Category Archives: Techie

Next #knitchat topic – Technoknit 12/2/2010

 

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

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Filed under #knitchat, Gadgets, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Reflection, Robots, Science, Techie, Technology, Twitter

Transcript for 11/18’s #knitchat

Sorry it’s so late, but here’s the transcript from the last #knitchat on holiday knitting. Small group but nice chatter about holiday knitting. You can view the transcript here:

http://bit.ly/gjyA9r

It was so fun that I decided to do it again. December 2, 2010 at 5 PM PST / 8 PM Eastern Standard time. I’ll post the questions for discussion ahead of time but the topic will be “Technology and Knitting: How Can Technology Grow our Knitting.”  I’m also researching some tools that might make it easier to participate with the chat online.  I know there are a number of applications for both the web and phone that make tweeting and following discussion #hashtags easier.

From my experience with this chat, I found that using my phone application worked just fine. If you have a Droid or Iphone there are applications for Twitter. One of the participants noted that it wasn’t as straightforward on her Droid, but there may be other applications out there that work great. Also, I was actually on the road while I was chatting so it is possible to be completely mobile. Do not worry, I wasn’t driving 🙂

Original Image from the Morguefile.

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Make Magazine Features the Ravelry Folks

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/04/knitting_and_crochet_onli.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890

I love Ravelry because it’s really the best example of how people in a community of craft can work together to learn and enrich their craft. I have to say, I have learned so much from the Ravelry community and I’ve only been on it for a few weeks.

On the way down to San Francisco, I listed to the Y Knit (Episode 4) where the Y-Knit team interviews Jess and Casey. They mentioned that the restricted membership was a turn off to some. I have to admit that I was one of those people. I felt that peoples’ membership to the site was promoting an exclusive culture (most likely unintentionally). People would talk about Ravelry, but then you’d realize that you couldn’t get in. It seemed like only “Ravelry People” were ‘in the know.’ In fact, I was so turned off by this that I didn’t even bother trying to sign up until a month or so ago.

I’m really glad I did.

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Filed under Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Techie

She’s NOT blinding me with science

Ah, Thomas Dolby…where are you now? I started listening to Miriam’s Knit Science podcast late last year. She does a wonderful job researching styles, techniques, and various topics on the subject of knitting. Her work has been sort of an inspiration to me. Who knows, I have been thinking… maybe I’ll start a knitting history/comedy podcast, but first I need to get a few projects done and focus on some work-related content creation.

In episode 20, she has very informative piece on the origin and manufacture of bamboo needles.  When I was in college I remember buying a bargain set of bamboo needles with sizes 3-10, an amazing steal for what I paid for them (about 10 dollars). I actually still have some of those needles in my collection; though the smaller sizes are a little bent or warped.  Before I bought these needles I used only plastic or metal ones. This was back during the “Dark Ages” when Red Hart was practically the only yarn you could find if you didn’t live in a culture or a large city where knitting stores were accessible.

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Electronic knitty

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 

lily-pad.jpg

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Filed under Challenge, Craft, Creativity, Embellishment, Fashion, Fun Stuff, Gadgets, Garment Design, Knit, Knitting, Science, Techie

Goodbye Paper Patterns

I tried this and it’s actually working quite well. I uploaded jpg versions of some PDF patterns I had onto my iTouch and now I can actually access the pattern and view it without taking a piece of paper with me everywhere. I love it.

Technology can be so wonderful sometimes.

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I’ve been dreaming of sock knitting machines

sockmachine4.jpg

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.”

loops.gif

*Lego Factory Software: All this talk of toys and machinery reminds me of this great sitelegobunny.jpg 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).


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Filed under Fashion, Fibers, Gadgets, Robots, Science, Techie, Toys, Uncategorized