Events Several knitted bunting jerseys laid out on a brown background

Published on April 28th, 2014 | by Elizabeth Bagwell


Welcome the Tour de France with knitting

The 2014 Tour de France starts in Yorkshire, heading south through London then hopping across the channel. The UK is welcoming this event in style, with knitted bunting lining the streets in Harrogate and Cambridge.

Cambridge bunting makers need your needles
The bunting is being made of thousands of small knitted, crocheted or sewn jerseys. While the collection of bunting in Harrogate is complete, the team in Cambridge are still looking for thousands more jerseys in the Tour colours of green, yellow and white.

Bits of knitted jerseys on a table with yarn and pattern notes

Rad Wagon, the organiser behind the Cambridge bunting project, said “We are looking for 2000 jerseys in a short time, knitted, crocheted, or sewn.” It’s an ambitious project as the Tour de France will pass through Cambridge on Monday 7 July, giving Rad and his team just a few weeks to create all the jerseys required, then create the bunting and hang it.

Why knitting?
Rad, who doesn’t knit himself, was inspired by the Harrogate project and a Cambridge tradition of yarn-bombing. Woolly warmers often pop up around Cambridge, typically decorating other city landmarks, including the hundreds of bikes and bike racks in this cycle-friendly city.

“Historically, the race was set up to promote the towns and country around France,” explains Rad. “It’s a chance for the town to proudly show off its local culture in front of the world’s cameras.” In Cambridge and Harrogate, that includes knitting, and both local councils are on board. “We have full involvement and support from the council, who are happy to hang our bunting in central Cambridge,” confirms Rad.

Cambridge is also providing its own yarn-bombing twist. Crafters are covering wheels and bicycles with knitting and crochet and “we also have more secret yarn bombing activities,” hinted Rad. When the Tour de France starts, watch out for the knitting!

How to knit a jersey
As we mentioned, the Harrogate team have completed their collection, with a whopping 23,413 jerseys knit. The Cambridge team are looking for a much more modest number, but having started later still have a long way to go. They ask that people message them through their site, so they know how many jerseys are underway.

You’ll find the free pattern for the Tour de France bunting on the CamBunting blog. It includes instructions for knitting, crocheting or sewing the jerseys. Jerseys should be in green, yellow or white. Any completed jerseys should be dropped off at a designated drop off point or sent to:

Outspoken Training
Britannia House
19-21 Godesdone Road

Send them as soon as you can, as the Tour de France passes through Cambridge on Monday 7 July 2014! It’ll be in Harrogate the day before, Sunday 6 July.

About the Author

Elizabeth is a keen knitter, occasional designer, enthusiastic traveler and a professional freelance writer. She spent three years working for British knitting magazine, Simply Knitting, and has also written for The Knitter and other craft titles.

Last updated: April 30th, 2014.

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