Hack your knitting machine AYAB tutorial

You can get overviews of different models of hacks in here

Ayab step by step tutorial

This tutorial is a complement to all the documentation and set up instructions you can find on

Ayab is a open source project from Andreas Müller and Christian Oberstiener. They  based their hack on the idea that you replace the original electronic computer of your knitting machine with a custom made circuit and a Arduino micro controller. In this way you can connect your knitting machine to your computer and send black and white patterns or pictures row by row. The max width is 200 needles/ 200 pxl and the height is “infinite”.

 KH 940/930/965 Brother Knitting Machine

(scroll down for the step by step tutorail for the kH 910 & KH 950 model)

Tested on Brother KH 940

Ubuntu 15.10 34bit

12/10/16

This tutorial is assuming you know how to knit with the knitting machine and that your knitting machine works. If you just got one and it doesn’t light up it can come from the capacitors that have blown up. Usually if the knitting machine hasn’t been turned on for a while it makes a big white smoke. In this case you need to change the capacitors that are near to the power supply plug. Here is a excellent tutorial you can check out here.

You can also watch this video to install the Ayab hack on your machine :

http://vimeo.com/99870358

You will need to order a ayab kit here: http://ayab-knitting.com/how-to-get-ayab/

be sure to check the good model of kit according to your brother knitting machine serie no. KH 910+KH950 are the same kit and KH 940/930/965 are another type of kit.

You will also need:

 

arduino_uno

 

  • x 1 Belkin Usb cable (the same used for printers)

belkin-cable

  • Computer with Linux, MacOSX or Windows operating systems.

Setting up the hack on the machine :

1/ Solder your kit according to the instruction you got when you recived your ayab shield.

ayab-shield-solder-kit

2/ Carefully connect your Ayab shield circuit on top of the Aduino Uno board.

It’s safe to put some masking tape on the pins left out who may touch your shield or on the Arduino board

3/Unscrew the screws on the plastic part on the left part of the machine where the computer and the row counter are located.

You will see then the original pcb computer of the kh 940 knitting machine connected with cables and white connector heads (molex connectors) and the power socket. You can disconnect them all to remove the original computer board completely from the machine. If you want to go back using the original computer board you can just re-plug everything back in place at any time.

5/Connect all the molex connectors of the knitting machine to the connectors on the Ayab shield. There are 2 3 pin connectors, the extended connector (black, white, grey) goes to the far right side of the machine (the right sensor). Protect the arduino or shield so that it isn’t touching the metal of the machine and be careful not to block the needles!

6/ Connect the Belkins usb cable to the Arduino board and to your computer

–> a red light lights up on the ayab shield

–>a green led lights up on the arduino

img_3709

Software :

1/ Install the latest ayab software following the instructions on :

http://ayab-knitting.com/software-and-documentation/

https://bitbucket.org/chris007de/ayab-apparat/wiki/english/Home

2/ Once you have installed the software and got Ayab running you can prepare a picture to knit.

3/ Go to your graphic designing software (ex Gimp )

Make a sample image of 50×100 pixels for example.  Make sure it is a black and white picture and save with a .png extension.

This is a test image example you can also use:

damier

4/ Go to your knitting machine and connect the grey power cable of your knitting machine and plug it to a power source.

AYAB_S4

5/ Put the carridge of the knitting machine & yarn tension holder on the ribber

6/ My pattern is in my case 50×100 pixels. Translated in knitting language that is 50 needle large and 100 row (height) . You can see on the ruler along the needle bed the machine needles goes from 100 to and 0 (yellow) and 0 to 100 green). In knitting machine conventions we always refer to 0 as the middle of a pattern or a knit.

Cast on by placing your stitches in the center that is in my case the far left needle is on the 25  needle (yellow) and far end needle 25 green. You can always change that in the Ayab software parameters if you want to your pattern to be knitted somewhere else.

7/ Knit a few rows and place your carridge to the far LEFT side of the machine (be sure it’s a little after the left end line sensor mark)

sensor

8/ Set KC II on the knob and push the MC button on the carridge.

9/ Turn the knitting machine on

→ the green led should lit up from the machine

And plug the Arduino USB cable into your computer

10/ Load your picture in Ayab software and configure the settings according to your image.

