Monday, September 17, 2018

Sweater Weather!

Gosh ... where did summer go?  Actually, here in my remote corner of the planet, we all agree that summer didn't really happen in 2018!
June 2018 
It truly was a cool and very wet summer ... but I remind myself that is to be expected!  In other words ... "it comes with the territory"! When you consider our longitude and latitude ... add to that our location on the north end of the Pacific Ocean ... yep, we can expect cool and wet summers! 😃
But ... here is the good news!  First ... we enjoy sweater weather year round!  Second ... we wear wool year round!  After the Fiber & Friends event in June (you can see my recap here) The Net Loft sponsored a local Hand Knit Show!
I feel so fortunate ... I am surrounded by many talented knitters!  I have known many for 30+ years and some for their entire life!
The truth is that we have evolved as a community of knitters because of our local yarn shop, The Net Loft!  Before the internet, youtube, instagram, etc ... she brought the knitting world to us!  Initially her shop was only open in the summer, as she lived in California.  She would take classes and attend knitting events during the winter and then share those resources with us in the summer months while her husband commercial fished in Prince William Sound.  Our community proves the importance of supporting your local shop!
Here are the items I had on display at this event.  This is a Nordic influenced sweater that I designed and knit for my daughter in 2011.  You will find the back story here and here ... I love looking back.
I patterned it after traditional designs found hand painted on historical household items in both Sweden and Norway.  She lives in southern California where there is little opportunity to wear it!  But she does wear it when visiting!
A few pairs of mitts ... I love designing and knitting all types of mitts.
This is the Viking Gansey that I designed for my son.  This journey began in 2015 (details here) ... Beth is an amazing designer/instructor ... I was so excited to begin!  At the time, I was dealing with extreme chronic pain ... it was so intense that I truly was living on Advil.  When a person is coping with that amount of pain ... it takes over your entire life.  I was unable to make much progress that winter ... chronic pain truly is debilitating!  We had all hoped to have our gansey's finished by the 2016 Fiber & Friends event ... but as you can see in this post, I had not gotten far.  At the 2016 event, I was in recovery from a total knee replacement six weeks prior.  The pain before surgery and the post surgery meds made it impossible to knit much!
I remember waking one morning ... six months after the surgery ... without pain!  It was life changing ... it had been years!  Gradually my original personality began to reemerge (as declared by Mr. DD) ... and this spring I felt truly like myself ... and can live and function like intended!  It had become a three year journey ... I was committed to finish this Viking Gansey!
With the body done and a start on the first sleeve, I had Brother try it on to determine sleeve length. This photo was taken at a family picnic in late May.
I took this sweater with me everywhere in my efforts to have it done by Fiber & Friends 2018!  First sleeve is nearly done in this photo!
Second sleeve started, and nearly out of yarn on this cone ... after three years I had to dig deep to find the remaining cone!
Two days before the event ... I decide to rip out the bottom edge.  I could tell that Brother wasn't really happy with it ... he preferred a rib stitch over the traditional gainsay edge!  I want him to wear it ... so he needed to like it ... so I reknit it.
I finished it at 3:00 am Friday morning ... with luck it would be dry by Saturday night for Brother to model it!  Whew!  It was a bit damp ... Brother was a great sport ... he looked so handsome in it!
Omgosh!  I still ... three months later ... have not come down from the personal high of finishing this viking themed gansey!  So much about my journey and my hopes for my son are knit into every stitch!  Next I need to finally get a few photos of him wearing it!  And because he lives here ... he will be able to wear it year round!

Do what you love! Embrace sweater weather!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Our "Uff Da" Cabin!

I often refer to where we live as "my remote corner of the planet" ... I justify that because in order to travel to Cordova, you have to come by plane or boat.  Twenty-nine years ago, we purchased a small, one room cabin at the mouth of the Eyak River!  May through October, we would spend nearly every weekend there ... every weekend was a mini-vacation!  We named our cabin "Uff Da" ... reflecting our Scandinavian heritage and that this little piece of heaven on earth was a place to relax as a family.  It makes me chuckle to think we needed an even more remote place!  Too funny!

Until recently, it has been two years since we had been there!  Crazy!  During the summer of 2016, I was recovering from knee replacement surgery and last summer our lives were turned upside down with the passing of my mother-in-law!  All excuses aside ... I have been anxious for us to resume our cabin life!

Travel to the Cabin
The boat landing is only 6 miles out of town.  Once the boat is in the water, it is a 20 minute boat ride to our cabin.
It is a beautiful trip!  Even poor weather doesn't usually prevent us from going ... we just dress for it!
There are a total of 10 cabins in the area ... only a few are used regularly!

