I love having a blog. Up until yesterday when I got Vicki’s comment I was just an ordinary knitter having trouble with a lowly armhole. Now, I am engineering an “Armseye”
This was motivating. How hard are you going to work to make a mundane, pedestrian armhole? Now an armseye, that’s an accomplishment. How sophisticated, how chic, how clever is a woman who knits an armseye?
I followed the smart and funny directions given to me by Vicki (go read ’em if you didn’t, the woman knows her way around an armhole armseye), combined it with Rana and Anne’s suggestions to use a garment that I like already and came up with this.
There is no way of knowing if this is right, but it looks like an armhole armseye to me, and that’s half the battle. (Bonus points to Rams for reminding me that “attitude is everything”) It’s only knitting right? I mean, if it doesn’t cover”foreground”, I’ll just do it over. (I’ll still be bitter about it though)
..and Jon? The Harlot does not use lifelines. Ever. I take my knitting destiny in my hands. I live on the edge. I frog, tink and pick up stitches with wild abandon and no concern for the consequences. Lifelines are for the meek. (For the record, I’ve also given up cable needles and stitch markers. What’s life without a little danger?)
Finally, Kathy mentions that the dairy Queen here in Ontario sells Poutine. Diana asks “What’s Poutine?” Poutine (peau-tin) is a Quebecois heart-stopping culinary masterpiece.
French fries topped with fresh cheddar cheese curds and gravy. If is a little known fact that if you pay very close attention while you are eating it, you can actually feel your heart slow down.
Poutine has spread far from Quebec and can now be purchased not just in Dairy Queen but McDonalds, Burger King, and Harveys and can be found from Vancouver to Nunavut to St. Johns. Poutine has (on average) 60 g of fat and 700 calories.
It is a National Identity food for Canadians.
(Note for my fellow Canadians: Remember when Rick Mercer convinced George W. Bush to accept the endorsement of our Prime Minister “Jean Poutine”?)
(Note to Americans: Our Prime Ministers name was “Jean Chrétien”)
(Note to Everybody: What made it so funny was that George accepted the endorsement)

30 thoughts on “Armseye

  1. The armseye is looking good
    Poutine is far reaching. There was a place in Maine that used to make that (they are now out of business). I used to waitress and I still remember the first time someone asked for it and then having to try it. Now I’m jonesing for some.

  2. Poutine. It’s such a lovely sound for such an evil food. Admittedly, I have indulged in a similar, albeit, Americanized version. For the record, I think the potato is the perfect medium for condiments; it begs for a bit of additional dressing, no?
    To date, I have consumed the following poutine-esque offerings:
    Silk City Dinner, Philadelphia, PA: Cheez-Whiz fries with gravy
    various, New Orleans, LA: chili cheese fries
    Nathan’s @ Galleria Mall Food Court, Poughkeepsie, NY: Bacon cheese fries
    Local chip shop, Manchester, England: Curry fries
    A Salt & Battery, NYC, NY: British-style curry fries
    I proudly tell you that I have never, nor will I ever, eaten a “freedom fry”.

  3. When I was growing up in Ottawa poutine felt like a necessity; it functioned like an instant additional layer of insulation. I never eat it in Toronto, though, since I’ve never found a place that uses actual cheese curds, and the gravy has never satisfied me. Picky, aren’t I — but it’s probably a good thing, since the winters here aren’t nearly cold enough to justify the caloric intake.

  4. I, too, have seen all sorts of cheezewhiz-type fries offerings, particularly since I’ve around Philadelphia for most of my life.
    They’re all fairly gross, as is the “specialty” of Phila., the cheesesteak.
    But poutine shines in its awfulness due to the fact that the “cheesefood product”, as they say in cheesewhiz land, is not cheddar cheese, but cheese CURDS, as in cottage cheese.
    And gravy.
    What sort of gravy, I always wonder.
    And it’s gravy from a fast food joint, don’t forget.
    What in the name of all things holy do they make gravy from at Dairy Queen?
    Maybe don’t tell me.
    I think Coffee Crisps shouls be the national food of Canada.
    There’s a food product I can stand behind.
    That Rick Mercer, he’s a silly man.
    I loved when he asked Americans on his now defunct “Talking to Americans” show what they thought of Canada’s having a Prime Minister who’s a hunchback.

