Bike Love!





Introduction: Bike Love!

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 [ 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?



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    22 Discussions


    5 years ago

    That is very cute!!!!!!!! :)

    Do you have a pattern for this. My husband and son are avid cyclists and this would be an awesome Christmas present. Thanks!!

    1 reply

    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...)

    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...

    3 replies

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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!

    1 reply

    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!

    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!