Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday Tips and Tricks - Travel Knitting
As you may know, TMG and I recently returned from a trip to the west coast. In my last post, I detailed the process by which I chose projects to take along. I am not ashamed to admit that I spent more time planning and packing my knitting projects than I spent on packing clothes and other “essentials.” This effort was not misplaced and, as it turned out, ended up making the difference between a relaxing vacation and a miserable trip. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure the same for you.
1. If you are flying, make sure to check the airline’s policy about knitting needles and supplies on flights. This is especially important when flying internationally. If the airline permits knitting needles on the plane, print out a copy of this policy from the website and pack it with your knitting in case you encounter an overzealous TSA agent at security.
2. If you are unsure whether needles will be permitted aboard, or if you like to be extra cautious like me, I recommend interchangeable needles such as Knit Picks Options. In the event that you are stopped at security, you can remove the needle tips from your project and discard them, keeping your project securely on the cables, and then put it on the extra set of needle tips that you’ve packed once you arrive at your destination. Sure, no one likes to lose a set of needle tips, but in my opinion, it’s far more devastating to lose an entire project.
3. Pack extra copies of patterns and charts - one in your carry-on, one in your checked bag, and, if possible, a digital copy on your electronic device (I use my Kindle). Remember, photocopying for personal use is well within copyright law, and will save you the agony of realizing that you left the only copy of your pattern on the plane when you arrive for day one of your vacation.
4. Cast on your projects (yes, that’s plural for a reason) before you leave home. It is easier to manage an established project than to try to wrangle a long-tail cast-on midair, especially in coach.
5. Bring more knitting than you think you will need. In the event that your flight is delayed, an outdoor activity is canceled due to inclement weather, or you end up waiting in a long line, you will be glad you did.
6. I like keeping my patterns and charts in plastic sheet protectors while I work from them, especially when I’ve printed them from my inkjet printer, because the ink smudges and smears if it gets wet. In order to mark my place, I use highlighter tape. It is easily repositionable, but doesn’t become unstuck or get lost as easily as a post-it note.
7. If traveling with dpns, check out these handy WIP tubes from Knit Picks. They are a lifesaver when it comes to protecting your tiny needles from bending and breaking in transit.
8. I always take a tiny roll of dental floss in my toolkit. Because scissors are still a no-no on most airlines, the little cutter comes in handy. As a bonus, dental floss is great for placing lifelines or holding stitches!
9. Before you go, look up an LYS near your destination. If you run into a problem with your project, realize that you left an important tool at home, or need a new project for your return trip, you’ll already know where to go.
10. Finally, be prepared for questions and comments from others while you knit in public on the plane, at the airport, and at your destination. If you are inclined to spread the “good news” about knitting to others, consider taking cards with your Ravelry user name or other contact information along. There is a great template available for this on Ravelry. Vistaprint.com is another resource for free or low-cost business cards.
Til next time, happy travels!