About the Knitting Machine

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About the Knitting Machine

Wally120, the open source knitting machine

OpenKnit is a project by Gerard Rubio on creating an open source knitting machine.

The latest machine is called “Wally 120”. In its current form, it is able to knit tubes in one color.

This machine can be found at the interaction station of the Willem de Kooning Academy. It was built winter 2014 by students in a workshop with Gerard at the TU/E , in collaboration with De Waag.

The projects' website is found at http://www.openknit.org

The source files can be found at http://www.github.com/g3rard/openknit

At the interaction station, we created a max patch for controlling the machine. This can be found at http://www.github.com/openknit-max

Thomas and Yoana are the instructors who have been most working with the machine. They are the ones to contact if you want to work with it.

How to use the knitting machine

  1. The machine is best used with a tension mast.
  2. Guide the thread through the tension mast, and then through the bead in the yarn carrier.
  3. Create some tension on the bottom end by adding a little weight
  4. Move the front or back slider all the way down, move the carriage and and make the thread go though an x number of needles
  5. Loose every other needle by hand. Make a zigzag with the needles on the other side by hand. (A zigzag is an easy setup in combination with a zigzag comb.. You can also start with an “open” setup)
  6. Insert the comb. Add some weight to it.
  7. Move the front/bottom slider all the way down, knit one row adding the other needles.
  8. Then same on the other side.
  9. If everything works fine, automate the process with the max patch. Make the carriage hit the home switch to set the encoder. Set the left & right limits and use the automation.

More on the machine

  • In its current state, the machine doesn’t operate flawlessly. From time to time it will stop on something, and has to be helped by hand. Often a needle is stuck somewhere.
  • It is quite common that the leftmost needle on the backside does not grab the thread. This has probably something to do something with an error in symmetry.
  • The machine has an option to change the yarn carriage. Some experiments were done to knit in two colours. This worked, but produced lots of errors. Error-free one-color knitting would be a prerequisite before attempting this.[Category:Machines and facilities]]