Friday, January 28, 2011

January blues

I think it is normal to feel a little blue in January - it is still winter, it is dark, it is colder then it was in December, but we do not have the Holidays to look for.

In my case, I had planned for a cozy January. I knew I would get stressed with starting a new job while continuing for a little while with the old one, and I knew that going to Cuba or anywhere else warm to calm down is not an option until I finish my contract in Montreal, so the only plans I made were to knit while drinking tea.

At the beginning of the month, I caught the famous "startitis", which, according to my (blogs) reading, seems to have affected a large portion of the knitter population out there. Unfortunately, not being a very strong knitter yet, I also caught, almost at the same time, the "mistakitis". I have 4 knitting projects waiting for me, each of them with a mistake that I cannot fix in it (and believe me, I managed to fix several mistakes before I gave up!!!).

So I have the nice cardigan I started back in April when I first learned to knit, the nice warm hat I started after our knitting trip to Montreal, the baby vest I started over the holidays when my mother came to visit, and the socks I need to get going for a course that is coming up soon. I also have 100 other ideas of things I want to start, but I think I should finish at least one thing before I start another one. I mean, I don't mind working on several things at the same time, but I have to finish something from time to time to keep me going.

unfinished work

I'm impatiently waiting for my friend, teacher and mentor Elizabeth to come back from Cuba. We need a serious Skype knitting session. We've been talking about doing it for ages, and now is the time to do it.

I'm also looking forward to see my mom, so she can explain to me where she left the baby vest at. She has this bad habit of jumping on my knitting when she sees me, and then, she just says, oh, that's really cute and easy, can you send me the pattern as she knits it at the speed of the light, and then I have no idea where I am in the pattern. (I'm a beginner! I still have trouble counting my rows!)

Until I see any of them, I keep staring at my whanabe knittings, and I'm looking forward to February, it should get better, no?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nice day for skating!

This morning, we decided to go try the skating rink at the port. The weather was beautiful and sunny, but the weather forecast for Trois-Rivières was -10 celcius. A little chilly. I decided to take no chance, and dressed up as if I was about to go spend the day in an igloo. I put on 2 of everything! (2 hats, 2 pairs of socks, 3 sweaters, a pair of mittens over a pair of gloves, long johns under my winter pants..) and off we went skating!

getting ready to go
Now, I haven't skated in years...and the last few times I tried, it was not very I was a little worried to look like a fool in front of my man and in front of all the children who were there.

But everything went well, as soon as my man reminded me to bend my went much better than it had in all the other previous times! I actually really enjoyed it! And I did not fall once!

still have to work on the elegance...
 The weather really was wind at all, which means I got hot really quickly!

We did not stay too long, but as we were leaving, I saw an older lady (over 70 years old, for sure) putting her skates on. She was tall, elegant, holding herself very straight, wearing a cute little beret and a nice coat. She put on her mp3 player, and hop, went skating. She instantly became one of my numerous idols. I want to be like her when I grow up!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The farmers' adventures in the big city

Last Friday, it was my last day off before I went back (part time) to my usual job (Program officer for a Human rights Education organisation), and before I started my new other part time job at the local university. 

Some of my new friends from the farmers' circle and I decided to go for a tour of the yarn, fabric, buttons and ribbons stores of Montreal with some of my friends from Montreal. We left Trois-Rivières at 8:45, and by 10:30 we were at our first stop: Elizabeth's apartment, where we got to look at her new loom, but also at her nice designs and hand died yarn. We even got to start stocking up with some yarn she didn't need anymore.

Then, off to the first 2 places, in NDG: Emeline et Annabelle, a cute and friendly sewing studio and, just next door, Tricot quartier, a "modern knitterie", as they call themselves. There I started to indulge: I got myself a set of Denise interchangeable knitting needles. I love them.

Following this first very intensive visit, we went out for lunch at one of my favourite Thai place. We cannot find anything like that yet in 3R!

We then probably spent at least 2 hours at Ariadne, getting yarn, needles, patterns, books and a lot of advices from Elizabeth.

Next destination (after a café au lait and French pastries stop) : Effilochée, which is both a knitting and sewing lounge! What else can we ask for? After another loooong time spent there, we went a little further on the same street to visit Rubans boutons, a store that clearly sells buttons and ribbons!
That was supposed to be the last store for the day, but only a few meters further we saw Flashe verte, where we also found pretty button and other types of accessories.

After a nice dinner at Dev, my favourite Indian restaurant, my farmer friends drove back home, while I went back to Elizabeth's for the night. I managed to knit a few row of this beautiful hat from Ms Cleaver before I fell asleep, exhausted by our busy day...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Busy, already

My vacation is not over yet, and I already I find myself working overtime...

Like last night: I met my friend a little after 8:30 (she had to put her son to sleep first..) at the Farmers' circle' hall to weave a little, and we left after midnight. I was back this morning a little after 8:00, hoping to do do as much as possible before I have to give back the key of the hall, next week.

Since I joined the "Farmers' circle" in September, I took a weaving course, which means that I'm theoretically able to use one of the 2 looms available at the Circle's hall....A lady prepares it with hundreds of yards of yarn;  all we have to do is to give our name, and when it's our turn, all we have to do is weave, and weave...We are supposed to weave 6 40" dishtowels each! The expert weavers can do one in an hour.

Except, weaving is not that easy, as my friend Dominique and I have been learning over the past 2 weeks! Changing colours, breaking yarn, being consistent, all things that we have to know how to do, or how to fix. Anyway, after going several times and calling the lady who is in charge of it many, many times, Dominique and I managed to finish one common dishtowel, Dominique made her first one, and I'm halfway through my first, after 3 intensive hours this morning. I'm hoping to have 2 ready by the time I give back the key on Monday...but I'll give my name again, now that it is working, I like it a lot!