Don’t Fear the Charts!

I am having fun in my KAL in the Fans of Knitwise Design group on Ravelry. We are knitting any Knitwise Design patterns we choose. I just finished knitting myself yet another Earbuds. I love this pattern! It is the quickest pattern ever and perfect for gifts. But it is also very practical and I wear mine all the time – even on windy Summer days here on the Maine coast. I had a bit of this beautiful Periwinkle color Berkshire Bulky (from Valley Yarns, aka WEBS) and decided it would be perfect. I love how well the pattern shows in this yarn!

While I did include line-by-line written out directions in this pattern, it is much quicker and easier to work from the chart. For that reason I have decided to use this design as the project for my “Conquer Your Fear of Knitting Charts” class that I will be teaching on September 8 at the Maine Fiber College. (You can see a description of it if you scroll down the page HERE.) If you are one of those knitters that is just getting introduced to knitting charts, or have been nervous about working from them, I suggest you check out my class. And if you are already a pro at chart reading there are many, many more wonderful fiber classes being taught at Fiber College this year. Everything from painting silk scarves to double knitting, spinning techniques, quilting, and even woodworking! Treat yourself to looking at their offerings HERE.

You can buy the Earbuds pattern on Ravlery.


Knitting as Espionage

I just came across this article and found it fascinating.The article was written by Nancy Zarrelli in, and the photo above is from that article.  Did you know that during World War II knitters served as spies, encrypting information about the enemy into their knitting, using knits and purls and dropped stitches as code?  The resistance would hire old ladies to sit and knit at train stations to track the logistics of the enemy trains. At some points in time there were actually bans on written knitting patterns in case they contained coded messages. And of course just sitting and knitting was a good way to be inconspicuous while you observed what was going on around you – and reported it!

Of course a knitting pattern really is written in code that has to be deciphered in order to unlock the information required to knit the item, but how easy to add a little extra information! There was a link in the article to a fascinating collection of posts from about encoding meaning in your knitting. What a great idea! Instead of information on enemy trains, you could use code to make a personalized wedding shawl with the date of the wedding encrypted in the lace pattern, or the name of a baby in their crib blanket. Such a fun way to design! Of course you would have to clue in the recipient to the significance because it is, after all, a code.

I encourage you to read the full article, which can be found HERE.