MARVELS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY

I’m sure others have blogged about this already – needles with built-in sensors that
log the stitch count for you. There’s a base station that
displays the count, and appears to have holders to park the needles
when they’re not in use.

I can’t find any confirmation that this has moved beyond prototyping
into the realm of a real product, but regardless of development stage I
would have some questions for the maker:

  1. Are the sensors adaptable to any size needle, or is the knitter locked into using only one size?
  2. What is that size, and how long are the needles?
  3. Does it equally sense the movements of both throwers and pickers (British/American and Continental styles)?
  4. How does it handle complex stitches?? For example, would it
    log a SSK as one stitch or three – counting the three movements it
    takes to produce it as separate stitches?
  5. Can you dial up or down to readjust stitch count and compensate for multiple movement stitches?
  6. Is there a memory function?? For example, if I sit down and knit today will it remember where I left off yesterday?
  7. Is it possible to get interim counts, kind of like the way you
    can use trip set on a car odometer to record smaller intervals??
    This might come in handy if one wanted to track a repeat in addition to
    tracking total stitch count.
  8. Does it handle row count?? (For most knitters, row count is a far more annoying tracking problem than is stitch count).
  9. Is there an upper limit? For example, if I work a flat piece in a
    tiny yarn, I could easily have a couple hundred stitches across, even
    on a 14-inch straight.
  10. Does the count span rows, or is it set up to track on a single row basis?
  11. How sensitive is it to spurious movements?? For example, if
    I bobble the needles as I reach for something or flip the work over, will that increment the
    count?

I’m not about to run out and buy something like this, even if my
questions were all answered, but it’s very interesting to see some
creativity and technology applied to the problem.

For me, low tech is still the way to go:? my stitch marker abacus
for tracking rows, and for those projects where I need to know count
across at all times (very few and far between), a series of stitch
markers placed every 10 or 25 stitches (or between repeats), as counted
out from the center.

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