I had hoped to blog before this with many wonderful new photos of undersea life in Fuerteventura. Sadly, once again, the camera suffered an accident so I have none to offer!

But I’ve been busy at workshops since I came back. Firstly with Artillery from Walthamstow creating braids as part of Make Yourself at Home http://www.makeyourselfathome.org.uk/. If you live in or around Edmonton, London have a look at the some of the events including street of Blue Plaques and Birdbox Avenue.

This weekend I went to the Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park to help add some soft circuits to the Digital Commons project underway there. MzTek had organised a drop-in workshop to allow women to learn a bit about circuits, conductive thread and electronic switches. About 10 people turned up to try their hand at adding LEDs to one of the patches from the Digital Commons; either to their own embroidery, or, as in my case, adding some light to an existing patch. Ele, who is curating the work, has a blog with pictures from the day and the wall of completed memes. (Blog can be found here: http://eleweekend.blogspot.co.uk/) There will be another chance to add circuitry to the memes at the end of May at Flossie 2012, at Queen Mary’s University http://www.flossie.org/.

The patch I embellished had the phrase:

to be a meme is a condition.

Since I wanted to use a swing switch this reminded me of programming conditions using ‘if’ statements and secondarily of ‘conditional clauses’ as part of grammar. I used thick conductive thread to sew two lines from the battery pack to the ‘condition’ with a bright red LED (strangely this was clear when unpowered) for the first circuit and a less bright green for the second one. I used two small metal beads as contacts and put them in the ‘o’s of condition. Hopefully viewers of the final exhibition will be able to touch the memes to make the lights work – some of the circuitry on other memes was installed with pressure switches – so that they can be viewed in all their glory.

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As with the V&A workshop I attended recently, time seemed to move fast; I paced myself as to what I could achieve although I did find using the thread easier this time. I’m naturally impatient, which is why I crochet rather than knit, so had to make myself slow down and sew carefully.

Top tip: use a needle threader to get conductive thread through the eye of the needle. Conductive thread frays quickly and because you double the thread to pull it through the eye you don’t get this problem.

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