Q for You: What’s your ideal travel knitting?

Q for You: What's your ideal travel knitting?

My darling husband and I are skipping town for a night or two, after my having been cooped up since Labor Day. We’re borrowing a cabin in the woods and I’m taking almost nothing but knitting and Nabokov. For the knitting part of that equation, I’ve chosen my old friend Acer, as you can see — will have at least six hours of car time with it. It’s too big at this point to haul on a plane trip, but it’s perfect for a road trip, as it offers me options. I can cast on the second arm and have only ribbing, then stockinette and the occasional increase to worry about. OR I can shape the shoulder cap on the first sleeve. OR! I can get back to the lace on the body, if I’ve really got some quiet time to sit and knit. So it satisfies all possible needs, wants and attention levels, which prevents my casting on something else. Because I want this done! So I can wear it, and so I can start one of the Brooklyn Tweed beauties I got to try on yesterday. (See Instagram for my favorites, if you haven’t already.)

All of which leads me to my latest Q for You: What’s the perfect travel knitting for you?


(And by the way, I added the Q for You tag to last Friday’s post about chart management. If you missed the whole discussion that ensued, check it out — great ideas and recommendations, unsurprisingly.)


PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: How do you block your finished knits?

47 thoughts on “Q for You: What’s your ideal travel knitting?

  1. I like to knit dishcloths in the car…my fave is the little short row gem called “Sunburst Dishcloth” (free download on Ravelry). Since each wedge is on 18 stitches, I can use double pointed needles without worry of stitches slipping off…small and compact to tuck into my bag. With just a few tools, I can get a lot accomplished. If I’m in a crochet mood, I like to make motifs that will get sewn together for a doily/tablecloth/bedspread. My favorite pattern is an old one that I can’t find on the web anymore but is called Hexagon Chairset Motif. The motifs are round and can be made bigger. It plays with your minds eye because while you know the motif is round, when you sew them together and eye follows the chain spaces through the pieces, they look like swirls :)

      • I haven’t been able to find the pattern on the net any longer but I did scan it and saved it so if you would like it, let me know and I can attach it to an e-mail or something for you :)

  2. That’s a tough question. Usually it’s something simple. But I’ve been known to knit lace in the car when I’m on a deadline.

  3. Does anyone have advice on taking knitting through airport security? I’m flying soon and I’m worried they’ll steal my needles….

    • This might be helpful:


      But, when all is said and done, it all depends on the security person you get. When I complained to another security person (in Istanbul) that my hooks had been confiscated, he rolled his eyes and implied he thought the confiscation had been unnecessary. The funny thing is, my nail file, which is sharp and IMO more dangerous than any hook or needle, has never been taken away.

        • I have traveled to many countries by plane and always have my needles with me. I usually take wood or bamboo, (but have started using metal) and always have knitting on the needles. Just came back from Canada with no problem, and went to Germany earlier this year with no problem. The only country that does not allow knitting needles is the UK.. Otherwise, just print out the policy of the country you are coming from… (look under the airline policies) ..
          I print out the TSA rules (here in the USA) on knitting needles and have it with me if someone decides to give me a hard time, but no one ever has.

  4. If I’m on the go I like to have a sock to work on. If I am tucked away in a cabin or some other secluded place I’d want some lace or a sweater. Have a great time:)

  5. Perfect timing for this question – I’m going off with my SweetGuy next week. Road trip so I can take whatever (pretty much.) I tend to get bored and need variety – as I see you do but have it all in the sweater. Hmmm… I’m thinking I’ll begin a shawlett for my Sis and maybe start that first simple sweater I’ve been longing for. Finish the socks – that’s small. (I could go on – I’m a little ADHD.)

  6. My travel projects are almost always crochet. Hooks are safer to work with in a moving car (heh), mistakes are very easily remedied, and good lighting is not necessary. Also, I think there are still some countries that will not let you take knitting needles on the plane. I got all the way through a multi-country trip with my hooks. Except for Istanbul….where a crabby security gal confiscated two of them! Good thing it was our last stop. ;-)

  7. My ideal travel projects are ones that aren’t too complicated, if I have a travel companion who I don’t want to alienate with my “be quiet, I’m counting looks.” Usually a shawl, scarf or cowl. But if the trip is more laid-back with lots of down time I’ll have two projects handy – one relatively mindless, and one that requires more attention. Have a wonderful trip!

    • Yeah, I don’t do any knitting in the car that makes Bob feel like I’m not there with him. Have to be able to keep up a conversation, look at the scenery, etc.

  8. Socks are my absolute favorite travel knitting. They are small, easy to tote around in my bag, don’t take up too much space and usually don’t require too much concentration so I can still interact with those around me! A weekend in a cabin sounds just dreamy right now!

