Travel Knitting Tips
The last year or so has seen my traveling continue to increase to the levels of my college days. Happily, I can say that I stay in better hotels now than I did then! But it does mean I have learned how make sure my knitting makes the trip successfully with me. Things like TSA rules are always changing, but hopefully these ideas will help you enjoy your hobby on the go.
First step, figuring what to take. Now I not only knit for pleasure, I do it as a business as well. So I bring a ton of projects with me, even when just heading out for the weekend. I always bring something simple that I can start and stop easily and doesn't take up too much space. For me, washcloths are my go to. I don't have to worry about my project spilling into my neighbors lap when I am crammed on a plane! I still bring larger projects for knitting in the hotel room. In fact, I am more likely to bring new projects that I haven't tried before. I have no other responsibilities, no kitties vying for attention, so I can devote more time to working out a new pattern. Picking out the actual yarns basically involves me staring at my stash until something strikes me, so I have no advice on how to narrow that down. My husband probably wishes I could make that process happen faster.
Next step, packing. Try to leave the band on skeins if possible. If you have to wind your yarn in a cake and you have already torn the band off, I suggest getting some yarn socks. I picked mine up from my local yarn shop. I have also drooled over a bunch on Etsy, so there are options to getting your hands on some. This will keep your yarn unraveling into a tangled mess. Trust me, I've been there. That skein is currently in knots in the box of shame in my guest closet. Make sure you have whatever size needles you need. If you plan on knitting a new pattern, I suggest bring a size smaller or larger (depending on if you naturally knit tight or loose). Just behind the frustration of opening your suitcase to a mess of yarn is realizing you don't have the knitting needles you need to enjoy your project(s). While the TSA suggests bringing bamboo needles if you are bringing knitting on the plane, I have never had an issue with my metal needles either. I do try to always have my bamboo needles in my carry on and put any others in my checked bag. I also keep it to one set on my carry on. This limits the chance for questions from TSA and also keeps the weight down on this bag you are lugging through the airport!
Going with the yarn-mess theme, get yourself some point protectors. I use these every day, not just when traveling. These suckers will help keep your stitches on your needle when you set everything down (or pack it up). I have also neglected this tip and opened my suitcase to tons of dropped stitches. And this happened on a road trip! Also make sure you have a small set of snips. Even nail clippers can work in a pinch. I keep a pair in my purse at all times, just because they are good to have on hand. Mine are tiny and not an issue for TSA. I have a larger pair (they still meet TSA size requirements) in my checked bag.
You are set! Go out and explore the world and share your knitting. It can be a great conversation starter!