Camping and Knitting

My wife loves camping. She loves camping as much as I love being inside.

Sadly, my enthusiasm for camping is on par with my enthusiasm for nude saunas with relatives. (Sorry for those that shuddered through this joke on Facebook.)


I shan’t post pics of me in a sauna. Here’s me trying to drum up a smile for camping.

However, it was my wife’s birthday and I thought I would get something special for her. I could have bought her flowers, but I still can’t bring myself to buy an object that dies in two weeks as a symbol of my love. And thus, I offered to go camping.

As I mentioned, my wife loves camping. She goes off north with the children and I get to stay home and play video games and invite people over to my house. This is a fair and preferable arrangement.

I have not camped for almost 12 years. If you remember from my post on Jeanette’s blog, and my previous post on beaches, I am not one for things like outside, nature, and skills to survive an apocalypse.


I’m either learning puppetry or dancing. Regardless of what I’m doing, rest assured it’s wrong.

My in-laws bought us the above tent as a wedding present, unawares their future son-in-law was incompetent with all things wilderness.

Anyway, I want my wife to be happy. She deserves it. And this would be the optimal time for me to camp, with no bugs and no heat! That decreases camping nastiness down 70%!

So this past Saturday, after finding someone willing to look after our kids over night, we drove out to some national park only thirty minutes away from the city! We set up the tent and then hit the beach. That means beach knitting for me!


My wife loves the panorama feature on my camera.

And the best part of the beach? I didn’t have to swim! Huzzah! I could sit and knit. Eventually it got really cold and I had to put the blanket over my shoulders.

Reading this you may believe I am probably the most non-fun person ever to bring to the beach. And you’d be right. If you have a ribfest? Bring me. If it’s a beach, don’t bother. And if that’s too difficult to remember, just think, Errol in swimwear is not a pleasant sight to behold.


Here I attempt knitting artistry.

As you know, I’m trying to knit a Totoro. I’ve been working on the same Totoro for the last month. At first, I tried 3.0mm DPNs. I didn’t like it. There was too much space between the yarn. I was almost done too. So I completely frogged it, and started again from scratch with 2.0mm DPNs.

I knitted to almost halfway done. Then I realized I had forgotten to put the tail on it.


So, I frogged yet again. On that very beach, I began the process once more. By the time we were ready for supper, I had finished the above. As you can tell, I’m not a very fast knitter.

By evening, I was working on the tail, but then it got dark! It’s hard to knit in the dark! I thought I could knit by the campfire, but no matter what position I turned, I could barely see.


This photo is misleading. Our flash is just that bright.

Fortunately, I had internet on my phone to keep me busy! Huzzah! I wasn’t expecting to have any cell service, so imagine my delight that I could still be connected to civilization! Not only did I give everyone on facebook an hourly update on my status, I was able to send them pictures! Technology!

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 6.42.00 PM

Most of the comments were from people mocking me for my lack of survival skills.

We went to bed early soon after. With no light and no electricity to charge my phone which was at 20%, there really wasn’t anything to do.

The next morning was bacon! And eggs! And Irish potato bread (or fadge as my wife’s calls it. It’s mashed potatoes fried into a flat dough and then refried in bacon grease!) There was much rejoicing and eating.


This is an old Totoro I had found in my knitting case. He is happy beside bacon. I am happy beside bacon!

And then horror struck.

I had realized what I had knitted was too big for the shaker. I am doing this pattern by trial and error. Most of it is error, as you can surmise by the amount of times I’m restarting this stupid thing.

So yes, I had to completely start over again. Why not just go back to when I had less stitches? Ok, I did that actually. I went back to about 10 stitches on each DPN, from 30 stitches on each DPN. But for some reason, maybe because I’m a moron, I started to knit again and it was backwards. It was the garter stitch on the wrong side. And I don’t know how I did that. I frogged back three more rows to try again, and then eventually just scrapped the whole thing. Time to start from the beginning AGAIN!


It doesn’t look like much, but considering all I do is unravel it, it does get disheartening after awhile.

We went to the beach afterwards. Just her and me, on our blanket, with an overcast sky, the wind and waves fighting for noise supremacy.

And us knitting.

I think she had a good birthday.

I know I enjoyed it.

(Except for maybe the night time where sleeping resembled more of not sleeping than sleeping.)

And now the weekend is over. Here is me in a tree. I conquered it. And I conquered camping. I hope to never do it again.


I do like tree climbing. This wasn’t very high though. I think I ate too much bacon that morning.

I jest about never camping again. Without heat, bugs and humidity making it the living death sentence it normally is, I was able to enjoy it. And I got to spend some alone time with my wife. That is AWESOME!

Some people state that this camping is not real camping or perhaps cheating. It makes me wonder, what on earth do they think I’m competing for?

I’m a geek MAN that KNITS.

If there were some testosterone battle that I unwittingly signed up for, I’m pretty sure I was disqualified once I got a hold of DPN’s and knitted cute, stuffed Totoros.


I have a number of female friends. None of their boyfriends have an iota of worry.


After the success of this trip, my wife’s planning on another one next month.

But this time with children.

I don’t know if I can take that…

About Errol

Creative Geek

Posted on September 16, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love this blog post more than I can say.

  2. I went camping a lot growing up, and we may start going with our kids now and then too. The type of camping we always did and will always do is going to a national or state park with camp sites and fire rings, setting up a tent or at best a pop-up camper, and having food in a cooler. I’ve never felt like I was cheating. If I wanted hardship, I’d….well, I would never want hardship more than what I don’t have a choice in. I’m fine with that kind of camping.

  3. Someone should talk your girls into getting you to climb all the trees.

    I just had an image of you with a tiny tree and tiny Totoros hanging all over said tree… Christmas Totoros? Scary thought.

  1. Pingback: My Neighbour Errol: Nature | Thoughts from the Test Chamber

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