On all things juicy

This blog is about life as creative process, and how knitting, living, and creating modifies awareness.

Knitting, food and cooking, herbs and gardening, poetry and writing, music, tea, health and awareness, good wine, tarot, astrology and all things witchy: anything goes!

In English or in French (a WIP) - welcome to everyone on my knitting and creativity blog.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Good Intentions

I have a permanent subscription to “Good Intentions” department. All those “I should”, and “I have” and “I must”, and all the like that keep haunting me back, especially at this time of the year.

You know what I’m talking about: the ever growing “to do” list, the resolutions that keep pushed further down the agenda, the cleaning I never have the stamina for, relatives that I intend to visit or call, studies I mean to undertake, etc. I do fall short more than I wish to admit.

Knitting shoved this trait of mine right in my face. Wham! Lingering works in progress, yarn bought in a flimsy for a particular project that will never see the light of day, ever-growing queue of projects I can’t help falling for…


I don’t like to get behind, but knitting has a way that is actually it’s way or the highway.

So these days I’ve been a good girl and I’ve been busy as a bee getting things done. And I feel so great about myself for it. I’m going to end the year feeling very smug about myself.


I’ve actually started those Instant Mittens in Fall 2008. So I went mitten-less since then. What a pity for a knitter! Today I stated: enough! Me want warm mittens to de-ice the car. And so I will!

I was more prolific with the Triinu scarf, knitting it in a little more than 4 months. But it lingered 3 long months before being blocked. It was worth the while, because it did blocked beautifully.Someone is going to be pretty this Christmas!

Those Amaryllis Mittens are the most coveted pair I’ve ever done. I sighed over the colors, the pattern, the yarn. I swatched and swatched and swatched, because I really wanted to be up to the challenge. It took me forever to dare get them casted-on, then it took me forever to get the 2nd mitten done, and then it took me forever to get them darned and blocked

But I am so proud I took my time: aren’t they lovely?

I’m human. I won’t be able to tackle all that I’ve set my mind on this year. I would need a couple more lifetimes for this. So today, I’ve stopped fretting, and just got up and got going with it. Wow! Darning and blocking and updating the blog on the same day!?! I must be on fire!
The new year can come!! I’m ready! I’ve got myself funky mittens!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ar Ar Ar, behold the launch of the Jubilant Tomato Society!

If I could describe my production of the last 12 months, I could resume it to two new techniques: stranded colorwork and lace. In retrospect, most of my projects last year where of either one or the other kind. This proves to say that when I embrace a new path, passion is always not far away.


So after a few tentative swatches and failed tryouts at colorwork, I learn many precious tricks and techniques while attending Beth Brown Reinsel workshop in October 2008 and again in October 2009, last week-end in fact. Yeah! I had so much fun with everyone. And thus last Fall was the start of a new odyssey for me, a whole year full of Latvian mittens, Christmas stockings, projects yet to be charted and many additions to my Ravelry queue.

Of course, I learned the hard way that the right type of yarn is paramount in producing valuable results. And that stranding slippery acrylic is a work of love. Blind love.

Here is my first Christmas stocking made for my godson Jacob. It's the Winter Stars Christmas Stocking by Nanette Blanchard.

And here is my second Christmas stocking made for my stepson Maxime. As you can see, I customized the design a bit and made a larger sock, to accommodate my bf’s generosity.

And yes, I have yet to weave in the ends. Santa assured me he didn’t mind. Neither Maxime!

But I still managed to whip up two stockings in three months, without taking in account the weaving. Wow! A personal record, when you consider that I took me a full year to whip up my first pair of socks.

I was blissfully unemployed when I undertook those stockings, and happily knitting most of my days. That was so fun, despite all the underlying uncertainty. Sigh. Those where the times…

Since I am not that of a masochist, and the fact that I work full time now, I didn’t yet get to make a third one for dear bf. But I should. I must. And I will. I have to. As his requested pair of Argyle socks on which I spent so much time puzzling on.

Why did he had to ask for the most challenging type of socks, and make me feel cheap for not being able to impress him? One day, for sure. Eventually.


All this made me realize that nothing comes easy in knitting. You fall for a pattern, and then find out the proposed yarn has since been discontinued. You order a substitution yarn, and it takes forever to get it. You start swatching, and then you have to change needles to achieve correct gauge. You go through your needle stash, just to realize that you don’t have that very size and type of needle you’re looking for. So you fumble through your busy schedule to stretch a little free time, jump in your car and end-up visiting every single LYS in your vicinity to search for the coveted needle. And of course, you don’t find it. And you’re back to square one at placing an order and waiting for it to come. Then, you start swatching again, forgetting what you did first because you lost your notes! And all this to realize that the substitution yarn quite doesn’t make the pattern stand out, or worse you realize that through the whole ordeal, your interest has fizzled away.

I’m sure many of you out there have a couple of those projects, stowed away in a grocery or ziploc bag, at the bottom of the stash/knitting basket/shameful hiding space. I do.

Nothing is a given when it comes to knitting. And I don’t believe there is instant gratification. Neither do I believe that we are masochists.

We knit because we need to pause, to reflect, to take pride in our work. We knit for the Zen of it. We knit because it makes us feel good inside. We knit because we care.


My latest attempt at colorwork proved a little trying but the results are well worth the efforts!

All hail the We Call them Pirates Hat! Isn’t it lovely?

My bf would never allow me to knit a hat for him, despite all my nagging and poking. So I devised to knit this one as a surprise. I would never catch him wearing something with loud colors, but what is there not to love in the classic cream and black combo?

And I made it right before the cold season and right before Halloween. I am elated!

I had gauge issues, making me rip out more than a couple of times, because at first, I did not trust the pattern instructions, fearing my hat would be way too large. But I had taken my measurements on the brim portion, which is lightly stranded. I went down 2 needles size. Then I measured. And then I doubted. So I had to have him try it on, and, horror, the hat was even smaller than the dimensions specified in pattern. So I ripped everything again, and started all over with the specified needles.

When I finished it, I placed it at my boyfriend’s desk. The next morning, he was wearing the hat in the house with his pajamas. I guess he really liked it.
But he would not allow me to take a picture of him. So I had to model for it myself.

From all this I did learn that it is important to trust your instincts as a knitter. But I’ve also learned that it’s ok to trust the experience of another knitter and have respect for the work invested in designing and putting a pattern out. They went through the process before me and they’ve met the same trying doubts and trials and errors phases


The greatest achievements where very often at some point either miserable failures and/or incredible mistakes. And this proves so true in knitting. Things aren’t always like they seem, and mostly don’t always turn out as you first expected.

So I devised to make myself a visual reminder of my newfound wisdom.

They used to say that when life throws lemons at you, just make lemonade. I prefer to make salsa out of a jubilant tomato.

So I guess you can also add amigurumi to my never ending list of new fads and new techniques.

Knit on!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Beginning

One moon ago, at my Chinese New Year breakfast celebration, I sensed it. I new I would soon enough be out of my rut. And lo and behold, exactly one month later my life is on the eve of deep changes.

Effectively, after an intense job search marathon that occupied me full time since last fall, I had to settle for a one-year maternity leave temping contract. There was nothing else decent or interesting, and I was at the end of my unemployment financial aid.

I’m a bit flustered, due to the lack of privileges and benefits, but I have to make do with it. For now.

The downside: a very lengthy commute.

All absorbed in my countryside bliss, I had not yet realized that major inconvenient of rural living: so-so bus service.

The upside: a very lengthy commute!

So I guess that my FO rate should improve. Well, for my portable knitting I mean. That can’t be that bad considering all my WIP’s!

Since I got the news last Thursday, I’ve been busy getting everything ready for my big first day at the office.

First, I celebrated a little!

Ok, I’m longing for Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin with Bitter Lemon mixer. But this is not bad either!

Then, I’ve spent a couple hundreds on new clothes.

And I had a good excuse this time!

I hate formal business attire, but I have no other alternative than conformity to the prescribed dress code. And I don’t think that the pajamas I’ve been wearing for the past couple months would do. So, gone are the days of the t-shirt, jeans and comfortable shoes. Sigh.

And after years spent barefoot or in comfortable shoes, I can’t go back to high heels without certain excruciating pain. So I devised that even though I have to be anonymous in the conformity of my black, navy and charcoal slacks and jacket, I could at least still embrace my wild side showing off my cheery knitted socks!

Back are the days of girly prepping up. Sigh. Precious knitting time lost there!

The perspective of a healthy lunch is far more appealing than make-up and dressing up. This at least is wholesome!

And I do know a little cat who’s going to be lonely without a welcoming lap and long knitting sessions spent in domestic bliss.

I did miss the January, February, and March KAL, and I am kinda delayed in all my personal knitting.

But nor for long!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Latvian Mittens Riddle

I’m stuck.

Stuck with too many options and too little time. It’s not like if this would be something unfamiliar, isn’t it?

So, yes, I still didn’t have any chance to cast-on yet for the Nordic Mittens KAL, and it’s driving me crazy!

