When I was little, I remember being very excited about a toy called Knit Magic. It was a crankable knitting machine that produced a tube, and with those tubes you could make hats, scarves and even purses. Well, imagine my surprise on finding this Knitic on 3Ders.org. Knitic may ring a bell, as we reported on this Arduino hacked knitting machine before. However, that was a Brother knitting machine. The same duo, Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, have now invented a circular machine, which is mega open source. Here’s their description.
Circular Knitic is an open hardware project. By using digital fabrication and makers’ tools, like 3D printing, laser cutting, makerbeam, and Arduino, we have designed an automated and replicable circular knitting machine.
If you want the skinny on how this was made, check out the video. Notice that this machine does not run swiftly, but it is motorized. There’s a lot of moving needles here, and as I’ve witnessed a Brother machine in action, I can tell you that needles can get stuck. So, slow and steady wins the race.
I would be interested to see what the open source community does with this machine. Would a hack allow certain needles to move differently creating a more web like knit? Could you 3D print a smaller version of the machine to create a different size tube, or even create some sort of attachment that could change the size? So many possibilities. As for the finished tube, a single one may not seem very interesting, but multiple tubes may be stitched together or even woven for some interesting effects. You can also vary the colors of yarn, creating stripes. Of course my idea would be to use tubes to create sock monkey like creatures, and then hack them like our Chirping Plush Owl Toy. If you can’t get a Knitic, just get a circular knitting device at your local craft store and work sans Arduino. You can get a tube together quite quickly, and still make a creature. Amaze your friends with its electronic chatter, and don’t forget to send us a video.
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