Emission Spectra Scarves

Scarf depicting the emission spectrum of molybdenum (Mo)

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 Matt Mechtley sporting a custom quasar, and Limor (Ladyada) Fried and Andrew Salomone both wearing Silicon.

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 (no longer accessible). You can generate a pattern based on your knitting gauge at Bryn’s site download the python program and run it yourself:

Patterns below are for machine knitting or teeny needles:

Silicon [PDF]

Gold [PDF]

Manganese [PDF]

Mercury [PDF]

Iron [PDF]

Tungsten [PDF]

Uranium [PDF]

Molybdenum [paginated PDF | one long list PDF]

Lead [PDF]

If you like this project, try these others!

15 thoughts on “Emission Spectra Scarves

  1. 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?

  2. @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.

  3. 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:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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