Yes, things could be worse by far, but still, I feel behind but mostly not fair to my fellow KAL-ers, and of course not as proficient as I would like to be.

It’s not the ideas or the material that are missing. It’s just time and the commitment to invest myself in “one” project and not wander away and be lured to cast-on yet another side project. Like this one!

How could I resist building a knitted Dodecahedron! Everyone needs one, don’t they!?!


I do have a pair of Amaryllis Mittens already on the go since past October. My first pair; from me to me with love. And they are just gorgeous! The output up to know gave quite impressive results, in part due to the very detailed and precise pattern instructions of the designer, Mary Ann Stephens. And of course, the’re very endearing to knit as well: I just love them. So, if push comes to shove, this is going to be my KAL project. And that’s going to be it.

That’s already what I KIP at the latest knitter’s event I attended, this being the 2nd mitten. The project is going along fine and maybe I could “succeed” at finishing it during the allotted KAL time. That would be a first.

But I was initially planning to make the graph 19 District of Vidzeme Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis from the Schoolhouse KAL.

I worked on adapting the charts, but have not yet finished to make a mirror image for the 2nd mitten (yes, I’m picky this much), and to calculate the needed number of stitches to cast-on, because I fear they will be too small.

I had trouble with the swatching, and went from 2.5mm flimsy bamboo needles to 2mm spiky vintage metal needles to 2.25mm Knit Picks Harmony dpn’s. This is my latest choice, considering that the Rauma 2-ply I chose doesn’t have any give and that I nearly broke my bamboo as well as nearly speared myself on the spiky metal ones.

So here is my “puny” little swatch buried in the chosen skeins, as seen in my latest post. I do prefer to plan everything ahead in order to be satisfied with the results and get a pair of “wearable” mittens in the end. As you can see, the bottom third is the actual color combo as per the pattern, but I was wary of the light blue not being enough visible on the medium blue background, due to my yarn substitution. So I replaced it with gray in the middle third. And then, I toyed with the idea of using and the light blue and the gray as well, in succession, as seen in the top third of the swatch. And I kinda like this idea. I left everything lingering due to a disastrous attempt at making a loopy fringe. I needed to recover from this first mishap first. And that led me to the later.

So then I begged for some “new material” to attend a Latvian Mitten course last October, promising my bf that I would make a pair of mittens to match Maxime’s hat.

Beth Brown-Reinsel’s workshop was very instructional and proved a great investment. There I learned valuable techniques that helped me a great deal with my Amaryllis Mittens. I’ve been lucky in my yarn choice. I ordered some Telemark from Knit Picks and the colors are blending in just fine. See!

Now, I’ve got to design those mittens from scratch. I do have an idea, yet I have to chart it and swatch it first. And this is what is keeping me for starting altogether because I’m afraid I will all do this in vain. By the time I will have finished the mittens, winter will be over already. So, we’re talking next winter for their completion. And I anticipate for the worse then, the likes of “maybe his hat won’t fit him anymore by then”. Argh! I have growing children issues since day 1 of my comeback to knitting. I can’t knit fast enough for them!

And of course, I need to knit my MIL a pair of mittens for Christmas… …2008. When they where away in Florida for the holidays, I thought I could make them in time for her comeback by mid January 2009, but yet again I failed a dreaded deadline, due to a bottle neck induced by my ever growing Christmas list. This selection does match her coat though:

I had first thought of knitting her a pair of Amaryllis Mittens, since she fell in love with mine, but I’m not convinced that the red and dark gray color combo will do justice to the delicate flower motif. So I then thought of making her the Postwar Mittens instead, with their more abstract geometric motifs. But I just fell in love with the Camellia Mittens upon seeing them and I do think their Japanese influence will be just right with the color combo.

Now, in conclusion, is there such a thing as a reasonable and manageable queue?

Monday, February 2, 2009

In celebration of mathematics

It could have been a wonderful and knit full week-end: some freezing weather but tampered with a nice fire going in the stove, absolutely no need to go out and some nice crock-pot meal slowly stewing away its many layers of homey goodness and filing the air with all its irresistible aromas. Heaven. And yes, to top it all off, Superbowl XLIII!


I use to hate sports (well, the kind called “sport” by those who just “watch” it) with a great dose of dedication, if not even sheer passion, maybe even tinged with a tad of intellectual superiority. I should have known better. For I have offended the knitting goddess, I fear. Through offending the sports god, I mean.

Because now, blessed be, sports mean more knitting time for me. So I embrace them all, all those many sports my beau is fancying, however far fetched, weirdo or plain boring. I don’t care, as long as I can knit meanwhile. And merrily knitting I am. But not this week-end. Darn. It would have been the perfect week-end for it though!


They say football is all maths. Well, not unlike knitting, I ponder to myself. Same with mazes and labyrinths. And cathedrals. And music. And computers….


When you offend the gods, there is usually hell to pay, at least that’s what men of Antiquity use to think. There was a natural order of things not to be tampered with: Hubris. And as a consequence to disturbing it, a tribute was in order to reestablish peace.

Where am I going with all this rambling you might think? Well, for starters, I would have really liked to cast-on my Latvian Mittens for the Nordic Mitten KAL held jointly by the Effiloché/North-Shore Knitters groups. But I’ve been stuck working on an urgent assignment for the past 6 days. All work and no play make Nathalie daydream of chili…. and Latvian mittens… and statues of Greek gods… but mostly of knitting. So this post constitute my Mea Culpa for not casting on, albeit having everything on hand.

Mind you, I still didn’t make up my mind on the final choice of yarn and pattern. Incorrigible I tell ya’!


The assignment had the upside of making me travel back to Greece’s Ancient Mythological times and make me forget my little sore spots. So, upon doing research for the assignment on Labyrinths, I’ve been loosing myself in the modern maze that we refer to as “Wikipedia”. One maze to another. Funny how life is sometimes so humoristic in a twisted kind of way. Click-click-click! One hour gone. Click-click-click... Hey, don’t blame me; it’s as bad as a drug as knitting!

I felt sorry for my beau, all abandoned by me while I was supposedly all absorbed on my laptop, but actually secretly browsing on Ravelry and/or obsessively clicking from one Greek deity to the other. Mind you, I did sweat a lot on the assignment too. “Are you finished yet?” “Yes, darling”, I replied. “It’s coming along just fine, but you know how hard it is, all this weird and ancient Greek terminology… It takes time to verify everything”. And me, subtlety: click-click-click-clicking away!

That’s why I decided to pay tribute to him (and the Gods) with a big pot of chili in honor of this very meaningful and waited upon day. Superbowl day, I mean! Honored by my tribute of a super bowl of mighty chili. I devised that maybe the agreeable scent would appease the knitting goddess as well. Or at least make her wait patiently without unleashing all her fury on me, at least until I would find those precious minutes to cast-on my project. Well, you know, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Mind you, I would have been better without loosing myself in that lengthy preparation that made me cut by hand a pound of poultry in the finest dice ever. All sticky, all tacky, all pulp. What was I thinking? Argh!

But the pungent smell of roasting garlic laced with the sweet herbaceous accent of summer savory and oregano, in stark contrast to the hearty tones of cumin and coriander, made me forget my woes and sorrows. Just so heavenly. And add to that the citrus zing of the tomatillos, the slight punch of the jalapenos, the refreshing and subtle perfume of cilantro. And let’s not forget those irresistible plump chewy nuggets of hominy…. We where in for a major treat!

But now, what do Greek Gods with their mazes and labyrinths, Tex-Mex White Turkey Chili, Latvian mittens, the knitting goddess and football have in common? Hell, how could I know!? I’m the one who got lost in Deadalus labyrinth, without Ariadne’s thread, because my knitting gear has been stashed away for the past 6 days!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anatomy of a cliffhanger (part 1)

The sensational story of the

Seaweed of Serenity Sacred & Silly Scarf.

A saga in two parts: a spellbinding suspense full of stunning sparks and sheer sizzle.



Things where not all that fun for me in March 2008.

First, I had yet to discover Ravelry.

Second, I had failed to finish in time baby Jacob’s 1st birthday diamond brocade sweater that I had been painstakingly and strenuously knitting for the past ten months. Things didn’t go according to plan and I was so disappointed at my failed attempt despite all those relentless efforts. I hate it when that happens. Hey, that’s not a surprise in a knitter’s life. But at the time, newbie me didn’t know any better.


I needed a breath of fresh air. Something exclusive, wacky and spunky to KIP (and maybe even brag about a little) at my beloved Stitch-N-Bitch nights as well as easy enough to knit and tote around on my many commutes.


That’s when I came across THE perfect model in the December’s 2007 edition of the Brit magazine Simply Knitting: the Seaweed Scarf!

It was somewhat peculiar but also curiously enticing. Mesmerizing, I might even dare say. I was found of the analogy to seaweed: supple yet adaptable to whichever currents come by, profuse with many frills and tentacles, always on the alert, sensing and feeling intensely every subtle change and going gracefully with the flow. And as such, algae as fertile crop of the Great Big Sea, that yin principle by excellence, represented in it’s essence by the gelatinous and mineral-rich offering that we call seaweed… yada-yada-yada…

I just loved it. And I had to knit it. Enthralled, I was.

