Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ChemKnits QR Code

This was a fun little project, but I have to start off by saying that I am having troubleshooting issues with the knit QR code. My camera currently does not recognize it as a QR code at all. I know my chart is correct since that works. I decided to go ahead and publish this project anyway because the design is pretty cool. If you have any suggestions for troubleshooting this design, please let me know!

QR code generated at

  • 1 ball KnitPicks Chroma Worsted in Galapagos (CC - 5 g consumed)
  • 1 ball KnitPicks WOTA Coal (MC - 11 g consumed)
  • Size 3 knitting needles
  • Gauge - Not improtant for this project
The Chart
29x29 sts

The Pattern
  • Cast on 35 sts in MC
  • Purl (P) 1 row
  • Knit (K) 1 row
  • Odd Chart Rows (WS): P3 sts, work 29 sts of chart (p wise), left to right, P3
  • Even Chart Rows (RS): K 3 sts, work 29 sts of chart (bottom to top, right to left), K3
  • Continue working chart, knitting on even RS and purling on odd WS rows with a 3 stitch border on either side.
  • K 1 row
  • P 1 row
  • Bind off K wise.
  • Block and weave in all loose ends.
Now I cannot take credit for making a QR TAG out of yarn, I found a picture of a crochet QR tag on flickr. I tested this image, and Google Goggles does recognize it as a bar code.
What could the problems be?
  • I may have made a mistake in the knitting. I plan to overlay the chart over the image of the knit QR code to check.
  • The stitches may be too small. Maybe they're too uneven, or maybe I need to make each individual pixel bigger.
  • Maybe the yarn is too fuzzy, and the stitches do not have enough definition.
My plan was to make a laptop skin for my chromebook that had the knit ChemKnits QR tag on the back. Thankfully, this only took a morning to knit, so it is not a wasted experiment.

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.
K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.

This knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to sell, to distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2012 ChemKnits


  1. Maybe it would work better with crochet? It's possible that it sees the knitted V's and refuses to recognize it because of that.

    1. I've thought about that. I am going to try making my "pixels" larger to see if that would work. I still need to check if I knit it correctly, but I would imagine that even if I made a mistake and created the wrong barcode that it would recognize it as a barcode if it were going to work... :) Thanks!

  2. It's for sure I haven't a clue as to this stuff.

    But the design is interesting.

    Marny CA

  3. Ok, I looked at yours and at the 'original' and see the top row is different.

    If that is so, then the next row would be off . . . and so forth.

    Marny CA (not really anonymous)

    1. The top row seems to be fine to me. I've tried blocking it a couple of different ways to see if it would make a difference. I think that my pixels just aren't "sharp" enough to be recognized. (silly knit v's!)

  4. Looks like the blacks and whites are reversed so might that be why it's not being read properly?

    1. Hmm... I wouldn't think that should make a difference (from what I saw with a crochet QR code.) I'll play with the chart and reverse the colors and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Hi!
    I think I have an idea. I have this pattern in my faves on Ravelry.

    I didn't do it but I read the users' projects. Appearently, the knitted QR code have to be stretched on a rigid support (here I think it is a cardboard), to make it straight and regular. Pixel-like, actually.
    And if remember correctly, it needs not fluffy yarns, like cotton yarn.
    I hope it will help!

    1. Calune,

      Thank you for the tip! I will have to check this out when I find my QR code. Spring cleaning seems to have put it somewhere out of my reach! (Or else I'll knit a new one and try to pin out the dimensions better.)

      Thanks again,

    2. Looking at my pictures I can see that it was not perfectly square, so that may have been the only issue (and that the Chroma may have been a little fuzzy.)

      Since I have torn apart my house and I still can't find it, I'll add this back to my queue and re-knit without altering the chart and then try Calune's suggestions. (It may be a little time before I get to knitting it again, but it should happen within the next year!) Thanks again!

  6. Its probably because you don't have a white space around the outside. Look at the necessary components here

    1. My color scheme could be one of the biggest issues here. THanks!

  7. I just knitted a QR code for my design blog and learned that it has a harder time reading in an inverted color scheme and that you do need to block it, not necessarily attach it to something rigid. Mine is a pillow. But looking at yours, it's a bit long vertically, stretching it or even trying to scan from an angle ought to help read it.

    1. On my next attempt I plan to use a normal color scheme as you suggested. I blocked this piece as much as I could (I just took pictures while it was still pinned to my blocking board), but some of the stitches weren't as clear as I would have liked. THanks for the tips!

  8. Saw this on Ravelry.

    QR Code has built-in error correction so a single bit error is unlikely to hose it. In fact, you can obliterate 1/4 or so of the code and it will still be readable. Some companies put their logo in the center of the QRCode.

    However, I can't read it either. I played with your picture in GIMP and was unable to make it readable by reducing colors, fixing the corners or inverting the colors.

    I suggest going 2x2 with a less fuzzy yarn and tighter stitches.

    I am going to try my hand at it. Maybe I'll have all my cushions insult in-laws who irritate me. And of course there must be a cat bed that says "Qat."

    Thanks for the idea!

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