WWW: YO, YFWD, YRN, oh my! On codes and coding.

I hope everyone is enjoying all the excellent knitting-appropriate TV that the Winter Games provides… I have a bit of a weakness for all the figure skating/ice dancing events. I adore the artistry and athleticism, yes, but also the silly music, the slight frisson of scandal (score fixing?!) and the fantastic overuse of sequins… The Olympics this year have caused much debate, controversy and concern because of host country Russia’s stated policies towards members of the LGBT community. Friend of Knitty Bristol Ivy kicked off an initiative to give back. She decided to donate a portion of her sales proceeds during the run of the games to a human rights organization that supports those in that community. Other designers have joined her. More details here.

Not quite like this… (a still from a 1958 film adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities.)

An urban legend, confirmed… knitting has been used at least once as a code, to record information. Apparently, during WWII, the Belgian resistance recruited women whose windows overlooked railway yards to record the trains in their knitting. I do also adore the tid-bit that the British Office of Censorship banned people from sending knitting patterns through the mail in case they contained coded messages. It makes me want to design knits that contain hidden messages.

For lace knitters, knitting historians and those interested in the technical details: a fantastic discussion kicked up yesterday on Twitter between Susan Crawford, Knitty columnist Donna Druchunas and some others about historical lace patterns and the various ways to represent the yarnover stitch. Both Susan and Donna have blogged about it. I agree with them that the modern catch-all instruction “yarnover” isn’t ideal, as it loses some of the finer detail about how to actually work it in various situations.

Lots of lovely eye-candy: the Twitter account @HistoryNeedsYou has been tweeting an awful lot of knitting-related pictures of late. I think this one is my favorite.

Helping hands.

Knitter Rita Gallant has been named a “Caring Canadian” by Governor General David Johnston, to recognize her work over the past 28 years making and donating baby clothes to hospitals. She has made donations all over North America, and also sold her handwork to raise funds to support the care of premature and at-need babies.

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3 thoughts on “WWW: YO, YFWD, YRN, oh my! On codes and coding.

  1. mel

    I recall hearing that the reason the knits for the soldiers were so plain was to prevent messages being relayed through knit & purl like Morse Code.

  2. Tammy

    I love the idea of hidden messages in knitting! Thanks for the history info. I may try this at some time – seeing how designs appear based on a code.

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