circular-knitic-1Photo: Mar Canet

Most people who enjoy knitting don’t do it because they actually need knitted fabric, they simply appreciate the catharsis of partaking in a quiet and repetitive activity. For other knitting enthusiasts, the pleasure of knitting lies in the process of designing and building an automated machine to do that repetitive task for them. Artist duo Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet fit comfortably into the latter category with their latest knitting innovation, an open hardware circular knitting machine called Circular Knitic.

Circular knitting machines have been around for a long time. During World War I hand-cranked circular knitting machines were critical to the U.S. war effort by producing replacement socks to help soldiers stave off trench foot. Although automated machines already exist for commercial knitwear production, Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet’s contribution to circular knitting machine design makes the production of these machines totally open source, so that anyone can make their own machine.

Circular Knitic is an open hardware project. By using digital fabrication and makers’ tools, like 3D printing, laser cutting, makerbeam, and Arduino, we have designed an automated and replicable circular knitting machine.

Circular Knitic was created for a program called DOERS, curated by Arduino co-founder David Cuartielles, which will take place at Etopia Center for Art & Technology in Zaragoza, Spain, where five circular knitting machines will be creating long scarves through July 31st!
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So, if you’d like to turn your basement or local makerspace into a DIY knitting factory, then be sure to give the Circular Knitic designs a gander and then learn how to use it with their handy instructional video!