Travelling Knitting

I’m packing again, this time for a week-long business trip back East. I’ve gone back a gazillion times since I moved out West, sometimes for just one or two nights, sometimes for a week or even more. So, you’d think I’d be able to estimate how much knitting is reasonable to take.

Well, you’d think so, anyway. Last time I went back East for just a few days, I took four knitting projects, and just to be sure I didn’t get bored, I downloaded three full-length books and a whole bunch of magazines. I think I knitted on two projects and maybe read just a wee bit from one book.

This time, I decided I’d try to be better about packing only the knitting I truly thought I’d get to. I’d try to ignore that inner voice that always nags at me to bring ever more knitting projects.

I considered my week. The flight is roughly four hours. Add about an hour of wait time beforehand each way, and that’s 10 hours of flight-related knitting.

But what if there’s a major delay?

I tried to ignore The Voice. I continued my calculations. My trip is [sadly] not knitting-related, so I won’t be knitting at work. Really, I’ll be busy morning to night with meetings, lunches, and dinners. If I’m really lucky, I’ll have an hour, total, each night to decompress, do sink laundry (alas, there’s a downside to packing light), catch up and down with the family, and knit. So, I’ll allot 30 minutes per night of knitting for a total of 2 hours.

But what if you have more time on your hands in the evening?

“I won’t,” I told The Voice. “This isn’t one of those trips where I’m alone and wind up in my hotel room after a too-early dinner. No, this is one of those trips where I may not toddle back until nearly bedtime. Won’t. Happen.”

I figured about 12 hours of knitting time over the course of the week. I looked over my WIPs. For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I decided I didn’t need to cast on a new project just for this trip. I had things to take that would work.

First up is this mohair lace cowl. The yarn is handspun from Tajikistan that I bought from a Cloth Roads trunk show.



I’ve been saving this project specifically for airplane knitting. It’s small, portable, easy, and it’s on circulars. Ever since I about lost a critical DPN on an airplane some years ago, I tend to stick to circulars in flight. I figure I have probably at least 12 more knitter-hours to go on this cowl, so the trip could be a one-project trip if I wanted it so.

But I don’t want it so. I’m checking a bag, due to the length of the trip. Really, my office wouldn’t begrudge me two checked bags, but the more stuff I take, the more I have to wrangle, so I’d rather take a checked bag and a daypack on the plane and be done with it. So, I have room for multiple projects.

I chose to bring my sock project, as well.



The self-striping yarn is engaging and the pattern is easy. I busted a move this weekend to finish the first sock so that I could cast on its mate and bring just the sock-in-progress. It’ll make fine hotel knitting, or knitting in the airport, or even knitting on the plane if I finish the cowl. I estimate I’ve got at least 8 hours to go to knit the remaining sock. Maybe longer. I’ve never been accused of being a speedy knitter.

You’re going away all week, and you’re taking just two small projects? At least take a spare skein of yarn or something.

At this, I paused. Sock-weight yarn is soft and will squish around my other things in my luggage. I could certainly take an extra skein in case there was a breach in the space-time continuum and I suddenly had way more time to knit than I expected. And really, I don’t think I’ve ever packed so few knitting projects for a trip of this length. It’s a little unnerving.

I started packing. I told myself that if I had the room in my luggage and I really, really wanted to, that I’d give myself permission for a spare skein of sock yarn. Well, I’ve got the room, but I’m holding steady with those two projects. I have about 20 hours of knitting packed, and only about 12 hours to actually knit. Seems like a good cushion.

I’ll give it some thought, though. I leave in the morning, and by then, The Voice may win out.



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