Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tour de France Knitalong 2009

Today tastes like brie, foie gras, and sweaty chamois. But I made it, I made it, I made it!!!

I rode in the Tour de France Knitalong for the first time this year, and I actually finished my project in time!!!

What is the TdF KAL? Well, every year during the Tour, a Ravelry group forms up to watch the race and knit a project. The projects and knitters and teams vary from year to year--sometimes the moderators ask that there be a French/bicycle racing connection, other times it's a free-for-all. Knitters choose thier own projects (i.e., we're not all working the same thing at the same time) and then cast on on the first day of the Tour (July 4 this year), dance on the needles, and try to complete their chosen task by the end of the Tour (July 26 this year).

There are traditionally categories to play in--a yellow jersey for a full challenging project, a polka-dotted jersey for multiple small projects, a white jersey for a new participant or someone providing moral support.

I went for the yellow with a lace stole knitted in an accent foreign to me--the Faux Russian stole from Gathering of Lace.

I'd never worked a stole this way before--you cast on for the edging at the bottom, knit ten repeats, then pick up and knit the stitches at the head and sides, working the edging as you go. I'm familiar with an edging knit on after the body is complete, but turning the corners bumfuzzled me each time I read the directions. Plus the chart is huge and complex--81 stitches and 96 rows per repeat. And did I mention that Gathering is infamous for its errors?

But really, I should have tried this ages ago. Except for a couple of occasions where I misread the chart and had to tink back (and back and back--ten rows at one point) it was smooth knitting.

This was the shawl that inspired this story and post. Its final destination will be over the shoulders of the Lady of Lyhr 2010.