Sarah Spencer’s knitted star map

[I]t wasn’t until last year that she finally cracked an algorithm that allowed her machine to knit in three colours of yarn in one knit per pixel. This opened up a whole new realm of possibility.

Her improved “network printer” knitting machine can accept an image from a computer, over a network, with more than two colours in any single row of knitting.

Spencer has used it to knit scarf and blanket designs, but a recent project was much more ambitious. Called Stargazing: A Knitted Tapestry, it depicts an enormous map of the visible Universe that we can see with the naked eye, in blue, white and grey yarn, measuring a whopping 4.6 metres (15 feet) wide and 2.8 metres (9 feet) high.