There was only one problem arising: the yarn choice. Mind you, I have absolutely no objections against Rowan’s yarn. Who would!?! It’s more of a torrid lusting that we, knitters, all secretly share. But I devised that 6 skeins of Scottish Tweed was kind of an outrageous splurge for a mere “novelty” scarf.


So I devised to go for a substitute. Ouch, I know… what a daring and potentially set for disaster idea. But I was surfing some auspicious tidal wave. So, on a glorious and sunny Spring afternoon, I beached at my favorite LYS, and lo and behold, there was this most lovely basket, proudly on display, profuse with iridescent and lustrous skeins toppling all over. A new arrival! Like a bucket of glistening sardines at some busy fishing pier in Lisbon. This was indeed my lucky day.

So, at this very moment, I did set my mind on this beauty, and, future would tell, it proved a very good choice.

Isn’t it all yummy?


So, here and there, to and fro, I got busy knitting the scarf the for months to come. It proved a great companion in all the hassle that would follow in my life.

And soon Spring gave way to a Summer. And the scarf patiently grew, at a snail pace, yes, but still it was there. It was there for me in a time where I needed that devout commitment to tiny yarn, tiny needles and a zillion of tiny stitches. A purple and teal blessing in the form of a Zen piece of needle art. All patience, all consistency.

And the falling shower of golden leaves came to me at its own pace, as well as my slow and cautious acquaintance to my new environment, for I had moved in the meantime. Everything was new, and unfamiliar, but the faithful scarf was there at my side, a reliable dear friend, sharing my sunny afternoons spent on park benches and the many car rides at the discovery of my new neighbourhood. It is so infused with warmth and sun that I can't look at it without smiling. I see it glowing and shining, like a peaceful and most auspicious rainbow. And my heart feels a little lighter.


Each time I escaped to my heavenly headspace, that very intimate paradisiacal yarn fantasy, with ze sacred & silly scarf in tow, all but wanting space and silence and anonymity, there it was, flaunting its shiny glistening scales of purple and teal and aqua all over, capturing all the envious gazes. Unbeknownst to me, it was growing a life of its own, more so, a fan base of its own if I consider all the hits on my Ravelry page! Scarier still, maybe, who knows, even a will of its own!


I liked that Ranco Araucania Multi yarn so much, that I bought the company…. Not!

But I frantically searched for another skein. Ginette willingly dug the many treasures stashed away in her Ali Baba’s cave of yarny wonders and hauled back a huge pouch of ze coveted stuff, to plunder at will. We both dug elbow deep, all between the shimmering strands, but could not find any next of kin to my twin skeins. Bummer.

Not that I wanted it to be a mile long. Hell no. It was already as long as could be. But I had a plan in mind for the generous expected leftovers, and didn’t want to be stuck short right in the middle of the creation of my new heartthrob. Yes, the one I will talk to you about in part deux. There is nothing like a little tantalizing suspense, isn’t it?

Insert big devilish grin here.

"Please, would you tell me," said Alice, a little timidly, ... "why your cat grins like that?"
"It's a Cheshire cat," said the Duchess, "and that's why."

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll


Of course, true to my newbie’s string of untimely delays, detours and obstacles, I failed yet again to get it finished in time for Fall, and as such, am listlessly stuck waiting for Winter to be over to proudly display my trophy around. Drats!

Am I cursed or what?


I leave you with an image of the beauty at rest, all coiled up and patiently waiting for Spring to come. Must I remind you to beware of sleeping beasts with a mind of their own?


Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Dawn

The year of the Earth Ox is here! And as such my 3rd personal new beginning.


You see, I just like to reflect on the past to build the future. I dwell on signs, and omens, as well as ponder on the synchronicities occurring in my life. And I do this in stages: 1st, the Roman calendar New Year. Since I, most of the time, have to spend this holiday with family, I never get the chance to really get within grasp of the degree of interiority I’m seeking for. So there comes along my birthday! I look upon it as my very special renewal day, to which I commune to a renewed sense of self. I don’t know quite how to explain it besides saying it’s sacred for me. And then the Chinese New Year tops it all off. It’s great, because if I missed a resolution, a message, an insight, I do have that second, then that third chance to catch up. What a precious blessing!

Hence, when I get to witness the Chinese New Year dawning on me, like this glorious sunrise, all golden and glowing, lightening afire in the midst of this horrendous freezing cold the petrified snow covered river, I feel whole and at peace, and ready to tackle whatever is ahead.

A new dawn.

Yes, a page has been turned and I’m out of limbo for good.

This means less time for everything I like, mostly knitting and writing, so I must make every minute count.


Being a knitter in a non-knitter’s environment is quite difficult at times. I tried to “convert” and “spread the gospel” as much as I could, but it’s not catching up as quickly as I expected. Hence, I didn’t get a single knitting related gift for the holidays, despite all my nudge-nudge-wink-wink efforts of the past 2 years.

But, I got a special intimate birthday celebration that really cheered me and touched me deeply. Thanks so much to Alison and Audrey who took me out for coffee, cake and a nice chit-chat/knitting impromptu session. That was my best ever birthday. And see the superb gift Alison got me:

Isn’t it great: my first ever knitting related gift! All complete with a sock pattern and the dpn’s set. Those socks will be long cherished, I swear. Thanks.



I have so many on the needles and so many lusted after in my Ravelry queue.

I’m sad I didn’t have a digital cam when I first started bloging and knitting. I feel cut off from my own beginnings. And it’s hard and somewhat pointless to recap now. But I do have some ideas in mind to cope with this. I’ll figure a way, promised. Anyonecanknit got me over my hang-ups. Why not just jump and do it again from the start? Who cares about my two failed first attempts at bloging? I’ll just commit to it as much as I can and have fun with it. That’s it!


Same thing with the bilingual blog. Seemed crazy at the time to maintain two versions of my own writting. So, lo and behold, I’ve let go of the French along the way. But now, I think I’m lured into coming back to it, but in a different manner, thanks to Audrey's idea. My way of shoving all in the same post was discouraging. Now, I can translate at my own pace on my 2nd French blog, or so I hope. Ok, I couldn’t keep up and be committed to one sole blog. Let’s just hope I’ll have the stamina and wackiness to keep up with two! No money bets, please!


Now, let’s celebrate that Chinese New Year in style!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Kept to myself, lately. Circumstances of my life prompted me to it. An intense self-observation and acute self-examination phase, punctuated with rows and rows of escape to my personal knitting haven.

Limbo, but insulated with myriads of bright and lush strands of yarn. Sadness, yes, but not sad to its core. Curiously hollow. More of a salutary purging of the bulging abscesses, giving way to a renewed sense of self seeping through every pore. And then, the sharp shriek of consciousness cutting its way through layers of resistance and aborted persona.

I longed for boundlessness, like that eternal and ethereal moment found in perfect balance at the junction between the in-breath and the out-breath. Space without form, without intent, without weight. Self as whisper. An intimate cocoon that I lovingly spinned around my sorrows and disillusions.

Nine months have passed. And I floated, and I swam, and I slept without dreams.

Some bystanders felt sorry for me. I didn’t. For in silence, I found some paths of atonement. And knitting bestowed me with the needed solace.

So be it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am a tomboy. Always been, always had.

Always had guy friends. Always played with the boys. I dunno why. Girls where too bitchy, too mean, too cry-baby, and uninteresting I presume. Boys had all the cool toys and they didn’t fuss about pesky and annoying girls hang-ups. I was always one of the boys.

Needless to say, I didn’t cry for dolls. I didn’t play “mommy”. I didn’t hosted tea parties (the Martha Stewart hostess streak and cooking gene unfolded later). I had my first Barbie doll at 8 years-old I think, and it’s solely because of the genesis of my Olympic Games craze, back in 1976 when hosted in Montreal. Needless to say I was glued to the TV for all of the games, all the while listening to my Wings Silly Love Songs 45 rpm single record. Oh those where the good times! I so needed to have the Gymnast Barbie. Complete with horizontal bar and gold medal… Oh yeah! After all, with her perfect 10, it was Nadia Comăneci's games. And every little girl's dream too. Tomboy or not.

Oh, but, I almost forgot… that Marie Osmond doll a couple years later. Almost too late, for I was already turning on twelve I think. Blushing. But it’s not my fault. I didn’t request it. I just enjoyed the show very much. And I had that crush on Donny… (my bro got the Donny doll – darn!)

I’m a little bit country
and I’m a little bit rock 'n roll…

I've always been the rebel rocker chick type.

So I requested boy games. Trucks. Tonka trucks, firefighter’s trucks, Mecano build-your-own trucks, Lego blocks, Playmobil kits, and a foot-pedal activated race car. Yellow. My grand-pa’ was appalled, for I was his first grandchild. He refused the Tonka truck, but finally caved in for a firefighter truck I think. Poor parents. They where stuck with quite a handful.

