Yarn + Electricity = Winning

This weekend MakerFaire is happening in San Francisco!  I am so excited to finally get to go after years of reading about it.  MakerFaire is a super cool craft fair/creative festival that  celebrates innovation and ingenuity.  Anyone who has a cool idea is welcome to share it with other fair-goers.

You made a bicycle-powered sewing machine?  You developed a robot that tends your garden for you?  You used scrap metal to build a car?  You have a spot at MakerFaire. People at MakerFaire are especially known for taking two things that don’t usually go together, combining them and making something amazing.

Like fiber arts and electronics.

E-textiles (aka soft circuits) are a really cool way to try your hand at electronics and create some amazing projects.

The basic idea is that you use conductive thread (nylon thread, coated in a conductive metal) instead of wires to connect your electronic components (like leds, batteries, sensors and tiny computers).

You could go super simple, and make a pair of texting gloves.  The conductive thread woven through the fingertips allows you to use a touchscreen  without removing your gloves.  (Handy in the Great White North in February.)

Teknika Gloves by Laura Nelkin

6437487283_bc44cb9a7d_z[1]Or you could get your embroidery on, and make a little sampler, including LEDs, a battery and an on/off switch.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOr, if you have more tech experience than I do, you could get your hands on a LilyPad Arduino.  It’s a tiny computer that you can plug into your computer, program, and use to make LEDs blink in cool patterns.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhat would you use soft circuits for?

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