Now I know some people, including myself do handicrafts and knit to break away from the world of technology, but technology does help us become better knitters at time.
Think of what the world was like pre-Ravelry. Pattern searches required me to get off my tookus and into a shop. Now there are practically too many patterns to choose from that I loose focus. Notice, I didn’t say there was too much yarn (there could never be too much of that). I think it was on a episode of “Fiber Beat” that Meg Swansen noted that the Internet was in a way responsible for the huge knitting renaissance that started over the past few years.
This #knitchat discussion will be on how technology has actually improved our knitting and fiber craft (or in some-cases like myself, become a bit of a distraction).
Where: Twitter (follow the #knitchat hashtag)
When: December 2nd. 5 PM PST/8 PM EST (1 hour)
Who: Me you and other Twitter Knitters/Crocheters & Fibercrafters
How: Need a primer on Twitter Chat… check this out: What does this Twitter chat thing look like?
This upcoming #knitchat’s questions:
Q1) Who are you? Ravelry ID?
Q2) What is your favorite NON- electronic kniting related tool/app?
Q3) What is your favorite electronic kniting related tool/app?
Q4) How has Ravelry changed your knitting/crochet/fiber-craft life?
Q5) Any special tricks or tips you have for using Ravelry?
Original photo from the Morguefile
Filed under #knitchat, Gadgets, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Reflection, Robots, Science, Techie, Technology, Twitter
Check this out… I think it would be great to apply to a knitted garment just for fun…. hmmm my rusty wheels are spinning.
Lilly Pad Arudino Tutorial for Electronic Embellishments for Textile Projects
Filed under Challenge, Craft, Creativity, Embellishment, Fashion, Fun Stuff, Gadgets, Garment Design, Knit, Knitting, Science, Techie
Not literally… though I have been fascinated with the motion and mechanics behind machines that craft. The irony is we can teach or design machines to do the things that we do but they can never master our ability to change how something is produced. Machines may be able to produce things far more quickly, but we lowly humans are still required to invent new machines, figure out how to use the machines in new and different ways, or figure out what to do when the machines break.
I really don’t think I’m going to spend $300+ on a sock knitting machine, I’d put that money toward a spinning wheel or beginner’s loom (or even more yarn). Besides after looking at the complexity of the machinery and reading about how many needles are needed for your average automatic sock knitting machine, my instinct tells me that the sock machine might be a little too high maintenance a gadget for me. Still, it’s nice to read and learn about the machines and how they work and appreciate the quaintness of the form and packaging the sock machines come in. From the photos the mechanism of the machines reminds me of those old fashioned hand crank beaters. When I was a child we had an electric one, but every time we stayed at some vacation condo or summer cabin, I’d rummage through the kitchen drawers looking for the hand beater. Even as a child I enjoyed machines. My parents actually bought me an erector set at one point and one of my favorite activities was finding out how many ways I could use the tiny motor to move or do things. I suppose even as a child I wanted to build robots.*
I think after next week, I’m going to buy this book, Knitting Technology. Yes it looks very geeky and far too technical. In fact, the table of contents holds a few topics that would drive most readers away. Who else but me would get really into a chapter titled “The manufacture of hosiery on small-diameter circular machines.”
*Lego Factory Software: All this talk of toys and machinery reminds me of this great site I found the other day on Lego that allows you to create (and then order) your own customized Lego sets. Check it out: Lego Factory. I also quickly put together my own Lego bunny. What I love about this tool is how well designed it is and how I can zoom in/out and flip the views of the object that I’m building. Also, I can select from all the fancy new Lego pieces that didn’t exist when I was a kid (hubs, gears, intersections, more complex sockets). Remember being pissed that your mother clipped your fingernails so short your stubby little hands couldn’t pry the bricks apart? (Yes, I am aware that I am perpetuating Lego’s viral marketing campaign).
When I first started mastering knitting and actually making objects that were aesthetically appealing… I had a hard time giving away what I made. Lately, I’ve been finding more joy in making things for others. I gifted a little vest I knit for a friend of mine who is expecting. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of it, but you can get a good look at it here. She seemed genuinely charmed with the tiny little garment to the point that she too wanted to learn to knit. I agreed to help her out and get her started by teaching her. I enjoy helping people get started and learn how knit, especially kids. Perhaps it’s because we live in a digital age, where I believe that it’s even more important to make things with our hands. I myself found that as my career went more and more virtual and I was creating items and experiences for the web, I found myself more deeply wound in balls of string and my yarn stash grew from a basket to a shelf. I had always been a knitter but it was more of an every-other weekend hobby.
I did a search on the “importance of craft” and found a wonderful article. It’s sort of an anatomical treatise on our physical abilities to make things. We have thumbs… therefore we must Craft! But I think the author puts it well as he rationalizes our need to craft:
Why bother to make anything by hand today? Because for those who practice it and for those who need an antidote to the alienation of modern society, handwork can be meaningful. Individuals with a certain kind of bodily intelligence will find handwork to be a rewarding form of labor and expression.
Well at least I can reassure myself if it comes down to “the crunch” (I almost typed ‘crunchy’) because I am a knitter, I know how to clothe myself and keep myself warm.