Knitting with Teensy

This week I started working with the Teensy. First, I needed to connect my accelerometer + gyro board. The library uploaded with no trouble. However, the data coming in was nothing but 0.0. After a long time spent troubleshooting, I discovered an error with casting floats to integers. The numbers coming in were all decimals below one, so they were getting rounded to 0 as integers. Once I figured this out the code ran smoothly, and I could move on to adding the audio board.

Learning the Teensy Audio System Design Tool

The system design tool is only for setting up connections for the project. When you export the design, it outputs code that instantiates and connects the objects as Arduino code.

In the system design tool I created three sine waves. In Arduino I each of them a frequency to create an E flat major chord. I then connected the amplitude of each sine wave to the acceleration on an axis. I was immediately able to see hear a connection between the sounds and the movement.

Teensy Making Sound with Movement from Teresa Lamb on Vimeo.

I created a glove and arm cuff that I could attach the boards to while I knit.

Meeting with Gene Kogan

I also met with Gene Kogan who teaches a class called Machine Learning for Artists. We discussed to possibility of using machine learning to detect knit stitches. Gene uses a program called Wekinator for detecting gestures. As a test he helped me record each individual knit stitch. The program takes the recorded information and finds averages so it can start to distinguish the gestures. After only recording 5 or 6 stitches, the program was already able to pick out a stitch with some accuracy.

I talked with Gene about what would need to happen to include this in my project. It would apparently mean using a laptop or running it on Linux with a Raspberry Pi. This means I won't be able to use it for this project, but I think this could be really interesting for the next version.

Sound Mood Board

One thing that I've been hearing a lot from musicians is that I should create a mood board of sounds that I like. This was somewhat difficult for me to wrap my head around, even though I've made dozens of visual mood boards. I reached out to other students to find out where they looked for sounds, and many recommended the website freesounds.org.

I also happened to be listening to music by my friend George and I discovered a song that I really thought represented the sounds I was looking for.

1AM by Spaceman Fantastiques

George is also a sound designer. In later versions of the garment, I hope I can get his input.