Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I have been interested in combining textiles and circuitry.  I love both apparel and technology passionately and often let one interest slide in favor of the other.  I remember sometime in the late 90's while working at adidas, a manufacturer came in with a melton and leather letterman's jacket with a giant LED and embroidery eagle on the back.  It was not the most tasteful execution of the intersection of technology and garment, but it did get some gears rolling in my brain.

A few years ago a former colleague connected me to Jennifer Darmour of Electric Foxy and I collaborated with her on this project:
I did all the garment designing, pattern making, and prototyping and some material sourcing.  Jennifer did all the circuit designing and stitching of conductive thread and fitting on the model.  She used the Lilypad system by Arduino which is designed for garments and is washable.  You can buy the Lilypad and Arduino systems and other components at SparkFun.  Which is what I did!  I bought the Lilypad Design Kit:

The packaging alone is swoon-worthy!  And the lid closes with a magnet too!  This is clearly a message that it is time to get going on learning this technology.

The next sign was the announcement on Howard Rheingold's Twitter feed of a HOMAGO Geekout on using this very kit!  There are four separate links in the previous sentence that will take you to all the answers.

The Geekout was presented through Google Hangouts-on-Air.  There were nine of us in the class plus Howard and Angela from Spark Fun who explained the contents of the kit and led us through a simple project.  Here we are in process of the Geekout:

And the final project!

... lit up with 3 LED's.  No short circuiting and everything works.

I even got out the meter to check resistance on the conductive thread and a few other things.  This project focused on creating the circuit properly to achieve lit LED's.  There are other ways to do this same thing with all the hardware and stitching hidden.

Woodland Creations

Before Christmas we discovered the Woodland Knits book by Stephanie Dosen.  Both E and I fell in love with the hat on the cover.

... and wouldn't you know it!  I had all the yarn on hand for this project!  I would not call this project a stash buster as you need very little yarn for the antlers and the interior of the ears.  You only need one skein for the hat and ears.  I used some free yarn that came with a Knit Rowan subscription.  It is a beautifully soft wool that has now all been knitted up.

I am also loving this Dragon Watcher's Hood too!  It is cozy but not hair smashing.  

I need something like this when I am walking across campus in the winter.  This last December was very cold.  I would get my hair, make-up and self all fixed up only to put a hat on and trudge across the cold, wintery landscape with eyes watering to arrive at my building looking no better than I did when I rolled out of bed.  I think this hood could change everything!  Will get back to you on that.

On a further note, my eyelashes have grown back!... mostly.