I did get my race car and hence was the coolest kid on the block (if I don’t count in the bullies who continuously took it away from me). I played with my bro’s Fisher-Price garage sliding his Hot Wheels down the ramp two by two for races, with his Lego and Mecano sets and with Youri’s Playmobil. Youri was the little boy across the street and he was not from Russian descent. He was named after Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut. Gotta love those groovy 70’s.

And then came the glorious eighties. And my pinball phase that gobbled up all my quarters. And then I discovered the classics: Pong, Merlin, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man! So I attended the video arcades with boys from my class. I’ve even saved all my allowance money for an Atari console, and after that a Comodore 64. And boy did I play. Till my eyes cried and my fingers ache.

We grow up, but we never quite eradicate the kid in us.

I’m still a tomboy at heart, although an accomplished cook and hostess, a budding gardener, a new part-time mom, and a compulsive yet addicted crafty person as well. They where many phases and crazes as the years went by: my music playing teens, the Jane Fonda aerobics craze complete with headband and fluorescent turquoise leotard, the come and go Yoga and Tai Chi practice, the on and off weird vegetarian bouts, the many explorations of the Occult and the Spiritual, the brief massage therapy career, the desperate (and failed) attempts at Salsa dancing, the container gardening tropical forest occupying all of my balcony. And then I finally came back to my senses and reunited with knitting. Thank God!

You see, I am victim of my Gemini moon which relentlessly makes me flutter from one thing to the other for I must try everything at least once. But I am not a tramp: I am always loyal and faithful to my first loves.

Hence, I am now delayed in my Christmas presents list and in my personal knitting as well. And this is the reason why:

Geeky. Nerdy. Almost shameful. But I don’t care!


(Are you gonna go my way drum beat thumping in the background)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It’s almost been a full year of silence.

Silence, yes, but not empty neither uneventful.

In retrospect, a full year of so many things. So many disruptions. The happy ones, and the challenging ones. I am since recovering and coping as much as I can. From both. Yes, too much of a good thing can be disruptive, but mostly unbalancing. And after having succeeded in founding a comfortable zone, I am still reinventing myself and setting the stage for a new episode in my life’s book.

So, I quite dunno where to start actually. And I am a bit ashamed and appalled for such a long hiatus. For letting myself go this much. And sad I got sidetracked from the things I love so much. But from this long and unwished for vacation from writing, I came to realize that I need my blog and my knitting more than I thought I’d do at first, more that I can grasp as well too. And this is a good thing. I think. And second, I did realize that I was posting on Ravelry and on Yahoo Groups in a way much more appropriate and suited for a blog. Further more convincing me of the usefulness of that outlet for my creativity and my many ramblings.

Bottom line, bouts of harsh reality nibbled and eroded my idealist’s view of all things. I don’t feel as funny and as light hearted as I used to be. I feel more adult, more concerned, more responsible, more reasonable. I’m self conscious about exposing the darker side of what’s going on in my knitter’s life, but I cannot pretend that it’s not there. I would be a liar if I wouldn’t.

Cornered. Yes. That is how I feel. I feel better just saying it.

And, thinking about it, it must be related to my mitered corner and short row issues. Life as a way with its lessons… They’re always right under my nose. Cornered! Not for long.

I will get back soon, to talk about my current projects, about the nice workshop I attended this very weekend, about the WIP I succeeded in getting to the FO stage and my ever growing Christmas list.

In conclusion, as long as there will be some knitting… to knit on with solace and might all the while going through life’s little bumps, I should prevail.

PS: One good sign of the newfound wisdom I recently embraced: no more bilingual blog for me, after a full year of ambivalence and angst. If maintaining a translated blog keeps me from having a blog altogether, I prefer to stick to English. No pun intended.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

On life

Life is sometimes elusive. So elusive that at times I feel alienated by it.

It throws knuckle balls at you when you least expect it. At other times it keeps you forever on your tiptoes and you end up juggling madly to maintain your balance. Then it sends you that care package you had stopped hoping for. And when you feel like settling down it whacks you behind the head to shake your inertia off. Well, that's what she thinks! I was happy to settle down to catch my breath in that cherished comfort zone under my plush and cozy knitted throw. Why the hell push me out of the nest? What did I do to her to deserve that? Where is that fine print that I overlooked? I do feel at times she makes it hard on myself and I get really pissed at her. And since all it is deep down is anger towards myself, my being angry at life just backfires in my face. And that’s making me angry yet again, setting in motion another chain reaction. You see the relentless madness of this circle?

Fight or flee. Surrender and let go or fight and go forward. Who can confidently affirm that they know? That deep down they know. What to do, what to say. That they know most of the time? All the time? I don't. Not that I don't assume the consequences and responsibilities of my actions. Not that I want to know the end result before hand. But the wacky twists of some situations just knocks me off my socks. Yep, my first pair. On the needles. But let's not digress. This blog is not just about knitting, but about life and knitting and how they both intermingle in something bigger than ourselves.

I don't want to regret my actions but I do seem to have a knack for picking the wrong reaction or direction. The same with my conservative-daredevil bi-polar compulsory-lazy attitude towards knitting... and life! I don't know how that "innovative" idea will turn out and look until it's done. If it's great, there is no end to how smug I will feel about my knitting instincts and myself. If I fail, well... I can chastise myself for not following the pattern. But guilt will get us nowhere and will produce endless stockinette garments and sensible decisions in your life. No surprises. No roller coaster rides. But how can one flirt with excitement without ending up in disaster? How do you do it? I either am welded in place by fear, hesitation, indecision or I jump with no parachute. It's almost been 40 years of that now. It seems to be a trend. Or a trademark. But one thing is sure: I want to do it my way and not be coerced in a direction my gut tells me is no good. The same with my knitting. I don't want pre-chewed teaching and someone who does it for me. Getting there is as much fun as being there. So I am a process knitter. So be it.

In the case where my innovative streak succeeds, I can fling it and pretend I designed it. Real ego booster if it's actually a mistake. Hell, if it's good enough for genius inventors it's good enough for me! And if it failed, be it the "innovation" was well thought up or just improvised, I can either unravel the whole thing and try to fix it or live with it in all it's imperfect glory and humanness. The humanitarian versus the perfectionnist. Fight to the death. I can pout and put it aside and never finish it, punishing it for not living up to my expectations. Or being creative and boldly use the yarn for something else, turning the page and my back on that "episode". It speaks a lot about me, about you, about how we tackle a project, big or small, about how we deal with success and defeat, about how we live our lives.

I've been stuck in a rut for the past 2 years. You know, that fuzzy in-between state where you're not quite sure if it's time to cross the threshold cause you're not even sure there is indeed a threshold or a door for all that matters. It's a juggler's act between me being centered on myself to gather strength and inspiration for what's to come and that nagging feeling that if I don't stretch out and set things in motion, nothing will ever happen and I will miss out. Miss out on what? I wish I knew. I guess that same compulsory feeling that makes us build stash to sustain an alien invasion I suppose.

One thing is sure though. Knitting is my solace. I knit my sorrows and my solitude away. I knit my anger and frustrations and regain my inner peace. I knit my love and appreciation in those cherished give-away pieces. I knit my creativity and my prayers. Stitch by stitch.

Knitting saved my life.

Knitting reminds me that if I compulsory cast-on something in a frenzy without that gauge swatch and thorough lecture of pattern that I might pay the price and end up with something quite different from what I first thought up. For good or bad. And if I take all the time needed to do all the math and calculations for a customized fit or personalized style and tweak a pattern, well, I can gain weight during the time it takes to finish the project, rendering all that exercise futile. Or all the hype and time needed for preparation can deflate my interest to the point of me struggling to knit the whole thing through since there are no surprises left. Just dedication and hard work. One stitch at a time.

Yes, I lack constancy in my life. And in my knitting. My avid interest needs to be fed constantly. And no, I won't tell you how many UFO I have on the needles right now. Not even under torture.

But maybe for a hank of cashmere or qiviut...

PS: Sorry for such a long delay. I neglected you all. The flu got the best of me lately. The sock yarn didn't win by the way. I got sidetracked by luscious hand dyed Misti Baby Alpaca. Warm tones colorway. Purlple and fushia and shocking pink and tomato red with a hint of khaki. Beautiful. Like I needed more yarn. I mean there are skeins upon skeins screaming to be knitted in my stash. But geez, what a pleasure to knit alpaca. It's almost indecent. My fingers sing and dance about and I stop all the time to pause and look at my progress and to delight in its soft touch. I am making a broken-rib hat out of it. My first one. On circulars. And when I realized I had casted-on too many stitches upon stringing the stitches to try the hat on last week, I was pinned to the wall by the eventuality of almost 3 inch worth of circular knitting to unravel. I casted-on my first pair of sock instead. The frustration led way to a diversion. I guess I must thank life for that. Or my knitting compulsion. Or both.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


My Day! My kinda day! The one with the heaven sent extra hour!

