Friday, October 24, 2014

Foo-Whee Mittens

November 1985
Sister DillyDally has always loved the outdoors.  Here she is age two ... trout fishing with her Papa ... and NOT wearing any mittens or boots!  We were not negligent parents ... like all parents, we had to choose our battles!  When she finally got cold enough ... then she would put them on.
December 1986
She loved playing in the snow ... then she would willingly wear mittens and boots!  It was during her toddler years that I began to attempt knitting mittens.  Friends and I were testing out a knitting technique referred as "Fleece-Stuffed" mittens.
December 1986
It is a process whereby you knit in "tufts" of unspun fleece ... resulting in soft, warm and fluffy mitts that keep your hands super toasty.  In our home, we called them furry mittens.  Sister couldn't enunciate her "R"s, so she referred to them a Foo-Whee mittens!  So of course, we have called them that ever since!
December 1986
One day while folding laundry, I heard Sister playing in the living room.  She kept repeating foo-whee ... over and over again with great excitement!  When I returned, I found her sitting on the floor ... surrounded by multiple tufts of fleece!  She had pulled out every tuft I had knit in!  Yep ... that knitting technique was put on the shelf until those little hands had become adult size!  It was so cute ... and she was having such fun ... of course I didn't scold her!  I wanted her to associate only warm feelings with knitting ... but all knitting was carefully kept out of reach from then on!

Recently, a friend asked me about teaching that technique.  So I've been busy tweaking it so that it can be successfully knit using any gauge.  It has been fun and also brought back many wonderful memories of my early knitting and parenting adventures!
  Here is a Foo-Whee mitten having a hiccup!  This is so fun!
Second mitten nearly done!
Foo-Whee mitten having a bad hair day!  You cannot knit these mittens with out getting a serious case of the giggles!
One pair of Foo-Whee mittens ... the knitting is done!
Time for a Foo-Whee bubble bath!
Wool is always happiest after a 20 minute soak!
Blocked and drying comfortably!  In the near future they will be traveling to Orofino, Idaho!
I'm so excited ... I have been invited to travel along!  Yep, I get to teach a Foo-Whee mitten class in Idaho!  It has all come together in the last few days, so I don't have many details yet.  But I do know this ... I cannot wait to dillydally with new friends in Idaho!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, October 20, 2014

Polka-Dot Love

Mother Nature loves polka-dots ... so do I.
June 14, 2014
My love affair with polka-dots began when I was seven.  My mother had made my sister (she was age two at the time) and I matching Easter dresses from a lavender dotted swiss fabric.  The dots were a deep purple ... oh, how I loved to rub my fingers gently across those fuzzy little dots.  I have been in love with polka-dots ever since ... yep, I've always thought they were cool!
The first shop I visited in Seattle last summer had a huge display of polka-dot fabric!  It was a little slice of heaven here on earth!  They were in every size and color.  Because it was the first stop on our mini shop hop ... I was being conservative ... I know, big mistake ... you'll understand later in this post.
I went against my norm and bought fabric with a pattern ... here are the two chain fabrics and border ...
... this is the pattern I intended to use ... it determined the yardage I purchased.  Don't get me wrong, I still like this pattern ... and it would have been fine.  Those dillydally winds were blowing me in another direction.
Love the string of pearls fabric ... wish I had bought it in every color!  Dang it!  Obviously I wasn't using my dillydally brain or philosophy! ;-)
Time passes ... and I decide that I like this pattern better for the intended purpose.  Fortunately I didn't act on that decision right away!
Because ... all plans were halted when I came across this pattern on The Moda Bake Shop.  It is called Simply Woven and was designed by Jessica Kelly!  You can find the "recipe" here!  This pattern is designed for "jelly rolls" ... so yes ... with the yardage I had , there was some serious tweaking!
After cutting strips ... there was very little fabric left.  And there was literally no background fabric remaining!
I had to get 16 blocks from the yardage available ... talk about pressure ... my Supervisor watched every stitch ... there was no room for error.  Yikes!
These blocks were so much fun!  Do check out the technique I linked to earlier!  I will be making this again!
Whew!  We got 16 blocks!  Happy dancing in DillyDallydom!
Blocks were labeled and ready to piece into a top!
This is a gift for a sweet little girl, so the Quality Control Officer ran a few tests.  It is possible to successfully wash your face while on this quilt.
It passed the back scratching test.
The rollover quality was exceptional!
But what really sets this quilt apart ... the "Will it slide across the floor?" test ... it passed with flying colors polka-dots.
Yardage for the border worked out well ... the only piece of fabric where I had some to spare.
Apparently machine quilting is interrupting my supervisor's napping schedule.
"Since being in the traffic lane didn't stop the quilting process, I'll use my sense of superiority and just lay on top of the quilt!"
"Good!  The phone rang!  Now I can really make myself comfortable!  I'll only leave this spot if she offers me kitty treats."  Yep ... she's the supervisor and I am well trained! ;-)  When in Anchorage, I found this yellow polka-dot flannel for the backing.  There is no yellow on the quilt top ... but I love yellow ... so there you have it!
Coming up with binding was the real struggle.  I didn't have enough leftovers for even a scrappy binding!  So I hit the stash and auditioned several pieces that were large enough.  Yep ... Flicka weighed in on the decision-making process ... of course!
We felt the pink floral centers resembled polka-dots and the green was a good color match.
I chose to quilt it "stitch in the ditch" to accentuate the woven look of the piecing!  I like the way it looks on both sides.
I think it all works together well!  And it is Flicka approved!
It is such a happy quilt ... I love it!
And it was made for this happy little girl ... because I love her too!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lesson Learned!

