieces created by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer from Woolly Thoughts. Most of the time, however, shadow-knit images are simple geometric shapes. The images in the Black Forest Hat and Cowl Set, for example, consist of wide, diagonal stripes that intersect large, horizontal bands of various shades of gray.

Whether the shapes are complex or simple, the basic structure of shadow knitting is the same: garter-stitch ridges on a background of stockinette stitch, and 2 light-color rows alternating with 2 dark-color rows. The strategically placed ridges of the garter stitch form the images that are visible only when viewed at an angle.

If you’re not familiar with the shadow-knitting technique, try it out on this beautiful set. I promise you’ll soon be hooked!


Pattern Details

DESIGNER Mone Dräger

DIFFICULTY Easy

FINISHED SIZE Hat: 19¼ (21½)” circumference at brim and 10¾” tall. Hat shown measures 19¼”. Cowl: 21½” circumference and 8½” wide.

YARN HiKoo Llamor (100% baby llama; 109 yd [100 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #1702 coal (black; A), 3 balls; #1701 stone (medium gray; B), #1706 light grey (C), and #1700 snow (cream; D), 1 ball each. Yarn distributed by Skacel.

NEEDLES Size 4 (3.5 mm): 16″ circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

NOTIONS Markers (m); tapestry needle.

GAUGE 20 sts and 38 rnds = 4″ in illusion patt.


knitscene Winter 2018: Escape to Cozy Comfort

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