One of the great advantages of knitting is that it’s portable. You can bring it to visit relatives, to a ball game, or on your European vacation. Obviously, the longer the trip, the more preparation is required. It would be awful if you ran out of yarn and had to stop knitting until you could get home again!
Your Knitting Travel Tool Kit
Like taking your young children out, knitting outside the house is easier if you have a knitting tool kit that you can bring with you whenever you leave the house. This is different from a knitting project bag which would hold your current project. Your travel tool kit would hold the tools that you may need while you’re out. It’s also full of universal tools, rather than project specific things like the exact yarn and needles you are using on your current project.
Here’s what one might look like:
- A small zippered bags for storing your tools.
- A spare cable, if you use interchangeables
- Stoppers to put on the ends of the cable – very useful if one of your needle tips breaks!
- A crochet hook for dropped stitches – I always go small, but you might want to bring a bigger one if you’re working with bulky yarn or larger.
- Stitch markers – I never seem to have enough of these. In a pinch, you can make them out of a twist tie, paper clip, safety pin, or a contrasting yarn. Whether you buy them or make them, make sure you have them!
- Nail clippers – scissors would work fine, but nail clippers will work on your yarn and a broken nail! Scissors over 4″ in length aren’t permitted in carryon luggage, per the TSA. Neither are circular yarn cutters.
- Large-eyed blunt needle for finishing – imagine coming home with all your ends woven in! You might need it for the Kitchener stitch, and so many other things.
All right, that’s your knitting kit covered. What about your knitting bag or project bag?
Your Project Bag
The Bag: In the early stages, nearly all projects can fit in a small bag, but your project will grow. Depending on the amount of time, and ease of knitting, it could grow a lot while you’re out. Make sure you pick a bag that will be big enough to hold your project until you get home.
Yarn: For short trips, I always bring 2 balls of yarn/project. I’ve underestimated the amount of yarn a few times and ended up stuck, unable to knit, because I ran out of yarn. Of course, if you’re going to be away from home overnight or longer, you’ll need a lot more yarn.
Pattern: Make sure you have a copy of your pattern, if you’re using one. While you can keep a copy on your cell phone, your phone battery could die, etc. I’m a big fan of using my tablet for any charted patterns because I can enlarge them as needed, but there’s really no replacement for having a hard copy of a pattern. Whether it’s from the internet, a magazine, or a book, I like to print out a copy & keep it in a plastic sleeve until the project is done. (I do this for projects that never leave the house, too.) The plastic sleeve is essential for keeping the paper your pattern is printed on intact and readable.
Needles: Many projects call for 2 different needles sizes. If there’s any chance at all that you’ll get to that point in the pattern, you’ll want to make sure you have the next needle size in your project bag.
Why am I doing this again?
It can seem like a lot of work to get all this organized, just so you can knit wherever you are, but remember the traveling tool kit only needs to be done once. Yo might need to tweak it for special projects, but otherwise, you could just leave it in your car or next to your keys.
You’ll want make up a project bag for every knitting project anyway. They’re very helpful for keeping everything you need for your project together.
Why limit the benefits of knitting to just your off hours at home? Bring the benefits of knitting with you wherever life takes you.
You can get relief from stress or boredom, stay more relaxed in difficult situations or just make more progress on your project.
Another benefit of knitting outside the house is that knitting can be a real ice breaker. You may end up making a new friend. Or you have the perfect excuse to keep your eyes down and look too busy to talk to people. Knitting is amazingly flexible in its effects!
I hope this helps you take your knitting on your outings. Ir you have any other ideas or suggestions for making your knitting portable, please let me know in the comments section below.