Ever wanted to knit a sweater for your bicycle?
Have I got the project for ewe!
Last weekend was Tour d’Davis, where my flock and I celebrated this costumed bicycle tour of town with our “yarnbombed” bikes. I am particularly proud of creating this countryside scene for my top tube, complete with sheep grazing on the hillside and a matching pouch for my cellphone. The entire thing is my own design. I call this cozy pattern Pastoral.
If you want to do this project on your own bicycle, you’re in luck—it has a very low baaaa-r to entry. All yarn used here was leftover from other projects:
Materials: Scrap yarn, knitting needles, yarn sewing needle (or crochet hook), measuring tape, binder clips or clothes pins, and imagination!
Instructions: Measure your top tube width and length, then check your knitting gauge for an exact fit. You can also eyeball it for an approximate fit that works pretty well too. Cast on in the most creative colors you can find! Stockinette stitch works well. When binding off, leaving a long tail so that you can sew it around the top tube. Use the binder clips or clothespins to hold the knitting in place as you sew up the seam. Don’t worry too much about the neatness of the seam, or weaving in ends, as neither are that visible.
Colorways and patterns of the bicycle cozies above, from left to right: Unicorn, Dark Unicorn, UCD, and Co-Op Stripe (not pictured: Captain Picard, a red and black pattern). Below is Rogue One, my first bicycle cozy.
Some of these cozies went to Team Sheep bicycles, but a few lucky cyclists on the tour got the extras!
Several of my fellow sheep team members likewise rocked their yarn creations throughout the day! Here’s a shot of most of our yarn creations before installation:
Many of these were for bicycle decorating, but we also did some yarnbombing, aka public yarn art instillations at stops along the Tour:
Some on craft crew even did some more knitting and crocheting during the tour!
So much goes into hosting our stop for the event, from the food and drink prep, to game design, to structure set up— I wish could capture all the creativity that goes on behind the scenes. But since I was on craft crew, I mainly have photos of our costumes and other sheep-themed decorations.
If you want to be a cheap sheep, be a cotton ball sheep! We hot glued cotton balls onto T-shirts for the main part of our costume.
Materials: white T-shirts, cotton balls, hot glue guns and hot glue, cardboard to place in between shirt layers.
Instructions: Glue cotton balls to your shirt! You can do them in neat rows or in a more natural fashion. Just don’t burn your fingers. Also, be patient, it takes an hour or more.
When you have finished a shirt, it’s time for sheepy accessories:
We searched through DIY sheep ear tutorials on the internet to come up with a simple head piece. Not baa-d, right?
Materials: Wide plastic headbands, white and black felt, white duct tape, cotton balls, and hot glue.
Instructions: The best order of operations is to hot glue the ear felts together, pinch at base, tape the ears to the headband, then hot glue cotton balls on the top. If you’re making a lot of these, cut ear templates out of cardboard first!
I didn’t get great photos of all the other costume details, but you can see in my photo that we had bell necklaces, sheep face makeup (black eyeliner), and ear tags (paper gift tags cut down to size and hot glued on). I also made black poster board hooves at the last minute, which didn’t last that long on the bicycles!
All the white duct tape also had another important use: it went towards the creation of the red and white barn doors!
Materials: four red poster boards, one roll of white duct tape, and a buddy.
Instructions: Lay out the boards so they overlap. Tape together horizontally and then vertically, using a friend to help hold the tape straight. Outline the entire door in white tape. Add the Xs at the bottom last.
I hope this inspires many a bicycle cozy and sheep costume! (And if you need even more sheep patterns, check out the Baa-ble hat I made last winter.)
1 thought on “Knitting for bikes, crafting for sheep”