Saturday, February 28, 2009


A get myself into many a conversation about recipes and this is one of my favorite things to talk about over a cupa corsé...

Here is a fav soup of!

3 cups of water
1 med. onion chopped
4 small potatoes diced
1 small can of salmon (remove the bones!)
1 can of carnation evaporated milk
4 bouillon cubes or scoops of powdered chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
bacon pieces as garnish if you please

In a medium sauce pan combine water, onion, potato, chicken bouillon & salmon (drained).
Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl mix the flour and small amounts of evaporated milk stirring into a smooth consistency and pour the lot into the hot simmering soup. Stir the pot and lower the heat and let it thicken.

Serve hot with a dash of pepper and bacon bits if you like. Yum!

My son LOVES this soup and he eats it with gusto when he comes home from ice fishing. In his cute little french accent he exclaims 'delicious' each and every time. So I renamed this recipe: Delicious. Hope you love it too! Cuz we all do.

P.S. I am knitting the sleeve of Whisper. Love my yarn. Is this illegal yet?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy moment

This is my first swatch for the Whisper cardigan using my homespun yarn. This is the first knitting I've done in oh so long.
Admittedly, it still is uncomfortable to do but I wiggle around in many positions until I get tired.
At least it doesn't hurt anymore and for that I am so relieved.
I can also wash dishes again which is not so grand. I was really hoping that with HD doing the dishes and floors he would give in and buy that dishwasher, but no.
At this point, I am so pleased to have knit any rectangle that I rush to blog about it before blocking and measuring it to see if it is worth mentioning. I am basking in the happy moment that is getting back on the horse and riding through the forest!

It is officially march break for my kids here in Quebec. I spent the last two days out of the house to recharge my battery in preparation. All the meals and keeping the peace between them as well as finding the floor on a regular basis takes a full charge out of me. I was (sort of) an only child and can't for the life of me get used to all that noise and sometimes caos. It seems to me that they were home for Christmas just last week...?

I feel a tad bit guilty casting this on. I have a queue waiting and I jump ship and fall for the first barely there cardi that arrives with the new IK mag. Oh well. Its a tough world. Even for queues.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Injured wing saga update

Getting better is what I am focusing on these days. I know I'm getting through this because 1. I haven't taken any tylenol in two days 2. I am sleeping (relative terms) in my own bed again 3. I have crafted something today
So far, I have been calming the swelling with a 'homeo-pathetic' ziplock filled with frozen niblets (corn). It works! From now on I need something I can warm in the oven for my apply heat treatment before my dreaded stretching of the old injured wing episodes to come...ayyyy!

I had a jar of French Dupuy lentils (yum) on the counter that I used to fill this cotton pillow I designed for my hotty shoulder bag. One of those things I have been meaning to make for ages but today I was desperate to craft something. Honestly, I dream of knitting at night. This is serious knitters withdrawal happening.

I did however attend the first class of knitters at Tricot Darquise yesterday afternoon. I wasn't fired so I guess I'm okay. Nothing like a table full of impatient knitters to make me want to curl into a ball and forget all about wool. I don't have a strong personality so these social situations make me uncomfortable (I remember this now) but it is all for a really great cause and good for me. I want to get back into the working world one stitch at a time.
p.s. I am taking this hiatus as the perfect time to upload my stashed yarn onto my notebook on Ravelry. Call me looney but I like to visit my own stash on Ravelry. HD is convinced I'm warped as he shakes his head and smiles.

Friday, February 20, 2009

All the kings horses and all the kings men

Please put La Bergère back together again...

All the whining I've been up to lately hit an all time high Wednesday. I volunteered to go skating with the wee folk and their classes and made my shoulder worse.
So bad that I called my chiro yesterday afternoon and made an appointment to spend some yarn money on injured wing repair.

I am in really bad shape! Dr. Bédard had to brace my shoulder with tape but not before he popped my right elbow back into place...I saw stars!

I am surviving on Tylenol which is upsetting my tummy but keeps me from laying across the snowy yellow line on the highway.

I am thrilled that the attention Dr. B gave my right arm has made it possible for my arm to hang straight. It has been stuck in mid-air of weeks. All I hope for now is no allergy to the adhesive on the medical tape and perhaps a better snooze tonight. Knitting has been impossible, I couldn't drive myself to Ottawa either. Le Sigh.

