We knew when we moved into our new shop that we would need to put time and effort into signage as we’re tucked down a wee lane. People can become ‘blind’ to signs, even well executed ones, what I really wanted was something a bit more eye catching. I had spotted several bike shops that had sign written bikes and chained them in more prominent positions and originally this was my plan but I’m never one for the easy option.
I had just finishing knitting a baby jumper for our wee one and was on the hunt for my next knitting project when I came upon the idea of yarn bombing a bike. I learned to knit when I was about five (before I learned to ride a bike!) and it’s something I’ve always done. I have always pretty much followed patterns but I really fancied a challenge. The bike I chose to yarn bomb originally belonged to Brian’s granny it was a 1985 BSA 3 speed, it felt nice giving it a second lease of life. Whilst I’d love to claim to have invented the idea, covering items in knitting or yarn bombing has been around for quite some time read more about it here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing
I started with the easy bits, I knitted the reflector first (an orange rectangle) and I used this as a tension gauge for when I needed to work out how many rows or stitches to a length. Next I tackled the wheels two surprisingly long rectangles sewn in place to cover the tyre and wheel. I wrapped the front spokes but when I came to the rear wheel I decided to have a bit more fun and spiralled the wool around the spokes in a rainbow of colours.
The main frame I knitted in sections, I wanted the step through frame to mirror the ’swoosh’ in our logo so I graduated the colours from red to yellow. The rest of the bike I kept mainly in our royal blue with a lighter blue to break up the primary colours. Whilst there were quite a few fiddly parts to knit and attach the most complicated part pattern wise was the chain guard and front chain ring. Both required workings out and formula I’d barely touched since GCSE maths.
As lovely as the knitted bike looked it didn’t fulfil it’s purpose to point customer in our direction. I didn’t feel a knitted sign would read very well so I decided to cross stitch a sign instead which looked far smarter. So far our woolly bike has mainly been positioned in the Riverside car park Newton Stewart with a weekend away at venue 40 on the Kirkcudbright arts and crafts trail. But it could be off again soon on it’s travels so keep your eye out!
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