As I mentioned in a previous entry, I've signed up for the Tour de France KAL. For me, knitting and the Tour de France seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Over the last few years I've become addicted to following Le Tour. My addiction has grown with increasing participation by Australian cyclists in Le Tour and the consequent expansion of free-to-air coverage of the event by SBS television in Australia. What better than to combine knitting with all those hours watching cyclists in the French countryside?
For the purpose of the KAL you need to sign up for one of the categories of the real Tour de France competition, so I signed up for the yellow jersey. This is the category in the cycling tour that rewards the overall winner; the rider who has most consistently done well over the three weeks of the race. I don't really see myself in this category, as I'm neither a fast nor adventurous knitter. But what I've realised from years of watching Le Tour is that the winner, and indeed all the 'name' competitors, succeed only because of their team - all the 'domestiques' and 'super-domestiques' who enable the achievements of the best participants to shine. I've found my role in life - or at least this KAL -I'm a domestique.
I'm knitting Montparnasse, a very simple, drapey jacket. As always, I've had to make a choice between something simple I know I will wear, or a more challenging and interesting knitting project that might not end in something I'd feel comfortable wearing. I've chosen simplicity, and am now facing the challenge of vast areas of stocking stitch. But I've discovered it was a good choice. Here on the east coast of Australia the live coverage of the Tour de France finishes each day at about 1.30am. Towards the end of the first week of the Tour, combining work with Tour-de-Francing (a term I heard one of the commentators, Phil Liggett, use last night) resulted in my knitting and viewing in a haze of tiredness. I doubt I could rise above the simple.
Am I w(h)ipping right along? I started well, but had a couple of bad stages around days 5 and 6 (see above). Yesterday I returned to form and had a turn of speed. I've now finished the two fronts, one sleeve and have begun the back of Montparnasse.
I'm knitting the jacket from Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed - a 10ply (worsted) wool / silk mix that is very comfortable to knit with. I'm not sure now I've started that it is the ideal yarn for this pattern, as I think the Montparnasse was designed for something with more drape. But overall, though it might be somewhat different from the original concept, I think it will be fine. I love the mossy colour. It doesn't button, and will need a fastening, so that's a pleasurable problem to contemplate. I have a dragonfly brooch I've had for many years (made by my friend and neighbour Robyn Gordon) that will be fine, but I also like to have an excuse to justify buying something new.
So, I'm gearing up for another week of viewing and knitting. I wish myself bonne chance.