I’m a restless, pacing, fidgety person without something on my needles.

I daydream about my next project before my current one is finished, and have more plans than hands, hours or even years.

I’m not sure whether I was born like that, or whether years and years of non-stop knitting has made me this way?

Whatever the cause, the holiday season is upon us, and I’ve been wondering what knitting I’ll take with me when we head away.

TRAVEL AND HOLIDAY KNITTING IS NO JOKE!

The very first thing that pops into my head when I’m facing a trip away is “What will I knit?”.

Generally, that comes with a palpable panic that I might run out and I better take more (and then the inevitable; how much is too much?!).

Then there’s always the ongoing mental chatter about what’s the best project to take??? And the endless internal dialogue, “do I take something simple to occupy my hands, or do I risk taking a project that requires me to think and maybe even count?”

“Would a lace project be crazy, or should I stick to simple garter or stockinette?”

And finally, this endless stream of thoughts invariably also comes with a twinge of guilt; “do I start something new or finish up my pile of WIP’s?”

I KNOW YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN ;)
I’ve had a few thoughts about what to do when you’re choosing projects to take on holiday:

  • Choose light-weight yarns. Fingering and lace-weight yarns are lighter so with more meterage in a skein of lace weight or fingering, you’ll have less yarn to carry about. Plus, it’ll last longer and if you’re going somewhere hot, you’ll be less sweaty when you knit.
  • Knit smaller items, especially if you do decide to use heavier yarn. Hats, socks, and cowls are all great travel projects. They’re quick and it can be super satisfying to finish a few things while you’re away. Plus, if you only get 1/4 of a hat done, 3/4 of a hat is a whole lot less to finish when you get home than 3/4 of a sweater.
  • Have a mix of projects on the go. As well as that super tricky pattern that you’ve been dying to master in your free time, you might find it useful to also have an easy knit on the needles. Holidays and trips can be busy and it’s good to be able to reach for mindless knitting so that you can chat at the same time. If you find yourself with a quiet moment at an airport or during a long bus ride, whip out your trickier knit!
  • Knit things to wear straight away. There’s nothing so satisfying as using your knits and there are a vast array of fabulous patterns for quick tops, wraps, and bags available on Ravelry. Your wardrobe might be crying out for a couple of lovely pieces to throw around your shoulders.
  • Spend some of your travel time planning what you’re going to cast on when you get home. Work out a list of things that you’d love to knit and plan to stash-dive or buy yarn for each. Look at what people are wearing and search the Internet for images of beautifully styled knitwear to be inspired. Ravelry contains a wealth of information about what patterns might work for you. Perhaps you’ll plan to make something using techniques that you’ve not tried before, or yarn you’ve heard wonderful things about? Take time to let your mind wander and enjoy some knitting daydreams, even if you don’t get a chance to pick up your needles.
  • Finish at least one WIP that’s lying around so you can do the planning idea above, free from any guilt. Trust me, it’ll make you feel better.
  • If all else fails, read about knitting. There are so many great books about knitting. If you fancy reading knitting books that “talk” you through patterns and knitting techniques, make you laugh a little and help you feel like the boss of your knitting then perhaps you’d enjoy one of the numerous titles by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot has written a bunch of books that are laugh out loud funny and perfect for holiday reading. Maybe learning new techniques or stitches is your idea of fun. If so, there are endless books about different knitting techniques and a great many knitting dictionaries to pour through. The choice is endless!

And my top tip for travel knitting? Relax. If your mojo wanes when you head away or you just don’t find any time to pick up your needles, don’t panic. Just do what you can, when you feel like it. Most of all, enjoy yourself. (If you get home and you’re still not in the mood? Perhaps it’s time to read my “mojo” post!)

SO, WHAT AM I PLANNING TO KNIT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?
I’ve got plans for a cool, summer top and brand new sock design. I’ll just work fast to make sure the “thinking” parts are done before I leave!

If all else fails, I’ve got some cotton that’s ready to be made into more dishcloths!

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