by Tamara Kelly of www.mooglyblog.com
Summer time is fun time - and that can mean lots of travel! Us yarny folks don't travel without our crochet and knitting - so here are some great tips to make it a little bit easier this year!
- If you are flying, check the latest TSA rules, as well as the rules for any country you are flying to!
Hooks and needles are officially allowed in carry-ons by the TSA, but stick with aluminum, wood or plastic if you can - those tiny steel hooks don't always get a pass! Scissors are another concern. According to the TSA site, "Metal with pointed tips and a blade length greater than four inches measured from the fulcrum are not allowed." So stick to small sewing scissors or children's scissors to be safe. You can read more about what the TSA allows on their site. Of course, the TSA is only in charge in the US - traveling outside the country means researching the rules there too.
- Pack up your project and supplies securely!
Whether it's a long drive with multiple stops, or a flight to an exotic destination (or grandma's house), you don't want to be fumbling through your luggage looking for your needles in this pouch, and your yarn in that other bag... Get organized before you leave the house! Make sure your project bag closes securely, and your notions pouch as well. Don't lose your hook and get stuck being unable to play with your yarn! Then pack it on top of the other items in your carry-on for easy access!
- Leave your most precious items at home!
We all love to treat ourselves on vacation! But that expensive hand-carved hook, great grandma's scissors, and premium luxury fibers should probably stay at home. Even if it's allowed by the TSA, you might end up with someone who isn't playing by the rules. Add in the risk of theft and leaving it in the hotel room, and it can be a gamble! If you can't bear the thought of losing it, leave it behind.
- Don't forget the stitch markers!
Unless you're saving it for that long day at the beach, you're going to be starting, and stopping, and starting that project throughout the trip. Use stitch markers in the active loop of your crochet, or loops of your knitting, to keep your work from coming undone during the journey. And pack a couple extras - they have a way of disappearing!
- Don't forget the pattern either!
You can't always depend on finding free WiFi! If it's an online pattern, you can print it out using PrintFriendly.com, or download it to your phone. If it's from a book (and you don't want to bring the whole book), you can make copies of those pages to travel with - just remember that those copies are for personal use only!
- Plan a good travel project!
Blankets and sweaters are fun to make, but that doesn't mean the passenger next to you wants to wear it. Make sure that your project is something you can keep on your own lap. Motifs, socks, and other small items are great for travel - small and quick, and you can put the finished ones in your packed luggage to lighten the load on your way home!
- Prepare your yarn for travel too!
Lightweight yarns are a great bet for travel - more yardage for the weight and space! It can also be a good idea to pick a yarn that pulls easily from the center, or use a yarn winder or nostepinne to make the skein into a center pull ball. Asking the people 10 rows back in the airplane to pass your yarn back to you under the seats is not a good time. And who knows what's on that floor - ew!
- Bring a backup project!
I've learned this one myself the hard way! Getting to a destination and finding out the one project you brought isn't going to work out is a real bummer. Something simple like a ball of Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton means you can whip up an impromptu market tote to hold your souvenirs or some dishcloths for your host - and save your down time!
- If you're traveling with kids, bring an extra little ball of yarn for them!
Whenever we travel as a family, as soon as I pull out my project the kids want to get involved too! This is a great opportunity to teach them how to finger crochet or finger knit. It keeps them busy during travel times, and it's so fun to craft together! And isn't that what family vacations are all about?
- NO DRIVING AND CROCHETING OR KNITTING AT THE SAME TIME!
We both know yarn is way more distracting that texting. Let's all get home safe this year, okay?