The best-laid plans of mice and knitters

So I’ve had a couple of great ideas lately. Unfortunately, I’ve had enough time to investigate one of them enough to find out it’s not going to work, but it’s still clonking around in my head.

The first idea is to make drop spindles using platters from old hard drives. I need to get some photos of the platters I’ve removed already – they’re aluminum with a mirror finish. Really pretty, and weighty enough to act as good flywheels. I need to figure out how to mount them on dowels to get working drop spindles.

The second idea came from the first one – I was disassembling drives and wondered if one would still spin up when I powered it up. Turns out, it did. I thought it would be interesting if you could attach a spinning spindle to the hard drive spindle (sorry for the conflict of terminology there) and use it as a tiny electric Charka wheel. The idea seemed like a good one until I realized that the drives have internal logic that powers down the motor after about a minute if it doesn’t manage to read any data off the drive. So as they stand, these partially-stripped drives won’t work.

But the motor is a self-contained mechanism. The logic for the spin-up routine is in board attached to the drive case. It might be possible to build a power supply for the motor that will allow you to use it to power a Charka. We’ll see if I can figure out how to do that.

Also, there’s been a little bit of knitting. I’m loving the colors in Amanda’s yarn:

Sock for Dawn 1

No Responses to “The best-laid plans of mice and knitters”

  1. TheAmpuT Says:

    I’m not sure if it’s the same concept, but I think there was an episode of Knitty Gritty where they made spindles out of old cd’s and dowels.
    PS..the charka thing is adorably geeky.

  2. alice Says:

    oh if it weren’t for the logic drive issue, i’d be first in line to get a charka like that!

    i’m JUST starting to get into the inner workings of computers, and i got a box of parts from a friend of mine today! some work, some dont… and i’m planning on turning the pieces that don’t work into art projects, functional things, whatever! everything must get used! hehe.

  3. Stephieface Says:

    Someone needs to invent a spindle or something that is powered by a stationary bike so that I can spin fiber and rid myself of Christmas ass. Ha- then the term “Spinning class” would be so appropriate.

  4. Ellen-Mary Says:

    I’m with Stephieface. I’ve been trying to figure out how to knit while I’m on the treadmill. Apparently, I have balance issues.

  5. Wendy Says:

    A. Gorgeous socks. Amanda’s dyeing plus your knitting is a winning combo!

    B. I hereby volunteer to test any and all spinning gizmos you come up with.

    C. The electric charkha sounds like an interesting idea, but keep in mind that it needs variable speed, and must be able to spin backwards so as to position the yarn for winding on.

    D. How big is the hole in the middle of the hard drive platters? When I make CD spindles, I use a rubber grommet that’s grooved on the outside and just barely fits onto the dowel on the inside. I’ll see if I can find one around here. I can’t remember the technical name for it. Every time I need more, I have to go and ask for the grooved rubber grommet thingy and sound like a fool.

  6. Miss Scarlett Says:

    These sound like ambitious plans. Keep us posted – that would be pretty awesome if you can find a way to reuse materials this way.

  7. geeky Heather Says:

    Please don’t tempt me to start spinning by using geeky materials to make spinning implements. It might be too much for me. *swoon* =)

  8. enid Says:

    a motorized ball winder?!?!

  9. amanda Says:

    you should set the jumpers so the drive doesn’t go into an H3 state…
    (this comment courtesy of my husband)

  10. Carrie Says:

    That’s a very interesting idea about making a charka. My husband is always trying to remake stuff, too. That’s pretty neat. I like the sock yarn, too. It’s so bright for this time of year!