Shadow Knitting Reviews

Shadow Knitting

  • Used Book in Good Condition

The mysteries of shadow knitting–a simple technique of alternating rows of dark and light yarn to produce a subtle patterning that appears and disappears depending on the angle from which it is viewed–are explored and refined here by a professional knitwear designer. The basic principles and techniques of shadow knitting are introduced through clear, well-illustrated instructions and are followed by spectacular projects that include winged shawls, squared bags, a matching cap and scarf, vests,

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3 Comments/Reviews

  • Joanna Daneman says:
    107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Shadow knitting– make magic with color in simple stitches, January 3, 2005
    Joanna Daneman (USA) –
    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Shadow Knitting (Paperback)
    Vivian Hoxbro, a Danish knit designer, has uncovered a type of knitting using simple garter stitch that reveals eye-teasing pattern and color when you use several shades of yarns. Yet you only use one color at a time–no color changing per row.

    As you knit the alternating rows of dark and light yarns, you produce a pattern that is almost an optical illusion–depending on the angle you look at the knit piece, it may appear strongly patterned–or absolutely single toned. The yarns used are shetland-weight in wonderful colors. You can find these yarns in the US, as Mrs. Hoxbro has contracted with an American manufacturer to make them for her. Sources of these yarns, and substitutes to be found in Europe are included in the back of the book.

    The rules of Shadow Knitting are:

    1. You always use at least 2 colors of yarn.

    2. Only one color is used at a time

    3. You alternate two rows of dark knitting with 2 rows of light knitting.

    4. You use knit and purl stitches only

    5. Wrong side rows use the same color as the previous row. The stitches are knitted or purled as per a chart.

    There are a lot of good illustrations and of course projects including shawls, pullovers, Hoxbro’s favorite dolman sleeve tops, jackets, vest, kids’ wear, bags and decor items like pillows.

    “Domino Knitting” was Hoxbro’s previous book about a modular knitting technique. When “Dominos” was translated from Danish to English, the publisher put it into a small format. This time, “Shadow Knitting” is published in a bigger sized book–meaning the pictures and diagrams are large and easier to read. This is IMPORTANT–the diagrams of where to change from knit to purl are vital to the design and you want to see this clearly in the chart. But as before, you can enjoy Mrs. Hoxbro’s fabulous sense of color. You should swatch some of the designs as they live and breath as no picture can portray in a book.

    Still puzzled by “Shadow Knitting” after trying it out? Ms. Hoxbro does give workshops in the US from time to time–her website is which will give you access to a newsletter of her schedule and bright examples of her knitting designs from the books.


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  • Diana says:
    62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not all it could be, June 22, 2005
    Diana (TX, USA) –

    This review is from: Shadow Knitting (Paperback)
    If you’re looking to get into shadow/illusion knitting, this is, as far as I know, the most comprehensive book out there, and worth the price. Other books only offer very short “instruction” on it, which tends to eliminate necessary things like gauge, yarn content & needle selection.

    This book is also chock full of beautiful colour photographs. And most (although, unfortunately not all) of them include shots from at least two angles, enabling the reader/knitter to see how the pattern should look from both angles, which can make the knitting of the item easier.

    On the other hand, there is ZERO information on how to create your own patterns. Also, Høxbro has a tiring predilection for very geometric patterns, and this technique lends itself to so much more elaborate patterns than that. Annoyingly, everything seems to be in a “four row” pattern, and there are other options, which is given almost no mention.

    While I’m glad I bought the book, and it’s currently the most comprehensive widely available book, for the “expert” on the craft to issue such a woefully incomplete reference, especially after such a long delay, is terribly disappointing.


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  • celiviel says:
    73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Back to the drawing board, January 19, 2005
    celiviel (planet somewhere) –

    This review is from: Shadow Knitting (Paperback)
    The adult sweater patterns in this book are completely disappointing. I agree completely with the reviewer who referred to “Cosby sweaters”. The styles are so 80s, I had to check the copyright date on the book to convince myself it had been published recently. All of the garments are in big, boxy styles with large geometric shapes. The narrow striping needed to create the illusion makes all of the patterns very busy. As an adult woman who prefers simple, classic, and slightly fitted designs, I would never wear any of the sweaters from this book. Or carry either of the bags, for that matter. However, there are two children’s sweater patterns in the book that look cute.

    I’ve never bought any other book by this author so I’m not sure if the disappointing designs are due to the limitations of the technique (e.g. does shadow knitting work best if you’re knitting something rectangular?) or the knitwear designers.

    The shawls/scarf and the pillows seem to come closest to finding a balance between showing off the technique and making something pretty. I wish there had been something more along the lines of the Alien Illusion Scarf in Stitch n’ Bitch. Not all shadow knitting needs to be done with geometric shapes!

    The section on how to produce the shadow knitting effect is pretty clear. I feel like I can go ahead and chart my own illusion design, even if there are no explicit instructions on how you might do that. I really don’t know if buying the whole book was worth it in the end though.


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