You get up late and feel good about yourself, cuz hey, it's not that late. Just in time to catch breakfast at the corner diner without dashing before end of service. I can even safely knit a few rounds without worries of having to cook my own messy breakfast upon missing out. Perfect sunny side-up that I didn't have to cook? That ought to put a smile on a witchy knitter’s face!

Can you tell me why they agree to make all those cloying foods like poutine at 3 AM but refuse to make bacon and eggs past 11 AM? Injustice! Segregation! Conspiracy I tell you! They do need bacon all day, don’t they, for all those un-kosher bacon cheeseburgers? And they have the nerve to serve us this lame excuse by pretending it messes everything passed breakfast service time. Big brother has taken over I tell you, sowing gloom all over by preventing honest people to access honest and simple pleasures, like breaking their yolks to make a happy face. Who will save their soul?! AH!

But let’s put that aside and rejoice: one extra hour spent knitting on tiny needles delicious tiny stitches in deliciously thin baby yarn. Oh! the pleasure.

And to top it off beautifully, you go to bed and it's not that late either!! You’ve accomplished a lot without burning the midnight oil. And I can go about at my relaxed pace all day without guilt. I have all the time in the world: I have an extra hour.

And last but not least, Monday morning, I will be radiant. No blues. No grumpiness. All smiles. With or without yolks.

Ah, if every day could be like this!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Never enough knitting

Being sick at home, so stranded in bed. Fuzzy attention span. Even too messed up for knitting. Won't go out. All sick and no knitting makes Nathalie a dull person.
Thanks to mwoua for the foresight of having cooked that big pot of soup. Comes in handy.

Dilemma still unresolved for as long as I am sick. My bet money is on my first pair of socks.

Still waiting for that one brave soul who's going to jump in for a comment. I do know that without pictures this blog is all about writing and a bit dry. For now. Santa's knows my request. I just have to pray that I end up being a good girl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I plan on attending the Stitch and Bitch at Effiloché tomorrow night. I have my end of the bargain to meet in the means of a lentil salad as a thank you gesture to the "angel" who helped me when I was stuck with yet another mistake in the French translation of the Debbie Bliss aran pullover pattern for Jacob, aka godson of the crazy knitting god-mother. That would be me.

I think she will like it. I perked up my favorite Patricia Wells recipe taken from my cherished copy of Bistrot Cooking, adding my personnal touch of grilled eggplant, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes glazed in balsamic vinegar. I had to taste it first, just to make sure. Just a little bite. Just one. I swear.

But what will I tackle now that I am relieved of the obligation to knit within a tight deadline? The sea of possibilities gets me nauseous. This hat made out of some luxurious hand-spinned hand-dyed slubby yarn tempts me. Or a very chic Clapotis scarf designed by Effiloché teacher and free-lance designer Kate Gilbert in silky Seacell. Or that 2nd Céline Barbeau “Au pied de l’arc-en-ciel” missing bootie from the second pair I knitted, this time in Dalegarn Baby Ull, since the first pair in Regia sock yarn was way too small. Jacob grows too fast for my output of knitted wooly little things. I shamelessly presented anyway that too small of a pair because I never managed to finish in time the 2nd bootie of the second pair. At this point of humiliation and self-deception, I wanted the mother to approve of the model in order to feel more at ease altogether with the 2nd two-toned pair. But she never gave them back. She would not let go. She wants to tie them with a ribbon as a keepsake of the christening. I obliged - and felt really proud inside.

That missing bootie finished, I could tackle my first pair of socks, probably with the Regia Self-stripping in some fall colorway. I’m anxious at the idea of breaking the mystery of the first pair, but the more I wait and linger, the less it gets done, and my anxiety level just goes up a notch every time my mind wanders at the thought of those very socks. This is insane. I am stuck with sock spell. I have no choice but to knit that pair of sock. Cause frankly, attempting any of my choked in the egg summer shells seams a bit ludicrous at this time of year…

All those work-in-progress wannabes in the making tire me and they’re not even born. There is too much of them. I feel their pull. All those fetuses tugging and wrestling to escape my womb and make it to the needles and then to the whole wide world.

What will it be? Decisions, decisions, decisions… But who am I kidding! I do know for a fact that I’m not the one in charge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Now a bit about me coming to terms with giving birth to this blog. I was obsessed by it since a little while now, besides knitting myself into oblivion. See, I had to attend the christening of my godson, and since I am childless, recently single and on the verge of turning 40, I cannot tell you how much bezerk my biological clock went. I must knit. I think only about knitting. It’s my oxygen. The carrot that makes me go forward, that makes me cope with my workdays, with my long commutes, with my lonely nights spent in front of the TV. I knit like there is no tomorrow, like there is noting else, channeling all this pent-up repressed desire for motherhood in cute wooly little things. It's a phase. Or an addiction. Or both. I'm not sure yet. It does have the upside of helping me cope with my feminine issues, like being alone now and maybe not being able to meet someone in time to have children of my own before all my ovaries dry up like wrinkled raisins.

But I am wandering. All those knitted gifts I was running against the clock to hand out had to be made for past Sunday, for the christening of said godson, Jacob. And despite the knitting frenzy and the many short nights of sleep I failed miserably at delivering half of them. Too big of a bite to chew. Crazy hormones. But what I did manage to finish, a crocheted bobbles blanket and some knitted booties (Céline Barbeau's design available at Effiloché - it is possible to have project oriented tutorials with her also) in funky lime green Regia sock yarn, were cheered and celebrated even though the booties where, as I anticipated, way too small. The blanket got some spontaneous and admirative “oh’s” and “ah’s”. What can a knittin witch ask for more!?

Yes, now with some afterthought, the idea of a bilingual blog seams a bit wacky to the brink of being slightly preposterous. A blog in both languages. Is it viable? Does it have any interest to anyone? Besides me?

Being bilingual is a precious asset. I find no limitations in going back and forth between both languages on the net or in my daily life. I wish it could be the same for everyone, unleashing a world of opportunities and unrestrained access to information. I frequently do the back and forth thing in the same sentence with my bilingual friends. Bystanders curiously listen to our strange lingo and the whole ordeal can make way to pearls that bring tears of laughter to our eyes. Expecially when a duo of little boys aged around 7 and 10 are involved.

Yes, I do know it can also denote a lazy streak. Or being confusing. But it’s not as fun! For starters, I must tell you that I am a francophone from Quebec, so some of my writing may sound funny or not be the best example of classical written English. Stay with me. I strive to get better everyday.

But that’s beside the point, because my main goal here is to make this blog a meeting place where all types of “differences” would mingle and unite in the mutual sharing of people of different backgrounds and/or languages, creating a whole different view of reality for everyone. Call me utopist, call me naive, and call me a dreamer. The shoe fits. You are all welcomed to express your differences with all due respect to the point of views of others. No weathervane calling here. I do not want this sharing place to sink into harsh political debate or brutal flaming. Have a heart. Open up. Great encounters are maybe just around the corner.

While still being scared out of my mind, I decided to jump and give it a go albeit my relatively recent experience as a born-again-knitter and my total lack of blogsperience. I have no assumptions of posing as a reference in knitting (which I am not) or as setting example at being adept at this thing called life-on-this-planet (I am a disastrous klutz). I kinda suck. At both. For now. But I like to knit and I like all things juicy. What can I say!

I am not timid in the face of adversity. I can tackle that! Cables!? Should be a breeze. Lace!? Easy as pie. Have I ever done it? Not really, but who cares if I’m having fun and up to a good challenge! Ok, I will sweat, and swear, and whine and turn my entourage hysterical with my obsessions, but I will strive for as long as my interest is nourished. Until the next little passion comes around to tickle my fancy. Stop laughing at me. You know who you are. See, at least I'm being honest here.

Having a full time job, learning knitting from almost scratch and attending the Stitch and Bitch at my LYS (local yarn store) Effiloché, doing charity work and a bit of proofreading on the side, cooking for and a entire squadron of hungry friends, knitting gifts for my godson, attending a poetry group haven’t deterred me from the idea of this blog. Let’s say that I like to be creative in all forms and ways, using my life as a canvas of exploration. So, in my view, knitting, writing, cooking, all kinds of bodywork, singing and dancing, doing the dishes, you name it, all are expressions of the soul bringing to the outside what is going on on the inside, all the while stating loudly to the whole wide world the uniqueness of who you are, of who I am: a crazy knitting redhead witch using her knitting/writing skills to magically transform her reality. For the better. Or so I wish. I want to explore this avenue with you.

Presently, I am coming down from my knitting high and nursing a cold. Logical: all those too short of a night have taken their toll. So I will make this post short. I can. I promise.

My excuses for my inaugural post done mostly in French. I was delirious from all that knitting under pressure, so I blurted it all out in one epic jot-down session without much second thought. So be it.

I flirted with the idea of posting in my pseudo brand of Franglish, but I will spare you the headache. I don't think it's the best of ideas. Frogs might come out of your mouth without any further notice. I still suck at being a witch too. So I will stick to English. For the sake of keeping the world in balance.

