18 July 2007

Stage Nine: Val-d'Isere > Briancon


I hope all of you enjoyed your Rest Day and used it to catch up on all those other things you've been neglecting during the Tour...eating, sleeping, and other knitting projects I'm sure were high on the priorites for lots of us!

Stage Nine was no gentle re-entry for our riders, with probably the most difficult mountain climbing the Tour has seen so far this year. Just check out the profile! Some of these peaks have become the stuff of Tour legends, and the arrival town of Briancon has hosted the Tour 33 times!

Lots of people have commented that the Tour this year has been very enjoyable for the absence of many of the big-name riders of the recent past, like Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich. The field is a bit more open for surprises, like the cutie Linus Gerdemann winning the stage and the yellow jersey a few days ago. Stage Nine was no exception. With several of the favourite contenders either out of form or completely out of the Tour, Stage Nine saw relative newcomer Mauricio Soler from the Barloworld team take top honours, with seasoned climber Alejandro Valverde not far behind (along with my favourite, Cadel Evans). It was Soler's first ever stage win, as well as the first ever stage win for his team, which is making its debut in this year's Tour. Michael Rasmussen managed to finish close enough to the top to retain the yellow jersey, to the joy of many of our KAL participants!

The standings at the end of Stage Nine are:
Yellow Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
Green Jersey: Tom Boonen
Polkadot Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
White Jersey: Alberto Contador

Although lots of you took the opportunity for a breather on the rest day, let me assure you, the needles are still flying in some parts of the world!

The Mystery Stole 3 is a popular project for Knit Alongers. Did you know it has a mystery theme? Take a look at Auntly H's MS3, which is completed up to Clue 3:
What do you reckon, could it be an Alpine scene??? Rebecca's lace scarf in progress actually does have what is called an Alpine border - isn't it beautiful!

Cindy's Fawne is growing as is Mrs Pao's Kiri. 5elementknitr's Baudelaire is taking shape, while Gretchen has finished 3.5 repeats of her lace scarf and is turning her mind to a wine cozy pattern. Any ideas? Pop on over and give her some advice. Blogless Heidi has worked out that if she knits 2 inches a day on her top, she will finish the knitting by the end of the week, leaving Week 3 of the tour for seaming, blocking, etc. Anyone else got a training regime mapped out? I know I do!

Kris has dressed up her team members in their finest cycling suits and paraded them across the blog page for us all to admire...but she promises someone will be dropped soon! Stay tuned to find out which one! Cheryl has emailed me a lovely shot of her lace scarf and a curious photo of her punctured Addi. Yes we've heard of punctured bicycle tires but not punctured Addis. The household cat is the #1 suspect.

There have been a few completed socks popping up on your blogs...take a bow, Jen, for completing this marvelous Anniversaire sock!

And check out Bea's beautiful Tour de France sock:
While we're in sock-land, I'm happy to report that Teabird's denim sock is back in the race after that tragic frogging incident recently!

The Tour has spurred on lots of finishing at Janet's house. Check out her blankets and rugs! The Knitty Professor is setting a cracking pace, and is close to completing her second of three market bags. Devorah reports she is one day away from finishing her vest, while my mum has finally started her Apres-Ski headband after taking care of un lapin which jumped into the front of the queue - which reminds me, did everyone see that labrador cause a crash in Stage Nine?!

After much swatching, Ina has decided on a project, the Cabled High-Neck Tank. It's looking fantastic already!
While some knitters are coasting along as if the Mountain stages were kilometres behind them, some of us need the team to rally around and give us an encouraging comment. Please pay a visit to Joy, who seems to be tinking as much as knitting, Kristen, for whom the "bloom" of her Lady Eleanor stole has worn off, Maylin, who is also tinking and knitting, tinking and knitting, and Nikki, who - although she's made this gorgeous progress - is talking about FUTURE PROJECTS! Alarm bells! TDF Knitters to the rescue!
Sharon would like to assert that if there are no photos of her 'other knitting project' then the 'other knitting' did not take place. Hmmmm. Jussi and Vivian both admit that the Tour is kicking their arse - looks like Vivian's jaywalker has been out to see the sights though!
Ambermoggie is so grateful to everyone for their assistance during her crisis last week that she's going to give away some yarn! Visit her and send an email if you're interested!

