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And then the Grinch got a Wonderful Idea…

by robin on December 16, 2010

in News

I <3 XMAS on white sweater

I <3 XMAS on white sweater

The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea.

This is perhaps the ugliest sweater I have ever made… on purpose. I accepted a commission through my shop on Esty to recreate a sweater worn by Jim Carrey in the live action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The sweater includes 8 dozen jingle bells attached to candy-cane striped sleeves, a ribbing band of HO HO HO HO around the bottom, three mid-size and two small trees on the back (each with three candy canes), and the coupe de grace – a light up blinking tree with I <3 XMAS that also lights up.

back of Grinch sweater

back of Grinch sweater

For a while now I’ve thought of Jigsaw as the coolest clubhouse I always wanted as a kid but never knew existed. This project absolutely cemented it for me.

I knit all the time. Predominantly epic-length scarves. I’ve never knit a sweater before. And I’m too naively optimistic to fully understand I shouldn’t take a commission for something I’ve never done before. The risk and learning makes it worthwhile.

Speaking of risk and learning – I now know how to solder. And also know that any part of the soldering iron that’s metal is very, very hot. I have the blister to prove it.

9 volt incandescent blinking bulb on LED string

9 volt incandescent blinking bulb on LED string

I’ll take you through a step-by-step on how we hacked the incandescent blinky bulb into a battery powered string of LEDs over here (insert link later). Kudos to Team Jigsaw for finding the original idea for a cost-effective solution to make a standard string of LEDs blink.

From discussing the merits of microprocessors and 555 timers to calculating voltage requirements for the LEDs, the community at Jigsaw helped me learn what I needed and the cheering section to help me see this project into fruition.

Va-Va-Vroom provided door-to-door delivery service so I could savor the moments of a completed project going out the door to a very, very satisfied customer.

It may not seem like a big deal that I have learned how to solder. But consider that I stopped thinking about electrical circuits in high school after my physics teacher condescended, “I’m so impressed you girls could make a mousetrap car that went the minimum distance.”

And consider that our US consumer culture encourages us to buy what we want and need instead of thinking about how to make or fix it ourselves.

Like participating in the wearable electronics workshop series, learning how to solder expands the world of possibilities of what I think I can do and what I can manifest in reality.

I think my heart and my brain both grew three sizes that day.

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