Posted on October 12th, 2014
As I chose who to write about for this year’s Ada Lovelace Day blog post, it occurred to me that this was becoming a harder task year after year – as I have the privilege of getting to know more and more amazing women in science and technology – and this is a Good Thing.
That said, Maia stands out for a number of reasons. I first met Maia in 2013 while doing Agile training; the university I work for was adopting agile practices and I needed to skill up. The training was inspirational – we looked at our texts and then put them aside as the entire training course was run as a sprint! She taught me to think differently, to challenge assumptions, and to ensure that data was driving decision making – all prerequisites for good agile practice.
I’ve also come to be inspired by other activities Maia seeds and nurtures; the Open Knowledge Foundation‘s Health Hacks, GovHack, and many other side projects that seek to further understanding and provide value. She’s also a knitter, and that gets bonus points
Maia is @sauramaia on Twitter
Posted on August 27th, 2012
Finally! It took over 3 months on needles, but the Adult Ribbed Lily, based on Georgie Hallam’s Oriental Lily pattern, is finally finished – and the results are just lovely. For this project, I chose Yarn Barn’s 8 ply merino in Teal, bought at the Geelong craft market in summer. This yarn is a little splitty to work with, but it has a beautiful lustre. With the pattern, I chose to knit it in 2 x 2 rib rather than garter stitch to give it a lot of horizontal stretch, but employed the basic top-down raglan approach of the Oriental Lily. I added waist shaping after the bust crossover, and lots of increases for the hips. The edging was done in a single row of double crochet.
Posted on July 11th, 2011
Working with Lilypad Arduino is something I’ve wanted to try for a while now – but simply haven’t found the time! Knowing that BarCampGeelong was only a few weeks away spurred me into action. First, I read up on the Lilypad Arduino tutorials from Leah Buechley. Running Ubuntu, I had already installed the Arduino IDE from the software manager, so I was good to go.
So, what sort of project was simple enough to allow me to get the hang of this new technology while still presenting enough of a challenge to be interesting? I decided on a scarf that would detect light levels, with the aim of turning on some bright white LEDs if light levels were too low.
First, I needed a scarf. I decided on this Dropped! lace openwork pattern so that the components could be sewn in with conductive thread and not look out of place. I also thought about what type of material to make the scarf out of – in case any of the electronic components overheated and melted or caught on fire. I chose a 98% wool blend – ‘Beulah’ by Sean Sheep – nice and cheap too in case the project didn’t work out.
Next, I needed some Arduino Lilypad components – which are now available in Australia from Little Bird Electronics. For this project, I used;
Then, I needed some Arduino code to read in the light sensor and do the logic for turning on the LEDs – you can get the code from my page on GitHub
. Once the Arduino board was programmed, it was time to sew in the components with conductive thread. It was here that some problems arose. My original plan was to have 5 LEDs on the scarf, which all lit up at the same time. When sewing the conductive thread, I found that I could only sew in one LED to the -tive terminal (ground) petal on the Lilypad Arduino.
NOTE: Andy Gelme (@Geekscape) has since given me some advice on working around this, by finding alternative methods to ground the LEDs. I just haven’t implemented it yet!
The other problem was that due to the openwork design of the scarf itself, some of the conductive thread was prone to crossing – which meant that the circuit didn’t work as designed. I unpicked the thread and it was resewn, with care given to making sure the wire did not cross.
The presentation given to BarCampGeelong can be found on Slideshare here;