Every day, an endless stream of tweets enters the Twitterverse – some to live on via retweets and favourites, others to fade into the dark depths of the web, never to be seen again. This “here today gone tomorrow” phenomenon led us to wonder: must digital chit chat be so fleeting? We didn’t think so. And thus, Knitterstream was born. It began as a data visualization project – an electronic knitting machine from 1998 that, with the help of custom software and hardware, could transform a humble tweet into a tangible, real life, woven work of art.
Launched with the help of Fast Company at C2-MTL – a festival of creativity and commerce in Montreal – we asked twitter-users, “What creative mantra do you work by?” They responded, tweeting their mantras with the hash tag #knitterstream, and Knitterstream transformed the most retweeted mantras into custom designs, which it then knit into what turned out to be 120 feet of cozy conversation. Tweeters could watch the machine in action, live via ustream, and a virtual version was also “knit” in real time at knitterstream.com, allowing those not at C2 to watch online as their mantra was turned from tweet to knit. And there you have it. Proof that tweeted genius can stick around long enough to get the readership it deserves, when stitched into a wearable, frameable keepsake by Knitterstream. Scroll down to see a digital version of the C2-MTL scarf.