It’s vacation time! And knitting is an important part of your vacation plans. (Well, it is for me, so I assume it is for you too.)
A few things to keep in mind when you’re taking your knitting on the road…
- Wind your yarn before you go. All your yarn.
- Do an inventory of the materials needed for your project – don’t forget the cable needle!
- Always pack extra yarn in your travelling bag: traffic jams and flight delays happen, so have more yarn than you think you might possibly need for the trip.
- Pack extra yarn in your suitcase. I travel with two kinds of projects: something that requires very little attention, so I can enjoy the scenery and my companions’ conversation on whatever patio we’re enjoying; and something more complex project to help pass the time in the car, the airport lounge and the bus station.
- Pack your yarn in zip-lock bags so that everything is together and protected from sunscreen spills.
- Work fine-gauge projects: there’s a lot more knitting time and value in a single skein of laceweight or sock yarn than a single skein of worsted weight yarn. A single ball of sock yarn can easily entertain me for an entire weekend.
- If you’re a DPN knitter, consider learning magic loop or the two-circulars method to reduce the chance you’ll lose a needle.
- Photocopy your pattern – or print off a spare – and keep it in a sheet protector so if you spill your iced coffee the pattern is protected. And tuck a pen and some scrap paper in there to keep notes.
- And don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for more yarn.
If you’re travelling by plane, there’s a few other things to keep in mind:
- Although metal needles are permitted by most airlines and airport security organizations, I prefer to play it safe: I switch off to wood, bamboo or plastic needles. I also pare down my kit: I don’t take scissors or a darning needle or anything metal or pointy in my carry-on bag. I pack the metal tools.
- If you need to cut yarn in-flight, consider packing some dental floss in your carry-on bag. The little floss cutter also cuts yarn.
- Dental floss can also be used as a lifeline. I highly recommend feeding a lifeline into your work before you leave for the airport… it’s useful if you make a mistake and need to undo, but it’s also useful in the unlikely situation of you being asked to surrender your needles. Just take the needles out and hand them over, but keep your work and your yarn.
I’m away on a quick weekend trip right now. My patio-sitting project is a plain sock, and my plane project is a lace shawl.
What are some of your favourite travel knitting tricks? What project do you like to take on the road?