  9. mindless knitting, which is about the only knitting I enjoy anymore. I hate to count and switch stitches in some intricate pattern. Knit and purl are my gals. I love circs and straights but don’t do dps so I do miss out on some neat stuff. Lately I bring smaller things like scarves, wraps, shawls and a hat here and there or a basket of yarn I’m using to make an afghan. I love to knit in the car. It makes the hrs. go by faster.

  10. Depends on how long a trip.. I just got back from a 2 week Alaska cruise and took 3 balls of sock yarn and matching circ needles (magic loop). Almost finished 2 pairs. I hate having to ask fellow passengers on a plane to help me find one of my DPNs that has rolled down the aisle.
    But if I am going on a longer cruise or trip, I always pack too much yarn, lol.. and always the WIP so that I can finish it (hopefully). I pack my yarn and needles before I even think about my clothes!

    If it’s a road trip.. then usually socks again or my WIP..

    And I download the techniques I still want to learn for the project I am working on to my tablet so that I can watch it without internet and get the project done.. (like a different heel or BO or CO)

  11. Knitting and Nabokov, are you kidding me? That is my IDEAL combination!

    Funny you should post about this because just recently I have been putting a few little travel supplies together for our trip overseas. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll take, but it’ll probably just be whatever I’m working on at the time.

  12. I always have socks on the needles, so they are a given. But, when I’m going away I like to bring shawl knitting. It’s usually a big enough project that I won’t finish it while I’m gone, but light and small enough to not take up too much space. And, depending on the pattern, I can strategize for the kind of trip I think I’ll have: big swathes of garter stitch of busy travelling, lace (with or without stockinette) if I’ll be on a plane or a deck for a long stretch of time, etc.

    Mainly, though, as long as it’s compact, I’m easy. It sounds like Acer will be perfect for your trip – enjoy!

  13. For “social” or travel knitting I have recently discovered the joys of garter stitch washcloths and dishcloths. Cotton (or cotton/linen or cotton/hemp) is appropriate for all temperatures, and garter stitch squares and rectangles are almost impossible to mess up. Plus, I’ve discovered that I like the hand knit washcloths so much better than commercial terry cloth ones. Cabin-in-the-woods knitting can be as bulky or challenging as any “home” knitting project I am willing to tackle.

  14. Something on sport or larger yarn.
    Something without a pattern or with an easily memorized pattern.
    Something already cast on. I hate casting on on a plane, or in a car, or whatever.
    Something that won’t run out.

    I usually do well with a “slog” knit while traveling. Huge swaths of stockinette, or a really long scarf.

  15. I’m usually the driver, so whatever I take, I can’t work on it until I get to my destination. Where are you headed to? Have fun!

  16. So glad you’re feeling better!

    I actually prefer to take more involved projects on trips–there’s something about having the hours to sink into something in the passenger seat that I find rewarding. Plus, it’s a pain to have to bring scissors or other finishing-items along if you’re working on quick items and need to keep moving (like booties/baby items, etc.). I’m about to start this sweater (with some mods–not sure I love the seed border) in camel and charcoal for a road trip next weekend: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-blue-sweater-2.

  17. You always have such beautiful photographs! On a plane I like to take socks. They are small, but also take a while for me to knit, so I know I’ll have something to do on the way there and back. Car traveling is completely different. I’ll take multiple projects if I can fit them! You’re smart to just take one… I get overwhelmed with my options. :)

  18. For car or public transpo: Plain socks–I always have a pair of plain socks on the needles. Toe up, two at a time!
    For plane or train: moderately challenging charted projects–something to keep me engaged and from getting antsy or bored. I often find I can get a lot more done on a sweater or shawl that I’m finding boring to knit at home while I’m traveling.

  19. I like knitting shawls on the go. Something like Color Affection or Different Lines that is simple enough that I can memorize the pattern and multi-task but interesting enough watching the different colors form pretty stripes.

  20. I tend to go for something with a memorable pattern to keep it interesting, but me social. Simple cables, stripes, the lovely Purl Bee Herringbone cowl, etc. Also circulars are big plusses so that you don’t poke your airplane seat neighbor with straights.

  21. I love to take a shawl as they’re lighter.. I really want to try socks but haven’t managed it yet. If I’m in a car then I’ll take something bad bit heavier.. A sweater. I’m worried about my tools this winter as I’m flying out of the UK to Germany and I’m sentimental about them all. But definitely with a pattern that is memorable. I can easily loose my pattern.

  22. Pingback: Q for You: What’s your best advice for new knitters? | Fringe Association

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