Knit and Crochet Sensors

One of my goals for 2011 is to learn to knit and crochet. I love the look of handmade yarn projects, and lately have been seeing more and more using soft circuits. I’m particularly interested in projects that incorporate conductive yarns into the work, rather than adorning or augmenting the piece with conductive threads or electronics.

Here are a few techniques I’m hoping to try once I get the hang of some needlework basics.

Knitting

Circular Knit Stretch Sensor

Hannah Perner-Wilson shows you how to make a sensor using conductive yarn on a knitting machine that you can purchase at craft stores.

Stretch Sensing Bracelet

Another technique from Hannah uses conductive and resistive yarns to make a bracelet that only lights up when you stretch it.

Crochet

Felted Crochet Stretch Sensor

Lara of Felted Signal Processing has a tutoral on crocheting and then felting a stretch sensor using yarn and conductive thread. If you work better following along with a video, check out her tutorial here. This technique is a good alternative if you can’t acquire and conductive yarns for the knitting sensor tutorials.

Crochet Tilt Potentiometer

Crochet Pressure Sensor

How To Get What You Want has examples of combining conductive yarn and regular yarn to make potentiometers, tilt, and pressure sensors.

Ready Made

Plug and Wear Sensitive Fabrics

Plug and Wear is manufacturing a variety of etextile sensors, including pressure sensors, stretch sensors, and even water/wetness sensors.

Conductive Core Yarn

Aniomagic sells a handspun yarn with conductive thread inside. Just cut the yarn and expose the thread to hook up components in your soft circuit project.

Knit Sensors on Etsy

Hannah Perner Wilson also has an etsy shop where you can buy some pre-made knit sensors, as the conductive yarn to make them can be expensive and hard to find in small quantities.

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