Another Hobby Blog

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Impulse Glitz

I have such a tendency to purchase on impulse! Especially things that are flashy or glittery.

Imagine my helplessness when I saw this:

Retroreflective thread! It looks grey until it's hit by a light source and then it bounces the light back. Shiny!!

Weaving Works had it available for yardage off the cone, so I didn't even need to commit to a huge financial outlay to play with the stuff!
Did I have any idea whatsoever what I wanted to do with it? Nope, none at all. Did I really need it? of course not. Am I happy I got the stuff? You bet! Even though it loves to tangle up into huge knotted problems now that it's off it's cone? yep, even so.

It came home with me about a month or two ago, and it's alternately made me smile or curse every time I've seen it. Smile, because it shimmers and glows from the corners of the room, reminding me of its cheery presence. Curse, because half the time it has tangled itself into another Gordian knot while I wasn't looking.

I do admit, I was starting to feel a little bit foolish for bringing it home last time I tried to straighten it back out, but then I wondered whether I could use it on my inkle loom. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't hold the tension right, or perhaps that it would end up breaking. As it happens, I had more trouble with the turquoise thread that I strung into the same warp. The retroreflective thread is surprisingly tolerant. It has absolutely no elasticity, though, so it definitely defines the tension of the warp. It must be tight enough to weave smoothly, but not so tight as to stretch or snap.

Taking pictures of the ribbon itself was a bit of a challenge. I keep thinking that it doesn't look very reflective at all in most of the images, but it is pretty successful when you see it in person.

I'll be weaving another ribbon length starring the retroreflective thread on black. When it's done, it'll get stitched onto my husband's black duster (which he wears everywhere, all year round. He sometimes calls it his "man-purse" because everything he needs is in one of the many pockets.) I am hoping it will help make him more visible to cars before he gets hit by one!


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