How-To: Hack Your Knitting Machine

Craft & Design Yarncraft
How-To: Hack Your Knitting Machine

Learn to connect the Brother KH-930e knitting machine to any computer to knit any pattern you can create in a graphics program like Photoshop or Paint in this week’s CRAFT Video. This video tutorial supplements Ladyada’s knitting machine hacking tutorial, which provides more detail on things like making the custom serial cable. Limor and I got a huge leg up on this project from Steve Conklin’s knitting machine wiki page (no longer live). The machine that appears in this video is pretty consistently available on eBay.


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42 thoughts on “How-To: Hack Your Knitting Machine

  1. Craft Ideas says:

    I love this idea! Where could someone get a giant knitting machine like the one in this video?

  2. Becky Stern says:

    ebay! Thx for reminding me, I’ll add that to the post.

  3. Lisa says:

    I just looked at my knitting machine and it seems to be labeled as “KH-930” — no “e”. It looks the same as the one in this video. Do you have any idea whether they’re different models or actually the same thing?

  4. Becky Stern says:

    I haven’t a clue, but I would imagine that the differences must be trivial. Strange that they would release two models that are so similar, but who knows! Let us know how it goes when you try!

  5. AMorgan says:

    I have a KnitKing Compuknit III it is the same thing as a Brother KH-930 both machines are programmed with 555 stitches..
    These are the same machine, except for the name and color. All parts of like machines are interchangeable.

  6. Rachel-Louise says:

    This is great…thanks :-)

  7. Kristin says:

    Hey Becky – I was wondering if you could tell me where you get your cone yarn for your machine? Your awesome tutorial pushed me over the edge into purchasing an electroknit machine that I’d been eyeing for awhile!

  8. Becky Stern says:

    Webs:! I find the 8/2 cotton works especially well.

  9. Kristin says:

    Thank you!

  10. Carrie says:

    This is just what I’ve been looking for to connect my Brother to a Mac, but I have the K970. Do you think this hack would work with a model other than the KH930e?
    Thanks, again awesome job!

  11. Becky Stern says:

    Read your manual. If the instructions and commands we put forth look familiar, then you’re probably in good shape. We think most of the Brother machines from around this time will work with this hack, but we haven’t tested them so we can’t be sure. Good luck!

  12. Ramiro Salazar says:

    Hello, please, someone could provide me the manual for Brother KH-930 knitting machine compuknit III on the cover of the manual there are two pink elephants, because I lost mine, I have the machine and want to connect a computer to achieve better designs and finishes on fabrics.
    Thank you very much.

  13. Entity says:

    Thanks Becky for sharing the videos and the step-by-step instruction at On this website, you’ve stated that it was not possible to back up the built-in patterns from the KM to the PC. Was there a reason why?

  14. Daniel says:

    I tried the hack but I get an error during backup :(
    >python img COM4
    Preparing . . . Please Wait
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “”, line 631, in
    File “”, line 382, in handleRequests
    File “”, line 504, in handleFDCmodeRequest
    AttributeError: PDDemulator instance has no attribute ‘write’

  15. Caroline Coleman says:

    Has anyone been successful in hacking a kh970 I would love to try it on my machine but i am afraid it may blow up or damage the computer in the machine ? Any help would be appreciated.

  16. Dwee says:

    I have a brother knitting machine 950i. This is my very first machine. I tried a couple stitches of scarf it works. I’ve watched your video. I am a beginner knitter. I made scarves and hats hand knits. My question was I was looking for a Brother Link 5 with USB connection/ cable and it’s pricey. Mentioned a regular usb cable to help me save i don’t know how to modify it!
    I will appreciate any help! Thanks!

  17. Katharine says:

    Please advise if this is possible for both a KH940 and a KH270 actually the knitking bulky compuknit? Would the DAK cables be able to be used to download the python converted files? I spoke with someone who advised the cables someone else altered fried his KMs computer.
    Thank-you for your information,

  18. Christopher says:

    Hi, I have a KH950i, there seems to be some problem with the computer interface lead. Does anyone have the circuit diagram for the components inside the connector?
    Many thanks

  19. Laura says:

    Does it matter what version of Python 2.6 or 2.7.3, or 3.2 an installed? Which Python interpreter to use with Windows7 to run Python?

  20. xreis says:

    Is there any way to hack a Brother KH 950 knitting machine? Im asking because I have one and I would like to knit designs from computer.

  21. yvpnne young says:

    I need the information about hacking your km.

  22. Guest says:

    Hello! It is amazing stuff! I was wondering if you can use this algorithms on other knitting machines like singer? Would be great to let me know

  23. Guest says:

    Amazing stuff! I was wondering if you can use this algorithms for other knitting machines like singer? Would be great to let me know, thanks!

  24. Andreea Vasilcin says:

    Andreea Vasilcin • a few seconds ago
    Amazing stuff! I was wondering if you can use these algorithms for other knitting machines like singer? Would be great to let me know, thanks!

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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