Dillydally dreams and a knitting back story! Don't want to bore you with a novel here … so will try to keep this brief! In 1978 I spent some time in Norway … I left there with a dream. A dream to design and knit nordic sweaters.
After spending the summer of 1980 in Greenland and Iceland, I was inspired to make that dream a reality. Yep…33 years ago, I knit Mr. DillyDally an Icelandic sweater. I was so proud of myself … until he put it on! It was shaped to fit a gorilla … one that had arms of different lengths! He wore it proudly and I would cringe … I finally had to hide it from him! The second sweater was for me … not much improvement! That was when a friend lent me a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's book, Knitting without Tears… and my knitting was forever changed!
Fast forward to 1990 … yep, it took 10 years of trial and error … no internet and youtube to assist with my evolution as a knitter! These are the first two sweaters I designed successfully! I always made my children's sweaters a couple of sizes too large … so they would last for a while. My children wore them year round! They are stained and worn … I've kept them … I think the holes, snags and memories make them beautiful!
Many sweaters have been designed and knit since.
My knitting journey moved on to Nordic mittens … again years of trial and error …
… resulting in a process that allows me to design and knit mittens in any yarn, design and size! That freedom in knitting really is empowering! My knitting dillydally dreams had come true!
Many of you already know that in my "real" life I am a public school teacher. One of my favorite quotes comes from the book, The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. "Grandma says … that when you come on something that is good, first thing to do is to share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out to where no telling it will go." This quote reflects the heart of a teacher … we want to pass on all the good we have found.
Here in my remote corner of the world … we have the best yarn shop! Believe me … I visit yarn shops everywhere I travel and have yet to find one that can compare to The Net Loft! Shop owner, Dotty and I have been friends for nearly 30 years. She is a dear friend in multiple ways … and has been such an encouragement to me on my knitting journey! I have been teaching knitting classes in her shop for too many years to count! She has allowed me the opportunity to share all the good that I have discovered during my knitting pilgrimage!
Dotty has organized and is hosting an amazing event this summer … to be held right here in our remote corner of the planet! Global Knitting Rock Stars are coming to teach! Seriously … this event is off the charts! Registration began this week and the response has been wonderful! If you are a knitter, spinner or weaver and have wanted to visit this remote corner of the planet … do come! Check out the itinerary and teaching staff … then you'll understand why we locals are over the moon with excitement!
I am very humbled, honored and overwhelmed that Dotty has asked me to teach a mitten design and steeks class! I'm not convinced that I should be scheduled in alongside the Knitting Rock Stars! ;-) I had to provide her with a portrait to use in her publications! With an over abundance of giggles and shenanigans … this is what Mr. DillyDally and I came up with! Do you think we captured the dillydally spirit?
… I've been informally teaching a class using this pattern!
Terry is making two of the quilts at a time … one in green and the other in blue!
Sam is making the blue version for her mother!
I love how Sam kept her fussy cut snowflakes organized on top of her machine!
We finished up the last of the star blocks! Next is piecing the entire top … panel construction and piecing together the borders! Terry and Sam are both doing beautiful work! This really is a fun quilt … and twice as fun to do with friends!
Valerie dropped by to visit in the afternoon! She shared with us a Block of the Month she is working on! The blocks are beautiful!
She saw the sample and subscribed while we were on our Washington Shop Hop in June! Here is a picture of her in front of the shop. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside … but Valerie's quilt will be as or more beautiful than the shop's sample!
Hide n' Sneak Seek shennanigans continue here in DillyDallydom! I cannot share what Flicka and I have been working on … not even a teaser! It is a Secret Santa project we are doing in our guild so 007 procedures are being followed very closely! ;-) This truly is top secret!
We finally received a small bit of snow this past week … latest arrival in the 29 years we've lived here.
Sunrises (taken at 8:20 am) and …
… sunsets (taken at 4:30 pm) are beautiful this time of the year … when the weather is clear! ;-)
Flicka and I have spent a bit of time in the sewing room.
