On Saturday July 5th, the Tour de France kicks off in Yorkshire. We’ll be celebrating and following along with the race in my Ravelry group with my 5th annual Tour de France (TdF) Knit Along (KAL).
This year’s design is a semi-circular shawl inspired by the shapes of the peloton during the race. I am estimating that you will need 100 – 200g of fingering weight yarn. 100g of fingering weight yarn will get you a smallish shawlette, while using almost 200g will get you a bigger shawl. There is also the possibility of using a number of different colours (up to 4, because there are 4 sections). More on that later.
Today we are here to consider why on earth you’d take on the challenge of knitting a large shawl watching while some of the world’s best cyclists are rushing around England and France. That’s easy: prizes (yarn)!
I had a critical look at my stash before the move. I gave some yarn away, sold other yarn, but I reserved the best yarn for prizes for the KAL. I’ve got a range of colours in lace and fingering weight from some great dyers. Here’s the group shot:
Let me take you through the yarn skein by skein. First, there’s a trio from Indigodragonfly. There are a pair of Princess Bride-named skeins of merino/silk lace. It’s 50% merino/50% silk and comes in at 658m/720yd in 100g. There is My Name is Indigo Montoya, which is a little more blue than this shows:
And the second skein is a lovely silvery grey called “Have Fun Storming The Castle“.
The third skein is Merino Silk 4 ply Sock (50% merino/50% silk) and 393m/430yd per 100g. This one is “I’ve Never Been Up With People Before. (Buffy)“.
Continuing the Canadian yarns, I’ve got a sunny skein of Hand Maiden Swiss Mountain Sea Sock (say that 10 times fast), (51% silk, 29% superwash merino, 20% seacell) and 400m/100g.
Then we move on to Fleece Artist. The first skein is one that makes me think of crows and ravens. It is Saldanha Two, a lace weight 100% merino yarn with 800m/100g.
The second bundle from Fleece Artist is a pair of coordinating bases: Merino + Angel Hair. There is a skein of fingering weight merino – about 350m/115g – and a skein of lace weight Angel Hair (70% mohair, 30% nylon) - about 440yd/400m in 50g. This is the yarn I used ages ago for Tudor Ruffles.
Now we move on to dyers from the US. First up is a skein of Angel Face from Briar Rose Fibers. This lace weight yarn is 100% alpaca and about 2500yd/2286m in 228g.
I have this lovely skein of Foot Notes Batik in Ultraviolet from Fiber Optic Yarns (80% superwash merino, 20% nylon, 420yd/381m in 114g). It’s hard to capture the deep purply-blue of this skein. I love it, but I haven’t knit it yet and perhaps you will.
Then I have a pair of yarns from Madelinetosh. First up is an almost pinky skein of Tosh Sock in Dusk (100% superwash merino, 395yd/100g).
Then I have Tosh Lace in Alabaster (100% superwash merino, 950yd/868m per 100g). It’s a little less yellow in person.
Finally, from Germany, I’ve got a skein of Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash Sock. It is 574yd/150g and the colour is True Love. This skein came to me in the sock club and I love how rich these colours are. I had to show you both sides of this skein:
So those are the prizes that you can vie for in my KAL. As usual, there will be a number of different categories of winners, including a category for non-participants who just want to be spectators. I’m also mulling over details for a special category for past KAL knits because this is the 5th annual KAL. I’ll lay out all the categories for you next week, when I’ll also give you a preview of the shawl.