Australian software engineer Sarah Spencer has taken a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino-compatible board and written some PHP and Python code to interface to hack a Brother KM950i knitting machine. The resultant set-up allows her to send an image to the machine over her network with more than two colours in any single row of knitting. Her latest project, Stargazing: A Knitted Tapestry, measures 4.6 metres (15 feet) wide and 2.8 metres (9 feet) high and was displayed at, and was funded by, recent geek festival EMF Camp where I was privileged to see it up-close-and-personal:
The work had been embedded with LEDs that lit up constellations. You could request a light-up from a website which was then sent over to the tapestry. I’m not sure if this involved a Pi too, but either way it was very clever, though non-functioning when we visited. You can see Spencer giving a talk about the knitting machine at EMF Camp here and you can read a bit more here, where there are links to her website.