“Skyknit”: knitting patterns produced by a neural network

AI Weirdness’s Janelle Shane is awesome – she’s trained neural networks to invent all kinds of hilarious material, from new color names to weird new cooking recipes to original Dungeons and Dragons spells.

Recently, she decided to train a neural network on knitting patterns, and he started spitting out new ones. They were predictably strange, and to get a clear idea of How? ‘Or’ What strange, the good folks at Ravelry – a chat site for those who knit, crochet, weave, etc. – offered to produce some of the IRL models. They nicknamed it “Skyknit”.

If you are from Ravelry, you can see the results in the discussion thread, but in case you are not, check out some of the creations above and below. The one above was knitted by MeganAnn, and it looks vaguely… organic? You can see repeating patterns there, but mixed up in a rather odd way.

Here is another one knitted by MeganAnn…

This one looks a bit more like a man-made model. Here is a really strange one made by datasock …

… And a meandering snake pattern designed by michaela112358…

Here’s a pretty one from BellaG:

Some sort of… underwater creature? Created by also by michaela112358…

… And some that look pretty normal! Like this one by geckogirl …

… Or this one by Booksprink…

… or this last one, from Farah Colchester:

Janelle Shane did a tweetstorm where she spoke about the experience of watching the Ravelry crowd bring these things to life. As she noted, the AI ​​output sometimes included errors, but knitters are extremely good at debugging. This is no surprise to anyone familiar with knitters or weavers: it is a deeply algorithmic way of thinking – to the point where weaving produced the first machines to follow instructions powered by punch cards (the loom Jacquard) – and nowadays there are a lot of coder-knitters:

(All photos above are used with permission from their photographer)

Previously: An algorithm that converts 3D meshes into machine knitting patterns

About Tracy G. Larimore

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