Trompe L'Oeil knitting patterns that fool the eye. Many of the patterns are free. Updated 8/23/23
To get the knitting patterns, scroll down the page to the individual pattern you want and click on the link to that pattern.
These patterns are not my designs but links to other designers who have generously shared their patterns. If you have questions about how to knit a specific pattern, please contact the designer directly.
All links on this site are for informational purposes, but please note that some links are to affiliate sellers that pay me a small commission on purchases.
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Double Up Cable Collar Scarf
Get the look of wearing a beautiful cable knit sweater beneath your coat without the bulk with this collared scarf! Perfect for transitional weather, this scarf features a panel of 6 row repeat horseshoe cables topped with a cozy double-thick ribbed turtleneck. Bulky weight yarn. Designed by Emily Berney
One Fish, Two Fish Socks
Socks with a tessellating fish pattern in two colors. Both adult and child sizes are included. These socks feature the Sweet Tomato Heel, allowing the colorwork design to continue uninterrupted through the instep. Option for a secret pocket. Fingering weight yarn. Designed by Deborah Tomasello
Baby Hat and Slippers
Baby slippers that are knit to look like socks and baby shoes but it is really all one bootee. Matching baby hat. Both hat and slippers are knit flat. DK weight yarn. Designed by Mary Maxim. May only be free for a limited time.
- Get the free knitting pattern
- Get the recommended Mary Maxim Babys Best yarn
- See more Baby Bootees Knitting Patterns
Cat and Mouse Hat
See the mice? See the cats lying in wait, ready to pounce on their prey? This hat's graphic pattern hides a scene a plain sight. Both adult and child sizes are included. Fingering weight yarn. Designed by Deborah Tomasello
DO IT Dishcloth
This statement dishcloth features the letters D O with I T forming the spaces in the letters to form the inspirational or motivational message DO IT in slipped stitch mosaic colorwork. Can also be used as afghan block or for other projects. Designed by Silke R. Available in English and German
Theo Jeans Jacket
The classic denim jacket interpreted in a knit child sized cardigan that's much more comfortable for little ones while still looking like denim. Sizes 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) years. Sport weight yarn. Designed by Linda Gäßler for I Like Knitting. Note chart links are at bottom of right sidebar.
- Get the free knitting pattern
- Direct link to charts location (Chrome browser)
- See more Child Cardigan Knitting Patterns
3D Blocks Throw
Blanket with Kaffe Fassett's unique colorwork style that creates a 3D effect. Completed throw uses 15 colors so it is a great stashbuster. Designed by Kaffe Fassett. Pictured project by Howsoonisnow
- Get the free knitting pattern on the Internet archive
- See the Ravelry page
- See more Geometric Blanket Knitting Patterns
Flying Dutchman Socks
Striped sock inspired by the ghostly ship cursed to wander the seas forever without rest. The pattern motif is hidden in the stripes of the sock, but if you look closely, you can see it – the faint, ghostly apparition of a ship on the waves. Designed by Caoua Coffee. Pictured project by TanteEmm
Three dimensional look dishcloth or afghan block with a v shape or wedge shape that seems to come out of the cloth thanks to a clever placement of lines. Designed by Nicis Strickstube. Available in English and German
Fascinating, mitered squares blanket with a cool, 3D effect that gives dimension and visual intrigue no matter where it's displayed. Designed by Nicole Winer. Worsted weight yarn.
More Free Patterns
In this pullover tunic sweater, the stranded triangles begin dominantly black and transition like magic to white. To further the triangular motif, textured triangles are scattered across the upper part of body and sleeves. Sizes XS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X). Designed by Amy Gunderson for Knitty. DK weight yarn.
Stack Up Blocks Blanket
Afghan knit in a tumbling blocks stitch pattern that gives a 3-dimensional look in only knit and purl stitches. Written instructions or chart. Aran weight yarn. Designed by Bernat for Joanns.
