Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Tour De France Knitalong is off ... ou est Le Germolene?

Yes, it's that time of year again. The Tour De France got underway yesterday which signals the beginning of the Tour De France Knitalong. Why is it that you always imagine that you have more time to prepare than you actually do then the day dawns and you are squeezing yourself into your metaphorical Lycra cycling shorts and studying the map only minutes before Le Grand Depart?

I have been planning my entry for some time. When Team Credit Agricole were discussing our entries I mentioned that I wanted to try proper lace knitting but was sure I was going to be falling off my imaginary bike rather often and asked for good remedies for gravel rash. Someone suggested Germolene so I decided that my project would be called Le Germolene. Now I remember that Germolene is a rather revolting shade of pink and was certainly not intending to spend hours sweating over something that would end up looking like a giant tongue. However, someone reminded me that Germolene comes in rather elegant little blue and cream tins.

I discussed my ideas with Natalie from the Yarn Yard and look what she came up with, a lovely semi solid lace weight yarn with subtle shades of blue and cream.



Luckily the yarn arrived on Saturday morning so I was able to wind half of it into a ball ready for the off. Half of it, mind you, is still 1000m so I felt like I'd had a jolly good cycle before I even picked up a needle.

In another fit of bravura I decided that not only was I going to have my first go with very fine lace weight knitting, I was going to design my own pattern. Whilst I had some vague ideas in my head I hadn't actually sat down and planned anything out. I hastily grabbed a couple of my favourite source books for lace patterns.

The shawl is going to be rectangular with motifs representing the King of the Mountains, the Time Trial, the Peleton and Le Grand Depart, surrounded by a knitted on border of celebratory bunting. I've chosen my stitch patterns, drafted out the design and cast on. Swatches, in this circumstance, I thought, are for wimps. Oh Dear. Just wait for me to fall off really badly.

I cast on just over a hundred stitches and worked a couple of rows. How could anyone possibly enjoy knitting with this stuff? I was hanging on to it so tight I was exhausted... I almost gave up then and there but in the spirit of the King of the Mountains I pressed on and have produced... a whole inch of crumpled fabric, lousy with stitch markers. Not much sign of creative symbolism there...

I've already hopped off a couple of times to mend a couple of punctures as I couldn't bear to get off the bike and start again. Surely things can only get better....

9 comments:

m1k1 said...

It is so easy to tense up while working lace, I find. If I don't consciously relax my shoulders after every stitch (sounds like a burden, I know) then after 20 stitches, my shoulders are so hunched I can drop them by a couple of inches.

Beautiful coloured yarn. Keep at it.

Sarah said...

Love the Germolene yarn and your bravery with this project. I hope the mountains are kind to you.

Queen of the froggers said...

The yarn is such a great colour. Best of luck, I will cheer you on!

sussexyorkie said...

Things will get better and when its blocked it'll all be worth it. The colour is lovely and with yolur pattern skills you'll be wearing Yellow very soon! Good Luck

Jeanne said...

That yarn is gorgeous! Lace always looks bleh when you are working it, but wait until it is blocked! Can't wait to see your progress.

knittingtastic said...

Le Germolene colour is gorgeous and I am sure you will put a beautiful stitch pattern together. Thanks for the first team update and spurring us all on!
Allez, allez Team CA!!

Anni said...

It will get better . Don't give up. I look forward toseeing the results.

Rosie said...

The yarn looks gorgeous and I love the sound of the pattern your devising.

Nevisknitter said...

Its looking lovely, looking forward to seeing all your patterns,