Squeaky cheese and socks

Seriously, I think I may have overshot. To get everything ready for the Knitty Gritty thing (I promise that when I know when it’s on, you’ll know when it’s on…I wouldn’t dream of all of you missing the opportunity to mock me severely) I need to knit….well. About a sock a day. I thought this was reasonable.

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Apparently my relationship with reality is loose, at best. I’m about a sock (and a day) behind. I have decided to not think about it (if by “not think about it” you understand that I am thinking about it all the time) …and distract myself with tales of Montréal knitters.

After a stay in the best B&B in Ottawa (technically Manotick) with uncle Tupper and his charming paramour Susan…

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(Forgive the computer-cam shot. It was late and I couldn’t find my camera. The dog is Boogie. He’s like….the best dog ever.) Tupp drove me to the train and I rode along to Montréal where I was taken under the lovely wing of our dear Lee Ann.

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(Lee Ann seen here winding wool off her knees in a coffee shop. Camera still AWOL at that point and Lee Ann is really so beautiful that she looks that good with a crappy web cam.) We drank coffee – a skill that we both excel at, wound wool in the shop to freak out the natives and then trundled off to Radio Canada for a phone in thing.

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Yes, that is the sock strapped to the rear wiper of a Radio-Canada truck, and no, we did not feel that this was an odd thing to do in a parking lot. We stood there, in the warm beer scented steam of the Molson factory….

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and then we did the interview. Here’s Meredith Dellandrea from Radio Noon, and she did a bang up job of walking me through an hour long phone in show. Live. You just gotta know that was brave of her. Me, live…for an hour? Could have gone very wrong, but Meredith is a knitter, actually part of the Montreal Knits group, and she not only is working to make Radio-Canada Canada’s knitting station (all knitters all the time!) but she (and the Montréal Knitters) are also helping pull together a project for Dans La Rue (in the street) to bring blankets to street kids.

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They collected squares until Oct 31st, and now they are going to be sewing them up forever. From there we went back to Lee Ann’s for a lovely lunch (try and get Lee Ann to cook for you sometime. She’s really good at it and can be bribed with a pittance of fibre) and then hustled ourselves (along with her daughter, the charming Twinkletoes) down to the McGill Bookstore café for a talk and a signing put on in conjunction with the People’s Liberated Knitting Front. (Quite possibly the best name for a knitting group ever. Big thanks to El Comandante for helping me so much.) I was worried no-one would come because it’s an english language book.

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Apparently I’m ok. Dudes, the coolest knitters were there. Seriously. Before I was even done talking there was Jennifer.

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Do you see her socks? Do you? They’re bowling socks man! They’ve got bowling pins and a bowling ball on em! Do you see how they make my socks look stupid? They’re freakin’ awesome.

It’s Jae!

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Relocated to Montréal from my own beloved Lettuce Knit S&B. Babe, I thought I’d never see you again. (Sniff.)

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Barbara…showing signs of an entrelac outbreak in Montréal (must have spread from Kingston.)

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Patricia, who comes from the same town as me and went to the same High School as me. (Bramalea Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario.) Different years, I am sure.

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Kathy who came from Alaska (not just for the talk, because, you know, that would be creepy) but happened to be in the right city at the right time.

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Maria-Michele, who’s name proved to be an intelligence test for me. (I mangled her name and she still gave me that pretty yarn from her trip to Italy. I am not worthy.)

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Anny and her husband Stephen. Anny, we all know and love, but Stephen has his own claim to fame, being the cheerful and clever originator of that most threatening of Knitting Olympic gizmos….the countdown timer. Remember that? It started out friendly green, then turned a warning orange, then finally a ominous and looming red as the timer ticked down and you ran out of time, knitting until wee hours of the night while you wept? Good times.

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Kate, aka Miss Ewe, who drove from Kingston to see me, even though I had just been in Kingston two days before. (Don’t ask. It’s complicated.) She was as much fun as I had been hoping. It’s nice not to have to lie about her. Charming, funny…everything you’d hope for in a knitter.

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Kate Gilbert, designer extraordinaire…(Have you seen her stuff in the latest Interweave Knits? The Equestrian Blazer is So. Going. To. Be. Mine.) Kate captured my heart forever when we were at dinner in Rhinebeck and she and Juno were sharing something that had an ice cream and cider sauce. When the guy came to clear the plates, Kate noted that there was melted ice cream remaining, stopped him, picked up the cup and shot the melted ice cream like so much tequila. My kinda gal.

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The lovely Brainylady, another expat Ontarian….There was Deawn, Kadi, Mona, Witchy-knits, Molly Ann, The fabulous Nadine Fenton (Ok. She wasn’t there, but she really wanted to be so I’m mentioning her anyway. It’s my blog, I make the rules.) Sam la tricoteuse… so many. It was fantastique. I went for a beer with the Montréal knitters (plus a few random Ontario ones) and then retired to my hotel room where I remembered something I truly love about this place.

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Nice. The next morning I got up and planned to walk around the city, but it rained, and rained and rained. I ate bagels and cream cheese in my hotel room with fresh hot café.

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(A really big shout-out to whomever left the Montréal bagels at McGill for me. They were wonderful. I ate two and shared the rest when I got home. Thank you!) Thus fortified, I went out for a little on a mission to find what I really love about Montréal, squeaky cheese curds. I lasted about 15 minutes in the cold and the rain before retreating, heartbroken. I gathered my stuff, grabbed a taxi to the train station and comforted myself with my bagels. At the train station I sat, deeply regretting my painful dairy loss until I remembered that there is little chocolate can’t heal and headed for the dépanneur de la gare. It was there, among the chips and the chocolate, near the Pepsi and beside the milk that I saw them. Snuggled near smoked pepperoni, looking for all the world like they were waiting for me.

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One package.

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squeaky cheese curds at last. I ate them all. Je ne regrette rien.

À la prochaine Montréal. Je t’adore.