Knitting. Baby blankets, cozy scarfs for every Christmas, and great aunts sitting on the couch next to a pile of pastel yarn.
Coding. Zeros and ones, faces lit only by the light of a computer screen, and your socially awkward cousin trying to stammer his way out of a conversation that will surely end with him fixing Grandma’s computer.
This association game would give you the impression that knitting and computer programing have nothing in common. That would be a false impression. Computer programming and knitting actually go way back – some of the first programmers followed a process strikingly similar to way weaving patterns were made, using card stock and hole punches. This makes a lot of sense, considering that early computers were inspired by looms.
Knitting and coding are both very mathematical at heart. They are pattern focused, often instruction based, and they build line-by-line. The differences between the two are obvious, naturally, with the two processes attracting different audiences, using different tools, and ending with very different results. These differences, however, can end up being beneficial. Knitting offers a way for participants to develop their fine motor skills, and the fact that it works in a physical space allows for a different kind of learning.
Plus, even if the direct skills aren’t transferable between the two fields, the way of thinking can transcend the tools and space to really bring out the best of both worlds. For more on the topic, take a look at the article by MindShift, or the original essay by Dr. Karen Shoop.