Tuesday, 18 March 2014

EL wire

I first heard about electroluminescent wire from friends who took part in one of the early UK Maker Faires. It then became popular in the radio-controlled helicopter fraternity, cable-tied to night-flying canopies.

Although quite thick (0.3mm) and limited flexibility, I thought it worth trying to use it with knitting or crochet. The EL wire is not flexible enough to knit with. I tried 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm needles, and just ended up with blistered fingered and snapped EL wire.

This hat was on my stand at Maker Faire (Newcastle) and Mini Maker Faire (Brighton) in 2013. It was very popular, though many commented on how heavy it was, but how useful the battery pack is.

This hat is adult-sized and was crocheted from a mix of wires using a 4mm hook. The EL wire is too expensive to make a whole hat from. It was padded out with standard gauge electrical wire and twisted-pairs from inside old CAT5 cables found in the garage.