Saturday, March 28, 2015

Episode 74: Girl Spies

In this episode, the girls continue from their last podcast and talk about some of the female spies throughout history, and how many of them used crafting to send secret messages. Then, in crafting, the girls talk about how their own fiber arts and their not-so-secret codes embedded into them.

Get Geeky

The girls continue the spy theme and talk about the female spies throughout history.

Famous Spies
  • Mata Hari - probably the most famous spy. She was an outrageous personality. She was thought to be a double agent -- being a Spy for France and Germany during WWI.
  • Julia Child (the famous chef) was also a spy.  She stood out at 6 foot 2 inches, which made her too tall to be a WAC or a WAVE, but she still wanted to serve in wartime. She joined the the OSS and worked for its head office, and processed hundreds of top secret documents in places like Sri Lanka, China, and other regions.
  • Josephine Baker worked as a spy for the French resistance during World War II. She traveled frequently across borders performing, and her sheet music had orders and maps written in invisible ink. Many German and foreign officials attended her performances. When she heard juicy bits of information from the dignitaries, she’d jot them down and relay that information to France's military intelligence in Paris. After the war, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her service.

Other Spies:
  • Mary Bowser - a black Civil War spy that worked in the Confederate White House. She posed as a slow witted, but competent servant. The Confederacy assumed she couldn’t read or write, and because she had photographic memory, was able to send information to help the Union spy network.
  • A Real Life Agent Carter --- Nancy Wake -- killed an SS officer with a judo chop to the throat. She organized weapons & supply drops. She engaged in combat leading guerrilla attacks.
  • Noor Inaya Khan -- (dad - Indian Muslim/ Mom- american) - She worked as a Special Ops Executive (and her male superiors thought she was too soft and gentle to be a spy). She was the only wireless operator transmitting from Nazi occupied Paris after all her other colleagues were arrested.
  • Chevalier de Eon -- a trans woman that worked for King Louis XV spy network against the Habsburg monarchy. King Louis agreed to recognize her as a woman after her service. She became known as Mademoiselle La chevalière d'Éon de Beaumont.
Crafty Spy Work!
A lot of spies used crafting to communicate message back to their side.

  • Anna Strong - used her laundry as code for signaling messages about troop locations or available messages during the American Civil War
  • Pippa Doyle -- an SOE agent

  • As Genevieve - she would cycle around the French countryside with her knitting because her codes were on a piece of silk … she’d “ I wrapped the piece of silk around a knitting needle and put it in flat shoelace, which used to tie my hair up."

Because knitting is essentially a binary language, it has been used for code, including morse code. Check out this modern mathematician who is using knitting as a binary system.

Other links for female spies

    Get Crafty!

    The girls have not just ONE, but TWO craft-a-longs in progress....  Check out the Geek Girl Crafts forums on G+ and Ravelry:

    Harry Potter Craft-a-Long

    Sandy wants you to geek out about Harry Potter! Make your favorite Potter Universe item, whether it be knitting, sewing, baking, or otherwise. Check out the official Harry Potter Universe website at:

    Who Crafts?

    Jade gets in on the craft-a-long, but Doctor Who style. Got sewing? knitting? crochet? Want to make fish fingers and custard? Or your favorite souffle recipe? Share with us!

    And for those interested, she's posted her pattern for her fingerless long gloves, so make your own Doctor Who scarf gloves

    Fiber Optics


    Finished Objects
    • Pattern: Fingerless gloves
    • Yarn:Stray Cat Yarns in Electric Avenue
    • Link: Vanilla Pattern
    • Pattern: gryffindor house sweater:
    • Yarn: Cascade Longwood sport
    • Link
    • Notes: finished the armhole section for the back, now finishing the back (shoulder area)
    • Pattern:3-in-1 Sweater by Atelier Alfa
    • Yarn: Cascade 220 Sport superwash
    • Notes: Currently still working on the body, but now at the neck shaping. Still at the neck shaping
    • Hoping to finish by 3/31 -- but not optimistic.
    • Dark grey yarn is a black hole...
    • Pattern: Tiger Socks
    • Yarn:Regia
    • Link
    • Notes: On the 2nd sock, working on the cuff.
    • Pattern: Honey Cowl
    • Yarn: YOTH Big Sister
    • Link:
    • Notes: Lovely yarn to work with~
    • Pattern: HexiPuffs!
    • Yarn
    • Link
    • Notes:

    Make it Sew!

    • Jade - Still working on the San costume from Princess Monoke Got the fur. Now to make the back. Apron is mocked up, but not sure of the suedecloth.
    • Jade --
      • Dr. Who PJs & nightshirt
      • Bucket hats

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