Friday, May 27, 2011

Creative Friday

This weekend we are taking our first family camping trip. So we spent a lot of time this week preparing for it. I am used to pack everything into one backpack style camping, so there was a lot of thought switching going on this week for me. We are going with a group of people who we don't really know and there is a Walmart like 20 minutes from where we will be in tents.
Weird to me. Also it is very much group camping; where everyone is feeding everyone, so I am filled with a lot of food based anxiety. I like to camp cook, and I like knowing what we will be eating, and how much. So to have the food in someone else's hands makes me really uncomfortable. And I am not saying I can't exist on hotdogs and hamburgers all weekend, cause I could very easily, it really comes down to knowing if there will be enough for all to eat their fill.

So we spent this week preparing some meals to bring along. I put our jars to good use! So far we have packed pancake mix, granola, eggs, pasta, rice (do you know the trick of making your pasta then saving the water to make rice?), chili, frozen cookie dough, fruit leather and dried fruit. I packed everything into canning jars or ziplocks and then packed them into the bottom section of a cooler pack.

But what I really wanted to talk about is our fire starters and jar cozies. There is nothing I love more than having a cup of tea in front of a campfire (ok maybe I like s'mores better), what I don't love is lugging a tom of stuff with us camping (I am already getting annoyed that we are bringing a heavy air mattress, but I want my husband to go camping again) so as I packed our stuff into canning jars I knitted little cozies for them, complete with handles to hang from a daypack.
It is a simple design (and so many lovely ones exist on Ravalry) because I didn't have time to get fancy.

Cast on 18 for a jelly jar cozy
knit 2 rows then switch to stockinette until it can stretch around the jar.
Pick up your cast on edge and cast off both the working stitches and cast on edge. I am sure there is a term for this but what I did was knit one from working side, slip the cast on edge stitch over that stitch then slip the next cast on edge stitch over that. repeat until everything is bound off and you have a cuff. You can leave it like this or seam up the bottom.
Pick up 3 stitches on top edge, icord a little handle

Because it has been raining forever here I am concerned with the fire situation. There is nothing more frustrating then trying to start wet wood, I once camped in the Olympia National Forest in the rainforesty section- we used my cotton bra to start our fire, it was genius but pretty inconveinant later on. And seeing as I don't want to burn my bra around people I have just met, we spent a portion of this week making fire starters.

I have seen lots of firestarter tutorials online, and many of them kind of frighten me. So we used one that I have seen in action. A boy scout in Montana actually introduced me to these, and I have used them ever since- the dryer lint egg carton.

Fill your egg cup with dryer lint
Pour melted wax over it
To start fire build up your tee-pee or log cabin around the started and light one corner of the egg carton. The starter should burn long enough to catch something even if the rest of wood is damp. No photos cause frankly , they are super ugly!

The boys seem really excited to go, Joe is really really excited about the jar cozies- he told me I had to make one for everyone, my husband however insisted on getting an enamel camp mug...

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