Definition for Kayak :-)

Kayak [] n. 1. an oblong banana shaped boat with a hole in the bottom from which the occupant dangles. Can be propelled the wrong way up by experts. (definition courtesy of Pete Knowles)
(And I've got this one from Chris' Kayak Lexicon)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snowshoe Lacing Complete!

Phiew! Finally Marsha and I have completed the lacing of our Ojibwa snowshoes!!! You know what, we did not expect it to be as nerve wrecking when we first started with a pilgrimage to Duluth to our class with the RSOP.

What is so difficult about it? Well, you have to think about 3 things all at once and here and there you forget one of the three and then notice several rounds later that you made a mistake.

- There is first the knots, which have a habit to all of a sudden escape your brain, even though you have done the same knot dozends of times maybe even that day.
- Then you need to make sure it is all tight and taught, because after all, the point of the exercise is to have something that distributes your weight from a small footprint to the large surface of the snowshoe. We ain't just makin' them to hang on the wall ya know! According to Pat K. our instructor when you first start out you can't get both, right and tight. Well, we did a bit of redoing on just about every section of the shoes...
- An then there is the "unders and overs". It's not like weaving, where you have a warp that is set beforehand and then you weave your way through those constant warp threads, no, you are creating the warps as you weave! One directions warp is another direction's weave and all of that in a triangle. A very patient Pat gave us 3 sets of instructions that describe it slightly different, so you have a hope that at least one of them suits you. He even sent us another set by e-mail after the two sessions were over because he knew that a lot of us would still be lacing.
This kind of thing usually comes pretty easy to me and I have strong hands so I can tighten a knot, but this project really challenged me! But you know what: We will cherrish those snowshoes forever!
Can't wait for next Wednesday when we do the last step of the deed, the forth base of snowshoe making: Putting on flexible marine varnish to protect the wood and the lacing. Marsha also has a woodburning tool, so we'll be signing them before sealing them. Oh yeah and we'll put some bindings on as well. I was going to make them myself, but since I couldn't get a cheap sheet of latex from a busted truck or tractor tire, they will be ready made and only need to be tied to the shoe, quick and easy.

And in the summer? They'll be deco on the wall :-)