knits for winter bike riding

I started commuting by bike only last spring. With the MTA monthly pass going up to over $100, and lots of new bike lanes to make it safer to ride in a crowded city, the decision was made. I walked over to Recycle-A-Bicycle on Loisaida Avenue and bought myself a beautiful recycled purple Schwinn for the price of two monthly passes.

Now I dread when it’s raining and I have to ride the crowded and lumbering crosstown bus to work. I’ve been riding all winter and have knit some accessories to keep me warm.

Taking the advice of For the Love of Bikes blogger Vanessa Marie Robinson in this post, I made myself a big enough cowl to cover my face in the wind and a wool headband to use under my vented helmet.

Here is the extremely simple pattern for the extra long cowl:

2 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Cast on 72 stitches on US 9 – 5.5mm 16 inch circular needles
Join the stitches and knit 4 rows then purl 4 rows until you use up the 2 skeins. That’s it.

O is the model. The cowl is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Frank Ochre

I adapted the very popular Calorimetry pattern at for a narrower headband. I used Noro Kureyon (which I encourage you to buy at your local yarn store). You can make two headbands from one skein.

Noro Kureyon yarn. Sheep stitch markers and rosewood needles from Lantern Moon

Calorimetry headbands in Noro Kureyon yarn with seashell buttons

Here is how I adapted the pattern for the Calorimetry headband:

Instead of casting on 120 stitches, I cast on 80
On Row 5, instead of repeating that row 15 times, I repeated it 8 times.
On Row 7, I just repeated that row till there were no more stitches left outside the markers.

Calorimetry headband fits perfectly under a vented helmet and covers your ears

12 thoughts on “knits for winter bike riding

  1. Pingback: winter biking | Loisaida Nest

  2. Thanks for the cowl pattern – I been looking for something like this for a while now, and I think I have just the yarn. Will be casting on a little later today, not that I should be knitting at all at the moment, but when the knitting muse strikes there isn’t much that I can do!

  3. Pingback: comfort knitting | Charlotte's Plot

    • Thanks for reading and also for posting this on your blog. This is a great cowl. I like it this long (2 skeins) for biking but I’ve also made it with one skein and one and a half.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I just started comuting by bike in September when we moved to a new office which is only 3 km by bike from my house, but it got chilly and I need something to protect my ears. I tried a thin hat, but as I have a fairly big head, this was too tight for my taste. So I will go with a caliometry now and will also check out the other biking link you shared – thanks!

    • Thank you for reading. I also recommend really good gloves for winter biking. I used to use a double layer of gloves but at the end of last winter, I went to the bike shop and got winter biking gloves. What a difference. Happy cycling!

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