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Making Knit Stretch Sensors

6 March 2011 One Comment

This week my order of Nm 10/3 Conductive Yarn from Plug and Wear arrived. I immediately started making some samples of the knit sensors I blogged about a few weeks ago.

Following Hannah Perner-Wilson’s tutorial/method, I made two sensors using a Wonder Knitter from the craft store. It came with two attachments, a 3 pin and a 6 pin to make a thinner and thicker knit tube.

After making two knitted sensors with a combo of acrylic yarn and conductive yarn, I made my own knitting spool out of an old thread spool and some nails. I used some sock weight yarn in a similar thickness to the conductive yarn and made a nice thin sensor.

Here are the three sensors I made side by side. They are about 15 inches long with tails to connect the conductive yarn to alligator clips for testing.

Resistance readings from my multimeter:

  • Sensor C: 6 pin knit on Wonder Knitter – Resting 4.45 M ohm, Stretched: 10 K ohm
  • Sensor B: 3 pin knit on Wonder Knitter – Resting: 3.9 M ohm, Stretched: 10 K ohm
  • Sensor A: 3 pin custom spool knitter and sock weight yarn – Resting: 1.0 M ohm, Stretched: 10 K ohm

After doing some more tests, I’m going to start prototyping a knit version of my Musical Drawdio Puppet using the sensors as the tentacles so that you can ‘play’ it by pulling on them.

I’ve also been teaching myself to crochet and will be trying out more techniques soon. I made a crochet button using the example on How To Get What You Want.

Hooking the sensors up to an LED to control brightness:

One Comment »

  • Mary Ashmore said:

    Is there any reason why those of us who knit can’t use the ICord technique which creates a tube the same end product but allows greater variation? Knitters use the I-Cord technique for drawstrings, frogs and other closures, shoelaces and trims. I have also used them as conduits for conductive thread to reduce wear on the thread.

    Love the idea of seeing people using knit and crochet fabrics as another way to approach etextiles

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