The future of knitting

The future of yarn – knitting technology

We've had fun imagining what knitting and crochet will be like in another ten years.

30th May 2016

With the invention of wearable technologies like the Apple Watch and smart devices like this fridge that tracks what food you have inside, here's some of our ideas of how technology might change the way we knit:

Yarn

Your yarn will have technology built-in to monitor the wearer's heart-rate, breathing, and temperature. 

Microscopic sensors (like these for house plants) in the yarn check your tension as you knit, and tell you how much is left in the ball.

Needles

Digital displays on needles tell you their size without needing a gauge.

There's no need for a row counter – sensors are built in to your needles, to count your stitches and rows, which link to the pattern and tell you which stitch to do next. And tell if you’ve gone wrong, or dropped a stitch. 

Patterns

All your patterns are stored in the cloud, so wherever you go your smartphone or smartwatch (or even your clothes with technology built-in) will know. You'll always know what you're knitting, what's in your queue, which yarn you need and the sizes of everyone you knit for.

When reading charts on a device, it can detect which row your eyes are focusing on and automatically highlights it or zooms in for you – and obscures the rows you’ve already done.

Like this Modiface mirror that shows you what you'll look like wearing different make-up products, you'll have a product to show you a pattern looks like knitted up – and what you'll look like wearing it. So no more time or yarn used testing patterns, or knitting something you don't like or doesn't suit you. 

Storage

Smart storage for your yarn alerts you when a moth is detected – or automatically switches on a freezer function to zap them!

Your storage boxes know what yarn is inside, to track your stash – then when you’re yarn shopping you’ll know what you already have and what you need. 

And any yarn you buy online will be delivered by drone and dropped straight into your hands!

Accessories

Tiny GPS trackers are embedded in your stitch markers so you won't lose them.

Apps like the real-time translation apps can turn written patterns into charts and vice versa, and switch between UK and US crochet terms.

An app on your smartphone alerts you when you’re near a yarn shop in another city – and tells what yarn is in stock so you know if it’s worth visiting. 

A website offers instant messaging with an expert knitter – or perhaps a robot with more knitting knowledge that an human can ever remember? So if you go wrong there’s someone you can turn to, any time day or night.

Read more about this knitting robot that was invented a couple of years ago.

Knitting robot

Or will we even "knit" at all? Perhaps we'll wear a virtual reality headset to simulate the movements of knitting, but without the risk of RSI. And then the finished garment will be produced on your 3D printer...

If you have your own ideas, share them on our Facebook page or tweet us here.

Subscribe to The Knitter

The Knitter is the premier magazine for confident knitters who are looking for beautiful, original patterns from the world’s best designers. Subscribe today and receive 3 issues for £5 - saving 67% on the shop price!

The Knitter issue 90 cover