Tour’s yellow jersey now a needle match

Alison Spurrall and Anne Iles who are part of the team that knit the Christmas nativity scene.'' Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Alison Spurrall and Anne Iles who are part of the team that knit the Christmas nativity scene.'' Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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CYCLISTS dream of pulling on a Tour de France jersey and now knitters are being encouraged to create miniature replicas as part of a novel way to welcome the event to the region.

A campaign to knit 3,000 miniature cycling shirts to use as bunting in the district was launched at the Harrogate International Centre (HIC) yesterday with invited guests including Stuart Hillard of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee and the Mayor of Harrogate, Councillor Michael Newby.

Harrogate Borough Council is urging knitters to create bright yellow, lime green, white and red polka dot jerseys to replicate the outfits worn by the race leaders as the region welcomes next year’s Tour de France.

Mr Hillard said: “The fact that everyone in Yorkshire is going to get their needles out and show their support for the Tour is fantastic.”

Le Tour de Bunting was launched yesterday at the premier Knitting & Stitching Show, which is taking place at the Harrogate International Centre until Sunday. Other exhibits include a lifesize nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and animals hand-made of wool created by the Knutty Knitters group. The scene took six people nine months to knit with 3kgs of wool used for each figure.

The Tour is coming through the Harrogate district on July 5 and 6 next year and the coloured jerseys will feature as part of the pre-race celebrations.

The council’s head of parks and open spaces, Patrick Kilburn, said: “We liked the knitted bunting idea because it will get our local community participating and neatly makes the link with Yorkshire’s tradition of sheep farming and the wool trade. We don’t mind who knits the bunting from home or abroad. We know our European counterparts really have fun in setting the scene for the Tour and we want it to be just as exciting in our district.”

The pattern is available at www.harrogate.gov.uk/LeTourdeBunting