Instructables
Picture of Bike Love!
Bike2.jpg
Bike3.jpg
Bike4.jpg
Bike5.jpg
Bike6.jpg
surly1.jpg
Every year I try to participate in a bicycle-related art auction that gives the proceeds to a local community-run bike shop that recycles and rebuilds old bikes. I usually attempt to make bike-inspired items using fabric, thread, or yarn. This year I set out to make a knit bicycle. I wish there was a pattern for knitting a bicycle on the Internet, but I just haven't been able to find one.

After playing with a few different methods, I ended up bending used bicycle spokes to craft a bike frame and act as the hidden base layer that would provide support. At the time, I didn't have any size 1 or 2 double pointed needles, so I fashioned "knitting needles" out of some modified spokes. Knitting with bicycle spokes is a neat idea but also a bit painful on the fingers after awhile. I used Lion Brand [http://cache.lionbrand.com//yarns/wooleaseChunky.html Wool-Ease Chunky] yarn from my stash. In areas where I wanted a "thinner" yarn - like the fork, stem, handlebars, chain and seat stays - I separated the strands that made up the original yarn. Then I knit I-cord directly around the entire frame and wheels.

A few other tidbits about this project:
-The knit bike is modeled after my partner's Surly Long Haul Trucker (photo included in slideshow).
-The proportions match the full-size original bike. The knit bike was miniature in comparison, maybe six inches in length.
-The wheels move and have tensioned spokes made with embroidery floss.
-I cut a red heart out of some extra bike helmet padding and sewed it onto the front where a bike's head badge would normally be.
-The chain is braided embroidery floss.
-Keeping with the recycled intention of the art auction, I did not purchase anything new for this and used yarn leftover from other projects.
-The kickstand is not functional. You couldn't put it up and ride this thing.
-The man in some of the pictures in the slideshow is who bid on and won the bicycle!
-Maybe next year a full-size bike?
as91 year ago
That is very cute!!!!!!!! :)
lorjohnlori6 years ago
Do you have a pattern for this. My husband and son are avid cyclists and this would be an awesome Christmas present. Thanks!!
mydogellen (author)  lorjohnlori6 years ago
i don't have a pattern. i just bent bicycle spokes using the shape of one of our bicycles as a model, then knit i-cord around. (at the time i didn't have small sock needles, so i used bicycle spokes to knit with). it was a little more complicated than this, so sorry not to be more helpful!! good luck! (oh, i did make some recumbent trikes after this one for gifts. the three wheels were tricky to get them to stand up, thus i used liquid starch. so that's at least one tip...)
mydogellen (author) 6 years ago
oh, i ride a tandem too! i hadn't thought of that... it'd be sooo long! after i made the bike featured above earlier this winter, i did knit a pair of recumbent tricycles for my partner's parents (to match their bikes). what fun! thanks for all the nice comments...
IMG_0422.JPG
Those are cute!
What kind of tandem do you have? We ride a purple daVinci road tandem. Independent freewheeling is awesome, and the gearing is fantastic - it makes steep hills almost easy.
mydogellen (author)  canida6 years ago
a cannondale that we rode from arizona to maine a few years ago. after that trip, we test rode a davinci, which seems like it is completely awesome, but after all those miles on our bike, it has molded to fit us well. a tandem that makes going uphill easy must be sweet. ours does well on the downhill!
ours does well on the downhill!
That's the best part of a tandem. ;)
Elsamary6 years ago
I think it's fantastic, very inspirational. When I first saw it before I read your instructions I thought it had been achieved with french knitting. Maybe it's because I'm English but I didn't know what "I-cord" was so I found a website to show me how to make it, another skill acquired! Many thanks.
Brennn106 years ago
This is amazing. Period.
You're my current hero.
the bike has a left side drive??? still very cool
mydogellen (author)  flatfootpenguin6 years ago
oops, didn't notice that the built-in camera on my imac reversed the pictures. if you flip them, the drive train is on the correct side (and you can read the t-shirt)! but it has no brakes, so be careful on this thing.
no its a left side drive fixie way cool
GitarGr86 years ago
This made me think of is the part in Wedding Crashers where the bratty kid says "Make me a bicycle, clown!!"
Excellent work! I'm very jealous! Every time I start to think that maybe I'm actually getting the hang of knitting, I see something like this and realize that I'll probably never make anything more elaborate than a hat! Keep up the great work!
mydogellen (author)  astrocomical6 years ago
yikes - don't be jealous. one of the best lessons in knitting is that you can rip stitches out and go back as necessary; no need to be intimidated by the yarn. though i now make up my own patterns, i've only been knitting for 6-7 years, and for those first 2-3 years, i only made scarves (and a few hats) because that's what i thought i could do. i still have trouble with dropped stitches. the best skills in knitting are patience, the willingness to experiment, and a knowledge that knitting is just as much about the process as the end product!
canida6 years ago
That looks fabulous! I'm an avid biker too, and may have to try your theory for a tandem. ;) Beautiful job, and thanks for all the details!
KnittedGems6 years ago
This is amazing!
WOW! This is definitely just really awesome. It looks just so nice. Great description you added too! Thanks!
Michelej76 years ago
Very cool. Im blown away with your creativity you put into the project for a great cause. Kudos to you!