I always consider the knitting that I’m bringing on a trip, particularly airplane knitting, as an important component of my packing. Since carrying knitting needles and other sharp objects can be difficult in this era of Homeland Security, I give this aspect of my packing extra care.
To clarify, I take a broad view of travel to include air, trains, cars, even NYC subways (although that is whatever fits in my tote!).
Here’s how I prepare for my travel knitting (Please note, I have not traveled to Europe since they have increased their security about 2 years ago!):
– Plan at least two projects in case one of them hits a snag or gets boring. An important factor is to have started the knitting or at least the swatching. (Of course, do what I say not what I do since I have spent many a trip merrily knitting away to discover once I have the luxury of space that my sizing is totally off!)
– Use plastic or bamboo needles, preferably circulars so they go through the metal detectors and don’t hit your neighbors. Also, I have bought less expensive needles in case they are taken away, I am not upset at their loss. If you really like metal needles, I suggest packing them in your checked bags to ensure that you still have them when you arrive at your destination.
– Pack an extra set of needles in your checked bags. If your needles are taken by security, you can still knit at your destination. Also, this helps if one is lost or broken since it may be difficult to replace on your trip.
– Take scrap yarn even if your pattern doesn’t call for it. It can come in handy if your needles are taken or if you need string on your trip (we have used my scrap yarn to hang our mosiquito net across hotel rooms!)
– Pack your knitting tools with care. Make sure that you have sufficient markers, pins and needles. Have some form of yarn cutter that will get through security. I use a nail clipper. I have had scissors taken from me multiple times. (Also think in terms of weight.)
– Use copies of your pattern and take an extra copy packed in another location. The aim is to reduce the weight of your knitting. In the confusion that can happen at various points in your travels, one copy may be lost, this at least gives you the ability to keep on knitting.