Knitting in Code

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 12:00to13:00
McLennan Library Building Rare Books and Special Collections, McLennan Library Building 4th floor, 3459 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C9, CA
McGill students knitting and studying.

Virtual event description:  

Codebreakers have recently infiltrated the public imagination of wartime efforts – but what about code-makers? In this lecture, historian and knitter Kristen Howard will explore the role played by knitting in wartime codes and correspondence, from providing a “cover” for women spies in WWII to the use of knitting to disguise or amplify messages. Case studies will include the French Revolution, American Revolutionary War, and the World Wars.

Kristen will also present a new knitting pattern incorporating both Morse Code and illusion knitting – another method of hiding secret messages in stitches – to demonstrate how knitting can be used today as a form of coded correspondence. The pattern relies on cleverly combining simple knit and purl stitches to incorporate your chosen message. Can you crack the code?

Click here to watch the event on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ubo-MnEH0LA

No donation is required, but should you choose to donate, your gift supports the work and programming of the McGill Library.

About the Speaker:

Kristen C. Howard is a historian, knitter, and Master of Information Studies student at McGill University. She completed a PhD in History from the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at the University of Arizona in 2020. She currently studies library and archival sciences, and is interested in animating special collections through public history and creative projects.



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