Knit with Reflective or Neon Yarn
Knit Hats to Improve Nighttime Visibility
Be Safe! Here are Some Statistics on Pedestrians Hit by Cars
According to the CDC, over 4,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2010 and 70,000 more were injured. The number one recommendation for improving pedestrian safety is to improve visibility by carrying a flashlight ans wearing reflective clothing.
A hat or scarf knit with a ball of yarn costing less than $7 could save a life! That seems like a pretty sound investment to me.
Knit Hats and Scarves for Style and Safety
Joggers, bikers, and dog walkers need clothing that enhances visibility. As days grow shorter in the fall, many people go about their usual activities in the early evening--forgetting that the fading light makes them almost invisible to motorists. I live off a narrow street and dread those fall evenings after we change the clocks, because people go out after work in the dark, wearing dark hoodies while walking their dogs or exercising. It doesn't help that many drivers wait till total darkness to turn on their headlights.
I propose a new rule for fall: When you change your clocks, change your hats! I couldn't help but notice some new yarn Red Heart is now marketing especially for hats. Even in the bright lights of a store, Red Heart Reflective and Red Heart Heads Up caught my eye. I immediately thought of my sons who enjoy an evening run or my daughter who walks her dog after work. "Hats for everyone," I thought! These two yarns are also bulky weight, so that means fewer stitches per inch for faster hats. As a continental knitter, I can make a basic ribbed hat in under two hours.
Make these for fast and practical gifts for all ages.
A Pair of Reflective Hats
Red Heart Reflective Yarn
This yarn is 85% acrylic and 15% polyester, with a reflective silver thread twisted in with the plies. While I occasionally felt a little roughness from that reflective thread, the rest of the yarn is nice and soft. If you make a hat for someone with sensitive skin (or no hair to serve as a buffer between hat and skin) you might want to use this yarn for a turn up cuff on a hat knit of softer yarn.
According to the yarn label, this is a bulky yarn (size 5) and 6 mm needles (U.S. size 10) are recommended. Since I am a relaxed knitter, I used size 9 needles and got a nice ribbed fabric for my hat.
I would recommend making wrist warmers with leftovers to match your finished hat. Or make hats in many colors and use all the remnants for a colorful striped scarf. This yarn is so high-visibility that even a small amount knit into a stripe or used as a pom-pom on an ordinary winter hat would be helpful for nighttime activities.
Red Heart Heads Up
This yarn is soft as a kitten and feels just wonderful as you knit it into a hat, scarf, or other accessory. The yarn is 80% acrylic and 20% wool, making it extra warm for winter hats. While there are no reflective fibers, Heads Up comes in some really bright neon colors. I chose citrus for my sample hat, to match one of my son's favorite running shirts.
According to the yarn label, this is a bulky yarn (size 5) and 6.5 mm needles (U.S. size 10 1/2) are recommended. Again, I used size 9 needles and got a thick, yet flexible fabric.
A ribbed hat in progress is shown at right.
Introduction to Red Heart Reflective Yarn
More Accessory Patterns and High-Visibility Yarn
- Hobby Lobby Yarn
Yellow Glow I Love This Yarn Reflective
- Night Shine Hat Knitting Pattern | Red Heart
This is the basic knit 2, purl 2, ribbed hat pattern I used for my sample hats.
- Smashwords: 8 Knitted Accessories from FiberFrau
The biggest and best knitting pattern collection yet from FiberFrau includes scarves, a sparkling cowl collar, and fingerless mittens. Color work and pattern stitches will offer interesting projects for advanced beginners and intermediate knitters.
- Ravelry: Faction Unity Scarf pattern by Kimberly Schimmel
Try this multicolor striped scarf with reflective or neon yarn instead of the pattern colors.
- Flashy Dog Sweater and Leash Crochet Pattern | Red Heart
- Swirly Hat Knitting Pattern; a book by Jenn Wisbeck
Simple top down hat is worked in the round with increases and decreases to form a clever swirl pattern around the brim. Icord edging provides a simple but cute edge that prevents rolling. Level Intermediate- knit, increase, decrease, I-cord edging,
- Kreinik Reflective Thread
Buy Kreinik Reflective Thread and other yarn supplies from Joann.com.