This is my first illusion knit. I used the photo at bottom left to create the pattern, following the guidance on the Woolly Thoughts World of Illusion Knitting site and the very kind and helpful advice of Steve Plummer. I used iDraw on my iPad (in addition to several image processing apps to work on the photo before beginning the pattern). I also very much appreciate the .svg gridded template that Steve sent me. I think I might be able to make my own template now, but when I was starting the pattern I had never done any vector drawing before and was really struggling to get going. His template and the pattern he began for me really helped, though I eventually changed the scale a bit and reworked it.
I made this piece on my Bond knitting machine, simply knitting every row and then manually reforming stitches as necessary (every stitch that is not white=purl) on the second row of each ridge only. This sounds slow, but it gets faster with practice. You make up for the slowness of the manual reforming in the all-knit rows that just zip by!
The other advantages I found in using the Bond are
1) the knitting is extremely even
2) I can deliberately use and control a tight gauge …both of which benefit the visibility of the illusion, and
3) for me it is visually easier to work from an illusion pattern on the machine (you can pull out the needles to be reformed on one row all at one time, then don’t have to look at the pattern again for that row) than it would be to keep track while hand knitting.
I found that I absolutely loved doing this, from the first step of building the pattern to the final mounting. I hope to do many more illusion pieces, and have several ideas in progress right now (including a very special one for my younger daughter). I would love to be in contact with any other knitters who are interested in the odd combination of hand and machine techniques required to make illusions on a simple machine like the Bond.