It’s weekends like the one was just had that make me so, so glad that I’m a knitter. L and I, and our friends Sam and Carmen, went camping in almost-Northern Ontario (almost northern because we didn’t go as far as, say, Sudbury or North Bay, but were north of Barrie – this will mean nothing to you if you aren’t from around here, but if you’re curious about where we were, here it is on a map). Basically, it was far enough north to already be fall, which meant it was not exactly warm.
It rained for most of the first day, but it wasn’t too hard, and there were some breaks, and it was warm-ish rain, so none of us really minded. The temperature dropped quite a bit over night, though, and it can’t have been warmer than 8 Celsius the next morning (that’s about 45 Fahrenheit). It was cold and still overcast when we set out for our second site. By the time we got there (about an hour of canoeing) Carmen and I were freezing. It was quite windy and the site, while gorgeous, was very exposed. We set up a windscreen and put up the tents and then L and Sam (impervious to cold) went for an afternoon paddle while Carmen and I tried to warm up.
Luckily, I brought a lot of wool. In addition to a wool base layer, I brought four pairs of hand knit socks (one for each day and a fourth for sleeping – my sleeping bag is rated up to -25 Celsius, but I still need wool socks to keep my feet warm when then temperature drops to single digits); my Sweet Street shawl, which was lightweight and warm and wrapped snuggly around my neck twice, and was basically perfect; and a pair of Camp Out Fingerless Mitts that I decided I really needed about 36 hours before we left and finished in the car on the way there – I will never go camping without a pair of these mitts again.
I was in a rush when I cast on and didn’t read the instructions properly (what is it about simple-looking patterns that makes me think I don’t have to read the directions?). Anyway, I cast on nearly three-times as many stitches as necessary for the cuffs that go around the fingers. This part is knit sideways, though, so they didn’t end to too big, just very long. I was a little annoyed about this (I only had a few hours to knit these and three times as many stitches means three times as long) but when I put them on I realized it was one of those happy accidents. At full-length, they were kind of like open-ended mittens, which made them warm while still giving me the full use of my hands.
Rolled-down, they were the perfect fingerless-mitts height, and also doubly warm around my palm. That easy convertibility meant I basically didn’t take them off for three days. They’re a bit felted now (I wore them while paddling) and could use a good wash, but they were exactly what I needed and I’m already planning to knit another pair with a couple of other mods (the main one being to pick up stitches around the thumb and knit three or four garter ridges up, since my thumb did get a little chilly).
Our last day, yesterday, was absolutely gorgeous. It was that perfect fall day when the sky is a deep, endless blue, and the wind is low so the water is just slightly rippled, like antique glass. It was warm in the sun and our paddle out was perfect. It’s the kind of weather you hope for, and I’m glad we got at least one day of it; even if it was our shortest, it was the perfect way to end the weekend.
Pattern: Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by tante ehm
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ in Lake Chelan Heather (shade #9451) from my stash
Mods: Mainly just casting on too many stitches initially. I also shortened the hands/arms because I was in a hurry, and added four rows of 1×1 rib to the bottom. When I knit the next pair, I’ll add a couple of garter ridges to the top so I can pick up a few more stitches for the hand. I’ll also knit up the thumb a bit and, before the bottom ribbing, I’ll cast on a few stitches just to make the bottom a little stretchier. I pulled these on just fine, but even with a loose cast-off, they were tight coming over my hands. I’d probably knit them longer too. Ravelled here.
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? I brought my Skyp socks with me, but didn’t manage to knit more than a few rows while we were camping (and a few inches in the car on the way home).