Indian Summer

My fashionable MATLAB-induced joy can be expressed lyrically by Neon Indian’s Deadbeat Summer.

My grandmother has not one — but two — knitting machines at her house. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated by it, and expressed my wishes to try it out for myself, always deprived from the pleasure for when I’d be old enough.

Since my recent knitting obsession, I’ve gained my grandmother’s favor and made myself worthy of that awe-inspiring machine. Finally my time has come! My only prerequisite would be finding a pattern with maximum two colors during each row, otherwise the fabric would be too thick (or so I’m told).

Bearing that in mind, I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open for potential patterns to program. Who knew that the free daily newspaper would be the answer to my prayers. A few days back I noticed in Fréttablaðið a sneak peek to the fall fashion. Something about Aztec inspired multi-colored patterns. Leading the Indian revolution would be the Proenza Schouler fashion house.

Proenza Schouler Collage Fall 2011

I studied the pattern second to the left during my family’s Sunday drive to our summer cabin, and trying to sketch it up on a piece of ruled paper. Then I realized, this was such a simple structure, resembling space invaders and tetris blocks. I’d probably be quicker programming it in MATLAB as a function of repeating minimal sequences and the colors per row than counting it and physically marking each color in the pattern by hand.

Who would have that all you need is to define the pattern is essentially:

yellow=[1 0.6 0];pink=[1 0 .4];green=[0 .6 .2];blue=[0 0 .3];black=[0 0 0];

solid = [1];
tetris = [3 1 3 1 1 1];
space = [1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1];
dots_border = [2 1 1 1 5];
dots_middle = [7 1 1 1];

Combined in the correct way, the resulting pattern is …

Proenza-Schouler inspired Matlab magic

So elegant and simple in MATLAB, so I can only presume it would also be relatively easy to implement in the very low-tech programmable knitting machine once I get the syntax under control.

In the next few days I’ll take this to my grandma’s place and woo her to get me going with the program-knitting. I’m fairly certain she will be even more impressed with my natural programmable knitting abilities than my regular knitting — although she does express an almost too great of a surprise of my capabilities; leaving me to think that her standards for my craftsmanship is uncomfortably low to begin with.

Be that as it may, either I’ll impress her or prove her wrong (yet again!), both is fine by me. At least I get a nice knit out of it!


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About tungufoss

a PhD student that sews whilst her code compiles...

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