Friday, 14 November 2014

Image conversion - which knitting machine can I use?

A frequent question I get asked is which knitting machines can the draw-scan-knit software be used with. The short answer is that the software I am currently using only works with the Brother KH-950i. This works fine for me, as it is the only electronic knitting machine I own. However, the 950i is not the only electronic programmable machine, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to source a good working model.

The 'hack' that I use is largely a collection of open-source python scripts that emulates the Brother external FB-100 disk drive. The original brianredbeard branch on GitHub, and the adafruit branch, are both configured for the Brother KH-930E, which is a Brother model released in the USA. In the UK, Brother released the 950i. My branch on GitHub is for the 950i model only. The branches are needed due to a difference in the memory size between the 2 machines. I have briefly tried the same software against a Brother KH-970 long enough to determine that it has another completely different memory size.

If you have a 970, or other Brother electronic knitting machine with an FB-100 port, and like playing with Python scripts, then I would recommend doing a compare between the 950i and 930 branch code in order to show where the memory size differences occur. You can they play with your particular scripts/machine in order to find a setting that works.

If you don't fancy messing about with Python scripts, then the wiki is trying to maintain a list of other software that is available for knitting machines (commercial and open-source).