She Knits: QR Code Pillow

This is a wedding gift for my newly married brother-in-law. I started it a couple of weeks before the wedding, optimistic that I would finish in time. Well, I didn’t. In fact, it took much longer to knit than I anticipated.

It is a QR code throw pillow. A QR code is a square containing (usually) black and white pixels. There are applications for smart phones that can scan these codes. The codes can have text, links, or other information embedded in them. I got the idea to knit a code from a thread I read on Ravelry. It was such a neat idea. My brother-in-law is a bit of a computer geek (I don’t think he’d mind me giving him that title), so I thought he’d get a huge kick out of this.

I knit the cover in plain white and then stitched on the black pixels and treble clef on the back using the duplicate stitch technique. After all the stitching, before I stuffed it, I pinned the cover out flat and the code scanner application on Nate’s phone could read the knitted code! I was a little surprised because stockinette knit stitches are not perfectly square. The codes have built-in proportion detectors, though… if you look carefully at the code, you can see three corners with large squares containing smaller, filled squares. The fourth corner has a smaller square with a filled square inside. If you look very, very carefully, you can see smaller squares (with filled interior squares) in the center of each side and in the middle. These help the scanner determine the proportions of the pixels in the image.

I then sewed up a pillow to stuff inside. I wish I had made the pillow a bit larger, as the cover is a little too big for it. But it still looks nice, however… the code would no longer scan once it was covering the pillow. I didn’t leave enough extra space around the code–the edges curve too much for the scanner to read it. I was so bummed. I actually finished this pillow a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t bring myself to put it up here then because I was so disappointed that it didn’t scan anymore.

My plan is to give this to them the next time we see the couple. I’m going to print out the real code onto some cardstock and attach it to the pillow like a tag–at least then the recipient can scan the code and know what it says. Here is the code I used:

QR Code

When scanned, it pulls up text that reads: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” – Psalm 150:3-6

The full verse Psalm 150:3-6 reads: “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

I stitched a treble clef on the back which ties into the verse embedded in the code. I like the duality of the pillow and how it represents the couple so well. One side is tech-y, the other is classically simple. They met at a piano recital as kids/teens and both love music. Black and white were two of her wedding colors and (I believe) she intends to decorate with them.

Pattern Info:

Yarn Info:
Caron Simply Soft
100% acrylic
black & white


QR Code Pillow Front


4 thoughts on “She Knits: QR Code Pillow

    • I don’t know if you will see this reply, but you can do this in crochet as well. Make sure you have a tight gauge and use one sc for each pixel of the image. 🙂

  1. Pingback: A Year of Crafting: 2012 | Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl

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