Emission Spectra Scarves

February 11, 2010

These Emission Spectra Scarves are lovingly machine-knit from black and colored 100% cotton yarn. They measure about 6.5 feet long and 7 inches wide.


Pictured above is Limor (Ladyada) Fried wearing Silicon and Matt Mechtley sporting a custom quasar.

More photos at my photoset and adafruit’s Flickr.

This scarf was originally Amanda Wozniak‘s idea.

Download patterns to make your own! Thanks to Bryn Davies for the Spectra Pattern Generator Python script. Patterns below are for machine knitting or teeny needles, but you can generate a pattern based on your knitting gauge at Bryn’s site.

Silicon [PDF]

Gold [PDF]

Manganese [PDF]

Mercury [PDF]

Iron [PDF]

Tungsten [PDF]

Uranium [PDF]

Molybdenum [paginated PDF | one long list PDF]

Lead [PDF]

Comments (15) | More: Blog, Fiber, Projects

15 Responses to “Emission Spectra Scarves”

  1. Joe Puente says:

    Now that’s damned clever!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    If you don’t mind me asking (and giving away your sekrets.) How do you determine the total number of rows, and how wide each band is? That and the usual knitters questions, yarn gauge, and needle size?

  3. Seth Eden says:

    I wonder what the emission spectra of Uranium would look like?! :-D

    Cheers ~Seth

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Oh. This is an utterly brilliant idea. I love it! I want to make one for my mom – who does a ton of spectroscopy.

  5. Becky Stern says:

    @Geoffrey: I take a look at the spectrum image from the chemistry site I linked to in the post, and one pixel row = one knitted row in the scarf. The gauge is quite small since I do it on my knitting machine, but you could probably replicate it on small needles, about a US size 3 or so maybe.

  6. Darla says:

    Becky I saw a craftster post about this a while ago – someone made a specta scarf for a science swap. I did a podcast episode on how cool it would be to do a quilt of the spectrum. I was inspired by the scarf I saw on craftster and although my spectrum scarf is just an idea and not a product, I am inspired you are doing this as a business. Your process of using the knitting machine is making a really quality product. Do you plot out on graph paper each row? You say you count all the pixels? wow! Very good job Becky. It’s nice to see cool minds think alike: http://scientificquilter.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/2-2-sq-podcast-episode-4-quilting-the-spectrum/

  7. rodney says:

    make the scarfs, and I’ll buy a couple – winter is still several months off for those of us int he Southern Hemisphere.

  8. Gaavak says:

    How much for molybdenum/zirconium?

  9. yberry says:

    I’m sorry. I was busy marveling at the utter coolness of this idea, and wondering if Zn would be appropriate for my husband, and then I scrolled past your model’s name, and fell out of my chair. I went to camp with Limor in Israel, ages ago. We were the only geeks there.

    Going to have a look at zinc now, while still scratching my head. Double cool.

  10. Becky Stern says:

    Don’t know why you’re apologizing… She runs Adafruit Industries, an electronics kit company. Head on over there if you want to say hi, the link is in the post.

  11. Richard says:

    Would you be willing to make a manganese scarf? (e.g. is the line-count excessive?) I’d like to get one if you would make it.

    neat idea!

  12. Becky Stern says:

    Yep! It would fall into the “crazy” category in the way I have them listed on Makers Market.

  13. MrsB says:

    That is all kinds of awesome. Hubby just went mad with geek. :D