What do you know about Crafting in Code?

I am intrigued.
Rumors have been circulating for years about women crafting in codes. I have heard stories of quilts being a code. I have read in a book about women knitting in code as the guillotine was in use.

What do you all know…or think about people crafting in code? Do you use codes in your work? Where did you find them? Did you invent them…or were they passed down?

From the little I have read…there is no physical evidence of a code existing.

Looking forward to reading your opinions.
Stay well everyone. :fk:

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about a universal code for knitting, but I have heard of people using morse code to place a message into their work. I would also think braille would lend itself to messages in knitting.

In Dickens’ novel “Tale of Two Cities” Madame DeFarge encodes the names of those to be killed in her knitting.

In WWII, the British War Office forbade the sending knitting patterns for fear they could be code. If I remember correctly, a woman with the French resistance used her knitting to track the trains (or something) in France or maybe Belgium.

It would be easy enough to knit the Morse code dots and dashes into a knitted piece - and maybe a fun thing to do for a baby blanket, but I think it would be awfully hard to read!!!

I’ve also wondered about the cumbersome prospect of knitting names, in A Tale of Two Cities… possibly it was just initials…?

For patterns, if understand correctly various different codes/ciphers were used during war efforts.
For example, numbers which would translate to letters.
Or taking every n-th letter in a written pattern, to spell out words of a message.

Some links which may be of interest…

  1. https://dustyoldthing.com/secret-knitted-wartime-codes/
  2. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/knitting-spies-wwi-wwii

Very interesting @qfknit - thanks for sharing!


Awesome articles. Thank you. :yarn: