When the Going gets Tough

I was going to post yesterday, I really was.  I was all over it, it and about eight million other things, and then right when the going got tough…

This gal got going out for poutine* in the afternoon.  It was Jen’s idea, and it’s hard for me to refuse her anything, especially poutine on a snowy afternoon. I fight a daily battle not to go for poutine in the afternoon,  (In the interest of full disclosure, poutine was just our starter.  We had nachos for our main. We regret nothing.) By the time we were done lunch, knitting, and looking at the snow while going over some stuff.. that was it. The day was gone – and today I keep trying to feel bad about it, but I just can’t. This time of year takes its toll, and I think you’ve got to cling to all the joie de vivre you can create. 

I worked on Color Affection while we were there, and then last night, and I realized that everyone in the comments who said that they thought I wasn’t digging it because it’s autumn colours rather than spring? They nailed it.  That feeling I have when I look outside and see brown and white and grey… that’s how I feel when I look at this shawl.  I love these colours, I even love them together a lot… I just think that they’ve got no place in my soul right now.  Every time I look at them a wave of ennui hits me and I think about lying down somewhere. 

See that? Lovely, sure. Very nice.  Now look at this though…

Eh? See that? Feel the joy leap in your heart? The colours of tulips and flowers and grass and hope.  I chain-plied the single this morning, and the whole time I almost giggled.

I took it upstairs afterwards to have a little bath in the sink, and couldn’t stop looking at it. 

This is the least Stephanie-like yarn ever, and I can’t stop smiling at it like it’s a baby or a pony, or a 50% off sale on my favourite yarn.

I think I need to change what I’m knitting.   I’ll come back to the other colours when my knitting isn’t the only thing in the world that has any.

*Since I know someone is going to ask, yes, vegetarian poutine. Lots of it is. Yes, we do have a favourite spot. We like it at Utopia. I am proud that they don’t know me there. Self-control, my friends. Self-control.

106 thoughts on “When the Going gets Tough

  1. Least Stephanie-like yarn ever or not – its postitively, beautifully springlike. Much as I like autumn colors too, I’d toss them aside in a flash for the tulips, flowers and grass today. (yes it is snowing here again today) Enjoy!

  2. The spring colours are glorious! We got 25 cm of snow yesterday so it’s hard to believe spring is a possibility. Seeing those colours restores my faith!
    As for the poutine… I just ate lunch but I’d still go for poutine if a friend invited me. Good for you that you got such a nice break and some insight about seasonal colours at the same time! Was beer involved? You can tell me, it’ll be our secret! 🙂

  3. Vegetarian poutine??? I will need to check that one out.
    I knit so slowly that my yarn never matches the season during which I am knitting. Otherwise, I’d be waiting a year to wear it.

  4. YES! My heart did somersaults and giggled butterflies and that was BEFORE I realized it was the singles, plied (and even if you did it to shut me up about chain-plying, I regret nothing. SO worth it!)
    Jeez, what happened to my sardonic? I had it here a minute ago … but might as well try to be sardonic to kittens.

  5. So, what you’re saying is I just need to sit and stare at that yarn until spring comes and I might survive?

  6. I haven’t had poutine in a while, and I definitely haven’t had vegetarian poutine. Sometimes, especially in the winter, hubby and I will make poutine for dinner. It’s incredibly satisfying and warm and yummy…and now I think I want some.
    The spring colors are lovely though – I don’t think spring has sprung anywhere yet. I think everyone’s still dreaming of it.

  7. Those are gorgeous colors in the spring yarn. And yes, the Color Addiction is very autumn like, but it’s still beautiful.

  8. That yarn is gorgeous and would make a beautiful Hitchhiker scarf. Then you could wrap springtime around your neck!!

  9. The least Stephanie-like colours out there? They’re just lighter, happier versions of the colours you’re knitting the Color Affection out of!
    I can just see them becoming something awesome and springy though 🙂

  10. Even here in the southern U.S. it’s still gray and brown and snowy/rainy/icy. I totally dig your spring garden colors.

  11. Am I the only one who didn’t know what poutine is? Who thought you’d mis-typed “pouting” and had gone pouting, with beer, about not liking your knitting?!
    Thanks to Wikipedia I am now better educated and thinking that when I DO go “pouting” with a friend over drinks later today I might have to explain to the server that I want to try french fries with gravy and cheese curds.
    Love the new yarn! Yay spring!

  12. Ah, this is beautiful and Hope does Spring eternal . . . I live in Cleveland, we are close enough to Toronto to share some of the same weather. Someday Spring will come, really it will. In the meantime, poutine, nachos and beautiful yarn make the waiting easier.

  13. No amount of poutine is going to put me into a spring frame of mind. Only sunshine will do the trick. Feels like months since we’ve had any. I’m spinning with cherry red merino top and it’s helping a little.
    P.S. Any recommendations for a first spinning wheel?

  14. Omg!! That yarn you chain plied, it’s … It’s … Words fail!! It made me immediately and magnificently happy, and better yet, I think I’m going home from work this afternoon and SPIN! Thank you, Stephanie!!

  15. It’s spring in Los Angeles. I’m in Oregon. Will be in LA Monday. The roses will be blooming. You may visit.

  16. That is a beautiful yarn you have there. Very seasonal even if the weather is laughing at us. People here are drooping about the weather even though we know that even here March weather is about thumbing their noses at those who wait for spring.
    We’re expecting more snow Sunday night. A dusting. Please, just a dusting.

  17. Ennui or no, those color affection colors look great together. In fact that’s the first color affection color combination that;s made me want to knit that shawl.

  18. I have never heard of that dish and don’t know if we can even get it here in america it certainly sounds yummy!! Love the new yarn!!

  19. This week, I had to ask friends in greener sunnier places to send me pictures of green growing things, to help me hang on until warmer weather. Ten more inches of snow this week, and they’re starting to make noise about more next week. I think I’ll put the spring yarn picture right next to the plum tree photos, to help me get through it. 🙂

  20. Poutine with mushroom gravy is the only thing that makes the world makes sense to me sometimes.
    And now, thanks to this, it’s all i can think about.

  21. Good for you! I have done the same thing: I’ve rummaged through my stash and pulled out the springiest colors I could find. It has helped a bit with the oodles of snow we’ve gotten lately. Margaritas also help!

  22. As a fellow fall-ish color lover (I once had a co-worker say I was wearing “that dirt shirt” again) I must admit I was confused by my reaction to the photos of Color Affection. Wonderful, beautiful, scrumptious colors BUT… I’ve been waiting for the follow-up. You nailed it “…no place in my soul right now”. Living in SE Iowa we have entered the 5th overlapping season of MUD/snow/rain followed soon with all the attendant country fragrances of farmers fertilizing using horse drawn ‘honey wagon’s’. I woke up this morning to a weather alert. 4-8″ of snow heading our way over the weekend. I’m heading for my stash…surely I have something pink.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the ‘so not you yarn’ There’s something to be said when something makes your heart happy.

  23. It definitely has something to do with the weather. I bought those exact colours yesterday at Needles in the Hay in Peterborugh. (Tanisfibre) I mean the February blues when we are just inches away from April! Come on spring!

  24. YES!!!
    That’s nailed it for me, too. I don’t want to knit with the stunning fall-colours skein a friend just gave me, I want pink and yellow and spring colours.
    So probably I’m not going to be knitting for myself for a while….

  25. when you said pony … i see unicorns & rainbows of course, and glitter stickers and tulips.
    and now i want poutine. thanks, i’m thoroughly distracted:)

  26. i had nachos for lunch today. i too feel no remorse, although i did substitute poutine for fries and green chili. (its southwestern cousin. yes, there was cheese.) i ordered a side of guacamole though. it’s like vegetables. i had to change my knitting after i read this- was making mittens. now i’m knitting a fern lace scarf in green… hope springs eternal. i love that pony yarn with all my six year old girl heart.

  27. I’m still knitting hats and have just cast on mittens. Likely either project will see much wear by the time they are finished, because it WILL be spring and the warm will come… but only if I keep knitting woolies. I don’t mind carrying it all on my shoulders though…
    And it’s absolutely lovely to be able to post before the snarkey, mean comments about your grey spinning project start. I can’t be the only one who thinks maybe the (very) thinly veiled “ribbing” you are continually subjected to is unfriendly at best and considered rude by many of your readers? Truly. I love your blog. Love your posts. I think your blog is the bright spot in my day.
    And the new yarn is grand. Sunshine on wildflowers.

  28. I’m working on brown socks here in Michigan. They are having the same affect on me as your autumn colors. Yeah, it’s time to switch up the yarn color.

  29. My husband walked in from shoveling this morning.
    Really March, is this the best you can do!
    Hopeful March, when I distinctly remember wearing short sleeve shirts on the campus of U of Waterloo to check it out (many years ago)!
    Come on March, what did we ever do to you!

  30. Until you made the comment about it being vegetarian, I thought you were talking about going out for a whiskey. Then realized that’s spelled poitin or poteen. Either way- I think you should have had some whiskey with your poutine-though it might have been an odd pairing with the nachos.

  31. At 4:00 this morning I woke up with the thought that I have to call my best friend, who lives 1300 miles away. As it was 4:00 in the morning, I didn’t… but I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I designed the 2nd wedding shawl I have to do this year. It’s going to be in a lovely, soft lilac. Lilacs in spring. With a 9 foot snowbank outside my office window, I can’t wait.

  32. Oh My Goddess! I just looked at the menu for Utopia… Gourmet Poutine!?!! Holy Crack, Batman, that looks delish!
    Spring is on it’s way, Really. I’ve got the snowdrops, crocus and witch hazel blooming in my yard to prove it (and you’re only a few hours east of me), so it’s comin’…

  33. Okay, i definitely see your point. I love your CA still, and looking at them makes me feel warm, but even I am knitting brightly colored socks at the moment. Don’t tell anyone, but I made some knit-and-felted flower-bowls. Winter can do this to people. Follow your heart – there will be the time for autumn-colors again.

  34. I am in such agreement with what you wrote about wanting spring … can you hear me nodding?
    That being said (written) I used to proclaim that if a certain American President (past tense) re-instated the draft, I was moving to Toronto. But the snow …
    “Oh, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” (Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind.”
    Bright sun, cold air and wind and nary a bud on a branch here in NJ. Sigh.

  35. If I could send pictures of our lovely Northern California spring, I surely would, to cheer you up. Perhaps you should bear in mind for next year that March, while soul-sucking in more northerly climes, is a glorious time to visit California and its lovely yarn shops and knitters.

  36. Ummm….I was born and raised in SW Quebec, and I’ve never known any kind of poutine that *isn’t* vegetarian. I mean, it’s patates frites smothered in cheese curds and gravy. Oh. Wait. You mean the gravy could be non-vegetarian? Enlighten me, SVP!

  37. Gorgeous Spring Yarn – thanks to you, I put away my dark green wool shawlette scarf, and started a periwinkle-ish blue lightweight linen stitch wrap….yum. I’m doing Weight Watchers right now and Poutine sounds like a days -wait, what am I saying – WEEK’s worth of points!! But you needed it – I’m having a margarita tommorrow and hoping that will suffice! You go girl!

  38. I’m knitting some socks out of STR “Fire on the Mountain.” It’s the tie-dye colorway of seven different kinds of vibrant hues. Very beautiful, and Not Gray. I feel you.

  39. ahhhh, yes! you nailed it. but, i must confess that those are the colours i like all the time!

  40. Love, love, love Utopia. I’m not ashamed that during my undergrad they did know me there and one of my dearest friends worked there. Now I have a craving that wont be satisfied until I can visit in October. Thanks for the lovely reminder. Also the yarn is divine 🙂

  41. Like unicorns and birds singing and and yippeee!
    I can see why it bolted to the must play list.
    Poutine- I keep thinking need to try that soon.

  42. Poutine? I am so there … if it weren’t snowing a being icy, I’d head North IMMEDIATELY. But it is and I am stuck in central NY. So I am going back to my first ever pair of socks … inspired by the writing of Yarn Harlot.

  43. I think it must be something to do with winter in Toronto this year. Yesterday I too HAD to have poutine. Unfortunately I had to order mine in so it was definitely not as good as yours…. no vegetarian gravy for me as I am allergic to mushrooms.
    I love the beautiful springlike yarn and can hardly wait to see what it wants to become.
    Maybe I need to have a look deep into my stash to find something colourful to keep my mind off more poutine.

  44. Lovely yarn. The colors are definitely what you needed to see — perhaps with some lilac, sky blue, and robin’s-egg blue added. I think you should keep that yarn in a box labeled “Open when you’ve had enough winter.”
    The thought of poutine doesn’t make me salivate, but I’m glad I read this AFTER I went shopping at the warehouse club. Otherwise I know I would have come home with at least one 1-gallon can of nacho cheese sauce!

  45. Needed to google poutine, but now I’m having serious pregnant-intense hot-chips-and-gravy cravings (my Aussie equivalent), and I suspect the beetroot and goats cheese tart that’s currently planned for dinner is no longer going to hit the spot!! What to do, what to do??
    We’re apparently on our way into autumn at the moment, so your colour affection is working wonders for me!! Though if I’d just lived through a snowy winter instead of summer, I’d probably feel just like you 🙂 enjoy choosing and creating something springy with that lovely new yarn that’s calling to you!

  46. This past winter I knitted an ocean of grey. Mostly socks, hats and mitts for my very large family of very large men with very conservative tastes. The more adventurous will tolerate black, brown or navy, but mostly it was everlovin’ GREY seemingly forever.
    So this week I took the two skeins of lovely cushy 3-ply yarn I spun last week and dyed it in Easter Egg pastels to celebrate spring (just in case it ever arrives other than on the calendar) and immediately felt very pleased with myself. Not that dyeing yarn is complicated or especially praiseworthy – it was more that I escaped the Four Thousand Shades of Grey that was the last six months of my life. I’d been pining for Pretty, and I finally had it. Now to figure out what I’d like to make with it.

  47. Although I think your Color Affection is lovely, the yarn you made is just gorgeous in its Spring-ness. It seems that everyone is anxious for Spring and Winter just doesn’t want to leave…

  48. I seriously think that restaurant menu is the best thing I have seen in a very long time. I also curse my living stateside and nowhere near the restaurant, because everything looks delicious. It mystifies me how poutine isn’t much in the states, bcause if anything says typical ‘American cuisine’, it’s fries, cheese and gravy! A couple places in my town offer it, but this place just looks amazing.

  49. I just made a squeeing noise at that springtime yarn! It’s so beautiful!! And it’s inspiring me to go dig the Sugar Bunny yarn I bought last Easter out of my stash and cast on something or other, finally.

  50. Please – can someone explain for us non-Canadians – what is ‘poutine’?? The weather we have here in Britain, we could use something extra tasty to cheer us up! PS love the Spring Colours!

  51. Thanks for the tip about utopia, never been there but I’m going to check it out.

  52. There is a little place in town that serves poutine; it’s definitely a food for when the going has gotten tough. Having finally experienced it, I, too, struggle to resist eating it daily.
    I think tough may be going around; this week has been so tough, I bought myself a Snickers bar at the grocery store today. That almost never happens. I smiled instinctively at the springy-pastelly yarn. Such perfect colors for the end end end end of winter.

  53. I am knitting rainbow socks for the same reason. Looking out of the window at the bleak snowy mountain top with great big ugly rain clouds above is a bit soul sucking.
    Such pretty happy colours.

  54. We ate at Utopia a few weeks ago when we went to see our daughter who in U of T. We enjoyed it, friendly people.
    Your yarn reminds me of a My Little Pony, one with a sparkly butterfly on her rump!

  55. We live in Vermont (not all that far from Quebec which is the home of poutine), yet I never heard of it until I was in my late forties. There are fairs in northern Vermont where they serve it in the summer, and my son developed a love of it. What is more common around here is gravy fries which is in essence poutine without the cheese curds. Now you’ve got me thinking that poutine with mushroom gravy might make an excellent dish for the last week of Lent or even for a Friday sometime when my granddaughter is around (we do meatless Fridays all year long). Actually, I’m thinking poutine might be a great choice for dinner tonight, if I can just find the cheese curds…

  56. Autumn colors are my favorite, as well. But in this annoyingly, uncommonly looooong winter, I am craving light springy colors, which is so unlike me! I love your new yarn, and I hope you find something light and frothy to knit, because it reminds me of the colors of rainbow sherbet, which screams summer to me. 🙂
    Sending vibes for spring. . .

  57. Spring hasn’t spring here in south UK either, still cold and snowy (we almost never get snow at all let alone in March).
    I had never heard of Poutine, so now I’ve found out I feel the need to say cheese and gravy together? Sounds yuck! And fresh cheese curds and gravy (even veggy gravy) sounds pretty yuck too. Can I ask what the appeal is?

  58. Steph,
    Bill and I discovered poutine on our 25th anniversary train trip across Canada. If you could get it in California, I’d weigh even more than I do! Comfort food is what keeps us going in winter.

  59. Yes please, knit with the springcolours. I love earthy tones, but just now, give me springcolours please, those of crocus-es. Its 15 below zero Celsius! and the wind is biting factor 5. At least no snow just now and the sun is shining all day. Could someone find out where spring is hiding please and bring it where it belongs? Thank you.

  60. Poutine…still haven’t had it. It’s not on the menu in the PDX places I frequent. Waiting for it to pop up somewhere!
    Colors: I am suddenly in love with apple green, new leaf green, palest green…it must be spring because I am not usually a fan of green. Spring is here in PDX: rain, sun, hail, sun, rainbows, clouds, sun, cherry blossoms! Hope your spring arrives soon.

  61. It’s that time of year – we’re all starved for (bright) color. Thanks for reminding me why I am not paying any attention to my socks in progress. Off to find some spring yarn!

  62. Those colours are also completely not me but I love the heck out of them. After a long and dreary winter (albeit not a proper one, we got almost no snow and I’m sad to say I miss a proper dump), bright colours are essential. I’m probably going to buy something Eastery tomorrow at Yarn Party.

  63. I LOVE that yarn! I live in a warm climate, perpetual summer you could say, but that yarn still had my heart going pitter-patter with the promise of spring.

  64. This discussion is making me hungry. AND, we have a dairy near us where I can buy freshly made cheese curds. Poutine is on my menu as soon as I can get down there. I also made the mistake of looking at the online menu for Utopia–now I have to find/make up a recipe for the Mumahari dip. Roasted red peppers, pomegranate molasses and walnuts–yum!
    And the yarn. Now I want to ditch my sensible projects and cast on some pastels.

  65. Beautiful yarn! I know what you mean I had to break out some apricot yarn yesterday! I checked out the menu…I would not let the folks at Utopia know who you are either. Just enjoy the meals. That will be on my list of places to go when I am in Toronto next time.

  66. stunning happy smile-inducing colors. it looks like a sweet baby sitting in the suds too. yeah you.

  67. Here in Louisville, I have no clue what poutine is. I’m a vegetarian, too, though, so that sparked my interest. . .

  68. That’s gorgeous. While we do not have so much snow here in Delaware, we get a LOT of grey. And rain. And blah. So I like to believe that I understand. I had the same irrational feeling of joy when I walked into The Body Shop and the sales girl was burning the strawberry fragrance oil. It just smelled like spring and I grinned my fool face off.

