Sunday, February 06, 2011

Knitting Cryptology

In graduate school, I had a technology-related class that had us write a paper with a fairly open topic. The instructor wanted us to use topics of relevance and interest to us, but to examine them in a way that related to our studies. I wound up writing a paper examining the cryptology of knitting, discussing constant and context-based signs and codes that communicate patterns and methods to knitters.

If I were still writing that paper, I'd have a new experience to discuss. I found an adorable hat pattern that I wanted to knit, but the pattern was in Finnish. Google Translate provided me a rather whimsical interpretation of a knitting pattern, translating "knit" into "correctly" and "purl" into "inside out", with reference to manipulating wires and electrodes. With the assistance of an online guide to translating knitting terms, as well as careful study of the photographs, I was able to come up with a fairly good translation of the pattern, and a pretty cute hat.

1 comment:

heather said...

I've figured out the vocabulary enough to manage German and Norwegian Hardanger patterns, but I'm going to need a translator for my Japanese pattern books. Whenever that happens, it will be interesting to see how the translator deals with the embroidery terms.