Saturday, July 7, 2007


I've joined the Tour de France KAL (see my new button? Over on the left and down a bit?), and just like my real biking, I've managed to start out behind (my ability to fall behind in the first 10 feet of a bike ride is truly impressive, so at least I'm being consistent).

I was planning to knit a second version of a cardigan I designed for Schaefer Yarns--in the very accommodating "things I'd wear in a French cafe" category. While not appropriate for a TdF spectator (the yarn is a chunky alpaca), it's exactly the kind of sweater I always wish I was wearing as I'm starting a marathon, on the grounds that if I was wearing a thick sweater, I wouldn't be about to torture myself for four and a half hours, so it seemed appropriate--plus, I haven't started it and I need to finish it by the time the tour ends.

But, if they don't want me to write about the cardigan (I'm not sure yet), that would be pretty boring KAL-ing, so I've been trying to think of something else... and I had plenty of time to think today, because Kevin and I did our long bike for the week--75 miles for him, 56 miles for me (for the locals, we went up 17 to 79. Kevin turned off on 148 (I think), and I stayed on 79 down to Madison, where it rejoins 1. I waited in Madison till Kevin reappeared--I'm not quite sure how he got back to 1--then we stayed on 1 back to New Haven). Since I planned to wait, I brought my second Lorna's Laces sock to keep me entertained--I've gotten past the heel and partway up the ankle. We avoided disaster on the bike, and the weather was gorgeous, so there's not much to say. I nearly tipped over once but I unhooked my second foot and caught myself--I'm making progress!

But back to the knit along: my first thought was that I'd knit the Alpine Lace Shawl from Victorian Lace Today (I've been wanting to knit it, and in my mind the Tour de France is comprised entirely of mountains... maybe because I hate hills, and am most impressed by the riders who seem to discover an extra gear partway up, then suddenly zip past everyone?). But that's patterned on both sides, and with the Mystery Stole to work on too, I'm not sure my poor brain is up for a second complex lace project.

Okay then, what about another lace shawl or scarf named something French-ish? I looked when I got home, and I didn't find anything. But I did see a border called Alpine edging in the second Walker treasury (not yet in the Walker Treasury Project, sorry), and realized I could use that to make my own scarf, like the wide bordered scarves in Victorian Lace Today (which have the border pattern cross-wise on the two short ends, joined by a simple stitch to make up most of the length). Most of the VLT scarves have garter stitch as the body of the scarf, but I found a couple of simple "fill" patterns in the Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting, which will be slightly more interesting to knit. And, if you squint at them just right, some of them look like those shots of the peloton on tv--taken from above, when everyone is bunched up and moving together like part of the same being. (When I mess up the pattern I've just described as simple, it will be a crash in the middle of the peloton.)

(Naturally, the Amazon links are just for illustration, and you should buy these books from your local yarn store or independent bookstore.)

Speaking of which--this is not how anyone else thinks about sports, but I spend a good portion of the time I'm watching sports thinking about what it must be like to lose at that level. I know what losing is like at my (very slow) level, and it's not like losing (it isn't losing, for that matter), because I'm just happy to have run or biked that far, and happy to be done. But losing when you could have won--if you hadn't crashed, or hadn't gotten that flat, or had biked a little bit faster, or had gotten up that last hill a little more quickly, or had been able to sleep the night before, or whatever... kind of makes me glad I'm not good enough to have to deal with that kind of pressure.

1 comment:

Kevin Glick said...

Since Rebecca didn't exactly explain her 57 mile bike route, I thought I would provide the link to the map on

Rebecca's Ride