Happy bloging.

french translation coming soon – as soon as this cold lets go of mwoua (à la Miss Piggy) / traduction française à venir sous peu si ce rhume peut finir par me laisser tricoter tranquille

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Let there be a couverte

Ça fait deux semaines que je dors 4-5 heures par nuit...

D'où ce qui suit, sans plus de fla-fla ni d'introduction (ça viendra après, bon):

Récit pêle-mêle, sans queue ni tête, comme un écheveau de mohair attaqué par un chat (clin d’œil à celle qui va se reconnaître)

Empêtrée, je suis, dans:

  • toutes mes envies irrépressibles de nouveaux projets laineux – they call it « yarn envy » et ça ne se soigne pas – je sais, j'ai regardé partout sur le net et sur les autres blogues de tricoteuses – autant m'y faire – autant VOUS-y faire
  • et des obligations auxquelles je me suis déjà engagée – oui oui, les notes du procès-verbal seront remises à temps et oui oui , dès lundi, je suis à nouveau dispo pour des corrections et oui oui je dois aussi déterrer les corrections originales de mes poèmes « originaux » à remettre pour publication (mystère, mystère – musique à la « Twilight Zone » en arrière plan)
  • et des sempiternels imprévus et retards qui ne cessent de tomber du ciel – maudites planètes mal aspectées!


  • piégée, je suis, parce que je dois absolument compléter OPC, soit d'ici samedi 14 octobre 2007 (je sens ici le stress du fil d’arrivée m’acculer au pied du mur) mes « projets-cadeaux », faisant ici l’objet de mon entrée inaugurale sur mon blogue à mwoua – oui oui, c'est aujourd'hui, ça – là là là – je devrais tricoter là là là, pas vous écrire! – maudite incorrigible procrastineuse – et tout ça (dixit les projets-cadeaux) finis de préférence AVANT les petites heures de la nuit

car le baptême est dimanche – ce dimanche – demain – domani – mañana
– pas mañana por la mañana – non, de-main!
Le baptême de mon petit ange: mon filleul Jacob – [photo à venir, promis promis]

Ça veut dire quoi, ça, concrètement?

Donc, ça veut dire que je dois faire ou compléter:

  • une couverture de bébé avec de craquantes petites nopes (bobbles) – ce sont des « genres » de bouboules en laine - il me manquait environ 4" de couverture c'est à dire environ 5-6 heures de travail – pour une dimension totale d’à peu près 36" par 40" – mais je lui ai réglé son cas et tricoté ce qui manquait lors du congé de l’Action de Grâces – ça lui apprendra
  • mais il y a aussi la bordure à faire tout le tour du pourtour – combien de temps?? argh, assurément 4-5 heures là aussi – mais j'en ai fait la moitié hier – ne me reste qu'une moitié aujourd'hui

  • et ne pas oublier el blocage de el couverte – j’en frémis – je ne veux même pas y penser – ne m'en parlez même pas!

ps: *voir extrait plus bas du récit du blocage-qui-ne-veut-pas-chesser – 48 heures d'attente et d'angoisse fébrile: un thriller moderne

  • coudre 1 paire de chaussons de bébé – adorables – « Au pied de l’arc-en-ciel » – un patron de Céline Barbeau, une designer de l'Effiloché – c'est une superbe boutique de laine très sympatique et que je vous recommande chaudement pour l'accueil chaleureux et le service hors-pair– allez dire bonjour à Ginette la proprio et faites vous contaminer au plaisir des belles fibres – donc, petites pattes avec une bordure en picots rigolote et si mignonne: super cute! et très tendance en vert pomme (ok, je ferais tout en vert pomme et vert lime, mais c’est moi qui tricote, donc c’est moi qui choisis, nah!)
  • ça, tout compte fait (le point précédent), j'y ai déjà passé une partie de mon aprem dimanche le 7 à me faire aider en suivi de projet à l'Effiloché, car on y dispense également des cours de débutants, des ateliers thématiques et des suivis de projets individuels – je vous le dit, ça vaut le détour – donc, mission-chausson accomplie et objectif terminé – yeah! une chose de moins à faire! – mais il y a un twist imprévu à l’histoire qui fait qu’aujourd’hui j’ai « encore » une paire de chaussons de bébé à coudre – dont un chausson à tricoter – doh – je vous jure que c’est à cause des planètes mal aspectées je vous dis
  • tentativement essayer de terminer le petit pull aran Debbie Bliss tiré de Bébé tricots pour débutantes – débutantes mon œil! – ça n'a de « Bliss » que le nom, croyez-moi! – bon, ok, soyons fair-play, it's in part my cotton that doesn't behave – mais ça n'excuse pas les erreurs dans le patron qui nuisent à mon objectif premier soit de terminer le pull - et ça, c'est moins sur – c’est peine perdue en fait - j'ai trop eu de problèmes de taille et de tension – re-argh! – ai même acheté mardi d’il y a deux semaines un cardigan au Zellers pour m'aider dans les proportions, mais ça ne fera rien pour contrer le fossé du retard que j'ai hélas déjà accumulé et ce malgré toutes mes incantations – j’aurais dû me fier à la Diva-qui-abhorre-le-coton : Yarn Harlot (voire entrée du 15 juillet) – mais j’aime ça mwoua le coton…

Mis de côté temporairement:

  • respirer, penser, agir/réagir de façon cohérente et faire le ménage
  • mon foulard/étole de dentelle lilas en fibre de bambou luxuriante – impossible de le finir à temps à cause des erreurs d'inattentions occasionnées lors de ma première visite au Stitch and Bitch... dur dur de stitcher et bitcher simultanément finalement – réservez ça aux purs et aux durs! – mais non, c’est tout à fait accessible – il faut juste ne pas faire de la dentelle en public – surtout lors de son premier Stitch and Bitch – c'est un plaisir solitaire alors faites ça chez vous, cachés, sous les couvertures de préférence – j’aurais aimé le savoir AVANT plutôt qu’APRÈS, mais bon… – ignorance is bliss, or so it seems...

constat: je ne pourrai pas faire ma fraîche au baptême enfirouapée de mon étole – patron du Knit Simple édition printemps-été 2007 – je craque pour leur maxime « knit + life + fun » – donc en plus de prendre des aiguilles 5.5 mm au lieu des 6 mm recommandées, j’ai mis une répèt de lace de plus sur la largeur et à bien y penser, j'aurais dû en mettre 3, à moins d'opérer des miracles au blocage pour étirer tout ça – donc, je tergiverse ici avec l'idée de tout détricoter, mais j'ai peur que la fibre soit déjà trop twistée hors de toute récupération possible et que ça ruine mon 2e essai – avez-vous remarqué ce qui se passe? vous voilà plongés malgré vous au cœur même des angoisses existentielles de la tricoteuse – je sais, vous n’avez rien demandé – mais c'est de même que la maladie s'installe, insidieusement, à votre insu – et remarquez que je m’inquiète encore candidement à savoir mon temps passe…

  • mon premier cardigan – dont les échantillons niaisent sur les aiguilles depuis avril – OK, c'est de l'acrylique auto-rayant, pis, ben, ça n'a plus autant d'attrait maintenant depuis que mon talent s'affermit et que j'ai touché aux fibres nobles – hou là là – ai davantage envie de délirer avec du Lopi ou du Alpaga-Mérino ou pire, du baby Alpaca – soupir – je suis devenue une poule de luxe de la fibre
  • mon petit top en dentelle ajournée en coton mercerisé jaune maïs – il fait frette là, je devrais plutôt me faire un foulard? (tendance pratico-pragmatique du capricorne en moi) un châle? (tendance néo-rétro-romantique ascendant vierge) une couvarte de TiVi (pour inviter kekun à venir coucouner tout contre moi?) ou un chapeau (oh! oui!) plutôt qu'une veste ajourée? – tiens, je viens de me relire: dentelle ajournée!? ouais, ça résume bien la situation
  • conclure les échantillons de ma première « commande » – un troc en fait - un couvre-pied patchwork grandeur lit-double – oui, je suis inconsciente – et folle – folle et inconsciente et redevable – et je tiens mes promesses – faut juste être patient – très patient – et ne pas me pousser dans le dos – attention, sous des dehors placides, voire pacifiques, je grogne, je griffe et je mors – grrrrrrrr!
  • ma première paire de bas – j'en trépigne – par contre, et ce, malgré le précieux temps qui fuit je n'ai pas pu résister de faire:
    1) un échantillon tricoté en rond pour évaluer ma tension – trop serré
    2) un échantillon à plat pour tester les rayures du Regia Self-stripping – well, je n’avais pas le choix! on ne sait jamais si ça va sortir tout croche pis avoir l'air du diable – conclusion : c’est pas mal plus beau sur la balle de laine que le résultat tricoté – dégonflée un brin la knittinredwitch
    3) une mini-chaussette témoin pour me faire aider à relever les mailles pour le gousset car mes résultats sont un peu brouillons et je ne sais pas ce que je fais de pas correct – bon après consultation préliminaire je me suis gourée dans les mailles glissées du talon – j'ai ça à régler primo avant qu'on me montre à correctement relever des mailles – 3/4 d’heure de travail minimum
    4) tant de plaisir en perspective!!

