*Geek Out*: Knitting Electronics


Open source digital knitting machines enabled us to precisely design the patterns, convert any data into knit and feed the pattern line by line in real time. At last year’s summer camp, we had many digital knitting machines. Can we gather our expert knitters and specialist electronics geeks together to see what these machine are capable of knitting?


possible sub-topics:
Sensors, Actuators:

Creating input:
what ways do we have for creating the patterns we knit?
A starting point could be to study the “Interactex” knit electronics database and then develop more knitted electronics components to contribute to the database (knitted sensors, actuators, connectors, batteries, memory….)?

8 Responses to *Geek Out*: Knitting Electronics

  1. Jesse Seay says:

    I am both an electronics and machine knitting geek. I see so much potential in the intersection between these two fields, and I am excited to spend a week with other people who think the same way. (Interactex is awesome!)
    I got into machine knitting in 2012 and now own a Brother 230, 260, and hacked 940. Recently, I received a Passap Duomatic and a Superba S48, and hope to have them working soon. I’m also on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where I teach an electronics workshop for sound art. My background is in sound and electronics; I got interested in machine knitting as a way of CNC fabricating electronics. I’m still learning to make clothes fit, but I know my machines by heart, and I hope to contribute to the discussion with my knowledge of electronics. Find details about my eTextile machine knitting on my blog.

  2. Esteban de la Torre says:

    Since my knitting initiation last year at Paillard (https://vimeo.com/106191962) , I’ve been a devotee. Now I have strong a love/hate relationship with the KH910 we own.

  3. beam contrechoc says:

    My knitting machine is happy if it is possible to join this geek group. She is very interested in the “other” stitches, like patent, jacquard, skip, lace, also double bed jacquard. She has (of course) the possiblity of switching brains. With an old Knitic board (debugged on several places) and vintage software she knitted datavis in several techniques: https://myfablab.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/back-to-knit-stitch-basics-comparing-stitches/ and https://myfablab.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/doing-invisible-knitted-datavisualisation/ (search blog for “knit” if you are interested). Becoming intelligent, recognizing and preparing or checking the knitting technique for images is one of her dreams.
    But she has other “FOCUS” interests too, like “knitting something e-textily to wear yourself”: https://myfablab.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/change-partners/ and harvesting energy, see her swatch: http://etextile-summercamp.org/swatch-exchange/hitting-knitting/ :-)

  4. Pauline Vierne says:

    I am very excited to see how we can bring our knitting knowledge together and go beyond what we are usually able to do !

    As a contributor to the Interactex Database I am also very interested in spreading it to our knitter community (as it’s for now mainly (only?) about knitting samples, but willing for more diverse textile techniques) and having more contributions !

    Belonging to the SummerCamp’s atmosphere and researches there would still be this idea of a harvesting knitted fabric… which turned out into a battery last year, but as we are not done with that research we could hopefully reach a new point !

    I’ve recently repaired a Brother KH 910, a little bit tired from her previous life, but finally fit and connected to the hack from AYAB … On my own I have troubles with defining a “knittable” pattern which would make some kind of sense… Last year I used the opportunity with Maurin’s self programmed interface (http://maurin.donneaud.free.fr/?-KnitHack- ) to extract a pattern out of a recorded sound. This pattern was infinite and presents intrinsically Paillard’s quality and life. We made visible a collective memory of Ricardo’s birthday. However, I’m still on the way to find out how to connect this interface to the software from AYAB. There should be some possibilities !

    And what about CAD softwares ? I don’t know these at all but would be interested in trying out… maybe !

  5. claire williams says:

    I would be happy to join this knitting electronics experience! I know quite well knitting machines but their are always infinite and different techniques that can be explored. Combining knitting with electronics to experiment how we can adapt both techniques to one another. I am working on an artistic research project on knitted coils and antenna’s that can be used for now as receivers, but their are a lot of further applications that can be imagined (doc soon!). I have also been previously working a lot with jacquard and hacked knitting machines where i translate and encode data in a knitted surface. https://xxx-clairewilliams-xxx.hotglue.me/Data_Knits I also continued to explore some experiments we did at last year summer camp workshop. I am particularly interested in looking into breaking up electronics and adapt them with knitting techniques in the example of the knitted speaker http://v2.nl/lab/projects/betaknit-research.

  6. Emilie Giles says:

    As part of my research I’d like to think about how knitted electronics can be used as tangiable interfaces by visually impaired people. I didn’t partake much in the knitting activities this year so would like to make it a focus, particularly with sensors that contain different yarns and textures.

  7. Audrey Briot says:

    I’m fond of knitting machines! After learning basics at school I use Maurin’s Knitting machine. http://maurin.donneaud.free.fr/?-KnitHack-
    I first knit sounds in a collaboration with Victor Giannotta, a product designer in a story between oak wood and machines. http://audreybriot.fr/en/projets/inapparent.html
    I really believe in the potential of jacquard http://audreybriot.fr/en/projets/tricot.html or http://audreybriot.fr/en/projets/blancs_manteaux.html and conductive yarns.
    My next work will be between pockets and increases ( and over stuff I don’t know the name in English ) and jacquard and conductive yarns or memory wire. http://audreybriot.fr/en/projets/summercamp.html
    I plan to carry Maurin’s Knitting machine, the Brother KH940, we also have over traditional knitting machines or pieces. I would to create a hack for old knitting machines to knit jacquard using their 200 needles for one pattern ( instead of 24 needles/pattern. )

  8. Jussi Mikkonen says:

    I would be quite interested in this, as well as the radio-workshop. I do not have too much experience in knitting, so this would be very much of interest. I do have quite a bit of experience in electronics, so it would be interesting to see how to develop some new means of communicating within the dynamic textiles, of which knits are the prime example of.

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