Page last updated at 01:07 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 02:07 UK

Knitwear from electronic messages

A scarf with different patterns represents a year

A designer has come up with Social Knitworking, an idea to turn electronic messages into personal textile keepsakes for friends and family.

Dundee-based Hilary Grant hopes her designs will serve as a unique record of messages exchanged over a year.

A computer program picks up on key words and phrases and translates them into different patterns and colours for a scarf, or other items of clothing.

The project uses technology developed by Distance Lab in Moray.

Dr Stefan Agamanolis, chief executive and research director at Distance Lab, said: "This computer program will hone in on a phrase such as 'I love you' and translate this into a pattern for a length of scarf that represents a year."

'Private code'

Dr Agamanolis said the patterns and colours would be a "private code" understood by the people involved.

Miss Grant studied textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, specialising in knitted and constructed textiles.

Distance Lab in Forres has also been developing Mutsugoto, technology designed for people in long-distance relationships.

Using cameras, artificial lights and computers, the device allows couples to "draw" on each other in beams of light.

Also in development at the site is an interactive fighting game in which people can do battle against a life-sized silhouette of an opponent who could be on the other side of the world.

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