Gram’s Vintage Flowers Illusion Face Cloth©

I have been fond of vintage textiles for a long time.  One type in particular, used a lot of darker colored wools on a background of black.  I have no explanation for why I like them.  I just do. 

So I decided to challenge myself to see if I could come up with an Illusion-style knit piece that would look like an old textile.  It was a fun challenge for me.  The first round resulted in the following face cloth, which is a necessary sample before converting the design to a larger piece.

Here’s what I came up with:

The photo below shows the face cloth from an obtuse angle.  It looks like flowers and that was my goal.

Illusion-style knit designs look like stripes from a 90-degree angle and the images disappear as in the photo below.

I want to include a photo of the wrong/back side of the fabric.  In the photo below, you can see the Illusion image, but the colors are reversed from the front.

If you want to try it, here is the link to the PDF file for the pattern: Grams Vintage Flowers Illusion Face Cloth

Errata:  If you downloaded the pattern before 8/8/2011, the yarn color for line 63 was omitted and has been updated.  Thanks to the knitter who spotted the mistake. 

It’s noted in the pattern itself, but I should say here, that the vintage colorway my not be to every knitter’s liking, but the design would work for any number of colorways.  Goodnight suggested red flowers on a green background might resemble the poppy field from the Wizard of Oz movie.  She also suggested that gold on a green background would resemble the pot of marigolds I have on the dining room table.

So, I guess, pick your favorite flower and go from there.  Or knit my vintage version!

If you like the face cloth and want to see the table runner – please see my next post.

Happy knitting!



  1. 1
    Cindy Says:

    I have always wanted to try illusion knitting and now I believe I have found the perfect pattern. This is a really cool face cloth! Thank you!

  2. 2

    Hi Cindy,
    I’m glad you like the face cloth. Illusion knitting is fun. If the face cloth goes well for you, there is a table runner that looks similar. I used the face cloth as a practice piece for the table runner. The table runner pattern is free on my blog, also. Good luck and thanks for letting me know you found the pattern!

  3. 3

    I would love to post this to our blog of mostly newish knitters, who knit to send inner-city kids to summer camp through Parkdale United Church.

    I am The Editor, and do most of the teaching to the group…

    Ciao fer now!


  4. 4

    Hi Sylvia: Feel free to post it to your blog if think it has merit for your group. I hope someone tries the pattern.

  5. 5
    vicki Says:

    how can I get the firections to knit the illusion vintage flower pattern?

  6. 6
    vicki Says:


  7. 7

    Hello Vicky: Just below the photos of the Vintage Face Cloth is a link to the pdf file. It’s the one that looks underlined just below the photo. If you click on that link, it will open the prd file of the pattern. Some people do not have the capability to read pdf files on their computer, so if that’s the case for you, let me know and I will send you the file in a different format via your email address. Let me know if this helps you.
    Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

  8. 8
    Wylla German Says:

    I was fascinated by the illusion face cloth but when I try it I don’t get
    anything that looks like flower on one side. I’m following the instructions exactly. What am I doing wrong.

  9. 9

    Wylla: Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. The first thing that I will do is knit a samle using the pattern I have uploaded and see if I have an error in the pattern. You are the first person to get back to me with about a problem, so let it me check it out.

    While I do that, there are two things that I want to ask you: 1) Are you trying to look for flowers from close up at a ninety-degree angle? You won’t seet them. The Illusion style of knitting looks like stripes from the front side when viewed closely, and straigh on. To view Illusion/Shadow knitt images, the piece must be set on a flat surface and the viewer needs to step back a bit to view from an angle greater than ninety degrees. The images appear then. 2) Are you looking at the back side of the work? You won’t see the images there as they should show up on the right side of the work. The colors are reversed. These two problems are what have confounded the knitters who have contacted me. If either one of these two situations applies to you, please let me know.

    In the meanttime, I will work on my sample today and let you know if there is an error in the pattern.

    Thank you for calling attention to your struggle. I hope I can help.

  10. 10

    Wylla: Hello again. I re-knit the facecloth today, using the pattern pdf I had uploaded on my blog. Everything turned the way it was supposed to. I will wait until I hear from you in regards to the two questions I had in my previous reply to you.

    If it is at all helpful, I went pack to the original blogpost with the facecloth and added a photo of the wrong side of the facecloth for readers to see, in case they think that is supposed to be the right side.

  11. 11
    Wylla German Says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    The back of my knitting looks the same as the picture
    you show but no way can I see flowers. You used a black background and I used a tan. Maybe I will start over and use the darker yarn. Your picture shows 4, then 3, then 4,
    then 3, then 4 flowers. My front side has the colors going all across the cloth. I know I should be able to figure this out and I feel like a dummy.

  12. 12

    Wylla: Please don’t feel like a dummy. Let’s see if we can figure it all out. You said the front of your piece shows the colors going all across the cloth. They are supposed to. Does your piece look like my second photo? It will look like stripes. But . . . the stitches that you purled on the back/wrong side will be bumps on the front/right side of the cloth. Have you put the cloth down on a table and just walked away from it – say five feet or so, and then looked at it from an angle. That’s when the Illusion image shows up. In my photo where the flowers are visilbe, I was standing several feet away from the cloth to take the shot. That’s how Illusion knitting works. It looks like stripes until viewed from just the right angle.

