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 controlled directly 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 .
In this workshop we will explore how our knitting machine can become a way of printing out generated data on a textile surface.First we will show how the monitoring system and the arduino controls the knitting machine as well as how the machine works in general.
We will then experiment hands on with field recordings and capture data of our surrounding environment. Our data cartography’s will then be translated and visualised with Pure Data or other sensors that you may wish to explore. This will be sent to the machine to be knitted out. These patterns can be read as a visual translation of rhythms, silences, movements and noises embedded in a palpable knitted surface. At the end of the workshop we would like to discuss the possibilities of other tools to experiment with different sensors and pattern visualisation which can be continued in the week.
For details on tools we will be using : https://github.com/MaurinElectroTextile/KnitHack_KH940
Workshop Leaders: Claire Williams and Maurin Donneaud
Workshop Visual Report
The workshop explored how hacking some models of knitting machines (KH910 – KH970 – KH930 _ KH940) using a forking of Knithack software and being able to convert any type of sound into patterns for the knitting machine.
We started understanding the basic functions of kitting machines and also how the hack activated the communication between the computer and the machine.
We didn’t go deep into detailing how to do it but you can hack your machine following the forking of Knithack on Github by Maurin:
Then when the machine was finally connected to the computer we used the following softwares:
- Jack – deviating the sound to PureData before it goes to the sound card
- PureData – in this software you create a (patch) to convert the sound into a visualisation that turns high sounds and low sounds into 1 and 0 of a two-colour pattern and then send it to the Arduino+Shield of the Knithack device.
- VLC to play songs or recorded sounds
We experimented with different sounds recorded from the environment or from other machines. Below a series of pictures and videos with work in progress and outputs of the workshop
- output 1
- output 2