- Get the free knitting pattern- web version
- Get the free knitting pattern- pdf
- Get the recommended Caron® One Pound yarn
Schiaparelli Bowknot Sweater
This modern pullover is a re-creation of designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous trompe l’oile Bowknot Sweater from her November 1927 collection. Designed by Lisa Stockebrand. Fingering weight yarn. Pictured project by lafemmekatinka who used intarsia for the bow.
Stegner Cabled Sweater
This long-sleeved pullover features a cool faux layering double sleeve detail - the long sleeve is knit in a contrast colour and sewn into the cap sleeve. There are so many gorgeous details in this sweater including cable running down the back and a moss stitch diamond design on the upper sleeve. Sizes 36.5/40/45.25/50/55.25" finished bust. Designed by Stephanie Earp. Worsted weight yarn.
Optical Illusion Cloth
Inspired by the traditional Tumbling Blocks quilt pattern, this pattern creates a cloth or potholder that looks like a 3D cube. Designed by Barbara Breiter. Pictured project by Imara. Gauge is very important to make sure the paralleograms create the right shape.
Tumbling Blocks Afghan Throw
This blanket design gives the illusion of 3 dimensional cubes. Variations listed at Ravelry for fewer colors or larger blocks.
Shadow Magic Pillow
This cushion cover is created from mitered magic squares with their own shadow so that the colors seem to float above the surface. Designed by Frankie Brown. Less than 10g of each of the bright colors is used to knit a cushion so this is a good project for using up small amounts of yarn.
Patterns for Purchase
Bella the Cat Afghan
Throw with a colorful design that is actually a cat silhouette reversed in the different halves. Finished size: 40 1/2" wide x 50 1/2" long. Worsted weight yarn. Design by Britt Schmiesing for Annie’s Signature Designs.
Bear Baby Blanket and Teddy Bear Toy
Baby blanket with designed to look like a teddy bear tucked in and a matching knit teddy bear toy. DK weight yarn. Baby Blankets and Teddy Bear Toy in King Cole Comfort DK and Truffle (4005).
Tumbling Blocks Cowl
Colorful cowl knit with an intarsia tumbling block design that has a 3D look. Inside is a solid color so you can roll to form a contrasting collar. Perfect for stashbusting and using up leftover scraps of fingering weight yarn. Designed by Vanessa Ewing
Cat V-Neck Sweater
Pullover sweater featuring tessallated cats, worked in fair isle knit with fitted side shaping. Sizes 32 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54) inches, or 80 (86, 95, 107, 117, 124, 135) centimeters. Sport weight yarn. Designed by Kate Bellando
I Love Sheep and Heart of Hearts Pillows
Pillow cushions with designs created from hearts including a sheep creating from hearts and a large heart created from smaller hearts. Great stashbuster. Designed by Denny Gould for KnitDesigns
- Get the I Love Sheep Pillow knitting pattern at Etsy
- Get the Heart of Hearts Pillow knitting pattern at Etsy
Sailor and First Mate Sweaters
Sailor sweaters for adults and babies with a trompe l'oeil bow knit into the front and classic naval stars and stripes on the back. Adult sizes Small (32-34” bust) Medium (34-36” bust), and Large (36-38” bust). Baby/Toddler sizes 18 mos, 2T, 3T, 4T. Designed by Kate Bellando
Balanced Symmetry Blanket
Stunning modern geometric design looks like diamonds or squares depending on what angle you look at it. Quick knit in chunky yarn. Size 48” x 68” approximately. Designed by MaDonna Marie
A New Angle
3D illustion for an afghan blanket or wall hanging.
Fibo-optic Afghan / Wall Hanging
Fibo-optic uses the Fibonacci Sequence in two directions, in each of the three dimensions, to give the illusion of a large flying cube.
This design by woollythoughts is nowhere near as complicated to make as you may think. If you can knit garter stitch, you can do it.
Optical illusion blanket knit with illusion knitting. There are never more than 20 stitches on the needles at any time. Most of the joining is done as you go but there are a few small seams left to be stitched.