  5. I loved poutine when I lived in Fort McMurray. When its -50C and your car heater won’t keep up (below -39C and it went into panic mode) and you have to wear your Sorels to drive…your body just craves that stuff. There was a restaurant there that used real cheese…not the “cheese food” stuff (why do they need to call it food??because it isn’t?) I think that one had 450 g fat and 1 million calories, but hey, that cold burned it off.
    My favourite Rick Mercer was after the Florida voting problem thing…where he asked if they would be interested in using the Canadian method…pine cones for one candidate and rocks for the other. The only objection anyone had was how big the election boxes would be. I loved the Jean Poutine tho.
    Barb Brown

  6. I’ve got to say, on a topic completely unrelated to knitting, that is the most disgusting looking thing I have ever seen. I mean, as a vegetarian, things like “gravy” usually turn me off, but the looks of that dish…ick… I officially turn my nose up at it.
    On another note, I’m surprised at how straight your stitches look – not twisty at all…

  7. Oh dear god, I can hardly believe that I am composing a message in honour (sort-of) of poutine. First point of clarification – pronunciation is not as glam as Gina thought – it is really pou-tin or poo-tin. Second point – cheese curds are not the same as the cottage cheese that’s all creamy. These are rubbery very fresh cheddar bits that actually squeek when you chew them! They have not been pressed into blocks or aged – or refrigerated!
    The fries have to be fresh-cut, not those little MacD’s toothpicks. For those who remember the 1980ish SNL, in Quebec the beverage of choice is ‘no Coke, Pepsi’.
    Poutine is standard Montreal post-barhopping fare at a true Quebecois ‘casse-croute’ snack bar like Lafleur’s (oh, those were the days my friend) – if a poutine won’t sober you up then you’d better not be going home for a while.
    And don’t worry Aubergine, it is highly unlikely that the gravy contains any meat (or other actual food) products.
    Still hungry? See in case I have forgotten any crucial details, and for another pic.

  8. Aubergine, I don’t eat meat either, so I am grossed out by the gravy part of poutine.
    Notice how all the poutine fans have still not addressed the question of what the hell they make the gravy from at fast food places.
    And Alison?
    They don’t use fresh squeaky non-refrigerated cheddar curds at Dairy Queen or the cheesefood product places.

  9. It is worth noting (you poutine nay’sayers) that The Ritz-Carlton in Montreal has poutine on the menu. I’ve never had it, but I bet it’s beyond sublime.
    Aubergine: I’m a vegetarian too…but I’d be willing to bet that most of the cheap-arse chip truck poutine gravy has never seen a mammal.

  10. My brain is currently confused. My eyes are looking at a picture of a dish that is clearly a heart attack on a plate, while the radio is hosting a segment on obesity and healthy eating.
    Must scroll up to admire armscrye to recover.

  11. The armseye looks wonderful.
    Poutine… in my (since ended) every-quarter-for-a-couple-year work trips to Ottawa I was always threatened with Poutine. Or tempted, depending on how you look at it. (its not the gravy with the cottage cheese that makes me pause, its putting that on Fries….)

  12. Steph–
    You are the funniest person on the planet, knitter or not. I try to faithfully read everyday, and so feel free to correct your spelling…it’s armscye…

  13. Argh! Julie beat me to it. My mode of learning is to wonder what something means until I find out by accident (as opposed to asking questions, researching, or anything practical like that). So for years when I read the word “armscye” in a book, I had a vague notion that it something to do with a tool like a sugar-cane scythe (which I was all too familiar with in Louisiana, my one sister having been chased around by my other sister with one when said sister did not suit said other sister). Anyway, is it not curious to y’all that poutine sounds like “Putin”, the prez of Russia? And Canadian potatoes are *far* more flavorful than American ones. I can drive three hours and have better potatoes, such a deal. I’d imagine that they’d taste good with Pennzoil and silkworm larvae on them (and no, I won’t try them that way). I think it’s law in America that a food will not be considered healthy enough by the FDA unless everything possible can be done to it to get rid of its true flavor. And don’t make fun of our President! Can he help it that he learned at Yale (or Harvard, or wherever it is he “studied”) that Russia had bought Canada from India for $10? Therefore what whatshisname said made perfect sense.
    Sorry, I got a little carried away.

  14. In yoga, they call this part of the body, the arm-pit chest, as in, let’s create space in our arm-pit chests. Say what? Lovely to know that armpits have another name. Your tank is way cute, btw.

  15. I swear, I promise, my last comment re poutine.
    Steph, chou, is or is not “poutine” a French-derived word?
    If it is, shouldn’t it be pronounced “poo-TEEN”?
    Or am I just not reading properly?

  16. Ah Kathy, you are being taken in by the common belief that the Quebecois speak common, garden variety french. Ce n’est pas le cas, Fran�ais de Quebecois est unique.
    Check here for a recording of a francophone saying the word.
    For the spelling issue…an exhaustive period of research (Ok, fine…I checked google) reveals that armseye and armscye are both correct terms for the same thing, and that armhole is still pedestrian.
    Thusly, we are all correct and clever knitters, and how great is that?

  17. Three years ago in Dickwater Pennsylvania, my friend asked for poutine at KFC. When ordered by the cranky counter girl to explain poutine, we told her that all Canadian KFCs sell it. As we were headed to our table we heard a girl in the kitchen say (with that hilarious Pittsburgh half-drawl) “why do all them FREAKS have to come here”?
    Okay, we were also in costume, but I’m sure it was the poutine that branded us freaks.
    Stephanie, I thought you were knitting this tank with ribbon? How come your stitches look so good, and not all ribbon-wrangy?

