Fuzzy hatted-Open Thread

2010 August 8
by Leigh Honeywell

I’ve been working on a rather silly but entertaining project for the past few weeks:

lilypad and shift register on the compass hat

It’s a hat, that’s also a compass.  There are LEDs in the brim – whichever is pointed North is the one that’s on.  I’m planning on adding a “party mode” which just lights them up in various patterns, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Did I mention that they are pink LEDs?

compass hat!

There’s also a secret buzzer underneath the hat so that the wearer can know where North is without asking someone else to tell her which light is on. The various parts:


Edit: I’ve pushed the source code to bitbucket; it’s fairly hacky, but will be evolving over the next while :)

Anyone else working on fun knitted things, wearable computing projects, or knitted electronics?

This is also an open thread, for discussion of subjects of general interest, things in older posts, and things we’ve never posted about.

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This post was written by leigh honeywell.

Leigh is a student, hacker, and organizer of communities both online and offline. She blogs, dents and tweets.

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16 Responses
  1. Kate Bolin permalink
    August 8, 2010

    I’m so showing this to my hack group – they want to have a session of nothing but knitting, and I’ll totally get them to make something like this!

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      August 8, 2010

      Ooh, you may want them to check out Aniomagic‘s conductive yarn… lots of possibilities there :)

  2. Cheryl permalink
    August 8, 2010

    Yes! Kinda on the back-burner though. I made a 7×7 LED-matrix top a while back (http://chebe.dreamwidth.org/17644.html), and am working on adding a IR-receptor so that the patterns can be remotely changed, a bit like laser-tag. Also, working on taking input from lots of accelerometers and reading it into a 3D program for animating 3D-models. Still fairly new to all this (about a year), but loving it!

    • Kite permalink
      August 9, 2010

      …wow, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up for me! (I sew.) So purrrrdy and clever!

  3. Cheryl permalink
    August 8, 2010

    Sorry, got all excited I forgot my manners! I’ve heard a couple of other people talking about projects like this, but this is the most fun one I’ve seen! Also, I like the leads you added to the compass component, I haven’t come across them before, quite ingenious. Did you knit the hat yourself as well? I never got the hang of knitting in school, but it’s next on my to-learn list.

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      August 8, 2010

      Thanks! I wasn’t sure if the compass leads would work, but they were fine – the conductive thread seems to make good contact with the wires.

      I didn’t knit the hat myself, my partner got it for me at a folk festival from Whidbey Woolies.

  4. gchick permalink
    August 8, 2010

    That thing… is very possibly the most strange and wonderful and fabulous thing in the whole history of hats.

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      August 8, 2010

      Thank you ^_^

  5. Dorothea Salo permalink
    August 8, 2010

    North? Have you been playing Echo Bazaar?

  6. Kite permalink
    August 8, 2010

    Ah! AWESOME Leigh! I’ve always wanted to play with electronickery, and you’ve just given me an extra kick to do it! Looking at your code now!!

    Me: am not currently knitting, am doing other crafty things. Going off to pick wild cotton and pick up sea glass today. Have been picking seeds out of the cotton (takes forever, need to build a gin), as I want to colour it with local dyes and spin it, and then… knit/crochet it into… I need to think of something really awesome!

  7. makomk permalink
    August 9, 2010

    Here’s something interesting: it appears a group of conservatives have been conspiring to bury articles on Digg that don’t match their viewpoints and silence liberal posters. Which, of course, implies something else: the prevalence of conservative viewpoints on Digg and the lack of, for example, feminist or anti-racist stuff says les about Digg users than it does about how easily a small group of unethical people can control what’s on the site.

    • jon permalink
      August 9, 2010

      This kind of organized burying has been going on for a while at digg. In early 2009, I worked with Jen Nedeau, Tracy Viselli, Steve Elliot, and several others to get progressives, feminists, and anti-racists to leverage Twitter for a counter-strategy. Alas things petered out after my digg account got suspended. Of course progressives have mailing lists and sites where they organize their digging as well. However in my experience progressives tend not to go for organized burying the way libertarians and conservatives do.

    • Carla Schroder permalink
      August 10, 2010

      There are organized bury gangs all over Digg. Digg ceased being relevant or useful in April 2009. Before then, you could post a story and it would rise or fall on its merits. You could build up a network of fellow Diggers to “shout” to, notifying them when you had posted a new story, and then they would Digg it. Depending on the category, all you needed was 30-50 Diggs to lift a story above the spam and other noise, and then if it was interesting and relevant to other people, it would get some good traffic. Having giant organized Digg gangs doesn’t make a story successful, because you want readers clicking on the link and reading your story, not just Digging it. Skillions of Diggs are worthless if people aren’t actually reading your story.

      Then in April 2009 something changed, and overnight the organized Bury gangs had all the power. It takes only a few Buries to kill a story, and there are organized troll gangs who exist solely to kill stories. Many people have tried to get Digg to enforce their own policies and do something about this, but they refuse. It’s hard to imagine what benefit Digg gets from this, and I’m thinking there isn’t any because they are in financial trouble.

  8. Charlotta permalink
    August 9, 2010

    It’s just amazing what you can do with yarn and a few components. And the conductive yarn? So cool!

    I mostly sew but I’ve been doing some cross-stitching, free-hand embroidery, knitting and crocheting as well (being a former LARPer and a total geek when it comes to historic clothing you might imagine why). I’m also studying computer science. A couple of days ago I brought my knitting with me on a train trip I took with my husband (who is the swedish equivalent of a district attorney, and not a computer guy). When I got the pattern (just text) out and started knitting, he said: “oh, so it’s a knitting pattern! I thought it was a computer program.”

    This amused me to no end.

  9. Greg permalink
    August 9, 2010

    I thought you guys might find this worth writing about: http://popcultref.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/xbox-fail/.

  10. spz permalink
    August 14, 2010

    only in German, but may be interesting to some still:
    An article in news magazine Der Spiegel on Limor Fried and her MintyBoost

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