Purls of Wisdom

I know that I’ve mentioned this in passing before, but I’m going to go into a bit more detail now. Something that I love to do to pass the time on trip is knitting. If you can knit, than this is the perfect project to take with you. Books are great, but they’re heavy and you can burn through one in a couple of days. Knitting is better and you get something cool at the end! I name each of my pieces after the parks that they were created in.

My suggestion to save space and weight is to choose a project that uses either lace weight or fingering weight yarn. A full 400yd ball of yarn easily fits in the palm of my freakishly small hand and even if you are knitting a flat piece, circular needles take up far less room than straights and I’ve never bent a set in my pack. So, fine yarn and small needles…check!

I tend to choose accessories rather than sweaters to knit because after the initial set-up, you rarely have to count stitches or keep close track of rows. While knitting a sweater or a large scarf can take an equal amount of time, keeping track of shaping is a pain when you’ve got no pen, project book, or even a chair! Yes you can easily bring these things on a car camping trip, but our backcountry adventures require us to leave anything superfluous at home.

This time around, I’m going to be knitting a shawl. I love shawls. I rarely wear them, but I appreciate the fine work, the drape of the finished fabric and the complexity of the patterns. Of course I’ve chosen a very simple pattern for this shawl because I really don’t want to be trying to do a complicated lace pattern balanced on a log and counting on my fingers and toes!

I’ve been trolling my favourite knitting site, Ravelry and came up with a great one. It’s called the Crocus Shawlette. Even though it’s a small shawl, I will be using lace weight yarn and will need about 800yds of it to finish…that ought to keep me plenty busy. It has a garter stitch edge, stocking stitch body and simple lace border.

So the next time you are planning and packing for a trip, make a stop at your local yarn shop and stock up on 100g of backcountry entertainment! And maybe you can name that next project after me πŸ˜‰


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by beechcreekproject on July 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    My wife made me a shawl recently for me to wear during hiking and biking this winter. I’m no knitter myself but I have done some cross stitching in the past. I’ll just stick to reading a book. I read so slow that I have no problem making one last a while. πŸ™‚


  2. Pretty! And blocking on a canoe, I’m so impressed!


    • Yes! Thank you…that pretty little number had, I can’t remember how many hundreds of stitches, picked up along it’s edge and a very subtle wavy border added πŸ™‚


      • Posted by juliet on July 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM

        I love socks for the trail… or the plane. They’re so mindless once you’ve knit a few pairs.

  3. you’re so skilled! I’d have to bring a “how to” book with me and some pictures to remind me of how to do it all. Such a great hobby though!


  4. Posted by Michelle on August 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I wish I could knit as well as you, I can only make scarfs and dish cloths, lol. You should make these next, they would be nice on a camp when you want to keep you hands warm but your fingers free http://www.lushlee.com/2009/05/wrist-warmers/


    • Oh Michelle it’s so easy to go from scarf to sweater, I promise! Especially with YouTube tutorials to erase the mystery. Those wrist warmers are super cute. It just so happens that some gorgeous yarn followed me home from the store yesterday, so…


  5. Haaaa this is great …My wife is always knitting something on our road trips and camping excursions… although she is often distracted from her co-pilot duties the whole family benefits. Most recently with winter hats! Thank you for sharing.


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