13 July 2007

Stage Five: Chablis > Autun

Today's stage, the first stage of the Tour through undulating countryside, is what keeps Tour de France fanatics salivating for the Tour from the 1st of August to the 30th of June every year. It's not quite a mountain stage, but there are enough hills to shake out the sprinters, who tend to rank high in the overall rankings for the first week or so, during the traditionally flat stages, from the real contenders for the Yellow Jersey.

Adding drama, a number of favourites for Tour honours took major spills, putting them in doubt for being able to carry on! The Astana team took it particularly hard today, with both Vinokourov and Kloden having crashes resulting for Kloden in a hairline fracture of his coccyz.

Italian Filippo Pozzato from the Liquigas team won the stage in the end, his second career stage win.

The standings at the end of today's stage are:
Yellow Jersey: Fabian Cancellara (his lead is 33 seconds over 2nd place Andreas Kloden)
Green Jersey: Erik Zabel (4 points ahead of Tom Boonen)
Polkadot Jersey: Sylvain Chavanel
White Jersey: Vladimir Gusev (only 6 seconds ahead of Thomas Dekker) (standing unchanged)

Things have gone just a tiny bit quiet in knit-along blogland...are you all plotting world domination? or have you realised that any time spent taking photos and blogging is valuable knitting time lost? Only a few updates today, and we'll start with the fearless, blogless few:

Jane has chosen a lovely kimono wrap top for her polkadot project. It has an entrelac panel at the bottom, a technique Jane had never tried...before the Tour that is! Take a look at her now - I think we can put a big tick in the entrelac box for Jane! She had a bit of a late start because she was waiting for her yarn to arrive. Here's the progress shot:
Heidi is working on her first ever knitted garment for her polkadot project and has been burning the midnight oil in order to finish off the first half of her tank top. Now comes 14 inches of uninterrupted stocking stitch. We must help keep her on track! She is threatening to let her attention wander to other projects! No Heidi!! Think of the finish line! What will you wear next summer???

I'm sure anyone who has knitted with either Anny Blatt Victoria or Rowan Kidsilk Haze would agree that neither of those lovely yarns belong on a camping trip. Luckily Cheryl shared the same foresight and put off starting her lace scarf which uses both those yarns until she got back from her holiday, and has sprinted through 8 pattern repeats. We're looking forward to a photo Cheryl!

Megan has finished both sleeves of her sweater and has moved onto the front. Clever to do the sleeves first, no getting marooned on Sleeve Island then is there! And the inimitable Tam has finished the back and one front of her Juno cardigan. She admits that watching all the fit men on bicycles has been driving her on to attain new levels of knitting speed!

In the Green Jersey group, Cindy2paw has discovered that Monsieur Ravel of the French textbook is married AND does not drink tea, so he has lowered somewhat, I think, in her estimation. She's moving onto the sleeves of her jumper. Ozknitter is making steady progress on her socks. Erin hasn't quite gotten started on her project yet, but giver her a break, she's just moved house! Auntie Jimbo hasn't knit a stitch for two days but she has some Very Exciting News - go wish her congratulations! And aided by a bevy of various performance enhancing drugs, the Knitty Professor has finished the first of her three market bags - magnifique!
The Polkadot Jerseys are making headway and taking inspiration from Vinokourov who managed to complete today's stage despite having fallen on his derriere and tearing his uniform in a rather unfortunate spot. Oh and not to mention all the road rash. (Who said cycling was pretty?) Sharon has completed one repeat of her lace pattern. She has tried to hide the 'other' project, the non-Tour project, that sassy other project that keeps taking her attentions away from her Tour project. We'll keep her on the straight and narrow, won't we.
Knitabulous has learned a very important physics lesson thanks to her Mystery Stole 3. It really is interesting how craft and physics collide. Isn't her progress lovely!
Nikki is finding herself at the foot of the proverbial mountain - ready to start the intarsia portion of her project! Poor Cindy has had a bit of a crash on the lovely red Fawne we saw yesterday, but it looks recoverable. Check out 5elementknitr's cute little toe! It may be small but it's progress! Chelsea in particular, is identifying with Vinokourov in her quest to summit Mount Birch. She'll get there in the end! And Cecile of the 21 ribbed rows and 3 and 4 strands of colourwork has had to abandon the body of her jumper for now because it failed the fit-test. She's started on a sleeve instead. Isn't it gorgeous!
Christina reports that she hopes to finish her lace scarf this weekend! What are you going to knit for the rest of the Tour? Peaknit was planning a bit of a late night in order to finish Clue 2 of her Mystery Stole 3 before the next clue comes out. Gretchen stayed up late to finish the first pattern repeat of her Wisp, and is now aiming to do one repeat per day. Auntly H thinks the purl rows in her lace knitting are kind of like downhills for the cyclists - speedy but with potential for falls (in her case, purling the yarn overs)! Careful on those bends!

Whitney's Tour de Gansey has gotten through a technical stage involving a "split and overlapped garter welt" (yikes!), while Lene's languishing Maggie Tweed is happily back in the saddle!

