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Knitting Hack

Autonomously knit some clothes!

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In the past few weeks, we've made several e-textile posts, namely one about an E-Textile meet-up and another about our new e-textile category. While this project might not quite be "e-textiles," it certainly is in the same realm (well, kinda).

What we have here is a fully-automated knitting machine. It uses a Picaxe microcontroller, old sewing parts, and some clever programming to autonomously create knit goods. So if e-textile means clothing outfitted with electronics, what do we call clothes made by electronics? Whatever it is, we like it. If the forecast calls for snow and you need a scarf, put in a spool of yarn and sit back - soon, you'll have a nice toasty neck-warmer!

Comments 33 comments

  • That is really cool, we can now make the worlds longest/ugliest scarf and strangle Justin Bieber with it?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom

  • it may solve my knitting problem -- can you make sweater parts to specifications so I can just sew them together and make it look like I really took the time?

  • wonderfull i like it, where the other e-textile products :)

  • You guys, it'd be pretty cool to have some tron motorcycle jackets with EL lighting i think they'd be a hit. Then again nobody reads comment #28.

  • But can it do knit one perl 2?

  • There are also professional knitting machines which do this a bit faster.. so it is possible!
    You should go to the Textile Museum in Tilburg if you think textile is awesome if your coming to visit Holland..

  • I wonder if this guy is aware of KnitML

  • This is so cool, now you can wear hand-made-machine-made clothes.

  • Going along the lines of having a conductive thread woven through the textile, I'd like to see Pokino offer a conductive material that you can use in 3d Printing so one could print the wiring for whatever right into the object itself.

  • Wife: I'd like you to spend more time with me.
    Hubby: Doing what?
    Wife: Knitting.
    Hubby: OK!

  • It looks like they are using an old ball bearing rails for server racks. Awesome project for the winter season!

  • I can see it now, auto-routing for E-Textile projects and gerber files that feed the knitting machine!!

    • I've often wondered - why not send a spool of conductive thread to a small textile factory and have them weave some conductive cloth for you. They could be instructed to weave a Proto-Board style pattern, where you have horizontal or vertical stripes of conductive cloth seperated by stripes on non-conductive cloth. You could sew LED's or other electronics onto the cloth much like traditional buttons (clothing buttons, not push buttons).
      Can someone please do this and report back with the results? I lack the motivation to do it myself :(

      • What I was trying to describe is this:
        Set a loom up with a spool of conductive thread and a spool of non-conductive thread. Then weave several dozen rows of conductive weave followed by several dozen rows of non-conductive weave. This way you wind up with a stripe pattern; a stripe of conductive cloth followed by stripe of non-conductive cloth.
        This would be similar to a Breadboard type pattern, where you have rows of conductors separated by a non-conductor. Then you could stitch components to the cloth in a way simiar to how you build up circuits on a breadboard.

      • Conductive cloth is available, however creating a multi layered circuit is the trick. I have done it with fused fabric and conductive thread http://bit.ly/gamC3K I have also experimented weaving my own conductive cloth http://bit.ly/9iXGsi
        You can also etch conductive fabric http://bit.ly/g8cuGn but, this is not layered.


      • The problem is you don't want the whole thing to be conductive thread, just selectively so. I would be impressed if there were automated weaving/knitting machines that would weave in a separate thread arbitrarily where you want it, but I'm guessing those don't exist, though I hope to be proven wrong.

    • Exactly! Feed some conductive yarn in there and it's almost the fabric equivalent of a CNC machine. :)
      Can they crank up the speed on that bad boy?

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