I've declare that I am not washing dishes and the floors can kiss my a**.

HD had to be chauffeur for me today and to reward him we popped in to Princess Auto Hardware store to return an item. I found this store was full of men that all had that yarn shop look on their faces. It was funny! It struck me that single ladies could easily find a handy bo in this place - just saying! (Did you hear me Pet?)

This hardware store has a really good price on Duck tape. At least 3$ less than Canadian Tire.

What would I be needing Duck Tape for? Well, it is March break in a week...but no it is for an upcoming sewing project! When the swelling goes down in my shoulder, I will enlist a friend to Duck tape my torso to make my very own dress form. I want a dress form in the worse way, to hang my knits for photos and fitting tailored garments. Fun eh?

At Princess Auto I found this amazing canvas project bag. It is heavy duty with oodles of pockets for knitting accessories. The bottom is rigid that a project won't get tangled or crushed. 7.93 CDN$ Sweet!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dr Jeryll and Mr. Hyde...hum...must be a duplex

I have this on again, off again love affair with making my own clothes.
I go off sewing when things go awry in fitting the garments I try to make. I love Dr. Janome (sewing machine) and loath Mr. Mylock Janome (the serger).
I can do many great things with my sewing machine and when I am very lucky, the serger will do its magic to seal all my delicate edges. (in most cases NOT)
Yesterday, the beast ate my sleeve!
The delicate woven fabric was unravelling at its cut edges. I tried to serge it for strength only to have it fall apart in the middle. Last sleeve and no more fabric to cut out a new one. Sniff. I suffered a hotflash and opened the window and calmed down and decided to live with it. I have high blood pressure, this doesn't help it.

Last summer, I started this blouse (McCalls 3925) for the second time. Don't ask. I got as far as the first sleeve and tried it on. I found the neck opening rather large and promptly closed up shop and started to knit something soothing instead.
HD is replacing the water pressure tank today and has cut me off of water to the sink (less housework can be expected). My shoulder is really bothering me when I knit(am I whining yet?) so I thought I would try to sew my blouse again.
I can't sit still for a minute!
I attached the second sleeve yesterday and the front extension and tried it on for size this morning. The neck opening was indeed large but I am satisfied with the ease of the main body so I decided to introduce 4 darts (2 front, 2 back) around the neck edge. The darts worked like magic this time to make the upper blouse fit without binding in the back (aka the hump). My favorite tool is the Mark B gone pen. It erases with water (spit in most cases) and I use it to draw on my fabric when placing darts etc. Since the main body fit rather well, I can save this blouse and actually wear it! I have made all changes to the copied pattern pieces and the next blouse will be minus those 4 darts.
...Insert Snoopy Dance...

My couturière classes and endless study of sewing books and issues of threads come in handy after all.
I would love to make pretty things to wear with my knitted things. That's the plan.

I was pleased to find some suitable lace in my drawer to finish the neck edge. Too bad it wasn't a matching yellow. le sigh.

Hook and eyes closures are hidden under the center front. While pinning the front closed I realized tiny pearls would be very nice to decorate the front as faux buttons. I will have a hunt for these shortly. Best of all is the topstitching. I love to topstitch! The result is so smart looking. I love the hand sewing at the end too. The hidden front extension has to be stitched closed with an invisible slipstitch to join the folded edges.

Le Grand Plaid and a new sock (mistigris)keep me company in the evening by the tv when a good cold beer takes the edge off the pain in the neck. Fringe is on tonight too. ya! ETA: I checked the tube and no sight of Fringe tonight. Poo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beaver Art

My knit blanket is a real bore for blog purposes. So I post the picture of something else I made...
Cherry Cream Cake from my kitchen

Ivy was away this weekend and I can't have Valentine's Day cake without her. I made it this morning while I waited for her to be dropped off.
This is chocolate cake in two layers. I made an indent in the first layer for the cherry filling and some icing. Topped off with whipped cream and berries. I can't eat chocolate...but everyone else loves it.
This afternoon, I decided to walk the trail instead of ski. Everything is rather slippery for skiing. I am afraid of falling since my injured shoulder is really kicking my arse these days. I can barely knit let alone risk falling down a hill...
Without the speed of a good ski, I was able to enjoy the subtle beauty around me and take some photos of things that took my breath. I will share...
Many beaver live in these parts. The fallen trees are chewed in such a tell tale way...I see a giant knitting needle. Size 52 mm..?

