Knitwear can protect you from a winter chill, but what if it could keep you safe from the prying eyes of Big Brother as well? [Ottilia Westerlund] decided to put her knitting skills to the test for this anti-surveillance sweater.
[Westerlund] explains that “yarn is a programable material” containing FOR loops and other similar programming concepts transmitted as knitting patterns. In the video (after the break) she also explores the history of knitting in espionage using steganography embedded in socks and other knitwear to pass intelligence in unobtrusive ways. This lead to the restriction of shipping handmade knit goods in WWII by the UK government.
Back in the modern day, [Westerlund] took the Hyperface pattern developed by the Adam Harvey and turned it into a knitting pattern. Designed to circumvent detection by Viola-Jones based facial detection systems, the pattern presents a computer vision system with a number of “faces” to distract it from covered human faces in an image. While the knitted jumper (sweater for us Americans) can confuse certain face detection systems, [Westerlund] crushes our hope of a fuzzy revolution by saying that it is unsuccessful against the increasingly prevalent neural network-based facial detection systems creeping on our day-to-day activities.
The knitting pattern is available if you want to try your hands at it, but [Westerlund] warns it’s a bit of a pain to actually implement. If you want to try knitting and tech mashup, check out this knitting clock or this software to turn 3D models into knitting patterns.
Continue reading “Circumvent Facial Recognition With Yarn” →
We’re no strangers to unusual clocks here at Hackaday, and some of our favorites make time a little more tangible like [Kyle Rankin]’s knitting clock.
Inspired by our coverage of [Siren Elise Wilhelmsen]’s knitting clock, [Rankin] decided to build one of his own. Since details on the build from the original artist were sparse, he had to reverse engineer how the device worked. He identified that a knitting clock is essentially a knitting machine with a stepper motor replacing the hand crank.
Using a Raspberry Pi with an Adafruit motor hat connected to a stepper motor and a 3D printed motor adapter, [Rankin] was able to drive the knitting machine to do a complete round of knitting every twelve hours. By marking one of the knitting pegs as an hour hand, the clock works as a traditional clock in addition to its year-long knitting task. [Rankin] says he still has some fine tuning to work on, but that he’s happy to have had the chance to combine so many of his interests into a single project.
If you’re looking for more knitting hacks, check out this knitted keyboard instrument or a knitted circuit board.
Continue reading “Tempus Nectit, A DIY Knitting Clock With Instructions” →
Time got a little wibbly wobbly during these pandemic years. Perhaps we would’ve had a more tangible connection to it if [Siren Elise Wilhelmsen]’s knitting clock had been in our living rooms.
Over the course of a year, [Wilhelmsen]’s clock can stitch a two meter scarf by performing a stitch every half hour. She says, “Time is an ever forward-moving force and I wanted to make a clock based on times true nature, more than the numbers we have attached to it.” Making the invisible visible isn’t always an easy feat, but seeing a clock grow a scarf is reminiscent of cartoon characters growing a beard to organically communicate the passage of time.
We’d love some more details about the knitting machine itself, but that seems like it wasn’t the focus of the project. A very small run of these along with a couple prototypes were built, with a knitting grandfather clock now occupying the lobby of The Thief hotel in Oslo.
If you’re looking for more knitting machines, checkout this Knitting Machine Rebuild or Knitting 3D Models Into Stuffies.
Continue reading “Knitting Clock Makes You A Scarf For Next Year” →
New parents will tell you that a baby takes a few months to acquire something close to a day/night sleep pattern, and during that time Mom and Dad also find their sleep becomes a a rarely-snatched luxury. [Seung Lee] has turned this experience into a unique data visualisation, by taking the sleep pattern data of his son’s first year of life and knitting it into a blanket.
The finished product shows very well the progression as the youngster adapts to a regular sleep pattern, and even shows a shift to the right at the very bottom as a result of a trip across time zones to see relatives. It’s both a good visualisation and a unique keepsake that the baby will treasure one day as an adult. (Snarky Ed Note: Or bring along to the therapist as evidence.)
This blanket was hand-knitted, but it’s not the first knitted project we’ve seen. How about a map of the Universe created on a hacked knitting machine?
