Custom Fit Bike Sweater

You know when someone asks you to knit something, you say “I can knit that” and then a moment later, you have to explain the difference be can and will?  This is NOT that project!


Over the years, I’ve had a couple inquiries about knitted bike cozies.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  People have asked.  I’ve said yes.  Somehow though, it’s never happened.  Things always fall apart.

That is, until now!

My friend, Wendy, asked about it.  She’s a daily bicycle commuter, a lover of DIY makers everywhere and most importantly, a woman with follow through!


She brought her bike over for measurements in short order!  I did a couple little swatches and off I went.  The knitting is quite basic.

Stockinette stitch, knit in long, flat, rectangular panels.  No shaping at all.  I played around with a lot of techniques for the embellishments.  I started with simple stripes, even did a little stranded work.  Mostly though, the details came after…appliques (my favorite these days), surface crochet, duplicate stitch and a slew of embroidery techniques that I know nothing about (unventions, indeed!)

My favorite discovery came while duplicate stitching…instead of covering 1 stitch at a time, I made my duplicate stitches 2 stitches tall.  It was liberating!  I’m not sure why it’s never occurred to me to duplicate stitch something other than one straight stitch.  Once I was changing their size, it seemed pretty obvious that duplicate stitches don’t have to go in a straight line.

BAM!  Mind blown.

Curved duplicate stitch…I’m sure someone familiar with embroidery techniques is currently saying ‘why yes, that’s called blah blah blah stitch’.   It was news to me though and  I had a lot of fun playing around with it.  I’ve got lots of ideas for embellishing new hats now!


There was one challenge to this project though.  Sewing pieces onto a bicycle is kind of awkward.


In order to reach all the right places, at the right times, I must’ve put this bike in 37 different positions to figure it all out.  Upside down, right side up, left side out, right side out, around the gears, past the fender and out the other side.   There’s a lot more small spaces on a bike than I’d actually contemplated before.

Without fail, my hand could not travel the same path the yarn needed.  It was an interesting exercise in mindfulness, a challenge to my years of muscle memory.  I kept at it though and the pieces all went together better than I even imagined!  I’m really happy with the whole thing.  Woot!


And the best part, Wendy really loves it too!

Actually, the best part…Wendy loves it AND she rides her bike all over the place!  I’ve never seen a yarnbombed bike that was functional.  I’ve seen them in shop windows and as art pieces.  I’ve certainly never walked down the street and seen a bike like this locked to a pole.  That is about to change!

The adventures are just beginning!

The only question left…who’s next?





Rules are made to be broken.

Back in the day, when I was doing a lot of yarn bombing, I had two rules:  No Trees and Nothing Politics.  Well, needless to say, given the political strife of late, I’ve relaxed one of those rules.

Last week’s bike rack cozy was my first political yarn bomb.  It went on the bike rack just outside my local watering hole.  This is the same pub that hosts my weekly knitting group.  I’ve yarn bombed this particular corner quite a few times.  Both of these lasted more than a year:

So imagine my surprise when my hot pink political statement was gone in 4 days!


I wasn’t particularly happy with the lettering.  It’s duplicate stitch turned on it’s side.  It was weird.  It stretched funny.  I don’t mind that it’s no longer on display.

I’m not even that mad it got taken down so quickly.  Knowing I pushed someone’s button enough to see it and then return later with scissors to cut it off, I enjoy that bit.  Especially because I already had another yarn bomb ready to go.


I tried a lot of different methods for the lettering.  Ultimately I decided on this free hand, skewed back stitch.  I didn’t follow a chart so it went fast.  I just kinda winged it, making sure all my lines had a slant to them.  I did this to keep the letters from falling into the ditch between stitches.  They would get completely lost so this was an attempt to fix that.

Not only did I fix the problem, I improved the situation, if I do say so myself. I really like it.  It’s accidentally punk!  It’s got a bit of edge.  It’s not just cutesy and soft.  It’s an homage to the graffiti ancestors that inspired it.


So, Random Neighborhood Trump Lover, thanks for cleaning up my trash!  This second one is even better!  Now, lets see how long it lasts.

I have a feeling the third one (let’s face it, there IS going to be a third one.) will be even better because, nevertheless, I persist.


Knit in Public Day


Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day!  I knit in public constantly so I decided to show my dedication to fiber craft another way…



With a new yarn bomb!  I proved the old adage true and returned to the scene of my last crime.  I yarn bombed this same stand of bike racks, last year.  It didn’t stick around as long as I would have liked.  Someone complained and the city removed it.  I may have returned with a chip on my shoulder.  At least it’s a cozy yarn chip!


Hopefully the city worker who gets tasked with removing this one will have a laugh and enjoy my attempts to bring job security to the city’s graffiti abatement team.

I think my next one will say ‘egregious vandalism’  :)

FO Thursday

It’s one of those rare double FO weeks!  For all the complaining about projects that seemed to never end, it really pays off in weeks like this!  Add in last week’s vest completion and I’m feeling super accomplished this week!  Yay for yarn therapy!  Better living through knitting, indeed!

Today’s FO is the yarn bomb project!

I started with this:

IMG_2522added it to this:


and got this!


So much better!!

If you want to see it in person, it’s on Valencia St between 18th & 19th, in front of Mission Bicycle!

And here’s my 15 minutes of fame, on local blog, Mission Mission!  Check it out for more pictures!

If you want to see more of my yarn bombing, check out this post for some of my greatest hits! 

The History of (my) Yarnbombing!

I finished up my yarnbombing this morning!   I took some pictures and you’ll get to see them…eventually!  But first, a little trip down memory lane!  I was looking at a few old pictures this morning, they’re still worth sharing!


Yarnbombing and I go way back, we first became friends in 2010!  It came about when a story of yarnbombers in Cape May, NJ went viral.  After holding out for years, I was relatively new to facebook.  Naturally, everyone wanted to share this great knitting story with their knitting friend…ME!  After the first few links, I ran out of responses.  There’s only so many ways to say ‘yeah, thanks, I know.’


‘yeah thanks, I know and I’ve done it’ seemed like a much better response!


So I did it…


and did it…


and did it.


I didn’t limit myself to bike racks but they were my favorites, form and function together!


Some were barely noticeable…


Some were gone in less than 24 hours…


Turns out the city doesn’t like statues being ‘tampered’ with.


Some were far away…(like this one I did in Reykjavik, Iceland!)


and this one in Upstate NY…


Mostly though, I marked my territory.  (This was the local watering hole back then…)


A neighbors lawn ornaments.  (I’m sad they moved away…those flamingos had a wardrobe change for every season, I was hoping to add more…)

flam_medium (1)

This is not a return to my yarnbomb heyday but it was a fun project…


and perhaps, it’s time to mark my territory, once again. KnitLife4EVA!


(If you’re inspired to yarnbomb yourself, the only thing I’ll say is…STAY AWAY FROM TREES.  Mother Nature made that shit.  It does not need improvement!  Pick something man made to cozy up!  Chain link fences need yarn love, trees do not!)