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Topic: Good intro to IT?
Message: Posted by: splunge (Mar 16, 2021 12:42PM)
Hi all. Casual amateur here. Dabble for my own entertainment and as a pediatrician, to amuse/reward my patients.

I've fooled around a little bit with IT. I find tying my own loops time consuming. I have a tarantula but find it too loud for real close work.

Any suggestions of sources to learn from, tips for practice, reels etc?

Message: Posted by: mightytimbo (Mar 17, 2021 08:18AM)
IT tricks haven't been in my wheel house at all, but just recently to experiment I bought a pack of loops. I've enjoyed playing with them and they make for pretty strong effects if done well. The key with the loops is just to make sure they are properly and carefully stretched out before using them or they will snap. (There's several good Youtube videos on this) The other nice thing about loops is you can take any object that clearly hasn't had IT attached to it and then manipulate it with "Telekinesis" or whatever other relevant effect you want to employ. If you go to penguin magic (Or any of the sites) you can get a pack pretty cheap. The "Single" packs come with 8 or so loops in them. (The loops are mounted on a card in the pack. a certain number fit on each card. A "Single" pack is a pack that comes with one card's worth). Anyway, like I said, I'm no expert. Just getting into this area myself, but definitely something to check out.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Apr 2, 2021 03:30PM)

Get an alpha reel - a small one if you can (in searches all I could find is the large one. The large one will work but you'll have to put it under your coat/smock or whatever and poke the thread through a button hole. I have the small one and have it taped to a piece of cardboard - it goes in my shirt pocket. You have a very manageable situation where you have a considerable amount of control. You could stick the wax ball on the wall, float a small object, and they walk back and remove an object (pen or whatever) and at the same time ditch the reel. You will have fun with it. Caution - buy an ALPHA reel, don't do what I did and spend hundreds on reels that you throw away. My alpha has been working 6-8 years. If the thread breaks, you just pinch the reel in the middle, push the thread through a little guide hole with a toothpick, and you're back in business. https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S11595
Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Apr 2, 2021 07:05PM)
Loops are something you go through a lot of until you get a hang of the tension needed, breaking points etc. Tying them definitely does get easier, but your technique for tying them matters too. The Million Dollar Knot from Penguin Magic is a good resource for tying them quickly and efficiently, and the rest is just practice. Years ago when I first got into loop and thread work, there was a project released that actually had a tool or machine to help tie the loops - the name escapes me but if you do some research into loop tying you should come across some good resources.

The tarantula would definitely be a little too loud for a quiet office space, I don't know if maybe having some music in the background would help, or the way I go about it is only reeling the thread back in after the effect is over and the spectator has relaxed, and I make big motions so that the natural sound of me moving and rustling around hides the sound of the device. Remember they're not expecting to hear the reel, whereas you are listening for it, so to you, the sound will be super obvious. We hear so many sounds throughout our day that simply fall into background noise because they don't have our awareness of their existence, so the sound of the reel should go unnoticed if you can mask it with your general movement. When I do ring flite, there's always a jingle as the reel with their ring hits my keys, but just the act of me shifting my body around as I release the reel, makes the sound of the keys jingling seem to be caused by my movement, and not necessarily because a reel is hitting them. I've used a tarantula in many quiet settings - making a loud noise, whether through movement or by saying something, or asking them a question to distract them, should all be enough to mask the noise effectively.
Message: Posted by: SamuraiStag (Apr 6, 2021 08:10AM)
I hope Splunge doesn't mind me adding a question to this but I have an IT Reel that I was able to get working but was lost when it came to managing the lighting to keep it invisible.

Would appreciate any guidance where to use and not use IT as well as ways of minimising the thread lines on your fingers when doing floating in the palm of the hand.

Message: Posted by: TeddyBoy (Apr 6, 2021 01:49PM)
What the heck are IT tricks?
Message: Posted by: Daniel A. Day II (Apr 6, 2021 02:43PM)
Invisible Thread.
Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Apr 6, 2021 09:19PM)
IT refers to invisible thread.

SamuraiStag, generally you want the light to be shining on you from the front, never from behind. I always casually take a look at where the lights are in the room and try to position myself around that.
Dark backgrounds work best - wearing black, not doing it over a white tablecloth etc. Broken up designs are better for the background than solid colours.
A dimly lit room will work much better than a super bright one or in direct sunlight. It's all about knowing when is a good time to do thread work and when you should stick to other tricks.
Lastly, if you have shiny thread that catches the light, take a black sharpie and put some marks along the thread every inch or so, to break up that shininess.

Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Apr 7, 2021 09:57AM)
Two classic videos that are fantastic places to begin learning:

● [b]Easy to Master Thread Miracles[/b] by Michael Ammar

● [b]Who's Afraid of Invisible Thread[/b] by Jon LeClair
Message: Posted by: Koolmagic114 (May 31, 2021 12:48PM)
I certainly agree with ENDERGAME.. as I was going to mention Easy to Master Thread Miracles by Michael Ammar.
With 3 volumes there is quite a lot of coverage for a casual amateur. I have had these 3 volumes for quite some time and will find myself going back to them to refresh myself.
Message: Posted by: cuchullain (May 31, 2021 01:38PM)
DVD - Legacy by Finn Jon - Expensive, but one of the 4 DVDs is almost all Invisible Thread - Hard to beat Michael Ammar though
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jun 2, 2021 02:08PM)
Splunge ...
I had an original Tarantula II and had no issues with noise whatsoever.

It worked and functioned perfectly.
However, in learning how to handle thread, it proved very expensive.

And in doing so - in my opinion - I found it to be a "one trick pony".
Not worth the expense and effort.

However - with no disrespect - it was ingenious and a credit to its creator.
Consequently, if I do use IT it is loops with no problem at all.

Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Jun 2, 2021 06:40PM)
I too have cut it back to just loops - versatile for most situations, easy to carry, no setup or clean up, and if you can make your own, easy to replace when they break. I like Yigal Mesika's carrying case for them
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 6, 2021 09:12AM)
If you are interested in IT...and want a good intro to the whole ordeal, see this guy:


[b][i]Even a beginner can learn to use the Master Levitation System and it will be like you've moved to the head of the class as far as your audience is concerned.

You can do card tricks all day that require tons of complex sleights and countless hours of practice and still not get the same reaction that you'll receive from performing one quick levitation. The levitation is the trick that your audience will remember and talk about long after your performance is over.[/b][/i]


I can't think of a better introduction!

Message: Posted by: Cub Sines (Jun 15, 2021 02:40AM)
I might add my two cents to this conversation as I love IT & performing tricks with it.

First about loops and tying them yourself, don't give up it will be worth tying them yourself! The million dollar knot (that was already mentioned), once you master it you'll be tying loops in no time!

EndersGame already pointed out two of the best learning material for IT from beginners to experienced users. I would also give a advice to practice IT tricks with sewing string to save thread and nerves. Dougini mentioned MLS by Steve Fearson, these three combined will give you a complete IT boot camp.

As for ITR's I really like Tarantula II, that's my ITR of choice since it came out. It's IMO very silent, I can't think of situation in real life where spectators could hear it through normal background noices, or if you're concerned you can always just speak when it's retracting the thread. You can also hide it inside your jacket etc. so you can perform with it like Spider pen style or any normal ITR's.
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jun 15, 2021 11:41AM)
Splunge ...
my introduction to ITR was many years ago, by watching James George with his bespoke ITR reel.

the floating dollar passing through the ring made the illusion an enigma ... it must be a thread, but how does it pass through the ring, and how does the ring pass round the dollar?

Obviously thread work has come a long way since.
But the hook up and handling were ingenious.
Message: Posted by: Tukaram (Aug 26, 2021 07:59AM)
I really like the Super Spinner. Joe Joe was selling them, then went to 'pass the hat' software. His videos have a link for Paypal tips. He posted the DVD (in 20 some odd videos) on YouTube. It is very easy to make it yourself. Wooly nylon thread, a Sharpie marker, and some silicone putty. I have a very good, and expensive, ITR and it sits in a box on my shelf. The Super Spinner is just too good. When you break your thread, the setup allows you to be back in business almost immediately. And since you make them yourself, you can carry a couple with you if you want. 😎

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 1, 2021 06:33AM)
Here is a lifetime supply of wooly nylon. 134 Royal Blue is the perfect color:


Message: Posted by: Sabrina (Sep 16, 2021 10:42PM)
That is like I bought 15 years ago and I can agree that it will be a lifetime supply for much cheaper than ebay would charge. JoAnn Fabrics was where I got mine.

Anyone have other sources of various IT and what they are best for?