Last weekend I took a class from the college campus here in town (it's a little satellite campus of UAF and I LOVE it). It was called mitten sewing. For the low cost of $75, I was taught how to sew mittens from fur, was provided with ALL of the supplies to make a pair of mittens, and I went home with my own pair. $75 might not sound like a great deal, but to purchase a pair of fur gloves you'd be looking at spending between $200-$300. The costs of the supplies alone was easily twice the price of the class. I have been wanting to learn to sew fur since we moved to Alaska and have been wanting my own pair of mittens, so this was perfect.
We were each given one beaver pelt. The beaver would comprise the majority of our mitten. I photographed my beaver pelt, so we could have a before and after picture (see below). When sewing with furs you never (well usually never) use scissors because then you would end up giving your pelt an unintended hair cut. Instead you turn it skin side up and use a razor blade to cut just through the skin. The mittens used the majority of the beaver pelt. Although, they are rather large mittens.
We used deer leather for the palm of the mitten and felt to line the inside. We had the choice to use beaver or fox (cross fox or red fox) for the cuff of the mittens. I had a hard time deciding. After all I wanted them to look perfect. I ended up going with the red fox and I am really happy with how they turned out.
Overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out. I'd estimate that I spent about 10-13 hours making these. If I were to make another pair I think I could go faster now and I'd make them a little smaller. Now I just need to get a 4-wheeler or a snow-go to ride around in the winter so I have a reason to wear such warm gloves! It's too bad I didn't have them in Togiak with me when I was always exposed to the elements when on my vehicle.
Kaylee turned 11 months recently. I can't believe she is getting so close to one year. She has now ditched her helmet for good. Woo-hoo! Her parents are way more excited than she is. Snuggling is way more comfortable now. She is also busy, busy and moving around like crazy! It's like she suddenly realized that being able to crawl and pull herself to her feet meant she could explore the house. She's been keeping me on my toes.
I included a few pictures below that illustrate some fun things about her lately. First, she has been good at finding trouble. I peeked in on her one day when she was supposedly napping to find that she had pulled the clothes drying rack over and had several of Tim's shirts in the crib with her. Needless to say, I now always check the distance between the drying rack and her crib.
Kaylee loves to find places in the house that show her reflection like the oven and the bathtub faucet. She spends almost the entire time she's in the tub hovering over the faucet or banging on the bathroom walls.
Kaylee loves to look out the window. Unfortunately, all the windows at our house are 3+ feet off the floor, so she can't look at them without me holding her up. She never gets to look very long, because I get impatient. That's one nice thing about visiting our friends down the street. They have a sliding glass door and Kaylee can look outside all she wants without Mom's help.
Tim and I have recently discovered the German pancake and it has become a favorite breakfast. If you've never had one before you should try it. They are easy and fast to make (just allow 20 minutes cooking time) and yummy. If you're concerned about eating healthy, it doesn't have any sugar (until you sprinkle powdered sugar on the top and smother it in syrup), just egg, flour, and milk.
I know our last few posts were very Halloween centered, but I wanted to post a family picture of our costumes. Kaylee was a spider and Tim and I were webs. We spent Halloween night at the church. We had a potluck, lots of candy, homemade donuts,