DesignaKnit 8, also know as DK8, and DAK, is a great piece of software that brings digital design capabilities to the small-scale knitter. Its price tag is not overwhelmingly high compared to other software of the same ilk, and its ability to interface directly with electronic knitting machines as well as create punchcard templates for mechanical machines makes it extremely versatile. Then of course there is its garment pattern drafting and shaping sub-programme, which takes all the pain out of those calculations. the software doesn’t need a high end computer, it will run quite happily on older PCs, but not on Macs.
I teach DK8 to Knitted Textile Design and Fashion Knitwear students in higher education, and a few years ago I made several brief video tutorials. These are deliberately short as they are intended for quick reference and to be viewed on a mobile device whilst in the knitting workshops. They are shown on this website in the order in which they are listed, but are also available on YouTube:
- Getting started with the Stitch Pattern Designer
- Working with Colour Pallettes
- Loading a Custom Pallette
- Standard Shaping 1 – getting started with garments from the database
- Standard Shaping 2 – setting tensions for standard garments
- Standard Shaping 3 – understanding the ‘ease’ setting
- Standard Shaping 4 – relating finished garment size to body size, and adjusting fit
- Standard Shaping 5 – adjusting styling details
- Standard Shaping 6 – Raglan sleeve design options
- Integrated Download to Brother 950i – apart from the actual download, the pattern preparation and integration can be used in preparation for integrated knitting with a Silver Reed electronic machine.
Please note: you must have either a Brother link cable or a Silverlink connecting the computer to an electronic knitting machine before you can download patterns or knit interactively.
This video refers to working with a Brother machine, but the pattern preparation and integration is the same for a Silver Reed electronic machine. The instructions differ when I go to the ‘Transfer’ menu. For a Silver Reed machine, you would click on the ‘Interactive Knitting’ icon on the left hand menu and follow the instructions on the screen.