I’m back from my trip and can’t wait to tell you about it, but it’ll take me a minute to organize my thoughts and photos. As a knitter will tend to do, I took too much yarn with me and knitted only a fraction of what I thought I might, but still, I did come back with a good 7 or 8 inches of my green cardigan after doing the math on the first runway and casting on as we took off. I even managed to keep my needles when going through security in India — counter to what some of you and google had warned me — and was relieved to have them for the long trip home.
I mentioned before I left that a top-down sweater is the ideal travel project for me, so while I re-adjust to Central Time and work on that recap, this is my Q for You: What’s your favorite kind of project to travel with, and why?
(Jen Hewett x Fringe Field Bag and Lykke interchangeable needles from Fringe Supply Co.)
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Socks are always my go to project for air travel.
I wish I liked to knit socks — its easy to see why they’re great for travel.
My favorite travel project is a Sockhead Slouch Hat. I always have one on the needles and use it as my mindless project when traveling anywhere. That includes anytime I’m a passenger in a car :)
I’ll have to look that one up!
Me too! I always have at least one on my needles. One for my purse and one jammed in the center console of my car! Ha!
That’s one of my favorite patterns! I’ve made at least four of them by now.
I’m on number 7! However, two of those were in Aran and Worsted weight yarn, respectively.
Socks.There is always a WIP of cuff-down socks in my purse,so I never leave home without my knitting!
Something small, but large enough to last for the whole trip. Definitely a stop and go project that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. Circular needles so I doh’t drop one and hear it roll down the plane, My last project was a scarf with a simple 4 row pattern. Knit until I run out of yarn. Turned out beautifully.
Those are all excellent considerations.
Glad you made it back safe and sound! My go to travel knits are socks, these are always in my purse! I also always take a larger gauge project, like sleeves for a bottom up sweater. But like you, I knit very little, I’m usually exhausted from sightseeing and collapse into bed when getting back to the hotel.
By car – top-down sweaters, by plane – a probably never-to-be-finished giant garter stitch Steven West shawl in lace weight. Socks for trips where I’m going to have enough light to see the stitches and a way to find the needles when I drop them (so, not planes). I don’t knit socks magic loop.
Socks are my “go to” travel knitting project. We travel/camp in our van for months at a time. I have little storage for large quantities of yarn so socks fit the bill as I can bring one skein for each pair and one set of needles. We just returned from two months on the road and I now have three pairs of socks for holiday gifts!
I take whatever project I am currently working on, I’m not picky.
I take whatever I can stuff quickly in the mini backpack that I always take on planes. I find in travel that you always have just a few minutes here and there, so speed is key!
Yeah, I like a thing that is sufficiently engaging at the start (like casting on and setting up a yoke) but then totally mindless by the time you arrive where you’re going so you can easily knit a row here and there.
I did not see that coming! ;)
Normally I would also say socks: not only are they small, but they also take longer than a hat or mittens so you’re less likely to run out of knitting (and even if you do, a skein of sock yarn is the perfect souvenir yarn purchase, so you can cast on a new pair anytime–throwback to my fiance and I creating a spectacle by hand-winding a 460-yd skein of sock yarn on the ferry to the Aran Islands… good times…)
BUT, I did basically knit my entire turtle dove, a bulky top-down sweater, on 2 consecutive weekend trips. 2-week top-down sweaters for the win! So pretty much whatever I want to work on at the time is the best travel project. Plus I love to abandon my guilt-ridden WIPs at home and allow myself to take something new and exciting to cast on as soon as I leave.
I do like starting something new on a trip — especially a big one — because the FO will always remind me of the trip.
My go to is always a project (or two) that needs to be finished. I figure I’m a captive audience!
Looking forward to seeing and hearing all about your trip :)
That sounds so responsible! Good on ya.
A fairly simple fingering or lace weight shawl – it’s usually only one skein of yarn and I can use circular needles. But if I’m going to try to knit while participating in conversations then I’ve learned to be extra diligent about counting and/or using stitch markers and lifelines. An old partial ball of size 30 crochet cotton is great for lifelines and doesn’t take up much space.
The beginning of my last shawl was knit three times – I kept making mistakes near the very beginning with the increases in a simple garter crescent shawl. The wine & conversation were just too distracting. But it was lovely yarn so I enjoyed all the extra knitting! Luckily I was home when I started the lace edging.
Those are definitely the challenges.
I didn’t use to like to knit socks, but have gotten really into them recently, so right now it’s socks, for all the reasons everyone has already given. (Preferably one at a time – I also like knitting them 2 at a time but that’s a little more unwieldy in close spaces. Nothing like the 12-at-a-time sock project I’ve seen making the rounds on FB!) Before socks it would probably have been some kind of fingering-weight stockinette sweater, because I find acres of stockinette go much more quickly on a plane or in a hotel. (But ideally nothing with lots of stitch markers or alternating skeins or complications like that.)
Twelve at a time?!
After losing a baby sweater pattern somewhere two trips and half a (still unfinished) baby sweater ago, I now make cotton washcloths when I travel by air. Road trips are a whole other story!
