A scarf to aid your search for terrestrial intelligence

arecibo 2


The Arecibo Message, one of the most famous messages transmitted as part of SETI, loosely translated, says: “Hi! We’re intelligent! We’re made of meat! Here’s where we live!”

Binary designs like the Arecibo message are popular with knitters and cross-stitchers since they can be pixelated easily. We found a pair of fingerless gloves, based on a muffler pattern. We think this type of binary pattern would be good for the message as well. It has also been made into a cross-stitched bookmark.

We implemented the embroidered pixels as columns of satin stitching in a single color. The original binary message didn’t have any of the color coding that people have added to help explain it, and it seems more elegant to keep it this way.

We machine embroidered the pattern on both ends of a piece of linen about 14″ x 76″. The linen is then sewn together on the back and at the ends, and turned right side out. The edges are stitched down to help it lie flat.


arecibo 1


The embroidery design is about 3.5″ x 11.5″. We’re providing a couple of different embroidery formats for those with access to machines as well as a .pdf for cross stitch, hand embroidery, laser engraving, or whatever else you can think to do with it.

  • .DST embroidery file (36 kB)
  • .PES embroidery file (75 kB)
  • .pdf file (4 kB)

If you are inspired by the message or use one of the patterns, we’d love to see the results in the flickr auxiliary.

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5 thoughts on “A scarf to aid your search for terrestrial intelligence

  1. Thanks! I’m going to pass this on to my wife who just got a shiny new (used) knitting machine. This would be perfect for it.

  2. Please change your Flickr profile:
    "my favorite thing about lenore is that she has never ever posted anything about knitting, crocheting or yarn. god bless ‘er!"

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