    If the back of your knitting looks like tha back of my knitting, then we are on the right track and maybe it’s just a viewing problem.

  13. 13
    Wylla German Says:

    I appreciate your patience with me. First of all I didn’t think you had an error in your pattern—I figured it is something I’m doing or not doing.

    What I want to say is that–how do you get the flowers to show up as
    4, 3, 4, 3, 4.? I have a brain block somewhere—I’m going to start all over again, read carefully and see what happens. I’ll let you know. I’m determined.

  14. 14

    Wylla: Thanks for thinking that there wasn’t a error in my pattern. That’s very kind. But by nature, I try not to assume the mistake is someone else’s. I try to check on my end of things, too. I’m not the best typist and wouldn’t have been surprised at an error on my part – try as I might. Good thing you didn’t start with the table runner that uses the same design!!!

    Rows 1-14 should provide a resulting row of four flowers and rows 15-26 should provide a resulting row of three flowers. So knitting rows 1-16 twice and then rows 1-14 once again would be how I got 4, 3, 4, 3, 4.

    I like that you are determined, though. Please feel free to keep me posted. You have me curious.

  15. 15
    Wylla German Says:

    Hi Goodnightgram:

    I did it!! I started over and used black as color A and I can now see
    the flowers. I finally got the right angle to look at them. I love it.
    (I can even see the flowers in my lighter background now that I know
    how to look at it. I like the darker background much better.) Did you
    say you were going to have more patterns.

    Thanks again for your help.

  16. 16

    Wylla: Oh! I am so happy to hear that it worked out for you. I was getting a little worried that I was missing an error in the pattern. Knowing how to look at the finished piece is important.

    I do have more patterns. If you look at my home page and look for the Categories, there is one there called My Knit Designs. I don’t really consider myself much of a designer, but I am getting a good knack at the Illusion/Shadow style of knitting. There are a few more patterns there there. I was really trying to teach myself to design, so I facecloths are a good way to do that. Then I translated some to larger pieces like placemats or table runners. Have a look around and see what you think. But I’m really happy that you DID IT! Thanks for telling me.

  17. 17
    Wylla German Says:

    I looked at your My Knit Designs and I think I’m going to try the Star Spangled Place Mat,
    illusion style. It looks interesting. I love patriotic items.

  18. 18

    Hi Wylla: I hope that works out for you – maybe in time for Independence Day?

  19. 19
    JAney Says:

    Row 63 is missing the colour that should be used.
    It will probably be obvious when I get that far along in the pattern, but I would like to know before I start. (And maybe other people would too.)

  20. 20

    Yup! You’re right. No color listed there. Thanks for bringing it yo my attention. It should be Color A. The pdf file for the pattern has now been corrected and I also added an errata note within the blog for knitters who may have downloaded the patten before today. Thanks kindly for contacting me.

  21. 21
    JAney Says:

    The Vintage Flowers cloth is SO pretty! Thank you very much for the pattern.

    I’ve printed off the pattern even though I usually have problems with illusion patterns. (My mind does not work well with illusions.)
    I need to finish a few things before I start this illusion cloth, but I am quite looking forward to it.

  22. 22

    JAney: I hope you enjoy it whenever you have the time to get to it.

  23. 23
    bonnie Says:

    love your vintage design! thanks for posting.

  24. 24

    Bonnie: thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I”m glad you like it.

  25. 25
    Kate Says:

    As soon as I buy the needles I’m going to knit the table runner with worsted weight yarn. Am I really in need of 3mm knitting needles? How will that effect the stitches?

  26. 26

    Kate: I think that the conversion for #3(US) needles is 3.25 mm, but use the size needle you want to work with. As a general rule, I know that worsted weight yarns are worked with larger needles – as #8(US) or 5mm. However, my Vintage Flowers Illusion Face Cloth was a sample/practice piece for me to see how the flower illusion turned out before changing it into a table runner. For my table pieces, I want tighter gauges and a more firm hand to the fabric produced. That’s why I used the smaller needles. If you already have larger needles, try working part of the pattern and if you like what you see and feel and think the fabric you produce will make a nice face cloth, then don’t buy new needles for just one small project.

  27. 27
    Paulette Says:

    This is very pretty. . I love flowers. This kinda of knitting us fantastic

  28. 28

    Paulette: I’m glad you liked the flowers. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  29. 29
    June Higgins Says:

    The link to the .pdf doesn’t work now. Has the pattern been withdrawn or does the link need fixing. Would like to get this pattern and the pattern for the Illusion Table Runner. Link doesn’t work for that either.

  30. 30
    June Higgins Says:

    My apologies. I did get the .pdf after all. It downloaded to my computer, but I didn’t realize it. Just found it by accident. Will try again on the Table Runner. These patterns look like lots of fun.

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