Vacation Knitting | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Summer is almost upon us (well, it is where I live), which is when a lot of people around here take vacations. I love spending summer hanging with my sister and her family at her campsite, taking day trips to Door County (the “thumb” of WI–think orchards, wineries, state parks, beaches, and cozy little main streets with boutique shops), and this year my husband and I are going to FL for a week to sit on a beach and read.

I always bring knitting with me when I travel, even for work, but I’ve noticed I think about crafting differently when I travel.

For me, the size and durability of the project is important.

I like to knit socks on vacation because I can easily store a project in my purse or backpack. Typically sock yarns are durable and washable, too. That means if I drop my project on a dirty floor of an airport or get sand in it on the beach or it smells of woodsmoke from a campfire, I’m okay washing it when finished.

I recently went to a conference for work (gross, I know) and I brought some socks to knit.

The pattern is Misselthwaite Manor which I really enjoyed because it was a fairly easy repeat to remember. The yarn is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Crystal Rain.

I also prefer patterns I can print and fold up versus using books when I travel, purely for ease of use. I always make two copies in case I lose or spill on one.

One thing that has irked me lately is how hard it is to knit on plans because of how small the seats have gotten. I feel like I’m elbowing the person next to me if I’m not working on something smaller, which, again, is why I like socks.

I’ve only had flying issues with my needles once, when flying out of Mexico their TSA decided to break my bamboo needles. I have no idea how SHARP BROKEN WOODEN NEEDLES are safer than whole needles. I’ve heard of other people having needles confiscated or having circular needles get their cord cut. Personally I’ve never had anyone look twice at my knitting while flying domestic, but to be careful I never bring my nicer, expensive needles with me. If I can manage it, I bring a cheaper pair that won’t break my heart if they do get broken or confiscated.

I’ve also never had anyone domestic or foreign question my double points. Maybe they think it would be too hard to stab someone?

My circular needles of choice these days are Addi Flexi Flips. You use two needles, plus one “working” needle. It’s similar to casting on with two circular needles but less futzy. I’ve used them for socks, mitts, the ends of hats–basically anytime you’d need a DPN.

Three metal Flexi Flip needles

Now, I have had crafting scissors confiscated by domestic TSA more than once. It seems to be fairly random when they decide to take them. Since then I’ve switched to rounded end scissors that don’t seem to trigger any alarms. Worst case scenario, I’ve used a nail clipper to cut my yarn.

A pair of sharp tip embroidery scissors shaped like a crane

These are the specific scissors that I’ve had taken more than one time, basic embroidery scissors you can find at any craft or hobby store.

A pair of snub nosed foldable scissors

I’ve never had an issue with these scissors which fold up and don’t have an especially sharp tip.

Another thing that’s important to me is a project bag that can go in the washing machine or easily be hand washed. Again, we’re talking sand, dirt, and campfire smoke.

Mesh bags, like these from Della Q are easily washable and snap closed.

A set of mesh bags in pink, champagne and beige

If you have hand sewn project bags it’s important to see how they need to be washed. I have many from local vendors and handwashing is often recommended.

Finally if you’re stayingcationing and need a treat (or just want one), Destination Yarn is offering three summer reading themed yarn boxes. I splurged on the romance box. You get 3 skeins of 50g DK weight yarn, a bag by Erin Lane Bags, notions, a crochet and knitting make-a-long for each box, and a summer reading list. There’s also an exclusive Facebook group. The three boxes are sci-fi, thriller and romance.

I also think it’s cool how often people on flights comment on my knitting and ask questions (often the flight attendants who I imagine get pretty bored). I recently had a man ask me of my knitting, “Is that croquet?” to which I replied “No, it’s Pall Mall.”

What do you like to craft when you travel? Have your needles ever been broken or confiscated? Do you have any cool vacation knitting stories?

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