  69. I’ve learned a new word today! Must see if I can work ‘poutine’ into a conversation.
    Am boggling at the idea of cheese and gravy. Sounds like something that just shouldn’t work, but then again who would have thought that goats cheese and honey would be the world’s best wrap filling? Love the spring coloured yarn!

  70. I’m feeling your pain…and your weather is much worse than ours has been here in eastern PA. We all need some spring and your newly plied yarn does the trick!
    And I am soooo excited because you are scheduled to come to my LYS May 6!!!!!!!

  71. I made some socks for my great niece last summer out of a yarn similar to your handspun. It made me smile every time I worked on it. It was a discontinued color which I had only bought enough for one pair of socks. I regret that I did not buy all the store had left.

  72. Apologies to all of you wanting green and no snow but I am ensconced in a ski condo with family plus my pocket wheel and fiber ( more than I will get thru but I am optimistic ) Here the sun is out in between storms so we r happy. This is my first year admitting that I am old enough to skip trashing my body on the slopes so am enjoying quiet during the day, walking down to the spa ( day pass much cheaper than ski passes), doing yoga, & spinning for hrs uninterrupted.

  73. Beautiful, bright, spring handspun! Lovely stuff!
    OK, I had never heard of poutine. Just watched a video on YouTube. Oh my! That looks amazing! I can feel my arteries hardening just watching the video. And yet, like you, I’d feel no guilt whatsoever for having indulged!
    Can’t wait to see the finished color affection. Still haven’t attempted it again. Tried three times, and couldn’t get a top edge that wasn’t incredibly tight. Even tried the yarn-over thing. Will try again someday.

  74. I love the spring colors!! bunnies, kittens, pony, 🙂 yes!! I meant to go into the yarn shop last week and buy practical grey yarn for a sweater and wound up walking out with perfect st Patrick’s day green merino + cashmere for a scarf. I could have resisted, but it’s green!! like spring!! and I can actually see myself pulling on a scarf in summer (that season when I’d like to pretend that I have no need for a sweater).

  75. Yep, I’ve never heard of poutine either. A slap in the face of a somewhat snobby foodie. So consider today also a victory for spreading Canadian culture far and wide.

  76. “The colours of tulips and flowers and grass and hope.” … such a perfect description for that lovely lovely lovely yarn.

  77. Every spring I find that I end up knitting my daughter something yellow. She looks wonderful in it and I feel good making it!

  78. I LOVE the colors of your Color Affection Shawl. It will be beautiful when it is finished. Love your spring colors too.
    A group of my friends are all doing Bernat’s Temperature Scarf. My husband is knitting one too. He is using the high temperature for the day. I am knitting mine using the low temperature for the day. We are both using fall colors. One of my friends is using more of the primary colors. My other is using spring pastel colors. Just like the Color Affection, it is exciting to see the progress of everyone’s color choices.
    Regarding Poutine, growing up in New Jersey, I never heard of this….so….I googled it. This looks YUMMY!!!!!! Now, I have had french fries with brown gravy on them, and I think that is awesome….so this would be even one step above that!

  79. I say finish Color Affection, and then put it away, where you will be sure to find it when fall approaches. Then you will see it, appreciate it for the lovely thing that it is, and **you won’t have to finish knitting it** before luxuriating in it.

  80. I keep looking at that shot of the yarn being soaked and the colors look good enough to eat. Starting to have images of rainbow sherbet floating in a punch bowl (not sure what the foamy stuff would be). yum.

  81. Knitting with grey in March.
    You know better.
    Back away…. Slowly…..

  82. Ooh! I’m guessing vegetarian poutine is mushroom-based, in a similar way to our veggie version of shepherd’s pie (which I have dubbed gardener’s pie)? Since I have never run across it (and since I have thus avoided poutine despite hearing laudatory things about it), my soul just jumped for joy a little bit. Thank you.

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