These UVs were painful. The shoelace UVs refused to unfold.
I tried everything I could think of. I cut them into large pieces, then I cut them into tiny pieces, then I selected whole edges of UVs and lined them up by hand. Every time I hit "unfold" they snarled themselves into oblivion: each of the edges of each single section zigzagged up and down like crazy, turning areas that I knew should line up fairly evenly horizontally into sharp, erratic waves. When I straightened these waves by hand and then hit "unfold" to even out the spacing of the polygons, they would inevitably turn into waves again, but tamer waves than they had been before. The more I lined them up manually the more manageable they became whenever I unfolded them, and I finally got them to generally resemble what I knew they should look like. It took hours, though. Hours: spent on shoelaces!
It was one of the most frustrating sessions I've ever spent UVing (and that's counting the time that I was first learning to UV and had no clue tools like "unfold" existed: I used to auto-UV everything and then spend a whole lot of time stitching). It was all the more frustrating because it would have been so easy to say: "They're shoelaces. Forget the UVs. I can slap a procedural texture or two on them and they'll be fine." But I knew that I was going to take the whole model into Mudbox to texture paint it, and as long as I was texture-painting the rest of it I might as well include the shoelaces. I just wanted them done the way that I intended them to be done, so I kept at it, despite the frustration. And I won in the end. The shoelaces were successfully Uved and texture painted with color and grime.
Amber: 1 Shoelaces: 0