Friday, April 30, 2010

Guys Do It, Too

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...


deek said...

My wife is a long-time crochet-er and a couple years ago I got her a knitting machine for her birthday (and LK-150). They do still make these, although like the LK-150, its imported from Japan.

I've seen circular knitting machines as a well...

My wife loves to knit now (the kids have tons of homemade socks to date) and with a machine, she can make stuff so quick!

Strikethru said...

The Tube of You! Ha!

So, what's your secret? How do you keep up with the hobbies and a family too? I'm getting another one of those things, kids I mean, and pretty much see this as likely the end of my blogging and/or typospheric shenannigans (oh wait, that was grad school).

Anonymous said...

I actually had one of those knitting machines, and it dropped stitches like crazy! Of course, it was cheap.

But the windmill makes it awesome and now I want one!

Elizabeth H. said...

I am occasionally obsessed with crocheting. I do so poorly, but it's fun! Mostly make things like imperfect baby blankets for nieces and nephews...which then become objects my siblings can't discard without guilt, and which they have to get out and pretend to enjoy when I'm around. It's muh job as a maiden aunt, ya know?

I'm currently about two nieces behind, however. And there's one more on the way.

Speaking of which, what's this here? I'm getting another one of those things, kids I mean Are congratulations in order for the Strikethru household?

Strikethru said...

Yeps, another baby for me! Eep... for the record, I looooved the croched baby blanket a distant relative made for me, so I bet your sibs really do like those blankets.

Word verif: "nerap." Someone help me out, that just seems too good of a WV to pass unnoticed.