Yesterday I learned a very valuable dillydally lesson!
Because I hadn't accomplished any chores the day before ... Kysa and I left a bit early and went to our usual walking location on Eyak Lake.
What a wonderful morning ... the sun just beginning to hit Power Creek Road.
Notice that the lake has become clear and normal in color  again ... because it is cooler, the glacial melt has slowed and there is less glacier silt in the lake.
The spruce trees are wearing their bronze crowns ... you may have noticed in recent photos that the evergreens appeared somewhat golden.  The cones really do affect the color of the landscape this time of year.
I'm always amazed at how many cones a single tree produces!
Kysa and I found a bit of frost ... first of the season for us.  A spot the sun hadn't hit yet!

A beautiful morning ... cold in the shade ... warm in the sun!  Absolutely wonderful!

But ... we couldn't linger long!  That long list of "have to's" was waiting for me!  We jumped in the car and headed for home.

Life had other plans ... the road crew was putting in new culverts ... we could not cross until the job was finished ... in a couple hours!
I quickly assessed our situation:

  • We were warm and dry.
  • We were not starving.
  • I had my cell phone for emergencies.
  • I had coffee and Kysa had access to fresh water, we would not die of thirst.
  • I had a very comfortable lawn chair in the car.
Things were looking pretty good ... we could relax on the lakeshore while we waited for the road crew to finish their work.  Except ... I was missing one very important fact ...
  • I did not have handwork with me!

There is no way on earth that I could just sit and wait that long ... I would make myself crazy!  You have to understand that I am famous for dragging some sort of handwork with me everywhere I go ... yep, friends and family often make fun of me for that dillydally trait!  However, I don't normally bring anything along on our walks!  Lesson learned!
I parked the car ... Kysa and I walked the shoreline to avoid the road crew ... and Mr. DillyDally came to the rescue and took us home.  See that piece of shore that juts out into the lake ... that is the beach where I could have happily spent two hours dillydallying!

Yep ... I will never leave the house without handwork again!  Who knows?  Next time I could end up marooned in the grocery store ... the possibilities appear to be endless in this very silly dillydally life of mine!

Do what you love.  Always have handwork in tow!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Perfect Dillydally Day!

The day began with good intentions ... this morning Flicka and I made a list of all that needed to be accomplished.  After two full weeks of substitute teaching, I am far behind in my household and dillydally obligations.
Well ... the rain and clouds moved on ... and I just had to get outdoors!
Can you spot Mr. & Mrs. Eagle in the trees?  They were enjoying the warm sun and beautiful scenery too.
Sheridan glacier ...
... the ice is a striking contrast to the golden foliage.
Of course I brought Kysa and my knitting along.
Alaganak River provides a beautiful view while knitting.
Kysa and I took a very long walk.
She even stopped to enjoy the view today!
There are a few leaves left on the willows ...
... their bright yellow leaves act like specs of glitter in the landscape.  Love that.
Kysa's fur is fluffing up ... preparing for winter.  Love my walking partner!
More yellow and golden goodness.  We walked for over a hour ... soaking in as much as possible!
More knitting while having a snack.
Kysa ... enjoying a doggie treat ... the view ... and the sun.
On the way home ...
we saw Mr. and Mrs. Trumpeter Swan enjoying a family outing with their four cygnets.
Once home ... we took pleasure in the view from the front deck.
Mr. Blue Heron dropped by for a snack.
To end this perfect dillydally day, Mother Nature gifted us with with a gorgeous sunset.
The list that Flicka and I developed this morning?  It is still here ... waiting.  We'll tackle some of it tomorrow ... maybe ... ;-) !

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally