By plane, by car – let’s talk about traveling with your knitting.
What do YOU do to pack up your knitting projects before your trip?
One of the draws to knitting for me was its portability. Previously, I made jewelry – that was not something you wanted to try to do in the car. I liked the idea I could knit on my way to my destination and once I got there. Earlier this year I knit at Disney World waiting for the parade to start. Here I am getting out my scarf bag (and you can say hi to my mother and brother).
Before you get in the air or on the road there’s some prep work ahead of time. Or at least, there should be. Granted, my sometimes over-the-top organization system may be a bit much for some people.
Planning Your Projects
- I’m convinced deciding what knitting projects to pack takes longer than packing my clothes. Allow yourself some time.
- The number of projects you take will depend on if you can knit while in transit, how complicated or large your projects are and how much time you will have to knit. Be honest with yourself here – unless you’re going somewhere with the sole intention of knitting, other things will consume your time. That said, I always take one extra, especially if they’re new projects. Invariably, the yarn or needle size won’t work out, you’ll get stuck on the pattern or you just will have one you don’t feel like knitting.
- Take a blend of projects (small/large, easy/complicated). I like easy, small projects for when I’m standing in lines and I like more complicated projects for in the evenings after work. I rarely take large projects if I’m traveling by plane due to space considerations but I will take them if I’m traveling by car.
- Take the needles you need for your projects and a few extras if you can. I admit, I usually just take an interchangeable set. There are two reasons for this. One, you might stop at an awesome yarn shop, buy some yarn and want to cast on immediately. Two, your pattern calls for Size 6 needles but your gauge is off when you start in the car. If you have extra sizes handy you can swatch until you get gauge.
- Decide what notions you need. Doing gloves? Do you need to take a stitch holder? A cable needle for your socks?
- Pack a pouch of the basics. Mine is a Lantern Moon pouch that holds my little scissors, stitch markers, an emergency crochet hook (for dropped stitches) and a darning needle. If you’re knitting lace, something to mark your pattern is great, as well as some thin thread for a lifeline.
I have an even smaller one I keep in my purse.
- Bag up your project. I like to have everything organized so I put the pattern, yarn, needles and any necessary notions in a work-in-progress (WIP) bag. I have cotton WIP bags – some I’ve made, some I’ve purchased. All either cinch or zip close. This method makes it easy to grab a singular project and GO.
- Try to start your projects before you leave, or at least some of them. Get the casting on out of the way, make sure you get gauge and understand the pattern. This way your chance of taking projects that will have to be abandoned is minimized.
Those are all my little tips and tricks. Do you have any others?
Over the next two weeks we’ll talk about traveling with your knitting by plane and by car. Do you have any questions?