Upon said fallen tree was a single red berry. I call it Beaver Art.

A little further along, I heard the sound of paper work. I turned to see a lovely bouquet of my favorite leaves. A beautiful golden wheat colour. Amazing oak leaves still cling to the branches of a young tree in February. How amazing.

I fancy these tiny cones. As a little girl, I loved to collect pine cones of every size. I've never seen this variety. Today, I did not put any in my pocket. I'm a big girl now.
Messy house guests?
I think so! The forest carpet is littered with these orangy piles. Reminds me of 'Gisele', the chipmunk that lives at our cottage. Every Spring, we find tidy little piles of pine cone kernels in our cottage. She is very neat about it. This makes removing them rather effortless. I told my children she had a party and swept up the mess only she had no dust pan to pick them up. This made them smile. I smiled too.

This last picture is of a birch tree. I have not confirmed this with my inhouse lumberjack but I think it is a 'Bouleau blanc' which is a white birch in english, if I am correct...

Anywho, second only to the majestic oak, I love white birch. I fancy the white paper bark. This tree was almost silver in the afternoon sun. The cluster of branches coming from the trunk reminded me of my knit-blogger-friends. My blogger friends are so special to me!

Aline xx

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sois le mien...seed stitch

Catnip Scarf
Eastleaf pattern
Norah Gaughan design
Berroco booklet Vol. 4 (Gothic)
Needles: 3.75 mm
Yarn: Quina by Mirasolperu
80% baby alpaca
20% bamboo
Olive green

This was my Christmas present from my sister Donna. Merci Pet!
I love love love it! So I called this one 'Catnip' because it was that much fun to knit and roll around with.
I tried it on for size in this picture as soon as I got it off the harmonies.
A SOAK bath and a good blocking overnight did wonders. Like magic the motif pops and everything looks slick.

I got 4 skeins of this in my gift but only used 3 1/2. I will test my fingers on a swatch for a matching hat with the seed stitch and lace, sideways.

I LOVE the seed stitch version of this (mine). But then again, I am biased about seed stitch.

Good news! I got a call this morning and have been asked to teach a class at my new LYS. Best job in the world. Amen.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Song

Earlier this week, I paid a rare visit to the mall in Buckingham and stumbled upon a newly opened yarn shop.

I nearly dropped to the floor and wept.
-10 minutes from my house
-I could get there on my bike
-Bergère de France
-Misti Alpaca
-A table for knitting classes

Am I going to die or what? The store was closed the day I found it.
I checked the store hours and made a date with myself for a visit back by the end of the week.

Today, with my sheep vest on and my catnip scarf in my purse, I headed over there to meet the lovely owner. I brought some cash because I knew there was a skein of sock wool in the store window waiting for its Valentine. (I saw him checkin' me out that day I found the store)

Meet my new love...'lune bleue' Opal Picture sock yarn from Bergère de France. I have never knit with Bergère de France and am thrilled that such quality yarn is now available to me without shipping and duty. Here is the shop business card in case you are dropping by La petite Nation anytime. It is breathtakingly lovely here in the warmer months.

What is going on in the universe? I half expect to win the lottery next!

It being Valentine's Day tomorrow, the radio is playing non stop love songs and I am a real sucker for most of them. Needless to say, life is good to me.

My new issue of Interweave Knits arrived and I really like the whisper cardigan. I think this pattern would be perfect for my Frieda homespun. This is my precious chocolate brown lace wt made from my beloved Frieda ewe fleece. She was a mix breed but her Papa (Wes) was a pure Merino and my beloved girl inherited the fine merino quality of her Dad's wool. I have had spinners have a look at this skein and they were shocked it wasn't pure Merino breed! (She was half Jacob-Merino mix) Anywho, suffice it to say that this is CORE stash. I want something special and lovely to come of it. (Before the moths find it) Hubness wanted a sweater of our sheep fleece but I decided against knitting him a sweater of this one. I would be a very old gal by the time I knit enough stockinette around him with this fine stuff! Note to self, spin thicker yarn honey.
You will likely find me at said LYS from now on. I have asked permission to sit and spin for visitors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Loupgarou moon

A lovely alpaca swatch I made on the full moon.
I am trying to find a bell edge stitch to make the same knickers as tinyowlknits.
These pretty frills give me fever!
As for that marvelous moon...
Just before leaving home around supper time the moon decorated the dark blue twilight sky over our chimney. As Chloé exclaimed: A giant peach! It looked to us like Tim Burton had placed a halloween moon in the sky. I wished I had a worthy camera lens for such moons. I would have given anything to post it here for you.

