Gearing up for the Tour!

These entries were originally written on 9, 10, and 11 June, 2008:

Well, today I signed up for Ravelry’s Tour de France knit-along, and I’m really excited about taking part. I’m going to go for the Yellow Jersey — but it took me quite some time to settle on that, and I still haven’t decided what my project will be.

Last month it seemed a brilliant idea to knit Eiffel. I picked out the yarn and began swatching. But then it occurred to me that a project with such an intricate stitch pattern might keep my eyes more on my knitting than on the actual race, and that just doesn’t work for me. I want to watch the race while I knit!

So, maybe something a bit simpler, like lots of stockinette, and yet not too simple.

And then I had to settle on the jersey — Yellow, Green, or Polka Dot. No big challenges, for the reason mentioned above, so King of the Mountains is out, at least for this year. I’d really like to finish up my project as the race pulls into Paris . . . but knowing me, I’ll end up getting all stressed out and not enjoying the process. So I guess the Sprinter’s jersey will have to wait.

Since this IS my very first KAL, I decided I’d take it easy on myself this year and just enjoy being in the peloton. So it’s the Yellow jersey for me, at least this time around. Maybe next year I’ll be ready for more of a challenge.

Early bike

10 June – Hey, I’m on Team High Road!!

And getting a bit desperate to come up with a French-themed project. I thought about buying some Phildar (French-made) yarn off somebody on Rav, but that didn’t work out.

I Googled the names of a few towns along the route hoping for knitting patterns including said names −− nope.

And it occurs to me that 1) the market bag I’m finishing now could be considered consistent with the TdF theme, since I can picture a Parisian coming home with a few groceries including a baguette in the bag; and 2) I just finished up a dish towel and two dish cloths as gifts to Francoise −− yes, she’s French! So how unfair is it that I must now scramble to come up with yet another French-themed project?! I’ve done my bit, no?

I even considered Hello Yarn’s wool cycling jersey, but it’s so full of cables and stuff that I’d have to switch over to the KoM competition. Now I’m pondering a set: a beanie and arm- (and perhaps leg-) warmers to wear while cycling in the cooler temperatures. And that might be sufficient, but seems like a bit of a comedown to me after my original Eiffel aspirations. Should I perhaps reconsider Eiffel, now that I know I don’t need to finish it in one month?

I just wish I had it settled and felt content with my choice . . .

(Oh, BTW, I even thought about using Unger yarn for my project −− but it turns out Unger Cruise originates in Belgium. Not France.)

Unger Cruise Tricolor

11 June – I’ve been spending almost all my time pondering my project, and it’s wearing at me. Last night I made a list of possible projects: Eiffel; a felted bike bag from Vibe; cycling socks and/or hat and/or armwarmers; cycling sweater; Chica gloves; beret(s). One I failed to put down last night was some project using entrelac. None of these really grab me, although I do want to knit them at some point.

I also did another Ravelry search this morning for possible projects and came up with (and downloaded) a Knitting Daily/IK pattern called the Frenchy Camisole. I could have stopped right there, right? But even though it’s probably a cool project, it just didn’t feel right, either.

It took me a while, but I finally realized the answer had been right in front of me the whole time −− the Simple Knitted Bodice. For months I’ve been planning to have another go at this using Berger du Nord Belle. And yes, that brand name IS French. And as a matter of fact, the name of the yarn IS actually French!

Belle black silk

I may be slow-witted, but now that I’ve got it, I can’t help feeling it was meant to be.

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