Designing for Practice: Knitting

Project Status: Complete

In my Design Research Methods course, taught by Chris Le Dantec, we were assigned to choose a practice and participate in that practice. Through that process, we were to document our experience with that and explore the ways in which other people interact with that practice.

As an amateur knitter, I chose knitting. I have my own preconceived notions as a knitter, of course, but in order to get a better sense of the practice I conducted user surveys of a range of knitters. My sample group came from Facebook. I posted on Facebook and got 33 responses from friends or friends of friends. I had a set of questions I began with and then would tailor my questions based off of the responses I got.

At the end, I created a design prototype with design guidelines around creating a system that would enable knitters to easily multitask while performing other functions instead of following a knitting pattern closely.

Essentially, these knitting needles contain motion sensors that would connect via wires or Bluetooth. The knitter loads a pattern onto microcontroller, which will emit a light “ding” noise from an attached speaker when it’s time to change stitch. The microcontroller is contained inside the support glove which also serves to protect the wrist, as wrist soreness is a common problem with knitting.

Then, I envisioned some other ways that knitters could know to change stitch while doing other activities. Each involve push notifications on various devices. While watching TV, a notification would pop up in the corner telling the knitter to change stitch. Some knitters actually knit while walking or hiking, so having notifications on their smartwatch that buzz or pop up cue the knitter to change stitch. Then traditional notifications on devices cue knitters who might be in a meeting or class in a non-disruptive way.

View the visual presentation

Read the written documentation

Read the process documentation