Monday, July 07, 2008

Tour de France KAL (2008)- part 1

I was never very fast off the starting blocks...

Last year I wasn't even fast enough to get signed up, not finding out about the Tour de France KAL until a couple days into the Tour, but I made a mental note (we all know how well those stick...) and remembered to get in on time this year. I grew up with an avid cycling father, and spent years cheering on Greg Lamond and then Lance Armstrong, so this seemed like such a fun KAL to take part in. I signed up to wear a green jersey- opting to knit an entire project, start-to-finish, in knit-sprinting style. As the start grew closer, I realized that I really needed to decide on my project. My first choice was to knit myself a Calvert, but with everything else I have going on, I didn't think it would be wise to attempt a sweater in sport weight, even if the sleeves are only 3/4 length. My second choice was Loppem (from the same pattern booklet- Norah Gaughan Vol. 3) a safer bet, by far, in a worsted weight and with short sleeves to boot. I set out on a hunt for the new pattern booklet and ended up with a less than wonderful experience visiting a newer LYS for the first time- a shop I probably won't be frequenting. It was a frustrating experience, one which I am still debating explaining in greater detail... I'm all for supporting our Local Yarn Shops, seriously, I am, but it's kinda nice when our Local Yarn Shops support their customers as well... (FYI- I only went to this other shop because my favorite LYS doesn't carry Berroco. Kathy, at Shepherd's Choice, supports her customers very well, and bakes the best rhubarb pies on top of it-man, that was good, thanks again Kathy!) I am not-so-secretly relieved that they didn't have the booklet- I did not make a purchase at all on that visit...

I ended up ordering from Jimmy Bean's Wool, only to receive an e-mail shortly after placing my order informing me that they were out of stock, and would send it out as soon as they received more, supposedly in 3-5 days... I have since received notice that my order has shipped, and while I will be very happy to have the patterns for 3 of the projects that have moved into the top 3 slots in my queue (I'm also in love with Eastlake), I will not be ready to roll on any of them for the KAL.

Out of a wee bit of desperation, I have decided to knit a nice and easy Cropped Cardigan- something on my list of summer knitting goals, something I already possess not only the pattern to but also the yarn for (I also knit a trunk show sample of this sweater after it was first published, so I am already familiar with the pattern!) If it knits up super fast, I'll probably try to tackle my next pair of socks (you know, for SOS2008, kill 2 birds with one stone an all...)

Even though this will be a quick and easy knit (those could be famous last words...) I am still formulating a game plan, like any self-respecting racer would. I am off to a late start (busy weekend and all)- but jumping in today and intending to knit full-speed-ahead. My first 2 skeins of yarn were wound this morning, and I'm ready to cast on after I feed my crew some lunch and things settle down around here.

Not wanting to get swallowed up in the knit racing (I mean, I still have to feed and clothe 6 kids, they're not self-sufficient yet- we're working on it!), I will be going at this a bit Flylady-esque, employing my timer, set for 15 minute increments of knitting, which will be broken up by qualifying life necessities. My days will go something like this:

  • get kids dressed and fed
  • 15 minutes of knitting (while they wash breakfast dishes!)
  • clean something
  • 15 minutes of knitting
  • supervise some math or reading
  • 15 minutes of knitting
  • clean something else
  • 15 minutes of knitting
  • computer time (a 15 minute time limit is good here too!)
  • 15 minutes of knitting
  • fun with kids
  • 15 minutes of knitting
  • feed 'em lunch
  • 15 minutes of knitting (again, while kids do dishes!)
  • you get the idea...

This way, I should be able to get a rather large amount of knitting time each day, while managing to NOT neglect my family, my home, and anything else that registers as important on my priorities scale. I'll try to update often... we'll see how that goes- there is still summer fun to be had, despite the miserable muggy weather that has moved in, along with high to very high pollen levels, this week, sigh...

I'd better get to it.

Happy knitting-




Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Good luck with the 15 minute plan!!

7/07/2008 4:51 PM  
OpenID riggwelter said...

Oh I know where you're coming from! I thought it was hard with four. Hat off to you!

Thanks for letting me know you've posted and good luck with it. x

7/07/2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

that looks like the perfect schedule, ali!!!

7/08/2008 6:54 AM  
Blogger raining sheep said...

The cropped cardigan is a great knit. I have knit it and it went very quickly, I have it on my ravelry. Happy knitting.

7/09/2008 8:20 AM  
Blogger theblondeknitter said...

looks like a well-thought-out game plan to me!
go Ali! go Ali!

7/10/2008 10:08 AM  

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