Her latest thing is playing "Hide n' Seek" while I'm sewing. I pretend to be surprised when I see her and she gets all excited!
I'm not sure which of us is the silliest! We do have fun!
I made a couple of table runners for the Guild's Annual Tea & Auction held last Sunday. This table runner was made from a panel that was part of a fat quarter pack. I neglected to take pics of the panel, but basically it was a group of squares and rectangles that could be pieced into placemats, a table runner and coasters.
After the table runner was pieced together … I felt the large squares were too boring plain …
… so I cut the coasters out and appliquéd them to the center of each square. Much better!
The second table runner was autumn themed. Very simple ... I had a tough time letting this one go. Would have liked to use this one in my own home. ;-) It was purchased by a friend, so that made it a lot easier! ;-) Isn't it funny how we sometimes get attached to the things we make?
I used the woolen pumpkins made in October to decorate the table.
But … what makes a table setting truly beautiful are the guests who fill the table with fun!
The guild sponsors two, 4-year scholarships every year. This Annual Tea & Auction allows us to maintain that commitment! If you would like to see all the projects and tables, visit our guild blog here and here!
Here Flicka is hiding behind my Ott Lite … such a silly kitty! Time in the sewing room has been very limited lately. I'm glad the auction forced me to get in there and make something!
Do what you love. Play Hide n' Seek! Do dillydally!
I grew up in northern Minnesota ... where it is all about the northwoods ... lake country.
It is deer season in Minnesota ... many childhood memories and family traditions come to the forefront of my thoughts this time of the year.
It was four years ago this week that my father passed away ... this is a picture of him with his trophy buck. How he loved to tell hunting stories! As young children, my siblings and I loved to listen to the men in our family retell their hunting adventures over and over again.
Dad and Uncle Mayvin - August 1991
My father's only brother, Mayvin is now in his nineties. He recently fell and required surgery. He is in a nursing home getting the rehab needed to help him return home. I want to be there ... to hold his hand ... to encourage him ... and to hear him tell me those hunting stories again.
Never underestimate the power of a good hot dish! Minnesotans understand this ... they are famous for them. In Minnesota, they are not referred to as casseroles ... they are "hot dishes"! In a proactive effort to soothe my homesickness ... I made Tator Tot Hotdish this week. Everyone seems to have their own version ... I made the one I grew up eating ... it was good ... not quite like my mothers ... but it helped. ;-)
The weather has been beautiful ...
... after work yesterday Kysa and I went for a walk. Nature and the company of a beloved pet began to replace the heaviness in my heart.
Mr. DillyDally gets the mail everyday before he comes home from work. Yesterday he came in the house and said, "You got a package today. It's from Minnesota." My response, "Really? I haven't ordered anything."
It was from a Sassy QBee of SE Minnesota!
It is so fun to open a package ... but an unexpected one is double the joy!
How cute! What a hoot! A wonderful owl pincushion made with fabric from the 2013 Minnesota Shop Hop! The picture at the beginning of this post is of Lake Itasca, located near my childhood home. And White Water State Park is located near where the Sassy QBees live! I love how both places are highlighted together on this gift! One day ... I will visit that park with my Sassy QBees!
A box filled with such treasure! The pincushion, a copy of their local paper, and a handwritten letter! Such thoughtfulness ... I was overwhelmed.
Take a close look. This was mailed several weeks ago. It should have arrived ... weeks ago. Under normal circumstances I would complain about poor postal service ... but there is nothing normal about this gift. You see ... I believe that God and His forces are actively at work in our lives. I didn't need to receive this random act of kindness weeks ago ... I needed it yesterday.
Such a blessing ... I embrace it with an open mind and heart. A reminder for me ... we all play a role in a much bigger plan. My rough week ... filled with heartache ... ends with a grateful heart.