The long Memorial Day weekend is over. While that sadly means we’re back at work right now, it also means we have something else to look forward to: Summer trips! Naturally that got us to thinking about travel projects. So: What’s your most well-traveled project that you can remember (past or present)? And let’s be honest now. When you travel, how much time do you spend deciding your knitting projects vs. picking out your clothes?
My most well-traveled project would have to be my half-finished granny square bedspread. I started it in Peru, took it to Costa Rica and then to Syracuse, N.Y., and finally to Northern Virginia, where it’s in my hall closet.
And yes, I spend more time worrying about my knitting when I’m packing for a trip. Of course I have to have airplane knitting (simple, no dpns or cable needles – I’ve dropped too many of those). Then there’s the long term, complex project for quiet times. There’s generally a hat project and I always end up stuffing extra yarn and needles into my carry on while I’m waiting for the cab at 5 in the morning. And I always have too much yarn!
Soooo it took me a while to think on this. My most “well traveled” projects were probably also my most recently frogged projects. When I was first getting into sweaters in 2008 I started a couple for myself that never quite got finished. And then I moved back to D.C. for law school in 2010. And then I turned around and it was 2015, I’ve passed the bar and I still hadn’t finished those sweaters. So this January I finally frogged them. I am also still working on a bundle of baby blankets for assorted babies. Some of these babies are turning two and three. I swear I’m going to finish. Really.
As far as taking knitting with me when I travel, I always want a new project. In fact, it’s hard to not shop for a specific trip project. But since one of my 2015 knitting goals is less total UFOs through either frogging of finishing, I’ve begun to stash-dive more when I need something for a trip. Recently I went down to Miami and brought along some Hazel Knits Entice to make Bryum. Not quite done yet (it was only a weekend trip), but the project looks amazing and it’s a super fun knit. For my next trip, which involved 30+ hours of train travel over Memorial Day, I buckled down and worked on my bundle of baby blankets.
For my upcoming trip to Mexico I think I am going to knit the Duane Park Triangle (which also is our current knitalong). It’s a shawl that doesn’t have so much going on I can’t pay attention, and it’s a small project so I think it will travel well internationally. I know I am going to try and stash dive for the yarn… but the shop’s current selection of fingering options may prove too tempting!
I’m honestly not sure what my best traveled project would be. I haven’t moved from country to country. More often than not, when I travel I’m the one driving, so whatever I bring is more likely to be something that’s fairly manageable. I do have some projects that have come to have serious meaning after the fact (like the blanket I was working on the last time I saw my grandmother), but nothing that I can point to with a full passport.
As for knitting and packing, of course I bring projects with me. Often smaller items or projects where I feel like I’ve done discreet sections. I don’t want to look back on a vacation project and try to get proud of the progress I made on a stockinette tube, you know? I want to make a hat or a cowl, or do all the stripes on a shawl or something. I also do a little research before I go anywhere new and try to check out a knitting shop wherever I’m going. I’ve usually got a running list of projects I’d like to try. That really helps when I walk into a shop, if only to help understand the general quantities that I’d need. It’s the educator in me: have a plan and then be ready to put it aside when something way better shows up.
That’s what I do too. No salt and pepper shakers taking up space. I go for souvenir yarn – stash enhancers! Plus then when you knit something out of it you recall your trip and the experiences you had along the way.
I always bring socks to knit cause they travel so well (the linked pattern is a favorite). And usually another project, too, for car or plane knitting.
I have a bad habit of a) obsessing over the projects to take with me, often taking more than one, and always overstuffing my carry-on bag to make it work, and b) then being so busy while on vacation I never get to work on a project but for a few minutes here and there. Apparently the meaning of the word “vacation” needs to be defined for me! As for clothes? As long as I have comfortable shoes, I’m good.
Like Katherine and Arthella I definitely make an effort to stop in at a local yarn store. I get to check out what’s popular in a certain area (both yarn and patterns), meet fellow yarn lovers and help support the local economy. Pro tip: Yarn stores also usually are helpful to find out a neighborhood’s hot spots. Just ask around.
Unlike Jillian I have no immediate travel plans, though I will be heading out later this summer. Does that mean it’s too soon to plan my travel knitting? Do you really have to ask? Queued up are:
Andrea’s Shawl, ready to knit in some Hempathy. That has a pretty intricate edge but once you’re done with that it’s stripey smooth sailing.
Another option is Fine Tune, for which I have some amazing Hazel Knits (one big wheel of Artisan Sock + 4 Baby Cakes). Excited to do this one, too.
And I have two amazing Yowza Babettes – one for the Big Herringbone Cowl:
And I think I finally have settled on maybe a Groovy for the other:
So, as you can see, I’ve really narrowed it down and listened to myself about not bringing All The Projects.
Ahem. Maybe next year.