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soundKnit

Computer controlled knitting machine

This project explore how to hack you knitting machine to use it as sound files textile printer. The Firmware & Software are fuly compatible with the AYAB Aruino extantion board (shield). Since the 19th century, home knitting machines were a popular manufacturing tool which allowed knitters to produce rapidly knitted items to sell or for household crafts. The possibility to use jacquard patterns started with the use of punched hole cards and began to be computerised in the 80's. The immediate and low raw material resource needed to produce a knitted surface is what make knitting machines mobile and accessible for experimenting and prototyping. Since the late 80's these knitting machines have stopped been produced. These last years hackers and makers have started to open up knitting machines and found new ways to hack them by allowing the machines to be directly controlled by a modern computer. These hacked knitting machines become a sort of textile printer. Having a direct communication between digital tools and the knitting machine pushes the boundaries of traditional knitted patterns and gives us the opportunity to think of new way's in conceiving patterns. The Software translat sound in to visual patern and then send it to the Arduino to control the knitting machine. You can purchase this Arduino extantion bord from our shop (comming soon) or the one from AYAB if it is still avalable.

Pictures & videos
Repository
github.com/eTextile/soundknit

We like to give the user full control over their gear and encourage modifications to the software and hardware. The full sourcecode and the schematics are available on GitHub and the firmware can be built using Arduino toolchain. So feel free to look inside the "Black-Box" and start tinkering. Feedback is more than appreciate ;-)

Publications

Blog
All About Knitting and Hacked Machines workshop @ etextile-summercamp

Exhibition
“Code is Law” Du 9 janvier au 28 février 2021, le Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles accueille entre ses murs “Code is Law”. Une exposition dans le réel, revisitant, comme toujours, l’art digital contemporain avec brio.

The soundKnit project is an ongoing project, if you are interested or need any informations about it, please contact us.