Of Models and Microchips

My guild is putting on a fashion show, and I am one of the models.  One of the things I love about this event is that the models come in all sizes and shapes and ages and colors and we are all fabulous!  I love cheering on my fellow guild members as they strut their stuff.  Too often our culture celebrates a small sliver of beauty, missing out on all its  glorious permutations.

And then there are the clothes!  Fabulous handwoven garments ranging from the everyday practical to art-to-wear fanciful. My only regret about being a model (aside from the fear that’ll trip on the catwalk and go sprawling) is that I can’t simultaneously sit in the audience and take in the show.

I’ll try to get some behind the scenes pictures tomorrow, if I’m allowed.  I think it’s going to be a wacky fun time.  One of the things we’re modeling are socks!  Socks in a fashion show!  There’ll be 12 of us on stage high kicking and showing off our feet.  Given that we’re all (as far as I know) amateurs at this…should be a wild time!

The other thing that’s keeping me entertained right now is this:

Lilypad Arduino

It’s a microchip for fiber artists! It’s purple and you can sew it on clothes! It’s even hand-washable!  But it’s also a real honest-to-goodness microcontroller that you can hook up to your computer via a USD port and program and hook up to sensors and motors to do amazing things.

If you listened to the first WeaveCast, you’ll know that I owned a Baby Wolf and didn’t have great results at first.  In fact, I was so traumatized by my first attempts to weave that I gave the poor loom a two-year time out in the corner before I picked it up again and became enthralled.

This microcontroller is the Lilypad Arduino, and it’s been sitting in my stash since Christmas 2008, when I was delighted to get it as a present, but too intimidated to dive in.

That’s all changed.  I’m building the Know-It-All bag from Knitty, and in the process I’ve played around with the Lilypad, and you know, it’s not that hard to hook up and program. Neurons that have been gathering dust since I took digital electronics classes back in the day are perking up and coming alive again, whispering to me of Ohm’s law and Zener diodes and other wondrous things.

I find myself online reading and watching Arduino tutorials when I should be getting work done.  Ideas for new uses and applications of the things I’m learning are whirling around my brain like dust devils.  I am completely, totally, smitten.

I haven’t been bitten this hard since the weaving bug got me.  Handwoven, eTextile goodness, oh yeah, this is gonna be fun.

Please share your thoughts: I enjoy your comments and feedback!