Donc, résumons: je capote!
Et je vous passe sous silence l'état de la maison, de mes plantes qui sèchent dans un coin, des ces amoncellements de vêtements été-hiver saisons toutes confondues, de la vaisselle qui se raconte des histoires pré-époque archéologique pour tenir le coup et du film d'horreur perpétuel qui roule en arrière plan intitulé: Dust Bunnies have taken over my home!

Pis c'est sans compter tous les « side-projects » sur lesquels je bave et rêve et qui me font butiner dans toutes sortes de chemins de traverse – il faut rêver – ça garde en vie et ça maintient le chaos – d'ailleurs, je me suis portée volontaire pour être un chaos créatif ambulant perpétuel – un geste témoin de ma grandeur d'âme et qui vous permet, vous, de mener vos petites vies bien rangées pendant que la balance kharmique « ordre vs chaos » est maintenue en place grâce à nulle autre que mwoua – dites merci à didi maintenant!

Donc une génération spontanée de projets-fœtus qui me détournent de ceux déjà mis au monde et qui attendent, négligés, dans les limbes ou dans le fond d’un sac – cette liste de nouveaux-à-naître qui ne cesse de s'allonger... honteusement... liste sur laquelle j’ai perdu tout contrôle d’ailleurs:
– pantoufles feutrées (see, I've put them on top of the list) – petits animaux feutrés – écharpe très chic en Seacell – doudou pour le pied de mon lit – jeté pour snuggler en écoutant la télé – chapeau en hand-spined hand-dyed of some luxurious slubby yarn - gros poncho pas kétaine – foulards douillets, soyeux et multicolores – des bas, des bas, de toutes les couleurs – un petit pull intarsia pour Jacob – un petit pull à rayures pour Jacob – un cardigan à capuchon pour Jacob – des petits bas deux couleurs pour Jacob – n’importe quoi pour Jacob le temps qu’il est encore petit – de multiples petits tops sexy en soie, en cachemire, en fingering baby alpaca, argh...
nota bene : les ovaires en overdrive sont dangereux et imprévisibles – output de fœtus laineux à la hausse – attention! duck and run for cover

Voilà LE résumé de LA situation:
Un sérieux cas de yarn envy! et ce malgré mon pénis psychique – mes hommages à Freud – oui, sincèrement – and too many projects on needles (WIP pour Work in Progress) – je suis fidèle à ma démesure notoire – good things don’t change and crazy redheads stay the same

Tiens, inventons nos codes – baptisons les projets sur aiguilles en PSA – ça me plait – si je suis en retard, c’est à cause de PSA – catchy – j’aime – j’adopte

Et comme si ce n’était pas assez me voilà happée dans la confrérie des tricoteuses obsessives-compulsives
tout ça à cause, rappelons-le, de l'arrivée d'un petit bébé: Jacob
la prémisse de départ
la causa última, raison principale de mon retour aux aiguilles après un hiatus de... 27 ans!
vous voyez maintenant ce qu'un petit bébé au look innocent peut faire à une fille au bord de la quarantaine aux ovaires en délire!? DANGEUREUX
alors méfiez-vous - voici ce que ma vie a l'air après 8 mois seulement passés en tant que marraine-fée – ne riez pas!
car sincèrement, je préfère de loin cette petite répréhensible mais oh combien attendrissante « perversion » à n'importe qu'elle autre dépendance tout compte fait
j'ai trouvé ma gang, my calling in life, ma voix-voie d'expression et j'en suis fort aise, nah! – ok, FOR NOW! jusqu’à ce que la prochaine petite passion vienne me captiver – 0-1 – t’as gagné! (tu sais qui tu es pis arrête de te foutre de ma gueule plié en deux dans ton coin)

Longue vie aux tricoteuses-folles-à-lier, JE DIS!

Le week-end de la fin septembre passé à tricoter dans la balançoire au soleil au chalet des mes parents est venu me faire oublier tous mes revers (et ceux des autres) – c'est pour dire!
et ça me fait rêver à de pastoraux festivals de la laine et d'un chum à houlette – oui oui, un beau petit berger pas banal! – en connaissez-vous? – celui qui a passé à Tout le monde en parle en octobre 2006 n’est plus sur le marché… – domage – mais il a pris le temps d'écrire un livre avant de retourner dans les hautes montagnes - D’où viens-tu berger? de Mathyas Lefebure aux Éditions Leméac) – domage

Pensez-y: unlimited yarn supply? une ferme? un rouet? teindre et filer ma propre laine? des petits moutons dont la seule job est de pousser de la laine, de bêler et d’être cute?
je vais arrêter avant de baver partout sur mon clavier et sur ma laine

***fin de l'intermède

Donc récapitulons le délire encore une fois…
nota bene: je n'ai pas promis d'être cohérente - j'ai dit d’emblée en ouverture: "Récit pêle-mêle, sans queue ni tête, comme un écheveau de mohair attaqué par un chat" – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED – alors, ne venez pas brailler là! ok!?

  • j'ai une paire de chaussons de bébé vert pomme de finis – tout assemblés – faut que je prenne des photos pour vous les montrer – You hear, Santa? – MIGNONS! – me so proud – comme un petit paon – Dear Santa, me want/need a digital cam! – Quoi!? Have I been a good girl? Do I have a manageable and reasonable stash? [insert red blushing here] ouiiiiiiiiii!
  • il ne me manque qu'une petite patte à la 2e paire à faire – oui oui, une 2e paire – vous avez bien entendu – arrêtez les gros yeux, bon! – faute avouée à demi pardonnée – et puis, là là là… allez hop! Barbatruc! passe-passe de magnétisme: vous n’avez-rien entendu, je dis – 2e paire? quelle 2e paire?

lame excuse: je n'ai pas eu le choix de faire une 2e paire, pour en tricoter de plus grands, car une femme m'a dit la semaine dernière en prenant les chausons-verts-première-paire-en-vert-plus-clair dans ses mains pour les examiner de plus près: trop petits, ça ne lui fera jamais!
rappellez-vous que I don't readily have access à des petits petons de bébé – Jacob est loin et je n’ai pas d’auto et mon balai volant est en panne – and baby feet-size detailled info, ça n'existe pas sur net – j’ai regardé!
je ne peux pas me fier à mon expérience, for I don't have some malgré mes ovaires en délire – et mes jours de gardiennage sont loin derrière
j'ai même envisagé de partir en courant avec un mannequin grandeur nature – enfin grandeur bébé nature – de chez Rodin aux Galeries d'Anjou
mais je me suis dégonflée – honteuse d'être rendue si bas dans mes plans

Mais vous allez craquer tout autant que moi pour les chaussons:

  • 1e paire: en vert pomme très clair en Regia sock yarn
  • 2e paire: un très beau mauve vibrant et profond avec en contraste a darker shade of olive/fougère – my ultimate fav – réalisés avec une laine norvégienne siiiiiii douce siiiiii belle – Dalegarn Baby Ull – et qui fait que j'ai juste envie de faire des vêtements de bébé – oui, yarn lust, still and again – beware! c'est hautement contagieux

Sergment CouvaArte: (ça mérite un chapitre en soi)
ça m'a pris 48 heures
de mardi à jeudi
48 heures pendant lesquelles la couvaArte a été épinglée comme une grenouille dans un cours de dissection – pour la bloquer – dans les faits pour tuer la mémoire du « rebondi » de l'acrylique, car on ne peut bloquer de l'acrylique, ce n'est pas une fibre naturelle – do not try this at home
2 soirées de précautionneux pressage et repassage – moi qui DÉTESTE repasser (parlez-en à mes ex) et j'ai actually "fondu" mes pointes d’épingles – ben oui, des épingles du Dollorama – shame on me – scary shit I tell you – leave that to the pros – what was I thinking!??
ironing ironique et wet steaming avec une patte-mouille pendant que je m’énerve et que je fulmine et presse et represse et passe et repasse et détrempe dans le sauna de mon propre énervement
tout ça to stretch it to oblivion and bend it to submission without MELTING it:

Submit, Oh thou un-noble and u-nruly yarn and know thy rank and place! Bow down to me, your dominatrix, and call me Mistress Witchalicious!