11/ Check that your USB port is detected

ayab_loadimg

12/ Clic on

  • configure

and

  • Knit

WAIT TILL THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE APPEARS:

‘Please init machine. (Set the carridge to mode KC-I or KC II and move the carriage over the left turn mark)’

ayab_knit

13/ Move slightly your carridge back and forth to indicate to the left hall sensor that your carridge is active. You will here a BEEP! And then a second BEEP! BEEP! Once it has beeped twice you can move your carridge all over to the right to do your first row. You can now see that some needles have been selected and pushed to D and E position this means the needles are correctly positioned and you are now ready to knit your pattern.

img_3711

14/Once your carridge is on the right you can now put your 2nd yarn color in the yarn feeder (b) on carridge.

15/ Slowly knit from left to right. Each time you hear the buzzer it’s says it’s ready to knit the other row

ayab_launch

In my terminal i can also check that the 0’s and 1’s (translated from b&w picture) are correctly sent row by row to the knitting machine. It sends a new line to the machine each time you pass the hall sensors so take care to go right past it and hear a BEEP! each time you knit another line.

img_3716

Pattern is always faced from the back side when knitted

So now you can go ahead and knit your picture until the end.

KH 910 or KH 950 Brother Knitting Machine

Version: AYAB GUI beta 1

Tested on: KH 910 Knitting machine and Ubuntu 14.04

July 2014

This hack for knitting machine is a project from Ayab :

http://www.ayab-knitting.com/

https://bitbucket.org/chris007de/ayab-apparat/wiki/Home

This tutorial is assuming you know how to knit with the knitting machine.

You can also watch this video to install the Ayab hack on your machine :

http://vimeo.com/99870358

To Order the AYAB shield: https://shop.thinkstack.de/gb/

You will also need:

  • x 1 Usb cable

-Linux, MacOSX and Windows operating systems.

Setting up the hack on the machine :

1/ Carefully connect your ayab pcb shield and the arduino uno –

It’s safe to put some masking tape on the pins left out who may touch your shield.

AYAB_S0

AYAB_S01

2/ Unscrew the screws on the plastic part on the left part of the machine where the computer and the row counter are located.

AYAB_S1

AYAB_S1_1

You will see then the original pcb computer of the kh 910 knitting machine connected with cables and black connecter heads which each have numbers written on them (S1, S2, S3 ..etc…).

3/ Disconnect all the connecters from the original computer board of the machine in order to remove the board completly from the machine.

AYAB_S2

We will now just use the S2, S3, S5,S7 & S1 connecters.

You can cut the small plastic clamp that ties the S1 power connecter to give it more length to attach to the shield.

4/ Connect the S2, S3, S5,S7 & S1 connecters to the pins of the ayab shield as shown..

ayab shield connections1 ayab shield connections3 ayabshield connections3

BE CAREFULL TO RESPECT IN WHICH WAY YOU CONNECT THEM !

Check on the pictures in which direction the side of the connectors should be facing .

5/ Cut ou a piece of cardboard paper to avoid the arduino touching the metal of the machine, be carefull not to block the needles!

6/ Connect the usb cable to the arduino board and to your computer

–> a red light lights up on the ayab shield

–>a green led lights up on the arduino

7/ Connect the grey power cable to your machine and plug it to a power source.

AYAB_S4

8/ Put the carridge of the knitting machine & yarn tension holder on the ribber

My pattern is 64×64 pixels. Translated in knitting langage that is 64 needle large and 64 row (height) . You can see on the ruler along the needle bed. The machine needles goes from 100 to and 0 (yellow)and 0 to 100 green )

9/ Cast on by placing your stitches in the center that is in my case the far left needle is on the 32 yellow needle far end needle 32 green.

10/ Knit a few rows and place your carridge to the far LEFT side of the machine (be sure it’s a little after the left end line sensor)

11/ Set KC II on the knob and push the MC button on the carridge.

12/ Turn the knitting machine on

→ the green led should lit up from the machine

Software :

1/ Install the ayab software following the instructions on :

https://bitbucket.org/chris007de/ayab-apparat/wiki/english/Home

2/ Once you have installed your files at your prefered location in a folder you will see different folders.

3/ Go to your graphic designing software (ex Gimp )

Make a sample image to test on for example.

For example make a 50×50 pixels black and white picture.

4/ Once it’s saved as .png put your image in :

/home/wiwi/ayab/software/python folder

ayab_tuto_software

5/ Open up your Terminal window.

and go to your python folder by typing the path of your folder with the Ayab software:

In my case :

cd /home/(username)/ayab/software/python

Then type :

python ayab_commandline.py « name_of_your_picture ».png

For exemple my picture is called « damier.png » So i typed :

python ayab_commandline.py damier.png

terminal ayab screenshot

The Python script is now opened through my terminal Window where we can see diffrent options to change parameters of the pattern or place the pattern somewhere else than in the center.

