Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lots of Planning

So my first major e-Textile project is to bling-out an Ugly Christmas Sweater using the Lilypad development board.  I thought this was an original idea, but I guess it is pretty common to add lights to Christmas sweaters!  Some people have even added Christmas tunes.  So, because I feel the need to take this ugly sweater a step further, I plan to also activate some jingle bells with the vibrating motor.

While I have a great deal of experience with designing textile pieces, coding is very new to me.  I started exploring programming melodies during our Create Make Learn institute in July.  I am basically teaching myself by stealing some code and tweaking it to suit my project.  Since I do not have a lot of music knowledge, I am finding music that is geared more towards basic recorder playing---it has the notes written out for me.  I am then using the frequency chart below for the the code.

So far I have written code for both Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells.  I have to say that the second way (Jingle Bells) was much more efficient.  The notes are defined and then separated by commas in the melody. The pause is defined as "R" (rest), which has a "0" frequency.


My next step is to add in the green and red lights to match different notes.  I am fortunate to have a brother who writes code on a daily basis.  He has agreed to help me with this if I have a good plan.  I started to sketch out how I want everything to work together.  

Finding an ugly enough sweater was also no easy task!  I settled on this lovely red vest with sequined and embroidered Christmas trees.  I plan to also add some bells, a snowman, and maybe even some fringe.  I also started to sketch out where I might be sewing the electronic elements...


  1. Leah, Seems like wanting to play music is motivational and that understanding frequencies and how they pertain to music is part of what we might want to eventually look at as a strong possibility for NGSS connections. I'll do some digging. You keep working on your project.

  2. OMG! Your code looks so much different from mine. I need to figure out how to simplify my code and use beats and rests, too.

    1. I looked at several different music codes from different folks and they all look different. I think if you find one that works, go for it. Again, I've got an idea about creating a book to introduce coding through eTextile, by writing an Hour of Code tutorial style for Some Basic Coding Concepts to help you learn to Code using eTextiles. (but I have 17 final projects I'm correcting right now for my UVM course. But last night I took a break to work on my hat. Can't wait to get together with you all and share tips and tricks.