Tout ce cirque pour mettre la sublime couvaArte « en forme » ma tension étant tout sauf égale – je dois faire un rectangle d’un trapèze – boubou de débutant – trop de temps s’est écoulé entre l’expérience acquise maintenant et mes balbutiements du début de la couvaArte en mars dernier – soit 2 semaines après avoir apris que je serais la maraine du petit Jacob – né le 30 mars à 3h16 – la prochaine couvaArte ne souffrira pas de ce grossier manque d'expérience et de ce pitoyable manque de courage pour détricoter et tout recommencer
je dois dire que je suis contente des résultats - je pense que ça devrais faire l'affaire
anyway, j’étais tannée de repasser – alors, ça va faire l’affaire

Là, comme je disais j'ai la bordure à faire tout le tour du pourtour
4-5 heures de travail – j'en ai fait la moitié hier – fiou – ne me reste à faire l'autre moitié – si je peux arrêter d'écrire
gotta do it – do the right thing
je n'ai pas le choix
vendredi et samedi
c’est tout ce qu’il me reste
presque que juste un petit bout de samedi qui reste, là
courage – tiens bon – un petit verre de pinard peut-être? – ça va aider – très bon, je vous l'assure – first-aid pour tricoteuses désespéreés – ok, peut-être que ça n’aide pas du tout finalement…

enfin, bon, jeudi, je n'avais pas le coeur à ça avec tout le gamazinage que je devais faire: mousseux, carte et papier d'emballage, bas nylons, petit kit marraine-fée pour le baptême, pharmacie, nourriture, argh!
alors, je l’ai, à la place de ça (entendre par ça d’entreprendre de tricoter la bordure) amoureusement dépinglée comme on libère une colombe
l’ai flattée
mais je l’ai laissée à elle-même
la nuit porte conseil
better behave – not me –YOU! – submit or you will be melted!

J’ai attaqué la bête hier
après une longue hésitation – et un peu de first-aid – on ne sait jamais
bon, j'ai dû détricoter 3 fois le fruit de mon labeur le temps de pogner la twist
ce qui fait que j'ai eu le temps d'écouter Forrest_Gump à Télé-Québec au complet et d’en réécouter le début lors du deuxième passage en boucle
oui oui – 2 fois
ça veut dire dodo à 1h30 du mat, ça

J'ai la grosse boîte, le papier de soie, le papier d’emballage avec tout pleins d'empreintes de petits petons dessus – oui, je me torture moi-même en plus de torturer de l’acrylique – c’est inné je pense
et c’est tout propre et lavé - c'est tout soyeux et luisant et ça sent bon
je n'arrête pas de m'arrêter pour la contempler - sublime couvaArte
au diable la bordure cependant - I won't wash it again! no way!

Segment projet de l'enfer ou projet à faire en enfer, c’est selon: (âmes sensibles s’abstenir)
the aran pullover: no chance in hell I can finish it, to my dismay – et c'est pas la faute au patron
ai constaté l'inéluctable jeudi
m'y suis résignée
tête basse
non sans peine – c’est peut-être pour ça que je n’avais pas le courage d’attaquer la couvaArte aussi
car c'est lui, le traître coton, qui a occasionné et mes maux de mains (le coton étant très dur sur les mains – il n'a aucune souplesse, aucun pardon, aucun « spring » – mais J’ADORE le coton malgré toutes ses faiblesses avouées) et tous mes problèmes de taille et de tension
et mes petites nuits de tricotage zélé contre la montre – oui – toutes mes petites nuits – c’est lui le coupable, pas moi (this one is for my boss)

  • le dos : fini jusqu'à l'encolure – depuis dimanche le 7 – l’ai commencé fin août – après un été consacré à faire des échantillons de tension qui ne marchaient pas – autre récit pour une autre fois – faute au coton, rappelons-le – rendons à Debbie ce qui lui revient – j’ai encore à relever les mailles pour tricoter la bordure d’encolure – mais seulement après l'avoir assemblé aux épaules – 45 minutes par répèt de pattern pour un total d'environ 15 heures de temps estimé et projeté – mais en temps réel, avec les hésitations, les erreurs, le détricotage, le retricotage, c’est bien plus près du double en fait – aille, c’est mon premier vêtement – mon premier morceau de vêtement – gimme a chance here – et j’ai le mérite de faire ça avec ordre et méthode en compilant mes propres stat – tout ça dans l’intérêt de la science! – you see, guys, I can program too – tout ça dans le but avoué d’expliquer l’accélération de l’espace-temps et la résurgence des trous noirs dans lesquels je semble sombrer souvent
  • le devant: fait jusque sous les bras, so, j’ai encore 4-5 heures de travail à faire - argh! – again, what was I thinking?
  • manches: both casted-on mercredi le 10 dans une bouffée d’optimisme délirant même si le devant n’était pas fini – ai pris cette décision après un appel à l’aide (peste d’erreur dans la version traduite du patron, donc errata non-supporté sur le site – mistake yet again! – bliss, hein!?) toute prise dans l’illusion que je réussirais à tout terminer à temps – yeah, right! – merci à mon ange salvateur à qui j’ai promis une salade de lentilles – ce sera fait – ensuite une soirée de joyeux farfouillage pour déterminer la parfaite augmentation qui ne fera pas de motons disgracieux et qui ne paraîtra pas trop – phase critique – l'ai trouvé toute seule – c'est tellement gratifiant! – tout comme ces heureux temps à l'école primaire à suer sur des devoirs sibyllins – mais j’y ai mis beaucoup de temps – trop de temps: une soirée, entière - une précieuse soirée – là, les deux manches reposent sagement côte à côte sur la même aiguille circulaire (à plat, pas en rond – pas rendue là encore dans mes expérimentations) – je les tricote de front, ensemble: c’est plus long pour faire un rang mais somme toute bien moins déprimant – ça me donne l’assurance que si tout va bien elles DEVRAIENT être pareilles – à moins que je me goure – but lets not invoke that, ok? – estimé de tricot restant à faire sur ça: 4-5 heures de travail sans compter les réajustements inéluctables à rencontrer en cours de parcours
  • la finale: humidification au puish-puish, minutieux épinglage et blocage, repassage et 24 heures de temps de repos/séchage (peut-être davantage, si je me fie à l'expérience couvaArte qui ne finissait plus de chésser) – et ensuite coudre et assembler tout ça: environ 3-4 heures, maybe more – dunno – semble plus complexe à faire que les chaussons – les chaussons sont les premiers items que j'ai cousus et assemblés et ça m'a pris une bonne heure et demie! (par ça je veux dire coudre un item tricoté – je sais coudre – mais pour des portions de vêtements tricotés, je n'avais jamais fait ça avant dimanche dernier – oui, maman, shame on me pour tous ces bords de pantalons…) – et pour finir, lavage final + 24-48 heures passées à sécher
    again, no chance in hell

Tout ce triste épisode, mesdames, messieurs, explique la diversion chaussons de bébé version 1 et 2
que j'ai entreprise par dépit et sur un coup de tête
hence, CQFD (ce qu’il fallait démontrer):
Jacob va recevoir le pull pour Nowel ou pour l'Action de grâces version US - hey, why not!? ce n’est pas bête comme idée – I know I will be giving thanks when it's gonna be over!
(l'ai fait plus grand, do not worry bonnes gens - I'm wisening up as I go)

Je me demande juste si j'ébruite l'affaire :

  • est-ce que je dis aux parents de Jacob que je suis en train de faire un pull et que j'ai manqué de temps? – démesure, démesure, quand cesseras-tu de me torturer?
  • ou bien je ne leur dis pas du tout? – pleutrement ou par surperstition
  • ou bien, est-ce que je pousse l'audace à emballer les pièces telles quelles – avec les aiguilles, les balles de laine, les arrêts de maille et tout et tout pour leur faire la surprise – and brag a little about my work – histoire de leur montrer les résultats de tous mes suants efforts?
  • et ensuite je ramène le tout à la maison pour le terminer? en 2007 de préférence – alors, les fœtus, vos gueules!!

Contente, mais j’suis-t-assez fatiquée, là…

Beau défi
très bel accomplissement pour une novice ayant réappris sur le tas à même le champ de bataille et en situation de mayday
me real smug about miself - très fière d'elle la madame
mais contente de pouvoir recommencer à vivre sous peu
enfin, elle espère

Alors, voilà
sans plus d'explications
sans plus d’introductions
sans logique et nulle cohérence
mon entrée im blogland
pour vous
vous qui êtes bombardés de mes courriels intempestifs et de qui j’ai pitié
je fais ça pour vous
pour vous délester de mes délirantes intrusions
et pour me trouver des amis qui trippent « laine » histoire de vous foutre la paix avec mes délires

Et venez pas brailler que c'est trop long – ce n’est pas un courriel – vous n’êtes pas obligés de me lire et encore moins de me suivre dans mon délire
grow up and stop whining

Du fond de mon délire et de mon absence de sommeil, je vous salue tous


ps: My greatest admiration goes to the Ultimate Yarn Diva, my inspiration in adversity and kindred spirit, nulle autre que Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot. To all those who might be tempted to imply that I am giving a French rendition of her wit don’t know mwoua from way back long enough to have come to the realization that I am who I am and that I respectfully bow down to the Ultimate Yarn Diva who showed us all the way. Those who know me from a long time can attest to my integrity and my craziness. They’ve been suffering long enough from both. So shame on you. I hear you. May your socks be turned into frogs. There. I’ve said it. Behold my mighty powers.