Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For the Road

I have an inordinate amount of travel coming up. July 29-August 1 I'm going to Boston for a day-job-related conference, then August 7th I fly to Ottawa for three days visiting my sister, take the train from there to Stratford, ON to visit my brother, then fly home out of Toronto on the 14th. I am really, really looking forward to all of these trips for the destination portion of them, but, as I'm sure you may have guessed, I have some preparations to do beyond the normal human amount of packing for the traveling bits. For I am a knitter.

By my (admittedly notoriously unreliable) math, I will, in the next 2.5 weeks, be spending a total of 19 hours and 12 minutes in airplanes, trains, airports and train stations. If you add in the 1-2 hours I have to be at the airport before these flights (two international, two domestic), it comes out to a total of around 26 hours. That's a lot of knitting. Even for me.

I have a set of travel-knitting guidelines that I tend to pack by.

1. I keep the projects small, like gloves or socks, so that I minimize any seatmate-related elbowing risks. (These people, usually non-knitters, are usually disturbed enough cognitively by my knitting I like to mitigate it as best I can by at least not bothering them physically.)

2. I knit said project(s) on bamboo dpns, so that I minimize the risk of an over-________ (zealous? enthusiastic? paranoid? acrylic-clad?) security guard thinking I'm a risk to an airplane or a country or anything except my own sanity.

3. I choose a pattern that is easily memorized or has an itty-bitty chart (see #1).

4. If travel time exceeds single-project limits (and this set of jaunts certainly meets that criteria), I bring a couple of back up projects in my checked luggage... usually one for evenings/early mornings in the hotel so I'm occupied, one for an alternative to the carry-on project in case I get tired of the primary project. Alternative project must meet all criteria above.

5. Um, also, I like to have another back-up in case I end up stuck in an airport because of some freak mid-July snowstorm or sudden airline strike or other delaying calamity. I know that this just might border on paranoia, but lets just say that previous travel misadventures* have left me a bit... well, over-__________ (see above). My options are pretty good, I think: I have these:

Kevin's Kilt Hose, Wooly West Happy Trails, Anne Gilmour's amazing pattern "He' Mo Leanan"

And these: Pomatomus, Socks that Rock Rockin' Sock Club's May Shipment (Pepe la Plume)

And these: Sam, Tanis Fiber Arts, sock the second that has been sadly languishing

But there's also all of this: WIPs that I can't bring myself to describe, lest I perish under the crushing weight of the guilt that only comes of a perfectionist leaning and a Catholic upbringing.

AND the ever-present pile of SHINY!!!!!.... A pox on the houses of KnitPicks and their sales, Limenviolet and their enabling, and the Rockin' Sock Club for leading a weak, weak knitter like me into temptation...

And of course the lure of POTENTIAL SHINY.... Newbury Yarns, a mere 0.34 miles from my hotel according to MapQuest. (eternal gratitude to the Yarn Harlot for making the rule that vacation yarn doesn't count at stash).

Suggestions? Words of encouragement? "Get-a-hold-of-yourself, woman!"-type face slaps? Oh, right, and the clothes and toothbrush and stuff. I'll figure it out. Hopefully before the plane leaves.

*(Someday I'll tell you about my 30-hour journey home from New York the day before a gig and you will understand why I'm a tad cautious).

1 comment:

  1. Your kilt hose are incredible! I'm working on a pair of these too & enjoying every minute of it (which I didn't think was possible with so complex a project)and I'm learning a ton of new techniques as well. I find your blog a great read, you could have 2nd & 3rd careers as a knitter & a writer! Good luck on your projects & your travels.