Illusion Knit Shawl - PDF pattern - Praying Hands

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Made in Colne, United Kingdom

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When you look directly at illusion knitting you see only stripes. When you look from an angle the hidden picture is revealed.

This pattern has instructions for making a shawl or a wall-hanging. Alternatively, you could make the shawl and hang it on the wall when you are not wearing it. One of the photos shows the shawl hanging on the wall.

This illusion is based on a drawing by Albrecht Dürer. It is commonly known as The Praying Hands but is also known as Hands of the Apostle. The original drawing was a preparatory sketch, nearly five hundred years ago, for a painting on an altarpiece which was later destroyed in a fire. It was on blue paper, which is why we chose blue for the shawl.

The image is often seen in the form of an engraving which is why we chose copper colours for the wall-hanging.

The versions shown in the photos were made in Double Knitting (DK) yarns. You could use other yarns but this would change the overall size. The shawl is about 140 cm (56”) wide and 70 cm (28”) deep excluding the edging. The wall-hanging is about 48 cm (19”) wide and 70 cm (28”) high.

Some of the photos show what you see when you look straight at the knitting.

Illusion knitting (which is also known as shadow knitting) is very easy. It uses one yarn at a time and only basic knit and purl stitches.


Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth are world experts in Illusion Knitting.


September 2013: All illusion patterns now include an extra chart intended for tablet users but others may also find them helpful. You can view 20 ridges at a time and always be able to see the numbers across the bottom of the chart. Never lose your place again!



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