Gram’s Vintage Flowers Illusion Table Runner©

I have a vintage textile that I use as coffee table-cloth.  It’s done in dark woolen yarns.  One day last week, I was sitting in the living room, knitting on a shawl, when I glanced at the coffee table-cloth and wondered whether I could convert it to an Illusion-style knit design and get a similar result.

As I tend to do, I made a smaller piece for practice.  You can find the face cloth and the PDF file for the knit pattern in my previous post.

With the completion of my Gram’s Vintage Flowers Illusion Face Cloth© sample, I went to work on converting the pattern to a larger piece.  I’m fond of table runners in my dining room because I like to see the wood on the table, and yet have some color at the same time.

Most of the design work was done when I finished the face cloth, so with a few minor changes to dimensions and colors, I really just needed to get knitting.  That’s the fun part anyway!

Here’s a photo of my vintage flower textile so you can see what I was aiming at:


And here’s a photo of what I came up with after converting it to an Illusion-style design:

Of course, the flowers disappear when you change your viewing angle to 90 degrees.

I like it.  Viewed from the side, it has a sort of Hispanic look to it, don’t you think?

Here’s the link for the PDF file for the pattern:  Grams Vintage Flowers Illusion Knit Table Runner   NOTE:  Thank you for your patience with the link problem.  I don’t know how it got unlinked, but it’s working again.

I realize there are quite a few different colors required for this project as the pattern is written and it can get costly, however, it was my goal to emulate the vintage textile, so I see it as a necessary pleasure!  To reduce the cost, it could be knit in as few as two colors: with one for the background and one for the flowers.  Lots of possibilities, really.

Happy knitting!


  1. 1
    Tammy Says:

    This is a lovely pattern, and I looked for errata without success, but there is a mistake in the written pattern which keeps it from actually working. Row 10 should be P2 K1 P2 K5 instead of P2 K1 P1 K5. Makes a big difference! Unfortunately you don’t realize it’s not working until you’ve been knitting on it for a while!

  2. 2

    Tammy: You are absolutely right! There is an error in row ten. I’m sorry for the inconvenience it caused you. There was no errata because I didn’t knot of the typo. I will fix the pattern straightaway and also add an errata to the post for anyone who has already downloaded the pattern. G.G.

  3. I’ve never heard of “illusions knitting”, and can’t wait to start! I’m going to start small at first and will do your rain drops on the face cloth… I love what you’ve done with the table runner, too! (I actually like it better than the vintage flower textile) Thank you for posting your free patterns :)

  4. 4

    Hello Jolene,
    I hadn’t heard of Illusion (or Shadow)knitting for most of the years I was knitting, either. But on a trip to a library several years ago, I spotted a book in the craft section about the Illusion style. Since I had never heard of the technique, I picked up the book and it right there in the library. It made me giggle with excitement to learn something new. It’s so clever!

    I’m glad to know you are starting small. That’s what I do. Most of the things I come up with start as a face cloth first because the size isn’t daunting – for either the knitting end or the designing end.

    I like the drops of water cloth, so I hope you do too. You’ll notice that Illusion knitting can tend to curl, but I’ll leave the edging up to you.

    You’re welcome for the free patterns. I’m not using this blog to sell anything. I want to give back to the digital community because I have benefitted immensly from what others have given freely. And since I’m giving them all freely, I can be kinder to myself for the typos that seem to plague me when I knit the patterns. But if you run into trouble, let me know. Good luck!

  5. 5
    jan Says:

    Thanks for this beautiful pattern. I have purchased lots of beautiful yarn and have started it, but can’t seem to notice the flowers (just up to the 20-something row. Are they just three rows of color against the background, and will take more form as I move along? Yours looks puffier, somehow. I do think I am doing it correctly. It’s an easy pattern for such a loveloy result. Thanks again…another Grandma..knitting 65+ years !

  6. 6

    Hello Jan,
    You are welcome for the pattern.
    I’m wondering if you are 1) looking at the back/wrong side of the knitted piece, or 2) if you are looking at the right/front side, btu maybe looking straight at your knitting – trying to spot the flowers as you knit.
    Those are the two most common struggles with seeing the flowers. Illusion/Shadow knitting is generally not visible when viewed straight on. But if you set your work down on a flat surface right side up and step back several feet, you should be able to see them show up.
    Just last week someone contacted me with the same problem and for that knitter, it was just a matter of knowing how to look at the knitting.
    Sometimes Illusion/Shadow images are designed to be viewed from one side or the other. Others are designed to be viewed from either the top or bottom – looking at an obtuse angle.
    Before I knit the table runner, I knit a face cloth to get the design right. Here is the link to the page for the ace cloth. On that page, I have a photo of the wrong/back side of the cloth. I’m hoping your wrong side looks somthing like that one.
    Two additional things: 1) Mine looks puffier from the right/front side, and 2) you might not spot the flowers this early in the knitting if you are looking at the back side, because Illusion images are reversed in color and orientation on the wrong side.
    WIll you let me know if this helps you spot the flowers, please?

