Many of you might have been wondering...Tour de France... what's with the start in London!?! I was interested to learn from my local tv coverage that the Tour has started in a number of major cities in Europe from as far back as 1954 when the Tour started in Holland. The Tour often dips into other countries during its course, often hitting Belgium, Spain, and Germany. Apparently the push to start the Tour in London this year came about as a result of the London Mayor's wish to increase cycling in the city, and the Tour was thought a good way to raise awareness of and enthusiasm for cycling.
What a brilliant first stage it was as well! After crashing off his bicycle part-way through, Australian Robbie McEwan came from far behind to sprint to a stage win AND the green jersey. The irony of winning the polkadot jersey on a relatively flat stage was not lost on British rider David Millar, the hometown favourite.
There is a bit of an urban legend that whenever the Tour is held on non-French soil, the route of the Tour becomes a 'French protectorate' for the day. I'm not sure how that would work legally, but there is a grain of truth to this urban legend, we're told. Apparently French police accompany the Tour wherever it goes, for crowd management. After decades of managing the event, noone can do it quite as well as the French! After 2 days of being une petite piece de France, Britain will bid farewell to the Tour tonight as the riders cross the Channel to being Stage Two in Dunkerque.
Here's a wrap-up on how all our knitters are travelling!
Felicitations to Jennifer in Tuscon for finishing her first lower panel of Camisa! Those White Jersey knitters are starting off strong!
In our yellow jersey category:
Devorah has finished the first 12 rows of the back of her vest. Donna Lee and Teabird are working on their socks. Erika, Greeley, and I (Debby) are all packing up to move, but in true tour spirit are forging ahead: Erika is deciding between Argosy and a washcloth, Greeley finished her shrug and is working on Debutante, and Debby has started Oceane, a ribbon French Girl wrap.
Some of our yellow jersey knitters had to change race tactics: KnotAnotherKnitter is still deciding which baby pattern to use, Sarah of Blue Garter switched to a gorgeous cabled open pullover from Bergere de France, and Rebecca is designing a new shawl -- the patterns in the book she's using look like the peloton when it's filmed from the air. Tres bien!
Ina has swatched for Upton Toffee, Kristen has completed her first two triangles of the Lady Eleanor Shawl, and Phoebe is working on the Mystery Stole 3 as she cheers on George Hincapie. Romelda's pink yarn has sprinted to the front of the pack for the cape she's knitting, and Kristin has her stitch pattern ready to go now for her new chausettes. Sarah of Knittin Kitten has not only begun her Holiday Romance top, but taken a bike ride before the start of the Tour yesterday, and has made galettes for dinner -- you must visit her blog and see how delicious they look!!
Blogless Megan sent us this progress report on her sleeves -- 11 inches done! Her teammate Fluffy has been helping Megan edge to the front of the pack:
We're waiting on reports from Elaine in London, who was planning to see the races this weekend with a friend. Elaine -- tell us what's going on!
Green Jersey Update
While I'm sure the green jerseys are all taking their inspiration from sprinter-extraordinaire Robbie McEwen, it hasn't been all smooth sailing for our sprinters. But never fear! The best win is a come-from-behind win! Jacqueline found she didn't like the yarn she'd intended for Laurent, so now she's considering an entirely different project altogether. And poor Dotty is still waiting on her yarn!
It's been smoother sailing for Ozknitter - she's halfway done with a sock! - and Paisley Womble, who cast on her Baudelaires in some beautiful Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Java colourway (so gorgeous). Nikki finished her enchantillon (full marks for French language!) and it looks just lovely, while Kate took the opportunity to hobnob with Hobart's SnB while swatching. And Zarah actually took a bike ride, which is admirable!
The cry from our polkadot knitters seems to be 'Ah non, je me suis lache une maille!'Unfortunately Amber and Stacey both had to do some frogging on their lace projects. Charisse managed to finish a pattern repeat of her sea silk scarf with only one mistake, while Christina was successful with her first 28 rows of the Mountain Peaks shawl:
Stumbling blocks were encountered by Sharon (who made a dash to the LYS for advice and alternate needles), Nikki, Vivian (who can't find her project), and Steph (whose swatch led her to the dreaded NEED FOR MATH). Donni intriguingly hints that there will be a last minute substitution in her 'team' of WIPS, while R3! has chosen Baudelaires as her project - her first, toe-ups, first lace socks, first figure 8 cast-on, first magic loop, and first short row heel. Didn't anyone ever tell you there's a first time for everything? And success was had by Angie, who found that the 2 socks on 1 circular was not so bad after all, and Moze, who completed the first WIP of the Tour, a Clapotis Cap:
Well done Moze!
Some general announcements
We want to be sure to post about everyone's progress, so please post or email updates and pics whenever you can! And when you do so, it would be much appreciated if you could mentino that this is your TDF KAL project, which will help us co-hostesses keep abreast of all the latest developments. With 114 of you, it is difficult to remember who is doing which project when looking through your blogs!
Also, although signups are now closed, if you are reading this and do not see your name in the sidebar but think it should be there, please let us know. We tried to be very organised but someone might have slipped through the cracks!
Lastly, Debby mentioned above that she is moving house - she might be without internet access for a little while during the actual move, so please do not be too vexed if your update is not included in the TDFKAL blog immediately after you post - it might just be taking us a bit to catch up with you all!