Since i chose to knit my pattern in the center it will automatically be placed it there.

So i can  choose ::

« 9 – knit image with current settings  »

So i type :

9

and press ENTER

I now see in the terminal window a message :

>Please init machine

ayab_tuto_softwareterminal

6/ Set your row counter at 0

7/ Move the carridge from left to right

Press ENTER again in tour terminal

– you should hear the buzzer make a sound at the end of your row and then your terminal says ;

>Please init machine

=================

>Ready to Operate

=================

[0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1] Image Row: 0 (indexToSend: 0, reqLine: 0, lineNumber: 0, lineBlock:0)

ayab_tuto_termianlstep3

–> A yellow led lights up on the ayab shield

I can now see that some needles have been selected and pushed to D position this means i am ready to knit a pattern .

AYAB_6

7/ Now put your 2nd yarn color in the yarn feeder (b) on carridge

AYAB_7

8/ Slowly knit from left to right

Each time you hear the buzzer it’s says it’s ready to knit the other row

AYAB_S8

Pattern is always faced from the back side when knitted

So now you can go ahead and knit your picture !!

………………………………………………………………………………………………

11 Responses to “Hack your knitting machine AYAB tutorial”

  1. Oakland Coliseum String Art Yarn Bomb | KNITS FOR LIFE Says:

    […] named the Bay Bridge design below their top pick. We popped their hashtag #OaklandLoveIt into our Arduino-hacked consumer knitting machine to knit four labels for selfies and social media. We stocked up on yarn […]

  2. fruitte Says:

    I am having issues getting the green led to light up on my shield after sending my designs to configure and then to knit. I also do not get an init knit machine prompt. My knitting machine cord is plugged into the knitting machine and a power outlet. I do have the red led shining on my shield, and a green light (plus a blinking yellow light) operating on the arduino….but I haven’t been able to get the green led on, a buzzer sound, or the init knit machine prompt….

    I’m working with the kh 910, the older version of the ayab shield, the mac version of the ayab firmware, and i’ve tried it out with the ayab firmware version 8 on the PC as well…and haven’t had any luck….

    Do you have any suggestions for troubleshooting?

    • xxxclairewilliamsxxx Says:

      If you don’t have an init prompt then you can’t init the machine (which will then light up the green led, the buzzer indicates when you have finished a line.) Do you 1st clik “configure” then “knit” and after that the “Please init” should appear? From there you must move your carridge past the left sensor mark. You can write an issue on Ayab’s bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/chris007de/ayab-apparat/issues?&status=new
      Otherwise if you can open Ayab software through your terminal it would be easier to see if their is any error messages. Otherwise you can try to reinstall or test with another Arduino too. Good Luck!

  3. fruitte Says:

    Thank you I was able to fix it after connecting with the developers at Ayab. I am now trying to figure out how to digitally knit without the unsightly holes or gaps I tend to have from changing from one color to another….

    Thank you for help!

  4. xxxclairewilliamsxxx Says:

    Cool! To avoid holes you need to avoid doing long blocks of colours. You can otherwise tighten them after from behind once the knit is off the machine. A good trick is using wool, after you wash it gently with warm water it will tighten the knit a bit. Happy knitting!

  5. petra Maxwell Says:

    Can you tell me wether or not I can use the electronic Garter Carriage after installing the Ayab board?

    • xxxclairewilliamsxxx Says:

      Hello,
      I don’t have a Garter Carriage but if your model already works on an electronic 900 series of Brother knitting machines than i guess it should be exactly the same using Ayab. The only thing i would bear in mind is that using Ayab you need to go a bit more closer and wait a tiny bit longer than with the original computer near the hall sensors that are at each end of the machine so that it knows that you properly finished your row. The garter carriage goes quite slowly so i think it’s fine but if you intend using it for a very small width maybe it might be more tricky. I would initiate ayab with my normal carriage in jacquard mode and do one row carriage to the left to select the needles and then change it with the garter carriage at that moment.

  6. Pat Says:

    Can the AYAB software work with the Arduino Due

  7. Brenda Fish Says:

    I think the garter carriage power supply replaces the original power cord, any problem with that?

  8. Neki Rivera Says:

    am i way off mark assuming that i can use the regular settings for double bed jacquard with the ayab shield?

    • xxxclairewilliamsxxx Says:

      Yes you can use the usual settings for double bed jacquard with Ayab. They implemented an option on the software (double bed) and then you need to adjust you single & double bed carriage as usual.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: