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Automatic Knitting Powered by the Wind

Sighted on YouTube: an automatic knitting machine powered by the wind. Aside from the knitting contraption itself, only yarn is needed. Wind pushes the rotor, which rotates the tube knitter. The knitter automatically pulls yarn into itself, slowly but surely creating knitted tubes of yarn.

The yarn tube emerges from the bottom of the machine, leaving the impression of an automaton relieving itself. Maker Merel Karhof periodically harvests the tube for scarves to sell off, with each retail piece labeled with completion date and total knitting time.

As setups go, this is pretty low-tech. But anything that gets done with a minimum of supervision—without adding to the electric bill—is always welcome. The YouTube video showing the machine in action (located here) also paints a picture of beautiful intricacy at work.

Still Karhof's creation is pretty one-dimensional, and there's always room for improvement. Got suggestions or comments? Hit the comments below. Personally, the need for better weather-proofing is clear.

  • webbwbb
    But can it knit something in the pattern of the Crysis logo?
  • buckinbottoms
    Looking at the youtube video makes it painfully obvious that it isn't an ideal design. The knitting portion needs to be inside. any rain would make the product worthless, not to mention a strong wind blowing the yarn tube into the blades and... well... start over.

    It just needs an extension on the crank so the knitting can be done inside. And of course as the article points out, it can really only do one thing at the moment.
  • TomD_1
    Yes, lets save the planet by knitting long tubes of yarn! a jumper will be just what I need when earth reaches a million degrees :P
  • lilwillis
    webbwbbBut can it knit something in the pattern of the Crysis logo?I'd rather see someone brand a Crysis logo to your face while you die from the pain.
  • Onus
    Circular knitters are incredibly complex machines. I've not watched the video yet (blocked at work), but unless it is running at a very slow pace, they are occasionally subject to interruptions including yarn, needle and/or sinker breaks.
    Even so, that pair of socks you're wearing may have been knit on a machine first put in service before 1900. Typical needle counts for hosiery include 60, 84, 132, and 176; stockings may be knit on a machine with over 300 needles.
  • Fox Montage
    webbwbbBut can it knit something in the pattern of the Crysis logo?
    Sorry, I laughed at this. -(-1)
  • s4fun
    What's wrong with wind turbine's generating electrcity and then directly using that power to operate a more sophisticated machine that knits gloves or socks or something more useful.
  • gilbertfh
    I personally hate knitted products I won't even wear a sweater but this is pretty cool. I watched a couple of the other videos and it looks like knitting machines have been around for a long long long long time but to be able to automate it and not use any electricity(not too sure if it belongs on toms hardware though).
  • Pei-chen
    Power loom, a mechanized loom powered by a drive shaft, was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785.

    Fry reinvented the wheel in the year 3000.
  • ringoiom
    Thats why it's on Tomsguide - home of the marginially tech related stories