faire du vélo

Today’s the first day of the Tour de France, so it feels like the perfect day to share my main WIP of the moment. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I got a bike recently:

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Since Paper Tiger moved out of the apartment and into a proper workspace, I decided a bike would be an excellent way to commute back and forth. So far, I’ve been enjoying it immensely, and I’m super thrilled with my new bike (still not sure what to name it, or even if I should, but I’m seriously considering calling it Arya Stark). I purchased it at a store in Seattle called Bikesport, and their branding is all beautiful vintage colors and bold lines and stripes. For me, it totally evokes oldschool Euro bike culture – the bikes, the gear, the jerseys and caps. Images of knits inspired by Bianchi and Peugeot and vintage Tour jerseys started dancing around my head.

2ef70a005e86ff4e-inspirationGimondi photo found here, Peugeot poster and Tour de France game rules found on Pinterest.

I decided I needed a bike knit. And since even in the summer, Seattle mornings and evenings can be a little chilly, a breathable extra layer to throw on seemed like a good idea. I got to work on a bike jersey/track jacket hybrid with a vintage feel. As an outer layer with a full separating zipper (I wanted to be able to get it on and off quickly and easily), I think it’ll end up being a little bit more like a track jacket than a cycling jersey, but the inspiration is there. I cast on about a week ago, and I’ve already got most of the body and one sleeve finished!

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I’m using worsted weight Cascade 220, because I’ve had that brighter green color in my stash for over three years, and it seemed like a good project to finally pull it out for. It’s worked from the bottom up, as you can see, and I’m planning to use raglan decreases once I join the body and the sleeves. For now, this is just a project for me, but if it turns out well I might work up a pattern for it later on (I’m all tied up working on my fall/winter collection at the moment).

Hopefully it’ll turn out well and I will share the results when it’s finished! In the spirit of the Tour, I’m naming it Faire du Vélo. If you’re inspired to work up some bike-related knits for yourself and you don’t want to wait around until I can turn this into a pattern, Adrian Bizilia has a great pattern called Velo Cycling Sweater, or perhaps you’re more into biking around in knitted leggings, like Andrea Rangel’s Kalaloch? She has a great blog post on biking around in her own pair here.

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