Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Shavian Chapeau (actual knitting content!)

I told you it was coming. And not just knitting, either, but an FO to boot! Check it out:

Shavian Hat


I know what you're thinking. You're thinking you're not sure just what to think. You can see it's a hat. That's not the problem. The problem is with those...erm...shapes on the hat.

Those would be letters, piglets. Put together to make words. In English. Yes, English. Just not in the Latin alphabet we English speakers are used to.

I'll explain, but first, let me give you a better look at the words:

flying
flying


pig
pig


knits
knits


I'm not making this up, guys. A dude named Kingsley Read did.

In 1958, a contest was held to find an alternative writing system for the English language. Why? because George Bernard Shaw didn't like the Latin alphabet. No joke. Shaw thought it a 'great waste of time, energy and paper'. So in his will he set aside £500 for the contest. Read's submission beat out more than 450 others and he claimed the cash. But his creation, a phonetic alphabet, was named after the the long-dead Shaw.

Here's what it looks like:

Shavian Alphabet


screenshot from Omniglot.com

So at this point you're probably wondering why Piggy would go to the trouble of knitting a hat with the name of her wee blog in an obscure alphabet almost nobody understands?

This is a good question, I grant you. And like most of the crazy stuff I knit, this hat was done for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. For Ancient Runes class in June. It was the only class I managed to complete last month; I'm embarrassed to admit I spent an enormous amount of time on this project. I'll spare you all the gory details, and just say that the text was done in duplicate stitch. Oh, and the standard details:

Project Details:

Pattern: improvised -- your basic beanie
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca Sport Weight, colourways 500 and 529
Needles: 3.25 mm/US 3
Raveled here

It's a weird one, to be sure, but I'm pleased with it. Heck, I might even wear it! I'm now really quite interested in Shavian, and hope to improve my skills. Yeah, I'm geeky like that.

You can learn more about Shavian here.

8 comments:

  1. lol Very creative and cool! I can dig it! :)

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  2. Looks a bit like Hebrew. In fact, as I tried to match up symbols to words I was reading from right to left and couldn't figure out why the symbol for "g" was the first thing you knit for "pig". Then it hit me, different alphabet doesn't *always* mean different direction. *head slap*

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  3. Great application for AR class!

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  4. i admit i spent a little too long trying to figure out how to write my name in Shavian. :) pretty cool! like your other commenter, sara, at first i thought it looked a bit like hebrew. love your f.o.

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  5. When I first saw the hat my first thoughts were Harry Potter ancient runes, i think this is a sign I should join that group :D looks gorgeous!

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  6. I love the concept & I love the colours & I continue to love that you are "geeky like that".

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  7. Cool. You'll probably get some really confused people looking at your hat and trying to read it.

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