One of the core experiences that many makers share is inspiration taking us on a learning journey. In this case, Kyle Rankin saw an article about a clock that knits to tell time on a popular blog. He shared the enthusiasm of other commenters thinking that it was quite clever and that he’d love to have one. Lucky for us, he designed and built his own and shared the whole process.
Tempus Nectit, the final results of Rankin’s efforts turned out quite well and I think it would be a pleasure to have in the house. As each hour goes by, the knitted tube gets longer and longer. The entire concept is built around a 22 hook knitting machine from Sentro. Since it has 22 hooks, it required a bit of math to come up with a smart way to divide the time into stitches
Once I decided on circular knitting, I still had the problem of dividing 22 stitches into 24 hours. I was left with two main options. Option 1 was to figure out the number of stepper movements in a full rotation, divide it by 24, knit a single row each day. Option 2 was to do the same calculation, but divide by 12 instead. This would mean knitting twice as many rows per day, but would have the advantage of having the knitting machine rotate like a traditional clock. If I marked one of the “teeth” on the knitting machine, it could act as the hour hand on a traditional clock.
In the end, I was too enamored with the idea of the knitting machine functioning like a clock with only an hour hand, so I opted for option
The rest of the case is a custom designed 3D print designed in TinkerCAD. For the brains, a raspberry pi with a motor hat handles things quite nicely. For full build details and a few videos of it in operation, go to Rankin’s build log.