Tour de France preparation: inspiration

July 2018 will mark my 9th year of running a Knit Along (KAL) during the Tour de France. It all started out in 2010 with the Eiffel Tower Shawl, and every year since I’ve created a new shawl pattern inspired by something connected to France.

This year I’ve chosen a person as my inspiration. Marie Curie (née Maria Salomea Skłodowska) was born in Poland and eventually became a French citizen. Her work in chemistry and physics earned her two Nobel prizes and helped to change the world.

I remember learning about Marie Curie as a girl in one of my mother’s books that she’d had when she was a girl. The pictures and the story stayed with me. I wanted to know more about Marie Curie’s life and work, so I recently watched a video about Marie Curie and her life that I downloaded from my local library and it was fascinating. I had no idea that she’d spearheaded a practical use of radiology during WWI, organizing and running the creation of radiology units including mobile X-ray vehicles.

The picture of Marie Curie that I used as my inspiration came from the pictures taken for the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Marie Curie, 1903

I have used two skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Co.‘s Rustic Fingering in Shadow and Basquiat. I couldn’t resist the gorgeous Shadow and I held up potential mates for it until I was happy with the result. I was a little surprised to see that it went well with the pinkish Basquiat.

Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering: Shadow & Basquiat

The textured detail at the shoulders has become a relatively simple bit of textured knitting combined with some slipped stitches.

Marie Curie shawl - texture

The white accents just cried out to become an easy bit of lace, and I have done a knit-on border.

Marie Curie shawl - border

Only the blocking remains, so very soon I’ll be able to show you how it all looks when it’s put together. I hope that you’ll find the time to join in and knit along with everyone during the Tour de France. This year it runs from July 7 – 29th.

To my mind there is a small linkage between my first TdF KAL subject and this year’s subject. One of the things that I noticed about the Eiffel Tower when I went in person were the names of famous men of science all around it. Marie Curie would certainly have been on such a list if it had been compiled during or after her time!

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