We’ve seen our fair share of interesting knitting hacks here at Hackaday. There has been a lot of creative space explored while mashing computers into knitting machines and vice versa, but for the most part the resulting knit goods all tend to be a bit… two-dimensional. The mechanical reality of knitting and hobbyist-level knitting machines just tends to lend itself to working with a simple grid of pixels in a flat plane.
However, a team at the [Carnegie Mellon Textiles Lab] have been taking the world of computer-controlled knitting from two dimensions to three, with software that can create knitting patterns for most any 3D model you feed it. Think of it like your standard 3D printing slicer software, except instead of simple layers of thermoplastics it generates complex multi-dimensional chains of knits and purls with yarn and 100% stuffing infill.
The details are discussed and very well illustrated in their paper entitled Automatic Machine Knitting of 3D Meshes and a video (unfortunately not embeddable) shows the software interface in action, along with some of the stuffing process and the final adorable (ok they’re a little creepy too) stuffed shapes.
Since the publication of their paper, [the Textiles Lab] has also released an open-source version of their autoknit software on GitHub. Although the compilation and installation steps look non-trivial, the actual interface seems approachable by a dedicated hobbyist. Anyone comfortable with 3D slicer software should be able to load a model, define the two seams necessary to close the shape, which will need to be manually sewn after stuffing, and output the knitting machine code.
Previous knits: the Knit Universe, Bike-driven Scarf Knitter, Knitted Circuit Board.
A large hacker camp attracts attendees from all over the world, and at the recent Electromagnetic Field in the UK there were certainly plenty of international visitors. Probably one of those with the longest journey was [Sarah Spencer] from Australia, and she deserves our admiration not just for her work but also for devoting much of her meagre luggage space to the installation she’d brought over for the event. In the lounge tent you could find the Knitted Universe, a map of the night sky with light-up Neopixel constellations covering an entire wall, and among the talks you could find her in-depth description of how she created it by hacking a 1980s Brother knitting machine into a network printer.
She starts with a potted history of knitting machine hacking, leading to the use of an emulated floppy drive replacing the mechanical item used to store scanned designs on the original hardware. She took an existing hack for a 16-bit Brother knitting machine and re-wrote it for her later 32-bit model, and then created a web interface for it called Octoknit which runs upon a Raspberry Pi. We’re then taken through the operation of a knitting machine and her further adventures in reverse engineering the file format. She ends up with a dithered 4-colour image, but there remains a problem. On the Brother, colour changes are performed by pressing a button, so something to automate the process was required. This task was taken on by her husband, who created an Arduino-driven mechanical button-presser in what had become a team effort. With this in place her only manual task became a periodic adjustment of the weight that preserves the tension in the finished knit.
Finally she moves on to the Knitted Universe itself, which at that point had become something of a viral sensation. Those of us who have created hacker camp installations will appreciate the volume of work that went into the piece, and she truly deserves the applause at the end of the talk. Watch it below the break, it’s a fascinating half-hour.
Continue reading “Electromagnetic Field: A Hacked Knitting Machine, Knitting The Universe” →
Despite all our technological achievements, humans still spend a lot of time waiting around for trains. Add a stiff winter breeze to the injury of commuting, and you’ve got a classic recipe for misery. [George Barratt-Jones] decided to inject some warmth into this scene by inviting people to knit a free scarf for themselves by riding a bike.
All a person has to do is ride the Cyclo-Knitter for five minutes and marvel at their handiwork. By the time the scarf is finished, they’ve cycled past being cold, and they have something to hold in the warmth. Cyclo-Knitter is essentially an Addi Express knitting machine being belt-driven by a stationary bike. Power is transferred from the bike through large, handmade wooden gears using old bike tire inner tubes as belts. [George] built a wooden tower to hold the machine and give the growing scarf a protected space to dangle.
We love the utility of this project as much as the joy it inspires in everyone who tries it. Check out their scarves and their reactions after the break. We haven’t seen people this happy to see something they weren’t expecting since that billboard that kills Zika mosquitoes.
Continue reading “Bike-Driven Scarf Knitter Is An Accessory To Warmth” →