  7. 7
    Fatima Says:

    Very impressive, Well done. At first I thought it was crochet untill I read more I realised it was knitting,what a great work just beautiful. I hope to be able to work out the pattern as this is my weak side of knitting to undrestand the abbreviations. I’m going to try.

    Thanks for sharing,

  8. 8

    Fatima: Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. If you have any problems with knitting the table runner, let me know. I can help with abbreviations.

  9. 9
    Jan G Says:

    Beautiful! can’t wait to get started. The needle size is quite small. I want to make this as a scarf. Could I use a larger needle, making it less dense, or would I lose the illusion that way? In other words, does it have to be that dense for the illusion to work?

  10. 10

    Jan: I’ve made Illusion scarves in worsted weight wools on size #8(US) needles and the Illusions worked just fine. Happy knitting!

  11. 11
    Jan G Says:

    Great! Thanks!

  12. Hello knitter, AND YOU REALLY ARE A KNITTER coming up with this masterpiece
    that can be styled and knitted as one desires…as you’ve displayed, they are
    unique and just fabulous…I simply MUST try this one on…Bless you for your
    generosity in sharing.

  13. 13

    Hello Jacqueline: Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment about this vintage-looking runner. I’m glad you like it. I hope you enjoy the process.of knitting it. WIth as many colos as I used, I had a lot of finishing work with all the ends, but it was worth it.

  14. 14
    Elizabeth Luedecker Says:

    rows l93-104 is this an error

  15. 15

    Elizabeth: Looks like numerical typo. It should read 193-204 and then the following two rows should be 205 and 206. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I don’t have my knitting flash drive with me right now, but I will fix the error in the pdf as soon as I get a moment and then upload the corrected version. Thanks again!

  16. 16
    RachaelFaye Says:

    The link I see is for an Advent candle table runner instead of the flowers. Am I missing something?

  17. 17
    RachaelFaye Says:

    Wrong email address before. This one is right. :)

  18. 18
    Peg Says:

    Good Morning! I love your flowers runner! I have knit for years and I have never heard of this type of knitting. I do think that years back I saw something like this and wondered if it were machine made. I would love to make the flowers runners but the PDF is for a different one.
    If I were to use the face cloth how would you go about enlarging it or is there an actual PDF of the flowers one?
    Thank you for your generous soul :)

  19. 19
    Paula Says:

    I would like to print the directions for the flower table runner but the link for getting them doesn’t work. Can anyone help me?

  20. 20

    Peg: There is an actual pattern for the runner so you won’t have to try to use the face cloth pattern. I will fix the link problem as soon as I can. I sent you an email to explain why there will be a delay of a few days.

  21. 21

    Hello Paula: Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I see that link included in this post is for a different pattern. I apologize for that. I will fix the link as soon as I can. I sent you an email to explain why it may take me a few days. Thank you for your patience.

  22. 22

    Hello RachaelFaye: No you are not missing something. I’m not sure how or when the wrong link got uploaded, but since this is my blog, I am quite certain the fault is mine. I will fix the problem as sson as I can. I sent you an email to explain why it may take a few days. I did remove the incorrect link and wrote an editor’s note in it’s place. Thank you for your patience. I don’t have my knitting flash drive with me.

  23. 23
    Paula Boal Says:

    Thanks for getting back to me. I understand your family comes first so get back to me you have time. Sincerely, Paula

  24. 24

    Paula: The pattern link has been uploaded. I sent you an email as well. Thanks for understanding about my family. I was able to find the pattern in my WordPress media library and get make it available more quickly since I am still not at home.

  25. 25
    Peg Says:

    I downloaded the pattern GG thank you so much for taking the time at a time that is hard for you and your family. Peace to you and many thanks :) I really like your blog and will stop by now and then for a visit. Take care.

  26. 26
    Windows live Says:

    I cannot download the pattern and I think it is absolutely beautiful. Is it possible for you to send me a link when you get a minute? Thank you so much and God bless

  27. 27

    Hello: I have resolved the link problem. I did not know the link had been broken. I tried to send you an email with the pattern pdf attachment, but now I have issues with my email. Thanks for your patience. You should still be able to get the pattern from the blog post.

  28. 28
    June Higgins Says:

    A few minutes ago, I said I couldn’t get the download of the pattern, but I finally did get it! I was trying on a different page of your blog. Somehow I got back to this page, and the link in the middle of this page DOES work. Thank you!!

  29. 29

    June: I am glad you were finally able to get the pdf. Thank you for letting me know. Best wishes.

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