This illusion has probably taken longer to create than any other. It is based on the iconic image from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody video. In one way the charting was difficult because the faces are in deep shadow and trying to make them appear and disappear in illusion knitting was very challenging. On the other hand there are quite large areas of the canvas that are nothing but black so these parts were easy.
It is always very difficult to photograph illusion knitting and this one is particularly difficult. At first glance you might think these are just black squares. Look directly from in front and you see narrow stripes. When you look from the side the ethereal image appears. Scroll down for a moving image.
Steve designed it before Christmas and started to knit it, using our favourite Stylecraft DK yarn in Graphite and Silver. Then life took over and he knew he wouldn’t be able to finish it for a long time. We pulled it undone and I did it again. It was finished in mid-March. It was even mounted and photographed. We then decided it wasn’t good enough. We usually avoid using black for illusions because it is just too stark but sometimes only black will really do.
Under normal circumstances I would have kept the original and started again but that was going to be tricky during lockdown. As a ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ person I was not going out even before the ‘shielding’ process came into effect. I could have used mail order but that might have taken a long time and I had already decided that now would be a good time to start using up our yarn mountain.
I thought I could probably find enough black, of a different make, but it turned out that I already had enough black Stylecraft. The lighter colour was more of a problem because we had nothing else suitable to give the right effect. I could have done it using 4 ply black with either white, or parchment but neither of these was quite right. The only solution was to pull undone the finished piece and use the silver colour I used before. I knitted one of the faces as a small sample. It seemed to work so I cast on 161 stitches and knitted a few rows.
It is very rare that I start a new project without finishing the old one but I did leave this for a few days to make Don’t Panic. When I picked it up again I knitted six more ridges before I realised that I had not done the edges correctly. I pulled it undone and started again.