It's now just about a week to go before le Tour gets underway and there have been some fantastic projects being chosen by all the participants. I thought it was high time for another round-up!
Les chausettes est tres populaire this year, et pourquoi pas?!* Wielding the DPNs (or magic loops as the case may be) will be Paisley (Baudelaires - tres Francais!), Sharon and Thursday (each doing their first ever pair of socks!), Chris (Sockamania socks for Juillet), and Alyssa (aka Saphire) (on-your-toes socks). And if I understand her correctly, Dotty is planning to knit 24 socks - yes, 12 pairs of socks, during the Tour. That averages out to a little more than a sock a day!
Not to be outdone, Michaele is planning to make not one, not two, but THREE market bags - one for each week of the Tour! Also working on a market bag, one of her own design, will be Heather - I bet it'll be a beauty!
Even to experienced knitters, lace can be a real challenge, and several of our tricoteuses are throwing down the lace gauntlet, including Sharon, Charisse, and the blogless Gretchen, Cheryl, and Chelsea (please let me know if you have a blog, you three!) Vivian is taking this opportunity to catch up on some lace knitting she meant to have finished last Christmas! Don't worry, V, we'll cheer you on and you'll be finished by July 29th!
Auntie Jim reckons a shawlette is more French than a shawl, and I have to agree! She's making the Clementine shawlette in alpaca - brave for summer! Knitabulous is taking on not only the Mystery Stole 3 (which has beads), but is also test knitting the brand-new Peacock Shawl designed by Jae. (I will pause now for you all to drool. Back now? OK.) Not one to put too fine a point on things, Knitabulous reckons the French connection these knits have is that "the road will be strewn with dog merde**." I should also point out that the Tour is passing through the town of Pau which features a paon (peacock) on its coat of arms, as a symbol of power (and also a play on the town's name. That French sense of humour, gets me every time!)
Kristen has also taken a historical angle and is knitting the Lady Eleanor stole, in honour of Éléonore d'Aquitaine. Hopefully she'll provide us with a history lesson sometime during the Tour.
Jacqueline would like to point out that the Australians are great sprinters (yes we've already ogled Robbie) and she will be no exception. She's planning to knit Laurent from Vintage Style and points out that the name Laurent is, indeed, Francais. Another (sadly blogless) Aussie lass, Tam, will also be sprinting through Juno from Rowan 40. She recognises there is nothing French about that pattern but she's willing to watch French movies, eat brie, quiche, éclairs, pain au chocolate and croissants and drink French champagne while working on her knitting - sounds like a bonne idee Tam!
Also in the sweater stakes is Cindy (French Girl Fawne), Nikki (Rosedale sweater that has been a bit of a mental mountain for a while now!), Devorah (a vest), Beverly (chickami), Cindy (Cosy V-neck from Fitted Knits), blogless Nikki (Skin of the Sea vest by Ilga Leja), and Angie - who is making a cycling-team coloured jacket for her son who also happens to be a bit of a cycling blogger!
A few people have taken us quite literally about this yellow jersey thing - new knitter Elisa is going to work on a yellow lace washcloth and soap holder, Ina was thrilled to find a use (cabled cardigan) for some yellow yarn in her stash, and Susan is doing a cardigan in not only yellow but with green mixed in as well.
A few of you are still choosing projects or coming up with clever ways to make the things you're working on fit the Francais theme... even my mum has joined the fray and is making a couple of cable & bobble headbands to be worn apres ski - great idea!
Now, I thought it would be of great interest to all of you to know that Robbie McEwan (yes, him) has done a series of 'Tour de France 101' spots for my local tour-coverage-tv station. You can see them all here. You should all view these as a homework assignment. May I particularly recommend the segments on Waxing / Shaving (as in why don't cyclists have leg hair) and Massage. The segment 'Answering the Call of Nature During the Tour' may also answer a question that is burning in many minds. Oh, and if you want to read what the man has to say for himself (rather than just ogling him again), McEwan has a Tour diary entry here.
**Even if you didn't take high school French, chances are you can figure this one out!