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Monday, December 1, 2014

Machine knitting/ DesignaKnit Experiment

I've been admiring some of the things on Ravelry that were knit with Img2track, a computer aided program that works with some Brother electronic knitting machines.  Many are knit in double bed jacquard, which I haven't mastered yet, but I thought I could try the same thing with Photoshop, DesignaKnit and fairisle.

Here's my result.  The photo inset on the right is what I worked with.

Here are the steps I did in case you want to try it too.

1.  I use Photoshop Elements 10.  Changed a color photo to black and white (must be just two colors for our purposes.)  There are numerous applications out there to manipulate photos.  Some are free.

2.  The program has a feature where you can "dither" the photo.  I tried different settings to get something workable.  "Dither" means the computer program decides if something is black, white or gray.  If gray, it puts both colors in to imitate gray, kind of stipples it. Wikipedia describes it this way---

Dither is an intentionally applied form of noise used to randomize quantization error, preventing large-scale patterns such as color banding in images. Dither is routinely used in processing of both digital audio and digital video data, and is often one of the last analog stages of audio production to compact disc.

A typical use of dither is: given an image in grey-scale, convert it to black and white, such that the density of black dots in the new image approximates the average level of grey in the original image.


3.  I resized the photo's pixels to the size I wanted to make the pillow and the size that was knittable on the machine.  Mine happens to be 190 stitches by 234 rows.  About 27" by 24".  Saved the dithered photo in DAK's graphics studio folder.

4.  In DAK's graphics studio, I converted this dithered photo to a stitch design.  In the conversion, I made sure the stitch pattern would be the same number of pixels (width wise and length wise) as the photo.  DAK duplicated it exactly since there were only two colors and the stitches and rows matched.

5.  In DAK's Stitch Designer, I added a white stitch here and there to help with the lonnnnnnnnnnnnng floats.  I also added his name to the inside brim of his hat.

6.  Downloaded the stitch design to my knitting machine and knit the front.  The back is plain white, the same number of stitches and rows.

There are still tons of long floats on the back side, some of which I tried to hang on a same colored stitch a few rows up as it was being knit, but there were so many, I lost patience.  Instead, after it was off the machine, I gave it a good steam to set the stitches and now, a few days later, they have stayed put.  The one thing that I wasn't too happy about was the teeth.  The finished product looks a little jack-o-lantern-ish. But in order to have teeth and not a straight block of white, there had to be one stitch column between teeth.  I think the rest is a pretty good representation.

7.  I used the knitting to make a template for an inner pillow, stuffed and closed it.  Seamed the knitting on 3 sides, inserted the pillow, then seamed the 4th side.

This child has so many toys that it's hard to think of something unusual that will catch his interest.  I thought this would be nifty on his bed.  The heather blue and white are the colors of his bedroom.  And, after all!  How many people have their mug knit into a pillow???

So, anyway, give it a try.  It's fun, unusual and doesn't take a lot of skill, but makes you look a bit of a genius.


Slisen said...


Mar said...

Thanks, Sandy. I'm always looking for something different to do. Yes, I shoulda, coulda used dbj. Another time....

Lovin It Prim said...

Mar, you did a wonderful job. I'm going to try this & knit it on my Passap E6000. Thanks for the inspiration. Love all you do.

Lovin It Prim said...

Mar, you did a wonderful job. I'm going to try this & knit it on my Passap E6000. Thanks for the inspiration. Love all you do.

Mar said...

Thanks, Vicki. My grandson got a big kick out of seeing his face on a pillow.