  18. Thank you, Stephanie and Kathy, for explaining what poutine is. I had never heard of it. BTW, I am a native Philadelphian, and I LOVE cheesesteaks! I think I would love poutine too. I used to tend bar in Wheeling, WV, and their specialty was french fries with Cheese Whiz AND gravy! Yikes! (It was really good – but you can see my prediliction for artery-imploding food already)

  19. OK, I am NOT going to talk about the Pittsburgh penchant for putting french fries IN sandwiches and ON salads, nor am I going to get distracted and start talking about yinzer speech patterns (“yinzer” = Pittsburgh’s variation on English, from the Pittsburgh second person plural) because I really don’t want to think again about how I ended up in central Pennsylvania after living in Toronto, Madison, Mexico City, New York…. I will bravely admit however to planning to go out tomorrow and buy some embroidery floss to use as a lifeline because I am NOT, I tell you, NOT going to rip this sweater out again. Steph, the armseye looks great.

  20. I humbly apologize for the lifeline suggestion. But I made up the word shawatch, so I suppose we’re even now?
    Anyhow, I lived in Montreal during the summer of ’98, and I have to say that I enjoyed poutine immensely. Even though it is a heart-attack on a plate. And, being that I’m hungry now, I just ordered the closest NYC equivalent I can think of: chili cheese fries.

  21. One of my first experiences on the Web was in 1991 on a Virtual Canadian net server when I wrote out a recipe for Poutine for all the far-flung and homesick Canadians on ther server. I had been given this recipe as a going back to the states present from our housekeeper when I graduated high school and was off to the exotic south of Maine for College. Damn if I can’t find it now.
    It remains in my experience the best food one can buy from a foodtruck at 3 a.m., especially if you’re right spun on a two-fer.

  22. Sorry for being late to this party. But I can’t resist a little poutine conversation. The poutines (always plural in my house) I grew up with were potato balls. Softball size, grey, unappetizing looking balls of potatoe with pork mystery surprise in the center. And if someone offered me one right now, I’d joust for them. Really! Poo-tins, by the way.
    Odd that my strange, wonderful poutines are not known!
    Thanks for the memories!

  23. Oh, Steph, that hurts. While I rarely use a lifeline for anything else, they really are necessity in lace (as are stitch markers).
    Why I would rather….well, dammit, I would rather knit black SNOWFLAKE in a dark room than have to rip back 480 sts per row of lace knitting without a lifeline.
    (Just thinking about it brings me to a cold sweat – both the ripping back of the knitting and the SNOWFLAKE)
    Oh, the horror…. I must go lie down…

  24. That was the best damn 20 minutes I’ve spent in quite a while. Tears are still running down my cheeks. I just this morning was mentioning in somebody else’s blog that my mom was Canadian, and we live 10 or 15 miles from the Quebec border. There is a now-defunct little cinderblock building in South Hero, Vermont, that has a sign, “Poutine.” I think the building qualifies as a historic building or something, and somebody is keeping it intact, together with the sign. I only learned what poutine was from an attorney who is of French-Canadian extraction who said a lot of FC’s settled in Barre, Vermont, where he was from, to work in the granite industry, and therefore poutine was a local delicacy there, too. He and I have had many a belly-laugh about the thought of me actually trying the stuff, but as a most-of-the-time health food freak who goes in big for guilty pleasures, you know I would be the first in line to try some if they served it locally again. Hell, it might be worth a little drive over the border to LOOK for a place, now. I’d have to put ketchup on it, though. Thanks, everybody, for such a fun bit of Canadian pop-culture-talk!!!

  25. By the way, Barre, VT is pronounced “Barrie.” There you go again with the French-Canadian French.

  26. Honest to god, one of the saddest parts of being a vegetarian for me is the lack of poutine. When I lived in Montreal, I would sometimes break down and order poutine “sans sauce” — sometimes resulting in verbal abuse, depending on how traditional the poutine cook was. Ah, the good old days.
    And yes, it’s pronounced poo-TIN. It’s Quebecois, like Ce-LIN Dion.

  27. I had never thought about vegetarians not being able to eat poutine because of the gravy! Here is a site with the recipe for vegetarian friendly gravy. Why should you be deprived of the joys of the “instant heart attack” food?
    By the way, when we were in the Napa Valley in Idaho, we found fresh cheddar cheese curds at a cheese factory….there they are called “squeaky cheese”. We made poutine for the friends we were visiting….and it seems that addiction has set in for them.
    Barb B.

  28. Sandy – what you described sounds like something a friend of mine makes. He calls them Scottish dumplings.
    Steph – I just found your blog a few weeks ago – – someone had linked to your “wool pig” entry. I think I’ve now read everything. You are a great writer and knitter. I’ve just started knitting again and have only done a couple dishclothes and a toddler’s dress.

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