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The Tour De France Knitalong

June 17, 2010

Hurrah finally a spur for me to complete my wips on my Ravelry Notebook!!!

This is a fab group on Ravelry

It runs for the 21 days of the Tour De France in July and basically the rules are as follows…..

1) Choose a project or projects that will really challenge you over the 21 days of the competition. Give your project some kind of a French, cycling, or Tour-related twist – no worries if the link is somewhat tenuous.

2) The cyclists will be competing for points in several different categories and the leader of each of those competitions will wear a special jersey each day. The green jersey usually goes to the best sprinter, as there are points for the top finishers of each day’s racing. White is for the best young rider. Polka dot is the King of the Mountains, the rider picking up the most points at the summits of climbs along the way. Yellow is the overall leader, the man trying to win it all by accumulating the fastest time from start to finish. And since this is a team sport, not everyone is in it for personal glory; the men called domestiques will give their all to help their teammates take a stage win or contend for the overall victory. We’ll have our own jersey competition (though you’re only competing against yourself and anyone meeting her goal gets to award herself the jersey at the end). You can decide which category best suits your aspirations:

Green jersey = those knitting multiple small projects during the three weeks of the race. For the product knitters, the dishcloth knitters, the blanket square folk, etc.

Yellow jersey = those tackling something really epic. Maybe you want to try lace for the very first time, or socks. Maybe you want to design and knit a fair isle-inspired sweater, steeks and all, before the riders finish that final lap on the Champs-Elysées.

Polka Dot jersey = completion of languishing WIPs. (The more, the merrier: go for as many summits as you can!)

White jersey = rookie knitter or new Tour watcher.

Domestique = not in it for the competition, just along for the ride to enjoy the race and the scenery and encourage teammates.

3) Which brings us to the teams. Each squad competing in the Tour will begin with nine riders, all of whom have been selected for their particular strengths and ability to help the team to glory. In past years we’ve tried to keep the teams of knitters not too much bigger than nine, but due to the popular vote and the large numbers of cycling fans among us who want to support a particular rider or team, we’re trying something new this year. Instead of putting in a request, just tell us which team you’re going to join this year. We won’t limit the number of knitters per team at all; we’ll just establish a thread for the team you tell us you want and let you make it your playground. And what about those of you who don’t follow cycling and don’t know the names of the teams? You’ve got two options. The first is to shop around. We ask that the enthusiasts already flying the flag for Cadel Evans and Team BMC or Mark Cavendish and Team Sky open the team threads by touting the strengths and virtues of their chosen men. Help the newcomers learn what they need to know to fully appreciate your favorite team. (And yes, Fabian Cancellara’s legs are a perfectly legitimate reason to join Team Saxo Bank. Don’t be shy. The opportunity to giggle every time Phil Liggett says “Leaky Gas” might sway an undecided knitter to support Team Liquigas if Vincenzo Nibali’s chances for the GC can’t. Be creative.) The other option, since many of you said you liked the old system, is to ask for a team assignment. We’ll be happy to place you on a team where you can make new friends and cheer for riders you might not otherwise know about.

4) Once you’ve decided on a project, go ahead and swatch! We’ll all cast on together on the 3rd of July, but swatching is just like reconnoitering the route, which is completely legal. You’ll want to have the perfect gear proven and tested on the start line, after all. The Polka Dot knitters who plan to tackle WIPs, of course, will use this preparation time to excavate in their workbaskets, take stock of what needs finishing, and try to discover where in the world their 3mm needles or pattern might be. Oh, and may we suggest tagging your Tour project(s) with “TdFKAL2010,” your team name, and your jersey category? That way we’ll all be able to search the projects easily and cheer for your progress.

mmm now to hunt out all the wips and ensure I own up to how many on Rav eeekkk!!!

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