Super durable yarn?
September 1, 2011 2:35 PM   Subscribe

What kind of yarn is durable enough to use as a bicycle lock cozy?

The cover of my Mastiff bicycle chain has gotten ripped up in a few spots, and I'm thinking of re-covering the chain with something craftsy. I'd like to crochet a tube that fits over it, but are any yarns going to stand up to a Boston winter? Ideally I'd like to go at least a year before needing to replace it again. My bike lives outside at all times, and it rains and snows around here a lot! Other potential wear and tear comes from the chain chafing against whatever the bike is locked to, or occasionally getting dropped on the sidewalk if I'm clumsy.

(The motivation for having a chain cover at all is to keep the chain from scratching my bike.)

Is there anything sturdier than acrylic yarn that's still flexible enough to crochet with?
posted by rivenwanderer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm having trouble visualizing what yarn weight you'd use--worsted, or lighter? Depending on that, I would use either worsted weight acrylic (cheap, can take a beating), or try to lightly full something out of a lighter-weight wool.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 2:52 PM on September 1, 2011

To last that long in bad weather, I think you should avoid yarn altogether and try crocheting with a different material like jute twine or maybe even plastic gimp cord. That should still be flexible enough to crochet with using a decent sized hook. You could even more creative/recycley and use strips of plastic bag.
posted by dayintoday at 2:53 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Abus sells the sleeves for those heavy duty (square?) chains.
posted by cazoo at 2:54 PM on September 1, 2011

Kevlar yarn
posted by TedW at 3:00 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not what you asked, but custom-messenger-bag company R.E.Load sells chainlock covers.
posted by box at 3:55 PM on September 1, 2011

I'd say some plain old acrylic worked at a nice firm gauge would be your best bet as far as commercial yarn goes. Otherwise, you could try something like grocery bag yarn (google 'plarn').
posted by Gordafarin at 4:10 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like idea of using plastic (above).

I was going to suggest wool (waterproof) and felting it.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 6:13 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't use straight acrylic for this sort of thing. Acrylic gets killed in high heat and brittle in cold which means it might not stand up well to temperature fluxuations.

My feeling is that a wool-acrylic blend would probably serve you better. Or straight wool that you felt deliberately to fit the lock.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:22 AM on September 2, 2011

DO NOT USE ACRYLIC. I have a cozie on my u-lock (same reason, actually) and I did mine with straight wool (brown sheep, to exact).

Acrylic is going to get all gross and loose and stuff will get trapped in it and it will get moldy. What you should do is knit or crochet a tube at a larger gauge than you need and then felt the crap out of it so it tightens all the holes. Heck, you could sew one together out of a sweater you get at a thrift store and felt down. This will be WAY more hardy than acrylic, and last a lot longer, too.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:21 AM on September 2, 2011

Have you thought of using spooled wire? This is a link to Ravelry yarn, if you are a member. It is knittable jewelry wire, and it would be sturdy.

If you are not a member, any place that sells beads carries jewelry wire.
posted by francesca too at 7:53 AM on September 2, 2011

Paracord might work really well for this.
posted by TheCoug at 5:11 PM on September 2, 2011

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