Knitting, coding, and the fetishisation of the new

I’ve been thinking and learning about maker spaces lately, and have had to process what I’m reading through my misgivings about the primacy of digital tech and the fetishisation of the new.

Baruk Jacob @feddabon gave a very pithy presentation at the Pacific Libraries Summit, Pearl Harbour, Fiji on 1 June 2018 and presented a video on Papakura pupil Athens, and his making of a waka using a 3D printer. Athens: “You decide to make whatever, and think it up in your head.”

“Maker-y” at the Kootuitui cluster of schools in Papakura

From Athen’s comments, Baruk pointed out that  was “It’s not about the technology; its about what it enables.” It’s about how you put logic together to make the robot do things. “You have to carve a canoe to carve a canoe. Same with 3D printing”. It’s about the thought processes Athens is undertaking as he works to create the waka using the 3D printer.

Here’s another much longer interview with Baruk, with Jemore Rivera. “It was never about the books.” “We are connecting people to knowledge, we are connecting people to ways of doing.”

Baruk Jacob with Jerome Rivera

The articles below also cover this territory, with relation to knitting and coding. Knitting is about as far from Silicon Valley as one might care to think, and its categorising as feminine and craft makes it even more so – to those who think programming is the domain of STEM – and boys and men. In fact, knitting shares much with coding.

Kate Buckner, How knitting is like coding

Rose Hendricks, Knitting and programming

Karen Shoop, Knitters and programmers: separated at birth?

O’Reilly Commons, Don’t repeat yourself


Organisational goal = cross-generational skill sharing.

Strategy = co-ordinate, host, publicise – for others.

Possibility = joint event for knitters and code club




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