Summer Knitting: Knitting vs. Travel


Knitting vs. Travel:

Vacation!?!  That means: car knitting, or trying to take knitting on airplanes. Plus there might be time to knit while we are at our destination, and what am I gonna knit???

OK, don't panic.  I know that I have struggled with travel in the past (and will again, no doubt) because there are just so many variables and as a mom, we have to either pack for everyone or oversee their packing or worry that now that they are old enough to do it all themselves they will still forget to pack underwear.  Just take a deep breath and do the following:

  1. Know that they WILL forget to pack underwear.  Just accept it.
  2. Take your travel knitting plans one step at a time.  Make a list. Break all your travel plans into bite sized pieces.
  3. If you're knitting will be in a car (or train), look for projects that will work for your level of skill and your level of involvement with others in the car.  If you have to hand out juice boxes every 20 minutes, you might want to plan a project that can be set down and takes less concentration than an intricate bit of lace with beading.
  4. If air travel beckons, then confirm in advance the knitting policy of the airline/airport/TSA.  I've heard stories from both sides of the spectrum ("I take my knitting on planes all the time--no problems" to "OMG I had to pack my needles in my checked bag and had absolutely nothing to knit with for 15 hours in the air!!!"), so try to accept whatever comes.  Bring a good book, just in case.
  5. If you'll have time to knit at your destination, let me first congratulate you on planning The Right Sort of Vacation.  You're a knitter.  You should always plan time to knit!  Secondly, plan your project for the kind of time you have.  If you'll be catching up with friends and family, again, not a great time for projects that require a lot of attention.  Facing a lot of quiet time alone?  Take something that will occupy you.
  6. There is a chance that you will run into the problem my friend Mary Lynn recently encountered when faced with a 14-hour road trip.  She grabbed 3 knitting projects to take along and discovered that NONE OF THEM WORKED.  Isn't that horrifying?  This nightmare scenario is enough to ensure that I will always over-pack when taking my knitting. Which will be all the time because I will always take knitting on vacations.  Bonus tip: start at least one project before you go so you know that something works.
  7. Consider yarn shops when you're thinking about sightseeing and souvenirs.  Do you really really need another souvenir spoon/thimble/shot glass/t-shirt? Wouldn't it be more useful and memorable to take home yarn from whatever city you're visiting?  I have one scarf made from Plymouth Mushishi that I adore, partly because it is fabulous and partly because I bought the yarn as a souvenir on a visit to NC, at an adorable shop in the Grove Arcade called Asheville Home Crafts.  See? So many memories, plus I got to make something with the souvenir I purchased. 
The pattern is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's One Row Handspun scarf and is available free. Just click on the pic!

The pattern is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's One Row Handspun scarf and is available free. Just click on the pic!