Cabin Conditions
I didn't go on the first trip down river, as I had other commitments.  Of course we expected it to be over grown, but it was still shocking!  It was difficult to find the stairs leading up to the deck!
The grass was 3-4 feet high and willows had sprouted everywhere!  The first priority was reclaiming where we tie up the boat and climb the river bank ...
... as well as cutting down brush and creating a path to the cabin.  Brother, Girlfriend and Mr. DD spent several hours at the task!  They accomplished a lot!  Uff Da!
Mr. and I returned the following Saturday to continue reclaiming the yard!
New alders were cut down before they took over and we lost any more of our view!
Awe ... that looks better!
We made more great progress that day ...
... but, oh my, there was so much more to do!  Uff Da!
Nissa loves it at the cabin ... she is the sixth family dog to spend time here!
Running around like a crazy retriever ... wearing a black fur coat ... makes for a very hot pup!  Fortunately there are ponds directly behind the cabin, as well as shade from a few large trees!
On Sunday ... Brother, Girlfriend and Ari joined us! I loved how Nissa immediately knew Ari was on the boat!  Look at Ari!  I was afraid she was going to jump and swim to meet Nissa!  They are the cutest!  Uff Da!
Brother replaced the chimney stack ...
... which was no simple task! Uff Da!
Our cabin is extremely rustic ... no electricity, no plumbing, no modern conveniences ... but wonderful in every way!
Look at the progress Girlfriend and I made on the yard! We really appreciate the assistance Brother and Girlfriend ... we couldn't do it without them!
Last weekend, Mr and I returned to finish the yard!  Omgosh ... I felt like we were pioneers clearing the land!  Uff Da!
I love this view!  Uff Da ... it is beautiful!
Now that the yard had been reclaimed, it was time to cut back some of the brush along the river bank!
That looks better!  There is still more to thin out, but we like to keep some as it helps prevent the river bank from eroding.  It took us a total of three weekends to reclaim the yard and repair the chimney!  And there is more to be done!  Uff Da!

Traveling Back to the Landing
We have had nearly three weeks of beautiful weather!
It has made the work on the cabin easier and the ride to and from enjoyable!
Uff Da!

Nissa's Boat Ride
Be. Still. My. Heart!  The cuteness kills me!  This is a photo of Nissa's first boat ride in 2015!  Ten pounds of sweetness! That puppy face looking to me for reassurance that she would be safe.
Three years later ... 75 pounds of sweetness.  She is still a bit unsure about the boat ride, but understands that it means going to the cabin!

Eventually all the work that needs to be done will get accomplished!  Then we can relax and enjoy cabin life again!  I guess we unknowingly knew what we were doing 29 years ago when we named our cabin! 😊 Uff Da!  I love our remote cabin life ... it is a special place for us!

Do what you love!  Uff Da!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Meet Mr. Nutty!

It is a pleasure to introduce a new friend here in DillyDallydom ...
... Mr. Nutty!  Mr. Nutty is a "notion keeper"!  It is his responsibility to assist me in keeping my projects organized!  My goodness ... I have needed a Mr. Nutty in my silly dillydally life!
Mr. Nutty is the creation of Kathy Schmitz.  Kathy is an incredible artist! Her designs are filled with whimsy and a gentle cheerfulness ... a true reflection of her!
Kathy was one of the instructors at the Martingale/Moda Quiltstock event I attended in July.
Each instructor had samples of their work on display ... Kathy's were so inspiring!  Her class was the first on my schedule ... such a lovely way to begin an event of this size.  Having traveled there alone and having just met the people at my table and in my group, hand embroidery allowed everyone to get to know one another while we were learning together!
Such a wonderful way to begin the first day of classes!
When given the supply list in June, I chose to purchase the kit for this project.  Kathy created the kits herself!  She hand traced the embroidery design in every kit ... OMGOSH! ... I cannot imagine the time that took!  She also prepared the finishing items essential to the project!  All her efforts made the class run smoothly for everyone ... both beginners and those experienced with hand embroidery!
Kathy's instructions and demonstrations were clear and easy to follow.  Her soft spoken personality put everyone at ease, and any struggles were easily addressed. 
Long time followers know that I have enjoyed hand embroidery since my childhood.  I learned so much from Kathy and added a few new stitches and techniques to my embroidery skill list!  The only complaints about the class came when it ended!  It was a half day class and we all wanted to extend our time with both Kathy and Mr. Nutty!
Once home, I gradually made progress on Mr. Nutty!  I decided to give him a green sweater ...
... and matching hat!
With the embroidery done ... time to layer him with batting and begin hand quilting!
It has been some time since I did any hand quilting ... it was enjoyable on a project of this size!
I neglected to take photos of sewing the pockets to the front.  But it was an easy task and well explained in the book!  Flicka finally showed some interest in Mr. Nutty when I began to tack on the cording for the edge.
Yep ... I am convinced Flicka wanted to get her paws on that cording!  She restrained herself, but it was difficult!  I assured her that only the strongest of kitties can resist that kind of temptation!  Kathy had made the cording using embroidery floss and included it in her kits!  Again ... I can only imagine the time that took!  Having that prepared made finishing this project so much easier!
The kit included a button for the closure, but I decided to raid my stash of antique buttons!  It was fun to dig through my big jar and I pulled several for consideration.
I auditioned them all ... the two finalists were this green one ...
... and the brown four-leaf looking one from the card!
And the winner is .... the brown!  I loved its unusual shape!  It is just so unique!
Mr. Nutty voted for this one as well ... by raising his needle in approval!  I loved the interesting way it had to be sewn on ... as it doesn't have holes or a shank.  It was fortunate to have it still on the card ... that way I knew how to apply it! 😁 Too fun!
Yep ... I'm very pleased with the result!
Mr. Nutty is fully assembled and ready to get to work!  Like squirrels everywhere, he is happiest when busy!  Yep ... he is a dillydallier!

Be. Still. My. DillyDally. Heart! 💖 Meet Kathy's community of "Kind & Gentle Soft Toys"!  I immediately fell in love with them!
Sew ... of course I purchased them ... all ten!
I will build my village by beginning with the bears!
I picked through my fabric stash ... pulled out the colors of floss I plan to use ... and last I added needles and a scissor!
All notions for this project are secured safely in one place!  Love this notion keeper already!
I live in Alaska ... sew ... of course the bears who live with me are brown bears!
Oh the adventures Mr. Nutty and I will have here in DillyDallydom!  Thank you Kathy!  You and your talent are a blessing in my dillydally life!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally