Make a knitting machine print pixel art

[Becky Stern] shows how to take an old electronic knitting machine and interface it with a computer. After seeing the Brother KH-930E knitting machine in the video after the break it looks like the controls function quite like a CNC milling machine. Patterns can be programmed in and stored on a floppy disk. Since we don’t want to use those anymore (unless they’re hacked as an SD card carriage) it is nice to see that this is how the machine is connected to a computer. Using an altered FTDI cable and a floppy-drive emulator written in Python a blank design file can be saved on the knitting machine, manipulated in the computer to add your own pixel art, then loaded back onto the machine for production. At the very least, it’s interesting to watch the knitting happen, but fans of knitted apparel and geek paraphernalia must be salivating by now.

We’ve never given up our dream to transition from Hack-A-Day to Craft-A-Day, this just fuels the fire for that cause.

16 thoughts on “Make a knitting machine print pixel art

  1. Whats so odd is i was looking at mechanized sock knitters on youtube earlier and then this shows up in hackaday …

    Back to youtube i go…

    Note (the sock knitter shows up in recommended i didn’t search for it but it was interesting.

  2. So, the only thing keeping me from trying this out is that I know nothing to do with knits, and these machines are still expensive / above the impulse buy price.

    Very cool, wish I could justify getting one to try this with.

  3. Hey HackADay admins!!

    This hack deserves a start of its own category. “Knitting hacks”. That’s awesome enough to earn a start to its own category.

  4. computer aided knitting, I actually find my self wanting one of these. I don’t know a thing about knitting but I know my fair share about computers. I also think being able to make stylish winter caps is a decent idea. A computer aided knitting machine would mean I could make cool stuff and still not know how to knitt. I call that a win.

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