Television arrived in Melbourne 60years ago .. and we had to stop knitting!

'Yarn sales plummet as knitters focus on screen'

One of the unexpected impacts of television was its effect on wool sales.

Today many of us knit in front of a screen. Not just TV but iPads or Tablets as well. In fact it is now popular to knit and watch a complete series of TV programs on Netflix or other streaming services.

However when Television first came into our homes 60 years ago this was quite the opposite situation. According to a recent article to celebrate the 60th year of Television - yarn sales dropped because people couldn't knit the complex patterns of the day AND watch TV at the same time!

Knitting companies like Patons even designed patterns that were simple to knit for TV viewers. New patterns like the TV sock emerged. "The woollen TV socks were designed to keep family members warm so they could continue watching their favourite programs." Apparently TVs were often kept away from heaters or fires so families watched TV from a different (colder) room!

What an unexpected impact on the wool industry that was. Especially since knitting and TV seem to go together like a hand and glove (or maybe handwarmers) haha!


Get the message with knitting!

As I was researching French knitting I stumbled upon a you tube lecture that has literally blown my mind!  I work for an embedded software company yet I have no engineering background nor embedded technology skills. My friend Kara once asked me if was interested to learn coding. It really didn't appeal to me and and I refused her offer.

Who would think that knitting would be my breakthrough into the world of coding?? 

I watched this video (embedded at end of post) and was thoroughly mesmerized.

Kirsten Haring takes us through how knitting has been used to send messages created in textiles using Morse code, she talks about the history of this, textiles as media. She discusses how the simple knit and purl stitch become the binary code used.

Finally this binary concept has connected with me, I am intrigued by this.

The concept of this being a real time communication process was even more impressive. With the ability to knit code into a pattern as events unfolded then forward that message as simply as wearing a scarf.

As I said mind blowing!

Such a comprehensive discussion on communication, media, technology, textiles, engineering... I urge you to watch this talk.

I plan to take this Morse code knit concept and put it into practice. Watch out for my next blog on knitting the code.

Kristen Haring discussing How to knit a popular history of Media.