Saturday, July 02, 2011

Who's up for a bike ride?

It's that time of year again - the Tour de France starts tonight, and with it, my participation in the Tour de France KAL on Ravelry.  This is my fourth TdF KAL (I think - or maybe my fifth?  I think fourth!).  I love this time of year - so much good sport on the tv.  French Open, Wimbledon, TdF and then the US Open.  Weeeeeee!

This year, I have decided to go for the yellow jersey and indulge my desire for a knitted skirt!  I am very excited!  I'm going to attempt a Lanesplitter, using the construction method of the Swirl Skirt (provisional cast on and smaller sticks/tighter gauge), to avoid the bulky seam and hopefully avoid the dreaded bum sag that plague many a knitted skirt!
I used a Christmas voucher for Morris & Sons to buy my yarn - Noro Kureyon in col 188 and Morris & Sons Pure in "Sooty".  Just looked at the yarn requirements for the swirl skirt and am worried I won't have enough...but I should be able to get more if I need to!
I spent the last two days swatching - firstly on 3.75mm sticks, as per the Swirl Skirt pattern (the olive green stripes above).  This creates a nice firm fabric but is very hard on my hands with the worsted/10ply yarn.  I don't know that I can knit constantly for 3 weeks at this gauge without killing my hands.  So then I tried 4.5mm sticks (purple stripes, below) (noting that the Lanesplitter pattern suggests 6mm sticks!!).  This is a nice fabric, but possibly a bit too open (even though I am likely to wear a slip under the skirt anyway). 
I think I will end up using 4mm sticks.  That should still give me a firm gauge but will be just that bit easier on my hands.  I can't wait to cast on!!  Just hope I can knit the whole thing in the alloted time period!  Wish me luck! 

Oh, and if you want to join the fun of the KAL, it's not too late!  What could be better than watching well built men in lycra cycling across the beautiful French countryside, while knitting.  It's a feast for the eyes, I tell you!

19 comments:

DrK said...

I am SO excited about you making a skirt, such fantastic colour combinations too. Can't wait to see how this turns out. Given my rather hectic life at the moment I've passed on the KAL this year but i am very much looking forward to the racing starting tonight! Vive le tour!

Bells said...

oh how interesting that you'll go with the 4mm after all that. I'm surprised to see how the 4.5mm fabric turned out - you're right, maybe just a tad too open.

I'm so excited it's TdF day! Now I'm home I must go wind yarn and get ready!

Jan said...

Love the colours in the Noro Kureyon but Noro kills my hands after only a few rows. Coarse string ( I know it softens with washing, I just can't get it to that stage) and the arthritis starts to protest. Good luck with the project.

I think the 4 mm swatch looks better for a skirt but think a slip will help, even in the comfort of wearing it.

Lynne said...

Have you really been staying up watching Wimbledon (free to air), or have you been catching up on Fox's coverage the next day? If I had the choice, I'd take the latter! I usually watch lots of Wimbledon, this year I haven't seen a single ball - I just can't stay up that late anymore!

MadMad said...

Can't wait to see how it turns out! I've been curious about that pattern for awhile.

Mereknits said...

I am so excited about your skirt. I've looked at the pattern several times and I just think it will make myhips look huge, so good luck I can't wait to see your progress.
Meredith

Roxie said...

You might try skeining and washing the yarn before you knit with it. Give it a hair conditioner final rinse to soften it even more. And good luck!

Alrischa said...

I'm joining the Tour de Fleece group this year, which is fun. But I confess I have also long had a secret desire for a knitted skirt. Hope it turns out great!

amy said...

Good luck & have fun! I like watching the Tour, and it's nice how it coincides with baseball's All-Star Break. We get twitchy here when there are no sports on. Tennis, though, forget it. Drives me batty with boredom.

sapphireblue said...

Can't wait to see your progress.

Kate said...

What a great project - have fun! And I agree that the TdF is a great thing to be watching from the depths of our winter armchairs :)

WildflowerWool said...

Love the skirt. I have added it to my favs.

faeryfay said...

Ooooh, can't wait to see how it turns out! Enjoy the KAL!

Caffeine Girl said...

I have always wanted to knit a skirt. Knitted skirts are so elegant. I am a little (a lot?) afraid of how one might cling to my tummy, though. It's an excited choice for the race and I'll be following your progress.

We are big bikers at my house. Keith actually rides the same model that Lance Armstrong used in the Tour. That is a comment on the bike, not the rider!

Leonie said...

Love my Lanesplitter can't wait to see yours :-) I used Silk Garden and large needles and have worn it quite a few times and it hasn't
seated" probably due to the bias. I Did put a half slip under it also. Good Luck with your Tour.

Sarah said...

Yay - exciting project choice! No KAL for me this year - but I'll be knitting watching the tour so I'll cheer you on from the sideline and try and keep out of the way!!

travellersyarn said...

I would love to say that I'll do it, but I've been a shocker at the TDF in years gone by. Maybe I'll be a lurker participant...

1funkyknitwit said...

Well the 4mm is a good compromise and I love your yarn choices, can't wait to see it finished :D

2paw said...

Somewhere (Knitty blog??) I have seen a variety of women modelling the skirt and They All Look Fabulous so I think yous will be too. 10ply on 4mm sounds much better!! Can't wait, good luck with the race!!