Knitting as Espionage

I just came across this article and found it fascinating.The article was written by Nancy Zarrelli in Atlasobscura.com, 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 Gannetdesigns.com 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.

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