I'm jetting off tomorrow morning at an ungodly hour for points north. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to be exact. It is 62.3 degrees north, 400 km south of the Arctic circle and about 1,500 km north of Edmonton, Alberta, which at 53 degrees is the furthest north I have been in Canada to date. I have been further north in the entire world, having in 2007 visited Iceland where one day we went to Hafsós which is at 65.9 degrees north, but that was in August. This is February. In Yellowknife (unlike Iceland which has an extraordinary and surprisingly moderate climate) it is frigidly cold at this time of year. The forecast is not filling me with abject dread - the coldest is -34 -on Thursday (wind chill -42) but daytime highs will be around -18 or so. This will give my fur-lined coat a good winter workout, without causing me to worry that my life will be at risk.
I am hoping to see glorious displays of the northern lights, or aurora borealis. This astonishing photo was taken at Yellowknife on February 5:
The garden variety northern lights are green only. But still...
I shall walk out onto the frozen surface of the lake near my hotel where it's dark, to see them better. Wearing fur on the inside.
Things to know about sewing fur:
- Little hairs will be everywhere, no matter what you do.
- You don't need seam or hem allowances.
- Mink is very light weight and the leather is extremely soft. However, you can give it incredible oomph with interfacing and lambswool padding.
- Glovers needles don't differentiate between "leather" and "skin". If you have bad hand-sewing habits, blood will be shed. Ask me how I know.
Once I'm in the NWT I'll get someone to take a picture of me in situ, and I'll post more info about sewing a fur coat.