But you didn’t lose the sweater, right? I hope. Just the pattern?
Pembroke scarf. It’s totally mindless, so even when I’m distracted or exhausted, I can still knit, it lets me use hand-dyed fingering or sock yarns that are gorgeous but not suitable for sweater knitting, plus at the end I get a really usable article for my wardrobe.
That looks like a good one for that.
I’m thinking I’ll do some irish crochet on my next trip to india, mercerised cotton and a hook as it’s lightweight. Or maybe branch out and do some Sophie Digard squares to join up when home- her colours are so exquisite. This question is very timely. Thanks
I took a crochet hook with me on this trip in case my needles gotten taken flying out of India, but hadn’t made any plan for what to do with it! I like the idea of crochet for travel.
Mittens like socks but no heel turning and a more forgiving fit
Washcloths…We can never have too many. You can either knit mindless or try to work out stitch patterns-whichever suits at the time (or light level)
Socks – very portable and the needles are non-threatening to screeners. Also, I (usually) don’t need a pattern. I like to travel light.
What’s your choice of sock needles? I’m curious about the “less threatening” bit.
Lace shawls in a not too complicated pattern. Many yards of yarn in a ball, can take a lot of time, and use circular needles.
Depends on whether or not I have to deal with flight regulations…if it’s knitting, then it’ll be a smaller project (hat, scarf, socks). Otherwise I take patchwork to hand-piece or an embroidery project.
I’ve never seen anyone hand-piecing on a flight! I’d love to encounter that.
I prefer socks! Like many have said already it’s a small portable project that’s easy to pick up and put down. I can finish a single sock on a short trip and a whole pair on a longer trip. Plus I then have memories knitted into the socks and I’m transported back every time I wear them. I also refer to them as their destination- my “Seattle” socks etc.
I like to travel with smaller one-skein projects. Often I will cast on something mindless and dedicate it to traveling. Last year it was a garter stitch shawl – I just dug a reverse stockinette laceweight cowl out of the depths to finish up on a few road trips. I like to take something that fits in a small project bag and can be stuffed into my carry on without worrying about dropping stitches or crushing balls of yarn.
Usually a hat or toe up socks. I knit socks on an 8 inch circ, so it’s easy to stop and start.
Like you, I don’t knit socks very often. I knit a bunch early in my knitting life, but discovered that I don’t love wearing them. I know, blasphemy. Anyways, I love to knit cowls, especially in wild hand dyes, using seed stitch or some other basic stitch that breaks up pooling. I hate having a cold breeze on my neck, and they are fun, quick, and gratefully received as gifts.
Welcome Home- look forward to future posts. I always take a top down baby sweater. I cast on on the plane and try to play a game to be binding off on the return flight. Portable, fun and lots of positive conversations from onlookers.
I’m wishing I had done that.
triangles for a crochet blanket (lots of future travels still in that project), socks or lace ribbon like this for really light travelling: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzh0uAopZCf/
Socks, toe up on two small circulars. I almost always have a pair tucked in my handbag. I make socks for my husband and myself on a regular basis, two pairs a year for a cousin and every once in a while a pair for someone else.
I’m a big fan of taking a Stephen West Garter stitch shawl such as Vertices Unite or Smooth Move which he now calls Garter Breeze. They are essentially mindless but knit up to beautiful wearable pieces. They are great in one color only, or multiple colors if you are so inclined.
I’m all about small mindless projects when I travel. As little counting as possible–hence hats and housewares (towels, washcloths, etc.) No tricksy stitches. So lazy . . .
I’ve learned how to knit a sweater through your lovely “How to improvise a top down sweater”, but I find a sweater to be a too complex project to take with me during my travels. Too much thinking about the anatomy, too many trys-on to do along the way, and too many tools to take with me. Maybe that’s only because I’m too meticulous and want everything to be perfect! So I normally stick to a a baby blanket. Knit and purl for a number of hours. That’s it. Relaxing and no brain. Perfect ;)
It used to be socks, but I got bored with socks awhile back, and have just stopped. But the travel project has to be of about that scope: Mindless knitting with no need for a pattern, measuring or counting, using yarn that i already have on hand (there is plenty of that) and circular needles. It has to fit in my small drawstring bag, and have little need for gadgets because i don’t want to carry all those things. Past projects have included the linen stitch scarf, the Three Color Cashmere cowl (I now have three), The Albers Cowl made into a scarf length (that was a car project). Knitting in public, on trains ,and on buses in foreign countries has given me many opportunities to meet locals and other travelers. Its a universal language.
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like so many other people my go to knitting for travel and purse projects is a sock. but unlike other knitters sock projects I have started knitting long tubes while I travel. I start out with 2-3″ of 2×2 ribbing and then settle into miles of stockenette. well not miles but a tube of 30-36″ and then finish with 2-3″ of 2×2 ribbing. I save the toes and heels for at home so I don’t have to kitchener or anything. it sounds weird but it is easy to cut the tube in half and add an after thought toe. then I figure out where the heel will go and cut for an after thought heel.
right now I have 10″ of a tube knitted in my bag and in a basket I have 3 finished tubes waiting for heels and toes.