Nuzzle – Karen Vellensky






<p><a href=”″>Cutie hats – Proof of Concept</a> from <a href=”″>karen vee</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

For my innovative switch project I knitted a pair of hats with conductive yarn. When the patches of conductive yarn in both hats touch, the arduino board sends a signal to the led to light up in a pattern of random colors. The blinking led signifies the wearers excitement about being nuzzled by their companion in the second hat.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the yarn worked despite how thin it is compared to the yarn weight I used. Were I to do the project from the beginning, I would have knitted both patches of the conductive yarn into the brim. As it is now, one patch of conductive yarn is in the brim while the second is on the crown of the head. This make contact between the four patches a bit unreliable. I’d also like to see how it looks with 2 – 4 more leds.

I really enjoyed making this project, a big thank you to Jenna for helping me figure out the coding and circuit! (code source:


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Angel’s Glow, Dinoflagellate – Karen Vellensky

It took more than 140 years to solve the mystery of soldiers’ glowing wounds after the Battle of Shiloh. The Union victory left more than 16,000 soldiers wounded and more than 3,000 dead. As troops waited in the mud for up to two days for attention from the overwhelmed medics, they noticed a strange phenomenon; the wounds of some of the soldiers were glowing a faint blue. Later on, the soldiers with glowing wounds had improved rates of recovery and survival. In light of this seemingly protective charm, the blue light was knick-named Angel’s Glow.

In 2001 the son of a microbiologist visited the battleground on a school trip. When he heard the story his curiosity was peaked. He enlisted the help of his mother to do an experiment to prove his theory that Angel’s Glow was in fact a bacteria that is bioluminescent. They were successful and thusly solved the one hundred and forty year old mystery.

Dinoflagellate, a single cell organism is an example of bioluminescence.




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This project was fun to conceptualize and to build, but frustrating to get the LED lights to defuse evenly throughout. I used speckled teal lame spandex and teal sequined net. I attempted to create a defused effect with 12 white LEDs stuffed into the belly of the plushie with a thin layer of polyfill between the LEDs and the interior of the fabric. I might have been more successful working in a slightly smaller scale with the same amount of LEDs. If I could have done one thing differently, I would have found another kind of light source or worked with a concept that intentionally had points of light instead of struggling to get a tool to perform a function it is not capable of. I enjoyed sewing sequins which is a material I have avoided in the past.

Class Introductions – Karen Vellensky

Hi, I’m Karen! I like temperate climates and moderately spicy food. I’m a first year at PoD.IMG_0173


I have a cute pup I call Lilydog. I wish I had named her Chili. You can call her Chilidog.IMG_1125


In my spare time I make things with my hands and think/talk about politics and society. I’m a vegetarian and environmental conservationist.

Lily dreams of planning the revolution.