There are very few spectacles in sport quite like the Champs-Elysees filled with cyclists on the final day of the Tour. It is this kind of beautiful sight which keeps Tour fans tuning in year after year, despite the drug scandals and bad press. The Tour is full of magical moments, unbelievable scenery, gruelling mountain climbs, lightning-quick sprints, requiring strategy and tactics of a grandmaster in chess and a few favourable glances from Lady Luck in order to succeed. Kind of like knitting!
Lots of our knitters have come home to Paris triumphant, sporting beautiful finished works. Some of our knitters have not quite finished their projects but have made amazing progress nonetheless. We want to give as many people as possible a chance to show off their Tour projects, so there will be one or two more project updates to follow this one - so please keep tuning in! And don't forget to stop by your fellow Tour KAL'ers sites to give them a hearty pat on the back for a job well done.
Here's Lene looking very smart, sporting her newly completed Maggie Tweed cardigan!
Natalie has finished her neckwarmer with her handspun yarn and is having an 'end-of-Tour sale' on her Tour-theme-named yarns - why not stop by and pick up a bargain on some beautiful yarn!
Despite her injuries, Susan still managed to complete this amazing Kauni cardigan! Here's a shot of the back, since we recently saw the front.
Blogless Tam gave it her all and still has a little tiny bit left to finish on her Juno - good luck!
Zarah has captured the essence of France with her completed 'Julia' sweater, modelled here with an Orangina - tres bien!!
Jen finished her 'Anniversaire' socks... formidable!
It's not knitting but it's still craft...my father managed to make not one but two eyeglass cases, reviving his plastic canvas cross stitch skillz from a decade ago. Note the Tour-appropriate colours!
Kris started out the Tour with 10 WIPS and finished four of them. Well kind of four. It depends on if the buttons have to be applied to a cardigan in order for it to count as an FO. Anyway, this irresistible little number is a top for her 4-month old niece. Mignon!
Mrs Pao completed her Kiri shawl with flying colours and time to spare! Magnifique!
Blogless Anne emailed to tell me she's finished three socks during the Tour, the companion to an existing first sock...
And another pair!
Sharon showed remarkable commitment to one project which I think she has found is against her nature... here is her wrap, with 8 pattern repeats done - halfway complete! She is planning on doing one repeat a week until it's finished, and allowing herself to glance at other projects now from time to time!
Donni finished her first Bayerische sock... I think she's in love!
Jane sprinted to the finish with her entrelac socks... say hi to Tom Boonen on the winners' podium for me!
Riggwelter finished her chunky cardigan and provides on her blog an impressive run-down of her achievements over the past three weeks! (Full marks for the Francais!)
Dotty has finished the first sock of a pair, it's a mighty fine specimen:
Meg's mum finished one apres-ski headband and is almost finished with the second. Hot chocolates all round!
Blogless Lisa emailed me a photo of her nearly-finished Anthropologie Shrug - looks fabulous!
And some more updates...
Arja has finished the body of her Mermaid.
Ann has also finished the majority of her Mermaid. That mermaid, she seems to be a lot of knitting!
Amelia has cast off Myrtille and is blocking it now.
Beverly started chickami but has had an even more important deadline rear its head (really! check out what she's using as motivation to get her draft dissertation finished!) - so no finished tour knitting but something started at least.
Paisley is looking forward to her first early-to-bed night since Wimbledon! Me too!
Amber finished her third shawl in three weeks!
Christina finished one Jaywalker as the icing on the cake of a long litany of achievements during the Tour!
Maylin encountered some pesky stitch count problems a mere 14 rows from the end of her Swallowtail Shawl but last I heard she was going to try to 'smudge' it and finish it off.
And despite spending most of the Tour incapaciated by a back problem, Peaknit managed to get through most of a pair of Roza socks - demonstrating she definitely has what it takes to be a top-class TdF rider!
As the buzz of the Tour recedes into the distance, we will all be left with an inordinate amount of free time. Sometimes the end of the Tour can leave us feeling a sense of emptiness and despair - we miss our dear friends on the Tour, including Phil and Paul, we miss having something to look forward to every single day, we miss the excuse to eat lots of cheese and croissants etc.. I thought I would provide some tips for avoiding Post-Tour Depression to help us through this trying time.
- Go for a bike ride. If that doesn't do it for you, assign yourself to one of the Tour teams and pretend you're the leader/sprinter/mountain specialist/domestique.
- Refer to your family or group of friends or coworkers as the peloton. Occasionally send someone off to collect drinks from the team car (aka refrigerator).
- Travel in the slipstream of your friends by refusing to walk next to them in favour of walking behind them.
- Refer to jaywalkers as breakaway riders while waiting to cross at the lights.
- Eat your lunch out of a bag slung over your shoulder. When you're finished throw your water bottle over your shoulder. Extra points for eating only Energy Gel.
- Wear spandex everywhere. For that matter, wear a helmet everywhere.
- Stand on the roadside and shout Allez! Allez! at passing bicycle couriers. If you don't have bike couriers in your town, shout Allez! Allez! at the neighbourhood kids on their bikes.
- Utilise Phil- and Paul-isms in your everyday speaking.
- Excuse yourself from situations by saying you have to take a Natural Break.
- Join the Cycling Knitters webring.
- Mark the dates of the 2008 Tour in your diary now!