Craft Show Spoils

I have done well for craft shows so far this year, having already attended the Creative Crafts Show at  Sandown Park at the end of January and the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show at the London Excel a few weeks ago.

Spoils to be had were bountiful, and I’m pretty pleased with my loot. Plenty to keep me going for the foreseeable future, until the next show at least! Continue reading Craft Show Spoils

Hugo the house-warming hippo door stop

When my sister and her husband moved into their first house together just before Christmas they were gifted a specially made door stop as a house-warming present, what a fantastic idea!

Since then I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to make and gift a door stop. The perfect opportunity presented itself when one of my best friends and her fiancé moved into their new flat last month.

After scouring Pinterest for door stop patterns and ideas, I finally settled on the Mary the Hippo soft toy pattern. Continue reading Hugo the house-warming hippo door stop

Understanding the Brother electronic knitting machine

The first step in reanimating my broken Brother KH-950i knitting machine with the Knitic system is understanding the principles of how Brother electronic knitting machines work. Fortunately the KH-910 and KH-940 service manuals (both downloadable from Knitting Machines etc.) are really useful in this regard. Continue reading Understanding the Brother electronic knitting machine

Electronic Knitting Machine Reanimation

The electronics on my original Brother KH-950i knitting machine are broken. Kaputt. Dead as a dodo.

Being an old machine (circa 1988) and no longer manufactured, replacement parts are tricky to get hold of. If only there was a way to bring it the electronics back to life, perhaps by substituting the original parts with a new, customisable, open system…

But wait, it has already been done! LogoKnitic_200x60The Knitic project replaces the main control boards of the KH-930 or KH-940 knitting machines with an Arduino so that the patterning can be controlled by the Knitic software. Better still, the lovely people behind the project have made it open and the source files are available to view and download from GitHub.

Only question is, can I get it to work with the earlier KH-950i model? Here begins my 950i reanimation journey.

Replacement power cable for Brother KH-950i

Part of the reason for the delay in discovering the issue with my 950i electronics was that it arrived without a power cable.
The 950i uses IEC-60320 “Appliance couplers for household and similar general purposes” standard connectors. Wikipedia and MindMachine.co.uk have good articles on the standard.

The knitting machine houses the C10 male connector, and the cable uses the corresponding C9 female connector.

It is surprisingly hard to get hold of new IEC C9 to UK plug cables!

Continue reading Replacement power cable for Brother KH-950i

Ding dong, the 950i electronics are dead

On several occasions over many months I looked to the wisdom of the world wide web in an attempt to diagnose and fix my Brother KH-950i electronic knitting machine. I consulted manuals, google, web forums and mailing lists, service engineers, sellers and anyone else I could think of.

Eventually I reached the conclusion that the electronics, at least the main PC board, are beyond repair. Here’s how. Continue reading Ding dong, the 950i electronics are dead

More Knitting Machine Adventures

It’s fair to say I have amassed a collection of knitting machines, paraphernalia and yarns in the 2½ years since I wrote about my first adventures with knitting machines.

The machine collection

The original plan was to hack the Toyota KS858 along the lines of the Gelsomina project by adding electronic controls to the stitch selector panel, however upon understanding the needle selection mechanism a bit better I came to the conclusion that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome the 12-stitch repeat limitation. Continue reading More Knitting Machine Adventures