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Water proof Hi Vis Cycling Cape Development

1 Blog Posts crochet and bikes cycling cape hi vis cape knitted cape knitting and bikes reflective cape urban cycling

When I first started CultureCycle, the early products were reviewed by a well known British podcaster, Hoxton Handmade. One of her comments was that it must not be as wet in Australia as it is in the UK. Since then I have been trying to find a way of making stylish reflective crochet and knit cyclewear that could be worn rain or shine. I've tried treating knitted fabric with waterproof sprays and even had some success with linseed oil. This was not practical though, unless you enjoy smelling like a new piece of IKEA furniture. I've tested four different waterproof fabrics, each ligher than the other, trying to find something that is light enough to sew to the knitted fabric. My last design is the closest I've come to a viable product. cycle cape side The cape is made on the Bulky 9 knitting machine and is made from an American 4ply cotton and wool mix. They yarn has quite a few slubs in it, is difficult to work and the kitted fabric stretches all over the place. Once it's washed though, it settles down, shrinks slightly and produces a lovely dense and lightweight fabric. cycle cape detail I've finally perfected knitting with the reflective yarn. After months of disasters I've found a way of twisting the reflective yarn around the normal yarn and then winding it all into a single cake. This eliminates the problems with splitting and means that I can knit comfortably for some time (as you can see from the large section of reflective knitting in this piece. The cape is made in four pieces, sewn together down the front and back (though I'll latch hook the next one) and then sewn 3/4 up the sides. The roll down collar is the third attempt and is made with reflective yarn and normal yarn twisted together. SONY DSC Having got this far I took possession of the latest waterproof fabric. This lightweight silver fabric comes from Korea and as you can see, I took the opportunity to get quite a bit of it. SONY DSC In this first sample I've made the rain cape the same size as the unwashed knitted cape. This means that once washed (when the knitted cape shrinks slightly) the rain cape will be larger than the knitted cape and will be easy to wear over the top of it. cycle cape rain back I've also been testing the cord which needs to go down the front of the hood and discovered that I can make quite nice cord with this little gadget cord making   I've tested how small the rain cape will fold down to and am convinced I can connect it to the back of the knitted cape in one small bundle, not much bigger than a reading glass case. I'll be trying this out over the next week. cycle cape rain front In the meantime, any thoughts or feedback much appreciated.  

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