There were two things that really made an impression upon me when we visited Sweden recently. One was just how breathtakingly beautiful it is, with pale blue skies, distant vistas and seemingly endless lakes and waterways.
The other was how quickly the nights were drawing in. You could feel it, like a blanket quietly being lowered over the landscape. Each day was just a little bit shorter than it had been the week before.
Of course this is not surprising, since it hardly goes dark in mid-summer but there is only 4 hours of daylight in the winter! However, it does mean that almost everything you do outside will be in the dark. Your morning commute to work, a walk to the post office, an afternoon trip to the shops... Chances are you will be walking or cycling in low-light conditions for at least some or all of these excursions.
So I have been thinking about how to be visible at night. I saw a video recently with a series of runners gradually coming closer. The people with a number of reflective patches and lines almost outlining their bodies could be seen from a long distance, the reflective material glowing in the headlights of the approaching car. However, the runners just wearing light-coloured clothing were barely visible until they were only a few feet away.
And of course this applies not only runners, but anyone out at night – walkers, cyclists, children and commuters. The problem is that most Hi-Vis clothing is generally quite cumbersome and an extra item to carry. You would probably think about it if you were going on a long trek, but might not bother if you were just popping down to the shops. And that's, of course, just when accidents happen...
So I have been thinking about how we as knitters can make ourselves more visible at night without gearing up in special clothing. Clearly, bright colours can help a bit, but I am also going to experiment with some reflective tape. I have a spool of tape currently on order and when it arrives I am going to try to incorporate it into a range of knits such as scarves and backpacks.
That might just make the difference between being safe at night or not...
I will post back here when I have tried the reflective tape out on the scarf I am just working on now. This is the Karlskrona Scarf and I am hoping to incorporate the tape into the zig-zag patterns at each end of the scarf. I think it will be an interesting test!
Until next time,
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My Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com
Anna's Website: www.kikuknits.com
The photo at the top is Stockholm City Hall by Werner Nystrand, & the photo of the Swedish street was taken in Storgatan, Falköping, Sweden by Nasko. Many thanks to them both.