Preparing Gimp files for machine knitting

This tutorial assumes you’re working on a PC and have no background in digital imaging.

Finding your image

  1. Open up a web browser like Firefox or Explorer and find a simple, high-contrast image.
  2. When you find an image you like, right-click it and “save image as”.
  3. Keep track of where you save.  Saving to the Desktop makes things easy to find.

Modifying your image

  1. Click on the start button in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
  2. Type in “gimp” and click on the program when it pops up.
  3. In the menu, navigate to FILE > OPEN and select the image that you downloaded.
  4. IMAGE > SCALE IMAGE and change the width to 60px.
  5. Press the number keys to zoom in and out.  Try 4 to start.
  6. COLORS > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST and move the sliders until you have almost no greys left in the image.
  7. COLORS > POSTERIZE and enter 2 for the number of colors.
  8. Select the paint bucket tool.  This will bring up some options in the vertical window on the left.  For fill type, select pattern and select one of the dot patterns we discussed in the lecture.
  9. Fill all black areas with the dark pattern and all white areas with the light pattern.

Saving your image

  1. FILE > SAVE AS to save a Gimp version of your project.
  2. Insert a USB thumb drive into the computer.
  3. FILE > EXPORT and pick JPEG from the drop-down menu.
  4. Save this file to the thumb drive.
  5. Make sure to eject the drive safely.  Ask for help if you’re not sure how to do this.
  6. Now go knit!


As requested in the comments, here’s the pattern we used to prevent long floats. I enlarged it for visibility, but you should make it 5×5 when preparing the tile in Photoshop or GIMP.



3 thoughts on “Preparing Gimp files for machine knitting

    1. Taylor Post author

      I can’t put images in the comments, so I’ve added an update to the post with information on patterns. Please send pictures if you make something cool!


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