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I had been turning over ideas for this, in my head, for at least two years. I wanted to make a QR code that didn’t instantly look like a QR code is supposed to look. I was experimenting with lots of quite complex designs but the problem is that you actually need to make the thing at large-scale to know whether it works and that takes a lot of time.

I was eventually spurred into action because I needed it to be finished for a particular event and so decided to opt for a version that was most likely to work. I may come back to some of the other ideas later. I used a shortened link for the web page I wanted to send it to. This meant I could use the simplest type of QR code with the minimum number of squares. It is 21 squares wide with the so-called ‘quiet area’ outside those.

QR codes differentiate between light and dark so the actual colours don’t really matter. My first attempt, at this simple version and which I pulled undone, had many more colours than the final version. I thought it looked very messy so eventually settled for four dark, and four light, colours, on the principle of the ‘four-colour map theorem’. I tested the code by matching the colours of the yarns as closely as possible on my computer screen and kept checking to see if the code worked. I had to make a leap of faith and just hope that what worked on the screen worked in real life.

I wanted to make it in a modular way and found it broke down quite nicely into nine large squares each containing the equivalent of 49 small squares. It was a bit of a challenge to create the nine separate squares in a way that they could easily be joined together. They were made by knitting in different directions, picking up stitches where necessary but not necessarily starting at the centre of the large square.

I like symmetry and order so I find this design a little disconcerting. It can never be symmetrical or ordered but my other plans may produce something more ‘artistic’.

The afghan-sized piece of knitting is mounted on a board and scans, in good light, with no problem. Most photographs of it scan without problem but not all.

There is no pattern for this as it only works for pointing to one web page.

QR CODE