Tuesday, July 5, 2016

On the Road

Today, I’m en route to a conference across the country. And the big question is: What projects do I bring with me?

Protecting a spindle for travel by surrounding it with fiber inside a Glenlivet scotch box on a white background.

I’m not going to have a lot of time to make anything during the conference — bringing something to do during an educational session is frowned upon, go figure. But I should have plenty of time in airports and on planes.

I have a few equally important priorities when deciding on travel projects:
  • It has to be small. This isn’t the time to finish a queen-sized quilt.
  • It has to be something that takes a good bit of time. There’s nothing worse than finishing everything on the first leg of the trip. I’m fine with bringing more than one project, but that takes me back to the first point of making sure everything together doesn’t take up too much space.
  • It has to be something that’s relatively simple because I may be distracted by what’s going on around me and might need to stop regardless of whether I’m at a good stopping place.
In addition, packing projects for a flight is a different challenge from packing for a road trip. On a road trip, I can pack a larger bag and keep a small project with me in the passenger seat. This gives me more flexibility in my choices.

Flying can be more of a challenge because the projects need to fit in my carry-on along with my usual carry-on items. And while knitting needles and crochet hooks are legal on flights, their approval is ultimately up to the individual TSA agent. For that reason, I usually aim for a crochet project with worsted weight yarn; a US K-10.5 (6.5 mm) hook’s diameter isn’t much different from that of a pen or pencil. For someone who is unfamiliar with knitting or crochet, that hook will be less scary than a set of five US-0 (2 mm) sock needles pointing in every direction, particularly the metal ones!

A pen, crochet hook, and double point sock knitting needle aligned for size comparison on a white background.

That said, duty calls and I have a lot of reading to do this week so I packed books this time around — and not fun novels, unfortunately. Although I’m an avid reader, it feels wrong not to have a project with me.

I may have sneaked a spindle and some fiber into my checked luggage for Tour de Fleece.

What are your priorities for travel projects?

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