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Open Source Hardware - From Fibers to Fabric


After a week of getting bogged down with computer work, this week I decided to focus on craft. Textiles has a rich history as an art form, with textile tools passed down from generations. In our modern world, we make products to expire and break. Our capitalistic society has become so obsessed with consumerism that the idea of craft is a novelty.

I decided to make my own textile tool that would last generations. I come from a family of knitters and I was inspired to make a knitting tool that would allow me to knit in a way that is new to me. I chose to create the Knitting Nancy out of wood. Counter to consumer capitalism, I decided to use a scrap piece of wood for the handle and felt it was important to create something lasting out of something that would have been thrown out.

I have access to a wooden lathe and I turned my scrap piece of wood into an ergonomic handle. I used offset turning techniques to create a shape that really formed to the hand. Once I had the handle made, I drilled a hole through the center to allow for the knitted yarn to go through. I hammered in staples that would act as the hooks for the knitting. I chose to stain the wood a nice chestnut brown.

Once I had my Knitting Nancy made, it was time to learn how to knit with it. Being a knitter myself I was already familiar with the basic concept of knitting, being a series of loops. I used this knitting tool by first dropping a piece of string through the hole to stay as my end. I then wrapped the string around each of the hooks once, I then wrapped my extra string once around the base and then started to pull the hooks over the loose string to create the stitches. I ended up with a spider web looking pattern as I went around and around the knitting tool. It ended up taking quite a few stitches before I could start to see progress.

Once I was done knitting I tied the stitches off just as I would if I were normally knitting, I pulled the loose string through the loops and pulled it tight. Overall, I am very satisfied with my knitting tool and look forward to knitting with it in the future.

Final Result

Last update: February 14, 2021