So many unusually happy coincidences are happening to me this week. What a time! Last night at the Ottawa Knitting Guild meeting, a member donated a stack of stitch dictionaries. (And me that loves dictionaries but that's another story) One of which had the bell edge stitch I spent all afternoon trying to conjure up from my needles! I had a wee snoopy dance. A wee pang for the loss of knitting time...

This morning hubness handed me a parcel notice...I wasn't expecting delivery for at least three more weeks. Squee! I want everyone to meet 'Spring tickle'. Can anybody tell I bought this colour just because of its name? hee

Who doesn't love a little tickle. In the right place. giggle.

ETA: I made my scrumptuous lentil soup today and it is the same colour as my new yarn...quelle surprise. Yum! Have a sniff, it's delicious.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mountain Jacket

Mountain Jacket
#557 Patons O Canada booklet
Portage wool #6 super bulky (discontinued)
Tension: 3 1/4 sts per inch
Needles: 5 mm & 6 mm straights

A vintage tour of la Bergère knitting closet. I made this ages ago.

Many first-time techniques in knitting was learned for this project. Cables, saddle shoulders, twisted ribbing, intarsia colourwork, pocket, sewing a zipper... This was a huge learning experience for me.
Best of all, I learned that pure wool in extra bulky weight is way too warm to actually wear.

Friday, February 6, 2009


One skein (50g) into this knit and I am smitten like a kitten on catnip.

This yarn is such a treat! Qina from Mirasolperu collection in Olive green is so Bergère.

I have my scarf pinned down to a pile of complimentary coloured 'napperons' to show off the pretty design. I must say, I am very pleased with the seed stitch bit...oh yes.
I have been spoiled here lately, on the side of my scarf is a new 'signet' (bookmarker) made by Chloé. I love bookmarkers.
When I gave Gage his new pair of socks, he came out of his room with a stick of gum to thank me for them. Merci 'Gazou' et 'Pepper'!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gold investment

In these economic times, it's nice to have some gold...

My LYS is closing shop. Fini. Goodbye. Retirement obviously doesn't mean the same thing to all people. If I owned a yarn shop, I would be unlocking the doors until I am blue haired and on life support.
I discovered this unpleasant fact once I wandered in to buy two extra balls of my next project yarn yesterday. Only to find that some knitter made off with all the orange Galway and the shop is now closing in April - so forget about asking for more. You would think I was the only crazy fool buying orange wool. I thought it was a safe enough colour to have all to myself, but no. Crap.

As for the bling... I hope this stuff looks good on me. Although at this stage in my life -does it really matter? I have never tried to wear yellow before and never used mohair to make myself a sweater so this should be interesting ;)

I came home with the last 11 balls on the shelf. Sandnes Kitten Mohair. I searched this stuff on Ravelry to see what projects are out there. Big surprise to me, this is worsted weight! I get so taken to the cleaners every time a thin fuzzy yarn is labelled bulky or worsted.
I was sure it was fingering. What do I know? It doesn't make sense (to me anyways!)
On Ravelry, there was over 500 projects (various colourways) using this stuff, mostly lacey shawls and one uncircumcised penis. I know. LOL. You never know what people are knitting these days...
No, I won't be knitting one of those with my gold however, I am thrilled that I have enough to swatch a tunic I have in my Queue.

Voici - my new honey. I cast-on my Christmas kit present from Pet last night and was trying to follow the billion words to this recipe with my two youngest doing homework nearby. I was one stitch short and thought I was no match for the genius that is Norah Gaughan.

I woke up in the middle of the night with the solution. (I guess I was knitting in my dreams again, bet ya it was cashmere...) I suddenly remembered a swatch I knit of a lace cardigan from Vogue Knitting that had a stitch lesson about YOs. I pulled the magazine out from my cupboard and there it was! How to knit Yarn Overs when they fall between a Knit and a Purl. You give the YO an extra wrap around the right needle to make the following Purl. TA-DA! Now I am enjoying the right stitch count. I just love my Vogue Knitting collection. BTW, I am using my prefered seed stitch à la Bergère each side of the leaf motif instead of the nasty K2,P2 rib that I loath of the original pattern (sorry Norah!).

