Blocking Knitted Items in Bon Echo

A few weeks ago we took our first camping trip of the year. Early May can be cold, and the greenery is only starting to wake up, but it is my favourite time of year to camp, next to September. There are no bugs and the other campers (if any) are quiet. The cold is comfortable, because it is easily fended off with hand-knit sweaters, a good hike, and a decent fire.

This year’s opening trip was to Bon Echo Provincial Park. We camped on the shores of Lake Mazinaw – the deepest lake in the province, aside from the great lakes.

It rained most of the weekend, but it was a nice rain.  The gentle intermittent kind that keeps the sky interesting, but isn’t wet enough for us to need rain gear.  Just look at that sky!

The lake was so still and clear that we regretted not bringing the canoe this time.

If we’d had the canoe, we could have crossed the lake to see these cliff faces up close.  There are at least 2 amazing things about these rock walls.

One – if you canoe/kayak up close, you can actually see the ancient native pictographs drawn in red ochre.

Two – See those cedars and conifers growing from the sheer rock face?  They are at least a thousand years old!  Growing from a crack in a rock on minimal nourishment keeps them small but tough.  There is almost nothing I love more than an ancient stalwart conifer growing from a granite face.  I have hundreds of pictures of these stoic plants, all over Canada.

On the subject of conifers, there were plenty of gorgeous specimens growing from interesting places.

Aside from a nice hike around the shores of the lake, and a lot of eating… I managed to complete a knitting project.

Knit mostly by the fire, these are fingerless mittens are made from yarn that my mom spun.  It is hand-dyed BFL/Tussah silk, and they are just beautiful.

I knit them on 2mm needles to keep the fabric dense and warm.  You can see all of the project details here.  I had previously knit a hat from the same yarn, which I lined with leftover sock yarn.

I wore that hat all weekend – even to bed.

When I finished the mitts, needless to say, I had to block them.  So I blocked them in the lake, here:

As you can see, I’m still wearing the matching hat:) and wearing my Frangipani Lochinver gansey.  An excellent, durable, warm, camping sweater.

To dry them, I placed them “almost” in the fire.  You wouldn’t believe how hot that fire was.  You could literally see the steam coming out of the mitts, even at the distance shown below.

By Sunday morning, the sun suddenly emerged.

So we had a our coffee and toast by the lake.  (Or at the mitten-blocking spot, as I now call it.)

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