[This post has been inspired by the start of my third shadow knitting project, the Counterpoint scarf.]
So yes that is right, I am going to illustrate a knitting concept with Legos.
If you are new to shadow, or illusion knitting and can't get your head around the idea, let's have a look at recreating the effect with legos.
The basics: If you were just knitting an empty (non-charted background) in a shadow pattern, you would be using two colors, say white and black, and changing between these colors every second row.
For one of the colors, say white, you'd knit the first row and purl the second, creating a tiny strip of stockinette. For the second color, in this case black, you would knit the first row and knit the second, creating a strip of garter.
We know that stockinette creates a much flatter fabric than garter, so the black strips would look raised compared to white. Here's what it would look in lego form (1 row of lego blocks equals either 2 rows of white in stockinette or 2 rows of black in garter)
Now, looking at this lego formation from above, we would simply see a striped pattern. Looking at it from an angle, the white disappears and you get a sea of black:
Hope you can now see how to throw in a design in there. Here is a simple diamond: In an area we want to see white, we first knit a black section in stockinette so that it is lowered, and the corresponding section in the next white strip is knit in garter so that it is now raised:
Once again, from above you just see stripes, but looking at the stitches horizontally, a diamond appears:
Hope this makes it a bit more visual: You may now be able to see why some shadow knitting patterns simply provide the chart and then say that each row on the chart actually represents 4 rows of knitting. You need four rows to properly lower and raise your foreground and background colors.
Legos - they're not just for kids :)