Knitting Afterparty

The summer in Paillard was having familiar Dutch features. For a few days it was not summer at all. Participants tried to shop socks at the knitting nest in the main theater. The knitters had to disappoint the customers. In the knitting party week after the summercamp the challenge of knitting an intelligent sock was taken seriously.

Resulting in a sock with an area of conductive yarn. Circular ribber knitting. Although the conductive yarn makes this sock e-textile, all the used knitting techniques are very manual. This is a tutorial how to make this sock (without the conductive yarn):

The sock could have been knitted on a knitting machine without any electronics. If you want to insert an image, you should use not the ribber technique, but the way to knit a sock using one bed (see the end of this post):
Japanese youtube movie on kntting a sock on the main bed.

Details of the Knitting Afterparty sock:

The grey stuff is Plug and Wear conductive wool, and at the rims there is silver solderable thread, to reinforce the connection and evenly distribute the current.

Close up of the two threads

Close up of the connection area with the two yarns. The silver thread shows up.

The resistance of the total area is still 2K Ohm, making it not suitable for being used as a warming up patch, where the resistance should be much lower to allow for a current of 0.5A – 1A.

But it can be used for either signaling, or switch (connecting two other area’s), or a stretch-pressure sensor during walking.

The knitting group had developed a way to incorporate an ATtiny85 inside a knitting (see documenting knitting post). After the knitting party week it was felt that this way of inserting electronics into a knitting was more done from the point of view of sewing than of knitting. Knitting feels 3D after a while, sewing remains more 2D, thought in a plane. So other ways of combining electronics and knitting were prototyped:

The bind off of a tube made in circular knitting. Using waist yarn. You see the nice chain appearing at the right.


Developing tubes to fit the electronics inside. Also the ATtiny will be pushed inside the tube.

For wrapping the electrical wires the so called “idiot cord” can be used. This is a circular knitting with so few needles that you can do it on the main board only. It makes a nice cord, which blends in the sock fabric. On the picture left: 5 needles, right 3 needles.

The next step is to use the “digital” capabilities of the KH-940. Inport an image for Nordic Knitting or Fair Isle while knitting a sock. The board was out of order at the moment, so we tried with a pattern from the memory of the KH-940, the number 9.

Because we have to knit this image on a 2D surface and not the ribber technique we used the plain sock knitting(プレーン靴下)  on the main bed from knitlabo, although we cheated and made the start on the double bed.

During the Nordic Knitting and the making of the heel (カカト) there was a lot of threads hanging on the main bed:

Also inside the sock these loose threads will mean this is not the Nobel Prize sock of the century:

In the end the sock was saved after a few tiny catastrophies:
The Nordic done over the total sock seems to be quite over the top. Maybe jut a strip, besides some strips of conductive yarnes?

After the knitting party we uploaded the pictures and we got this message in the Tor browser:

In Spanish it says that this sites tries to extract data from an HTML5 image link, which could be used to identify my computer in a unique way and if we will allow that… (I wonder who ever will discover this warning at the end of this extended blog post :-))

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