Progress continues in Yellow Jersey Land as well. Jussi has blue, black, and yellow blobs amongst her works-in-progress. The black blob is the Tour project. She is planning a blobby weekend, working on her blobs. looking forward to photos of the blobs soon! Donna Lee has turned a heel in her sock project, while Chris has made a nice start on her July Sockamania sock:
Sarah too has made beautiful progress on her project:

Now everyone please go visit Greeley's blog. She is riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend and there is still time to make a donation!

Here's a nice shot of the chevron scarf that Barbara completed yesterday:

Now for the food...
Romelda offers a fantastic asparagus recipe, perfect for the barbecue! (I like mine wrapped in a bit of prosciutto and then grilled!) And, just in time for a spot of quiet weekend baking (the aromas make you knit faster!), Debby has the following recipe offering!!

You are at a tricky spot in your project and need a break. Or if the sight of all those riders pedaling up those grueling mountain roads has made you hungry. Or, you're wanting to try a new recipe, something with a little French flair that's not too exotic. I (Debby) who am not one to venture out with new nourriture often, received this recipe from a dear friend, who found it at allrecipes.com. I'm cutting and pasting it here for your reading and eating pleasure. There are also chocolate , lemon and cinnamon versions. The hardest part was finding the shell-shaped pan. Mangez-vous!


from www.whatscookingamerica.net

INGREDIENTS (metric conversions available at allrecipes.com)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour twenty-four 3-inch Madeleine molds.
  2. In a medium bowl beat eggs, vanilla and lemon zest with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. Beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and satiny.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, gently fold in. Fold in the remaining flour by fourths. Then fold in the melted and cooled butter. Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top s spring back. Cool in molds on a rack for 1 minute. Loosen cookies with a knife. Invert cookies onto a rack and cool. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops or melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and dip the tips in the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
If you are interested in the history of these little cakes [they seem to have originated in northeastern France], you can read more here.

What are your favorite French recipes? desserts?


Nikki said...

yummm. what great looking recipes! I'm not sure what my favorite French recipe is... something sweet I'm sure :)

Anonymous said...

my favourite would be anything with cheese in it. French cheese, although a good chunk of our national product is one of the basics that's always available in my household.

we decided a few years ago that cheese is the meaning of life.

Auntly H said...

Way to go Jane!

I love Tarte au Citron (recipe from Bon Appetit's May '99 Provence issue), crêpes, cheeeeeese, ... Oh I can't choose just one!

Romelda said...

yummy and my mother-in-law's name...most of my best recipes come from Madeline , love you Grand-mere

The_Add_Knitter said...

Mmm, Madeleines, j'adore moi!

I love that Market bag, what a great project...

Chris said...

For the Links section, Cycling News has good Tour coverage and great photos.

Mary Heather said...

I love reading these updates!! Everyone seems to be doing great on their projects!

whitney said...

It's so fun, reading these updates!

I'm not sure that I've really eaten very much in the way of French food, so I don't think I can answer the question from the post!

I've got a question...how many of us are on Ravelry at this point? If there's more than just a couple of us, would we want to start a group there, too?

5elementknitr said...

My half to is an actual toe now! And I've started the first lace chart repeat on the foot!

Kristen said...

I used to make an apple tart with Calvados.
I bought Madeleine pans years ago and have yet to make any. Maybe I should give the recipe a try - on Bastille Day, peut-etre?

mrspao said...

Mmmm Madeleines! I think I will have to find the moulds and make some. I have to say that my favourite thing is croissant and pain au chocolat which is what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow!

I'm now on Row 22! I had planned a rest day yesterday but managed to do 8 rows whilst watching the video of the highlights when I got home late last night!

Christina said...

well done everyone, very impressive knitting!! the recipe looks yummy too.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, first day in the mountains - go vino!!! well, I hope he's ok, or else I'll only have michael r to cheer on!!

I've got another laceweight pattern lined up, next week, I'm going to be test knitting a laceweight shawl pattern for a blogging friend. and yay, I finished the scarf tonight, just got to block it now.

Phoebe said...

Can't wait to watch today's replay. Love Cecile's colorwork!

Riggwelter said...

oooh yummy. I love all french cheese and bread and wine, can't get a better meal than that!

Arja, cheese is indeed the meaning of life!

My TdF socks are off the needles! YAY, I'll get pics up later, J has run off with 'em) so started on my socks, which I am self designing now I know how to do this circular thing!(

Well done everyone, this is so much fun!

mishaele said...

Hey Meg-
I had started a Ravelry KAL link for our group a few weeks ago. They're changing things around, and it got deleted. I've set it up again as a group. Can you let folks know on the blog, so those on Ravelry can sign up again and link their projects to the new group?


Barbara B. Solbrig said...

I am really wanting Potato Salad with "French" dessing. I don't know if it really isFrench, but it is my favorite potato salad, from my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. I'll put it up on my blog.

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