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 between can and will?  This is NOT that project!

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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!

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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!

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

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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!

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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?


 

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday – The Bike Project

Welcome to 2018!  I’ve got my first FO of the year already (and my first opportunity to complain about weaving ends! I don’t know why I always want to knit stripes?!)  I really want to wear it, so I’m motivated to get it done.  Still though, I procrastinate.

I’m working on a little bike sweater project instead.

This is the bike.

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And this is the sweater…

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The intention is bright.  Fingers crossed it’s playful and fun without crossing the line into garish.  I think I’m on the right track so far.  Stay tuned…this is only the beginning!


 

FO Friday – A Family of Fades!

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This is not nearly enough to satisfy my urge to knit hats but it’s a good start!  And it turned out to be a super fun color study.  The yarn is a set of six mini skeins from Good Karma Farms called Color Blurz.

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According to the label it’s 6 skeins at 20 grams each.  They were all a couple grams over though.  The result, with a tiny assist from the stash, I got four hats from this one gradient set (and a lot of ends to weave!)

I also got four variations on the fade.  I started from the blue end of the fade for the first one.  I only got 5 of the 6 colors into the hat though.  Hat 2 started with the color that got left out of hat 1.  Put together you see the full gradient.

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Hats 3 & 4 faded as well, but not in the ‘find your fade’ definition of striping.   For hat 3, I alternated blue stripe-green stripe-blue stripe-etc, switching to the next blue or green in the gradient as I went.  You barely notice it.  I really like effect contrast has.

For the final hat, I needed to supplement the Color Blurz with a little more yardage.  I just happened to have the perfect little bit of deep blue left over from something else.  I was exactly what I needed.  I might love the fourth hat the most.

It’s such a fun set though, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

I haven’t decided where the pom pom belongs yet.

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Ultimately, that’ll be the one I keep.  The rest will likely hit my Etsy shop in the new year so keep an eye out!  I’ve also got some project bags coming, Mom has pulled out her sewing machine to get in on the Etsy action.  She’s made some great large project bags!  I love a big bag!

And, here’s your first glimpse of my exciting new project…

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Oh Yes!  Yarnbombed bicycle coming to my portfolio soon!  I took measurements last night!  The only problem…I have two design ideas in mind.  One bike might not be enough!