Morse Stitch Decoded

Morse Stitch Cardigans

Our kind and crafty supporter Mary Lawson on her knitting project "Morse Stitch Decoded" which she sells in aid of Freedom from Torture.

"When you tell people that you knit they tend to smile at you indulgently, picturing you as a latter day Miss Marple, thoughtfully wielding your needles as you knit a baggy pullover made from itchy wool!

But that idea of knitting is totally out of date. The knitting world today is a vibrant, stylish, innovative, endlessly creative place, peopled with some outstandingly gifted spinners, dyers, designers and, of course, knitters.

And it's far from being static - new ideas are added every day, sometimes most unexpectedly ...

Morse Stitch Shawl

Morse stitch shawl

Last year, when playing with some scrap yarn, I stumbled across what appears to be a new stitch. I named it 'morse stitch,' mainly because it forms a bobble (or dot) on one side and a double dash on the other but also in memory of my father who loved morse code. Morse stitch is attractive, useful, quick to learn and easy to do. It looks good when used on its own (when it resembles bubble wrap!), in conjunction with just one purl or knit stitch, or individually against a background of good old stocking stitch.

To share the stitch with other knitters, I wrote Morse Stitch Decoded , a leaflet that you can purchase here, on an amazing website called Ravelry. Three complementary patterns designed to help knitters explore the different effects the stitch creates accompany the leaflet - and other patterns are available for purchase via Ravelry.

I decided to donate the net proceeds of the sales of Morse Stitch Decoded to Freedom From Torture. Thanks to the generosity of Ravelers, I was able to make my first donation, worth £625, at beginning of this year and I hope that future donations will follow.

Morse Stitch Scarf

Morse stitch cardigan

Why Freedom From Torture? I first supported the charity when I heard of the help they had given to former WW2 prisoners of the Japanese, people such as Eric Lomax, the charity's former patron whose moving story is told in The Railway Man. My mother and her family, as well as my Godfather, were interned by the Japanese and so supporting this charity was a way of honouring their memories.

Another, more recent, reason is living with pain, something I have done for several years now. Like many on Ravelry, I turned to knitting as a creative outlet when other avenues became closed to me. It seemed both right and natural to offer the proceeds from Morse Stitch Decoded to a charity that helps people who have had pain cruelly inflicted on them, innocent people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Mary has donated £1,250 to Freedom from Torture to date, and we are sure her knitting pattern will continue to reel in the profits.