Archive for the ‘pattern’ Category


April 23, 2014

Vintage pattern editing with video games

niendo knitting

In the late 1980’s an amazing idea from Howard Phillips who worked for Nintendo made a peripheral prototype for the NES: a knitting machine! Connected to the NES, you would be able to knit and edit a jacquard pattern from your software. The prototype was shown at the 1987 Winter Consumer Electronics Show but didn’t get much attention. And sadly, this was never manufactured to get to consumers homes.

I Am A Teacher: Super Mario Sweater (アイアムアティーチャー スーパーマリオのセーター )

mario sweaters

In Japan, another pattern editing software appeared in 1986 for the Famicom Disc System. And it was apparently a big success. This was probably made to attract women in buying video games and would learn you how to knit a sweater or cardigan. Adjusting pattern and size, you would then send to the company your design and get your jumper manufactured for 24$.

System: Famicom Disk System
Developer: Royal Industries Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Nintendo
Release dates:
August 27, 1986 (Japan)

Here are some screen shots of the software:

I am a Teacher - Super Mario Seta (1986)(Nintendo)-0 I am a Teacher - Super Mario Seta (1986)(Nintendo)-11 I am a Teacher - Super Mario Seta (1986)(Nintendo)-16 I am a Teacher - Super Mario Seta (1986)(Nintendo)-18


Pattern programming with the Commodore 64

Lucy using  her Commodore 64 in 1988 for interactive calculation of knitting parameters.


Commodore 64 graphic book step by step programming:

here are a more pictures


Multithreaded Banjo Dinosaur Knitting Adventure 2D Extreme!

A nice art project where you knit out directly your winner panels from the video game using a hacked knitting machine with a key emulator and arduino.

Travis Goodspeed, Arjan Scherpenisse, and Fabienne Serriere

dinosaur knit

Nintendo embroidery from Per Fhager.

Nuts & Milk, 2013
89X102cm, chain stitch, cotton
(Crafted Worlds 2) source Nuts and Milk- 2013_800



Islamic geometrical pattern

April 18, 2014

Islamic geometrical pattern.

In Islamic art we find very mathematical ways of designing geometrical patterns. The gigantic mosaics are made to represent an infinite pattern which can go beyond the visible world. That can explain why the designers had to find ways of constructing patterns which could have complex ways of repeating themselves. The Egyptians where advanced on mathematics. We also know that during the Islamic golden age,  ancient texts on Greek and Hellenistic mathematics as well as Indian mathematics were translated into Arabic.

56104-large 56105-large 56118-large 56123-large 56245-large 56260-large Mekhnes_Place_El-Hedine_Mosaique2 Tassellatura_alhambra

We can find in these designs very advanced mathematical rules to create such big designs without any errors, especially for building that are 800 years old. Surprisingly, I have found great similarities with the Penrose Tiling named after mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose in the 1970s. Their are different sorts of ways to compose a what we call “aperdiodic tiling” pattern. Aperiodic tiling by it’s definition “can only tile the plane in a non-repeating manner. This is in contrast to non-periodic tiling that can tile the plane in an irregular manner but can also do so in a regular, periodic fashion.”

Here is a very good explanation of different sets of aperiodic tilling:

I also found this interesting article that speaks about research on ancient Islamic Penrose tiling: here

Other ressources:

Girih tiles

Aperiodic Tiling1Tile-coloured Aperiodic_tiling_with_3_tiles Binary_patch_03 Frett_K_B_03 Golden_Rhomboid_Triangle petra_2_gr_1 robinson_patch_03

Here is a very good encyclopedia of wonderful mathematical tilings.

On my page of Tools to create and explore computer generated patterns you can find some programs to generate Penrose tilings.

A few links for mathematical textile/