Tour de France Time Again

I’m no sport watcher, as I’ve stated before but when the Tour de France comes around again, I almost become one. Why?

Because of the annual festival of knitting that the Tour de France has become (and also its sister event, the Tour de Fleece, for spinners). Non-knitters, especially those I know on Twitter, are puzzled by this. There are questions galore about what knitting has to do with a bunch of guys cycling around France.

Not much, is the reply. Except that some mad keen knitters who also happen to love the race came up with the idea a few years ago now to add a little spice and competition to our work with sticks and string and the Tour de France Knit Along was born.

Non knitters also want to know if you have to knit stuff in the colour of the jerseys or anything like that. No. And thank goodness for that. We just knit big or small things, depending on our interests, skill level, patience and time.

It’s a huge, international knitting event. At some point, I got swept up in it too. Having never paid the first bit of attention to the Le Tour, I found myself watching it for the stuff I AM interested in one year, the scenery, the culture, the food and the wine. Yeah, those bits. They sucked me in.

When you add an element of speed knitting, I’m hooked (so to speak). For several years now, except last year, I’ve thrown myself headlong into the Yellow Jersey class and have successfully knitted entire adult garments in the three weeks it took for the cyclists to do their thing. One I’m particularly proud of is my sister’s pale blue alpaca cardigan from 2008.

Adele's blue cardi

Getting that done, in pieces I should add, was a fun and satisfying achievement.

This year, the race crept up on me. I almost forgot and then felt I didn’t have the fortitude this year to go through that again. But I literally can’t ignore the opportunity to churn out a new piece in record time. I can’t. The temptation is too great. The decision of what to make was easy. A cardigan i’ve been planning to make for months. It’s time has arrived. It’s the Honey Cardigan by Finnish designer 100% Rain, or Veera Välimäki.

It’s gorgeous, I think. And mine will be a deep, dark grey too. Cascade 220 in fact.

Cascade 220

As per the rules, I waited until the race kicked off last night, well about half an hour before if I’m truly honest and began the yoke which is knit using a Chain Cable stitch. If you think about it, that’s kind of on theme isn’t it? Bikes – chains – cables – get it?

Honey Cardigan Yoke

It’s enormous fun. Truly. This is a great cable. I haven’t done one like it before. I figure after the yoke is done, I’ll have plenty of plain knitting to whizz through – which is all the better for drinking all that (perhaps French) red wine while taking in the scenery.

Maybe this year I’ll try harder to understand what on earth goes on.



15 thoughts on “Tour de France Time Again

  1. Great pattern/yarn combo! I hope you’re flying along.

    It’s funny how these big knit alongs only happen with sporting events. Though now that I actually think about it, it’s really only sporting events that go on for weeks at a time…

  2. I’ve just signed up for the Tour de France KAL too, inspired by the real Tour which rushed through our village today. Awesome! Your knitting project looks lovely, beautiful colour and design. I’m going for the KAL green jersey with small projects, and a bit of polka dot too in finishing things off as well. Have a great knitting Tour.

  3. I’ve just signed up to the Tour de France knitalong too – better late than never. I only stumbled across it this evening. The Tour came through our village today, it was awesome!
    I’m going for the Green Jersey in the KAL with little projects. Your knitting looks lovely – great colour and desing.

  4. Oh this is going to look lovely and clearly I won’t have to wait long to see it
    I wanted to join in on this also this year however the timing is all wrong for me at the moment, I like the idea of the challenge also.

  5. What a great sweater!

    I’m getting sucked in bit by all the excitement. Unfortunately, we don’t have cable so I can’t watch the race — and it just seems like it would be lame to participate without watching a minute of the race.

  6. Good luck – you do so well with these challenges – after my WIPS challenge crashed out last year I’m just going to be enjoying the race and we’ll see what I get knitted by the end of it 🙂

  7. Cascade 220 makes a great sweater–very warm. I love the sweaters I’ve made for myself out of it, and as you know, I love working with it. (How lucky for me my favorite wool is so reasonable!)

    Individuals from different teams also work together. Chris was trying to explain that to Vaughan yesterday, and it was hard for him to understand.

  8. As you know, I love that colour c220! Am sure you can get yet another cardi done in 3 weeks! I think I have been somewhat optimistic with my project, but not to worry!

    If you listen to the commentary of the race, they do a pretty good job of explaining the team tactics etc. I find it fascinating how they work in teams for an individual within the team to win.

  9. My sport watching is usually confined to some netball, and the tennis in January and June. This year I haven’t even watched a single ball of Wimbledon! Perhaps that will change for the men’s final tonight! Sometimes I also watch the swimming trials in the year before the summer Olympics to see who made the team.

    As yet, I have not been personally involved in the TdFKAL but I will be reading the blogs of some of those who are, and following with great interest.

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