Ideas, Ideas, Ideas! Trying to combine textiles with electronics!


For the past two weeks, Stephanie and I have been trying to come up with some projects to work on.  Originally we wanted to do something with knitting.  We liked the idea of knitting formerly being used by women to send secret messages through the binary of knit and purl as morse code, so we wanted to try and do something with that.  We thought it would be fun if we used either metal needles as conductors, or moving yarn on a rotation sensor to trigger an audio and/or visual experience of confessions, but weren’t quite sure how exciting that would be.  Next we thought it would be fun to hack a knitting machine, where people can record their secrets in morse code and then the knitting machine would spew out the secret in a knitted pattern, but that also didn’t seem exciting enough.  What we did know was that we wanted to make knitting FUN for the user, so we wanted some kind of explosion of sound and video to accompany the knitter.


We were inspired by Laure Drogoul’s Orchestral Knitting Apparatus that amplifies knitting, but we wanted to take it to the next level.

This is still something we’re considering, but we decided to move onto mixing textiles with electronics for the time being!

Bill introduced us to High-Low Tech who are doing a ton of cool interactive projects, such as interactive paintings and the tele-scrap book!  Because of these cool projects, we decided that it would be amazing if we could create clothing that interact together somehow.

We came up with the idea of Best Friend Sweaters!  Remember when you were in grade school and you and your BFF would wear those awesome half heart necklaces that when put together say BEST FRIENDS!, well we want to make wirelessly connected sweaters that have cute light up hearts on the back that trigger when your bestie is close by!

Later today we’re going to set this plan in motion using an old sweater, a Lilypad Arduino and some EL Wire.  Plenty of photos and video to come!

Some cool wearable projects to check out:

And our favorite:

Stay tuned!


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