This instructable uses circuit knitting and is written specifically for knitters.
We’ll cover how to create a circuit that uses blue and yellow LEDs, with instructions for hand and machine knitting.
Electronic machine users can download the pattern file below to CNC print the knitting.
(“Rose the Riveter” self-portrait with cuff by Angeleah Daidone. copyright Angeleah Daidone. All other images: Jesse Seay: cc by-nc-sa)
Fingering-weight mercerized cotton yarn (I use Yeoman Cannele. Linen or silk yarns will also work.)
2 strands 34 AWG bus wire
470 ohm resistor
47 ohm resistor
Coin cell battery and case
fastening of choice (i.e. velcro, snaps)
Tools for circuit knitting – outlined in the instructable
Tools for knitting — Instructions are for standard gauge (4.5mm) Japanese machines.
pliers (needle nose are good)
iron & board (for iron-on backing)
soldering set up: soldering iron, safety goggles, fume extractor, etc.
Bitmap File for CNC Knitting the Circuit
Step 1: Knitting Instructions
Gauge is not important. As long as the finished piece will fit your arm, you’re ok.
Cast on 29 stitches in cotton yarn, whatever method you prefer.
Knit 31 rows in stockinette stitch.
Knit pattern. The black squares are two strands of wire held together. The white squares are cotton yarn.
Knit 31 more rows of stockinette.
Bind off, method of your choice.
I’ve developed this as a CNC method for knitting e-textiles. With a hacked Brother electronic machine, download the bitmap file for the pattern and load it directly onto your machine.
The file is 14 x 29 pixels/stitches.
I use free img2track software to do this
Vertical stretch 1.0
Maximum width: 29
Set up the wire as described here.
Tension dial 6.
Waste Yarn. Cast on 29 stitches. Knit 10 rows.
Switch to ravel cord. Knit 1 row.
Switch to Main Yarn.
Carriage on Left. Set dial to KCII. Program pattern as single motif.
Knit 1 row to set the needles.
COR. Feed bus wire into B slot. Set carriage to MC.
COR. Remove wire from carriage. Set carriage to normal knitting, no patterning.
Knit 31 rows.
Switch to ravel cord. Knit 1 row.
Switch to waste yarn. Knit 10 rows.
Remove knitting from machine.
Bind off method of your choice. (I suggest an e-wrap cast on, right after knitting the first ravel cord. Then do a back stitch bind off, after you remove the knitting from the machine.)
**Visit the last step of this instructable for notes on machine knitting with wire.
Step 2: Tin the stitches, cut the floats, add backing
Once you’ve bound off the stitches, block the piece like you normally would.
Time to solder!
- If you don’t know how to solder, it’s very easy to learn. (Here’s a comic book guide.)
- Spend at least $50 and get a good variable-temperature soldering iron. A good soldering iron makes soldering much easier.
- Use a brass tip cleaner instead of a wet sponge. Works way better.
- Wear safety goggles.
Tin the stitches on the ends of each row (and the two stitches on either side of the gap).
Flip the piece over and, using a diagonal cutter, cut the long wire floats that run between pairs of wire rows. Also cut the floats that run across the gap.
Remove all the stray wire. Make sure the wires are cut short — no tails that could touch another row. Check with the continuity setting of a multimeter to make sure.
Add the backing to protect your skin from solder. I use an iron-on backing:
- Cut a piece 3.5″ by 4.5″ and center it on the backside of the bracelet.
- Dry iron only — no steam.
- Avoid ironing tinned stitches.
- If you sew on a backing instead of ironing, you could probably do that after you build the circuit.
- Lead solder is toxic. Make sure the backing is thick enough to protect your skin. Also, no sweating on the circuit! If this might be a problem, use a backing that’s sweatproof.
- Lead-free solder is also an option. It generally requires a hotter iron than lead solder.
For more detail: http://www.instructables.com/id/Knit-an-LED-Cuff/?ALLSTEPS