And a few of us have changed gears altogether. After a bit of disappointment with the Skin of the Sea, Nikki has picked up a languishing Glade as her Tour project instead. And after a long, hard look at her Works In Progress, Heather has changed tactics and picked up her Sockapalooza socks. The pattern is called 'grapevine', which I'm sure you will agree is tres Francais! Blogless Anne gave her TDF project Soleil a red-hot go but the yarn was decidedly unco-opeartive. She's still watching the tour and working on her mountain of UFOs instead.

Whitney's Tour de Gansey is heating up now that the mountain stages have been reached ('pattern motifs'), while Ozknitter is plugging away with the determination of the best distance riders on her second pair of Tour socks. While contemplating the insanity of Stage Nine's profile, Paisley Womble is happily speeding along the relatively flat ground of her 2nd Baudelaire sock. And Cecile has much to be proud of, even though she says it's not quite finished - take a look at this sleeve!
Stage Ten brings a bit of a respite from the mountains, a long undulating ride into Marseilles, the second largest city in France. A bientot!


The_Add_Knitter said...

Ok, how cute was Michael Rasmusswn with his baby in the polkka dot jersey?? Seriously adorable...

Aknita said...

Having summarily ignored my knitting during the rest day, entente cordiale has broken out chez Aknita, and I might, just might, be ready to pick it up again.

It is so lovely to see veryone's progress.

peaknits said...

I feel like I am running behind the car - but I am sooo close to the end of clue 2 on my MS3 - this has been such a challenge - I picked the polka dot jersey, good thing!:)

Chris said...

I'm plugging along on my serpentine sock - it's just not very exciting to take pictures of! :)

Poor Vino...

Cecile said...

I took a day off from knitting, watered my garden and got some thank-you notes written. I have started my second sleeve now and it seems to be going better than the first so far, but it is hard to tell for sure with the work still on the needles.


weaverknits said...

Speaking of punctured bicycle tires (and punctured hopes for victory as well), yesterday I went riding and LACERATED my rear tire on a metal something that had fallen off someone's car. So my bike ride turned into sitting by the road waiting for Chris to come get me, then rushing to the bike shop to get new, puncture-resistant road tires.

On the way to the bike store, I realized that I had made a MASSIVE mistake about 3 inches into the body of my Mermaid. And I was, at that point, halfway done with the body.

RIIIIIIPPPPPPP... it's been so sad I haven't been able to blog about it.

5elementknitr said...

I posted a Baudelaire/lace knitting question on my blog today, any helpers?



Emy said...

I'm kind of sad that I only just found out about this KAL! I'm quite obsessed with knitting AND le Tour, and glad to see that there are others like me.

Although I can't participate except as a spectator, I'll be here cheering y'all along. Perhaps I'll dress up in red and find a pitchfork - surely there's room for El Diablo? ;)

thursday said...

I'm loving Cecile's work! Wow. So beautiful. Great job everyone with the socks, too (I'm still plugging along ssssllllooowwwwllllyy). :) Those MS3's are gorgeous, too - wish i knew how to knit lace!

Devorah said...

Thanks for the update! I love seeing how every one is coming along. There was a brief set back this morning as I wound up having to knit 3 arm edgings (had to rip one out). Hope to pick up the front edging tonight.

Nikki said...

Don't panic too much on my future project plans... I had a good talk with the "team manager" and have a plan - a minimum of 3 rows a night will meet any and all requirements. :)

Phoebe said...

Again...I so love seeing all of the other Tour KALers progess photos here and then visiting some of the others mentioned. I've made up some time with my MS3 and have a couple of rows left on Clue 3...the start of mountain stages over the weekend were motivational.

Ina said...

Thanks for the update! It's great to see what everyone is working on. But I seem to have missed some text - who made the adorable lop-eared bunny?

Elaine said...

I really love seeing all the photos of the projects - I really should figure out how to add photos to my blog. There's probably nothing to it but ...

And I also love the TDF daily synopsis. Thanks so much!