One of my best so far, I think. Working on this scarf has really gotten me thinking about ways to transform well known optical illusions into something unique and wearable. The tricky bit is how much effort it takes to keep control of the multiple yarn colors. I enjoy color work but I suspect the reason people haven't made a bunch of stuff like this is that the level of color work needed is vast and therefore annoying. I agree, it is massively annoying. But, if you can survive it, the end product is worth it. Perhaps somewhere along the line I'll create a better way to handle the multiple strands so they get less tangled without having to keep cutting the yarn. For that, though, I suspect if it could be done someone would have done it already. But you never know, I've got a method for color work in double crochet that I've never seen or heard of anyone else using. Granted, that doesn't mean much as I'm sure there are tons of things I've never heard of out there. It doesn't change the usefulness of the method, though. Don't worry, I'll share. I've not used that particular method in a while but I'm sure I'll come up with something that uses it. (-:
A few things to know, this is another like the Tim scarf; a little patience and a handful of stitch markers go a long way. This is not a mile a minute project. It takes some serious time to make each motif. I was averaging one motif in 20 minutes. Did I mention it's only a 4 round motif? This beast takes some serious concentration. If you aren't sure you're dedicated or patient enough to make the full scarf you could easily re-purpose the motifs for things like coasters, ornaments, or a small wall hanging. If you try the coaster route you may want to add a solid color round for edging and to make it a little bigger. Unlike the Tim scarf though, the truly masochistic crafter could, if they wanted, make this one into an afghan (it won't work with the spiral motifs from Tim; pentagons don't work for a flat piece without extra bits). I am seriously considering doing just that but I'm not sure I could make that many of these motifs without losing what's left of my mind. But doesn't it look neat?
The other important thing to keep in mind with this pattern is how you handle the multiple colors of yarn. To save you the trouble of trying it, I took a picture of what the back of the work looks like if you carry the yarn along as you go versus the front and back of a piece worked with the colors being broken off as you go.
|Motif with carried yarn. It looks disappointing to me, wouldn't you agree?|
There really is no comparison. You can carry the colors, but your scarf will not be truly reversible. But enough of my rambling, I know you're all eagerly awaiting the pattern.
Optical Illusion Cubes Scarf
Vanna's choice in three colors, about 105 yards each (that's a bit less than a full ball). I used White (A), Blue (B), and Purple (C)
6 stitch markers (this project is like the Tim scarf, stitch markers are really super necessary)
Each motif should measure about 3 inches across.
You need to know how to change colors of yarn for this. The color work is a bit of a pain, what with breaking the yarn repeatedly and weaving the multitude of ends, but makes it look really nice and keeps it fully reversible. See the pictures above for reference.
Break the yarn after each color change and don't carry the tail forward under the next color. You'll weave the ends back into the same color so there is no cross contamination in any of the sections. This will keep the scarf fully reversible.
Optical Cube Pattern
With A ch2,
Round 1: Work 2 sc in the first chain, change to B and work 2 sc, change to C and work 2 sc
Round 2: Continuing in C work 1 sc in the first A sc (you will see the chain from the previous row, skip it and work only in the sc sts), change to A, ch 1, PM in the ch 1, sc in same space(increase made). Sc, ch1, PM in ch 1, sc in the next st (increase made). Sc in the first B sc, change to B, ch 1, PM in ch 1, sc in same space (increase made). Sc, ch1, PM in ch 1, sc in the next st (increase made). Sc in the first C sc, change to C, ch 1, PM in ch1, sc in same space (increase made). Sc, ch1, PM in ch 1, sc in the next st (increase made). Join with a slst to the final color C st and break the yarn. You'll have a total of 6 increase points with two sts between them. Move the markers up each row as you make the increases.
Before moving on to the next step I highly recommend that you weave in ends. It will help maintain the shape of the piece and prevent gaps in the work.
Round 3: Join B to the center increase in color C of round 2 (shown above). Ch 1, sc in the join and sc to the first marker (2 sc). Sc, ch1, sc in the marked st. Work in sc to the next increase point (should be the center increase of color A). 1 sc in the marked st, change to C, ch 1, sc also in the marked st. Sc to the next marker. Sc, ch 1, sc in the marked st. Work in sc to the next increase point (center increase of color B). 1 sc in the marked st, change to A, ch 1, sc in the marked st. Sc to the next marker. Sc, ch 1, sc, in the marked st. Continue sc in A to where B was joined. 1 sc in the same st as the join, then slst color A to the first sc of color B. Break yarn.
Round 4: Repeat round 3, with 4 sts between markers, and weave in ends.
Set the motifs out in the pattern shown below. Sew them together using purple on blue/purple and purple/white seams and use blue on the blue/white seams. Be mindful of the points when you sew, making sure the pieces meet as squarely as possible.