Tescherae by Meredith Wills


December 2017
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in Double-knit
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
1000 - 1200 yards (914 - 1097 m)
One size (64 inches x 6 inches)
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This pattern is available for free.

ADDENDUM: This pattern is now also available in Swedish at https://strikkeglad.dk/13042/optisk-illusion/.

Tescherae brings together a number of seemingly unrelated elements: the art of M.C. Escher, color-graduated yarn, and my background in astrophysics. I love Escher’s work, especially the optical illusions he creates through a creative use of math and geometry. My favorites are his morphing tessellations—pieces like Liberation or Sky and Water—where one recognizable pattern changes gradually into another.

For this pattern, I decided to create a double-knit scarf using my own morphing tessellation. In true Escher-ian style, I took a diamond, turned it into a galactic spiral, and then changed it back into a diamond with the opposite color scheme. However, because Escher is all about optical illusions, I chose to kick it up a notch by using color-graduated yarn…and not just any combination of color-graduated yarn. I took the SAME colorway, offset it slightly, and used it for both Colors 1 and 2.

Depending on the color combination of the moment, the foreground and background patterns seem to change—an effect only intensified by the fact that occasionally the two colorways “pass through“ each other, reversing the foreground and background colors in the process. And because it’s double-knit, the concepts of “front” and “back“ go away. If any creation is greater than the sum of its parts, it’s Tescherae.

Yes, you can make this scarf using two solid colors; because of the morphing tessellations, it will still be amazing and beautiful. However, I encourage you to try using a single offset colorway. The result is a truly remarkable optical illusion derived from a reasonably straightforward double-knit pattern.


34 sts/44 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch


  • Yarn Needle
  • Removable stitch marker
  • Paper clip
  • Stitch markers (if desired)