No time for a full typecast this week, but I thought I'd share another one of those confluence of interest moments with you. (Otherwise known as I just learned a new search term this week.)
First, this Make post started it all, by showing an antique sock-knitting machine connected to a windmill, which is turning out a scarf worthy of Dr. Seuss or your favorite Gallifreyan. Sock machines aren't made anymore, at least not of this quality: they are fairly complex to work and wildly expensive and so of course this wind-powered monstrosity is tickling my want receptors.
Knitting machines come in other forms, too. I passed up a "flat" knitter once, on the basis that it was too freaking big for our house (true) that I didn't know how to work it (also true) and that honestly, we don't need it (yet again true.) I should also mention that I still regret that. (So very, very true.) Of course, it's all the clickety-clack parts that get me worked up. I'm sure I would lose interest after the fifth blanket or so.
Intrigued, I poked around a little more on the Tube of You, and found this former engineer's forays into the world of home-made, computer-driven knitting paraphernalia. (See version one and its successor.) Perhaps not as green as the wind-powered setup, but as a software and computer guy, I've got to give it up for correx37's esprit de knit. And for those without a workshop and the smarts to put together something like this (raises hand) I submit a much humbler -- though no less impressive -- homebrew solution. And if you feel the need to go large-scale, try it with with hard hats and diesel engines and a big hook.
True enough, my own efforts at the blending of the machine and fiber arts are modest by comparison, but I had not considered tapping into my geek as well. Patterns abound for that scarf, for example, and of course there's the world of mathematics to provide inspiration. Now, if only there was a way to rig up needles to typebars...