Glowing hat

Second attempt - EL Wire + general wire on 4mm crochet hook

The first attempt (detailed below) found that the bend radius required for knitting was greater than the bend radius acceptable for the EL Wire. Therefore crochet was the next technique to try, with surprisingly successful results.
  • 3 x 5m lengths of green EL Wire
  • Scraps of general purpose electrical wire and twisted pairs from within old CAT5 cable
  • String for edging
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • A lot of patience
Video of finished hat (running off mains power supply)

YouTube Video


First attempt - EL wire + general wire on 4mm needles

first attempt at knitting with el wire

  • Repunzel set consisting of 5 x 1m Angel Hair (1.3mm) EL Wire, 5-way splitter, and 2xAA battery inverter (£20 from elwirecraft.co.uk)
  • General purpose wire (such as 7/0.20mm equipment wire)
  • 2 x 4mm straight knitting needles
  • The general purpose wire is reasonable flexible and was able to cope with my usual lace cast on method.

Electro-Luminescent (EL) wire is a wire that glows when an electrical current is applied to it. For a technical description see http://www.elwirecraft.co.uk/questions-about-el-wire/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroluminescent_wire.

Knitting with EL wire is quite hard on the fingers. The wire seems to have quite a strong memory of being in a coil, and has to be forced in to the shape of a knitting stitch. Lesson learned - try with 6mm or larger needles and the 1.3mm wire may work happier with a larger bend radius.

I picked purple wire, as I liked the colour. However, I would describe it more as a pink than a purple. It is quite dull compared to other EL wire colours. From talking to people at Mini Maker Faire in Brighton (2012), the general consensus seems to be that green is the brighest. Lesson learned - use green wire if need something that will be visible in a normal room during daylight hours.