Knit your own electronics

In the new Knitty for Spring/Summer 2010, there is a thrilling-looking new project for a felted bag.  But not just any felted bag, a bag that displays your knitting chart electronically.  Basically, the bag has LED lights sewn into it, connected to a special computer chip (available here) with conductive threads.  You can upload onto the chip a pre-programmed lace pattern, a row counter program or you can program in your own charts for your projects.  The LED lights then display which stitches you need for that row by flashing quickly, flashing slowly, lighting solid, etc.  Being me, I’d actually probably modify the bag itself into something a little more my style.  However, I find the idea of combining electronics and knitting absolutely thrilling.  Not to mention, the idea of having a knitting bag/purse with a built-in chart-keeper is just awesome!

I have actually been knitting like a mad fiend lately.  Post-Olympics we started watching past seasons of Project Runway – both inspiring and easy to knit with!  I’ve finished a long-standing lace shawl project that I started two years ago and seemed only to be motivated to knit on in springtime.  I also finished a pair of socks (socks always take me forever, this pair especially so since I was using a “gauge-less” recipe and got 7/8 through a sock before realizing it wouldn’t fit the recipient; frog it all & restarted).  And I finished a gloriously bulky super-hat with spiraling bobbles just in time for the weather to warm up.  But I’ll report more on these later when I have pictures.

I have also had marvelous adventures repairing and testing my ebay treasure, a KnitKing 4500 knitting machine.  And I’ve been learning to knit on a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine that I’m borrowing from my sister.

Bubbly on a knitting machine

Mason Dixon's Bubbly on a Bond knitting machine

I’ll report on the knitting machine adventures more later too!  Let’s just say that although I can crank out some rows pretty fast when the knitting machine gods are smiling on me, lack of a proper table, insistence on a difficult boucle yarn, on-the-fly pattern-changes due to insufficient yarn, and eyelets are throwing a lot of delays into my project.

Until next time, keep those needles clicking!


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