I have been getting the sewing bug lately. I actually entertained the idea of having a peek at the fabric store yesterday to make myself a warm skirt while I was out but after the unplanned bag full of mohair, I thought it best to steer clear of the fabric store and come home to save money. I want a lovely skirt to wear my Cloudy Day leg warmers under. I will have a look see in my potting shed full of sealed boxes of fabric...cough...before buying anything more.

Here is a picture of the 'huge' pencil case I like to sew for my kids. Many compartments and room for everything. I save nice zippers from old clothes to use for such projects. This bag is quilted for firmness and lined with cotton.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Comforts of home

Joe Muffera socks
My design
Size: 7 year old boy with big feet : )
Yarn: DK wt wool/nylon blend (lost the label)
50g of each red and grey is lots for a pair
Needles: 3.75 mm knitpicks dpns
K1, P1 rib detail on instep & stockinette stitch for the rest

In other news, I hurt my right shoulder back in early December and knitting is painful these days. I have been trying everything I can think of (short of seeing a doc) to heal this thing by me onesy and it seems taking a break (a few hours) from my knitting chair really helps. My last square in Astrakan stitch made my arm burn like a witch's jalapeno.

Thus, my blanket wool and needles sit on the table and I haven't touched them in two days. Time out for being stupid. On my last square, I cast-on too many stitches and didn't notice I had too many bumps until I compared the finished piece to my first one. Ack! A frogging holiday is what I am taking. Pass the tequila.

I cooked up a few goodies in my kitchen instead. Blueberry waffles anyone? Top these babies with some good ol' maple syrup. I know. I make these ahead (like this afternoon) and let them cool on a wire rack. I place them on a cookie sheet and cover with a large ziplock (layed over the waffles) and pop the tray into the freezer for a quick chill. Once they are hard, I pile them into the ziplock and keep in the freezer for breakfast. The kids can pop them into the toaster to warm them up and presto!
My kids get on the bus at 07:20am so this is a great way to cook up a real meal for them while I'm ricocheting around the house finding mitts and eyeglasses...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Today I met Robin Hood in the Woods

From my office at home, all I can see of my bergamot garden are their little bulb heads wearing a snow cap.

This is the pathway from the office to the shop...
This February is very beautiful here in Canadian country.
I am a skiier by day and knitter by night...

Almost daily, I go for a ski along my trail and enjoy the feeling of being alone. The crack of frozen wood being swayed by slight wind is all I hear.
The forest is warmer than the open space of the river I cross to get there. I often hurry across the bay to get to the warmer enchanted woods where I feel sheltered and content.

Today, I saw something new. Funny little wooden boxes with a rat trap inside all set to go off if a creature tries to steal the bait. Little pieces of dried meat or corn.

Along I went hoping to myself that I wouldn't come across a trap with a wounded furry creature clinging to it. That would ruin my peace.

Suddenly, appears a yellow skidoo. Mr. Trapper stops to greet me. He has a gun slung on his back and a sled full of little boxes and a pair of snowshoes. We chat a little about the traps. He is very kind and explains that Mr & Mrs Wolf were actually Coyote and he trapped several of them this winter. Mr. Trapper catches beaver, muskrat, mink and white ferret.

Deeper into the woods I see many tracks. Some from Mr. Trapper and some are animal. I saw a squirrel playing statue in a tree. I called to him but he would not budge. His furry tail wiggled in the breeze. I told him to watch out for the dude with a gun and those traps.

I on the other hand, am armed with two ski poles and porridge breath.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Joe Muffera Socks

Upon learning to knit, I generated many pairs of fraternal (never did I knit two exactly the same!) socks using my mum's handspun worsted wt wool. My Papa would say, 'good for you, you made another pair of Joe Muffera socks!' because these socks were so large that you could really only wear them as slippers. My boyfriend actually started to buy bigger boots just to make me happy.
So this explains why I call these Joe Muffera socks for my son Gage. A version for a boy growing like a weed. He will soon be seven, but he is almost as big as me! Only a few more inches and pounds to go...Maybe he will be the next Joe Muffera of Québec. My blue eyed boy.xx