About a month ago I bought a (used) Brother KH 940 Electroknit. It’s roughly the size of an electronic keyboard (the “pretend to be a piano” sort of keyboard, not the “send characters to a computer” sort of keyboard), and it’s very, very heavy. I’ve reached the point where I can knit almost anything I want as long as every stitch is a knit stitch and I don’t drop any stitches.

By now I was hoping to have pictures of fantastic knitted objects, but it is taking me longer than expected to create fantastic knitted objects. Specifically, I am having a lot of trouble with the ribber. The ribber is dropping a lot of stitches, and I can not tell if the fault lies with me, the machine, or the yarn. The ribber is an essential part of my plans because you need the ribber to be operating flawlessly in order to knit double bed jacquard, which is a fancy way of saying “knit awesome patterns without the back looking like a rat’s nest.” You also need the ribber in order to knit half milano stitch, which is a technique for knitting where the edges don’t roll.

My current half-hearted short-term project is to find a source of very cheap yarn that is well-suited for machine knitting. The yarn need not be made of a prestige fiber; it need not feel nice against your skin. It could be a really ugly color. But it needs to be something that will give me the best shot at figuring out how to get this machine to do my bidding. And very, very cheap. This machine goes through yarn at a rapid clip. It can knit up half a pound of sock yarn in just a few minutes.

Meanwhile I am also fighting with Python because almost 10 years ago some people wrote code that will let your computer send designs to the knitting machine. The world (and Python) have moved on since then, and the code was not that well documented to begin with. So far I have fixed an out-of-date dependency (something about an image library being deprecated; something about the way that modules or packages or something is supposed to be loaded). I haven’t done much else, as this code seems to have been originally written by people who actually know Python, and my skill with the language stops somewhere before the code starts including underscores.

For those keeping track at home, I am still auraing. The medication that had previously worked is not working.