If you’re planning on taking a trip this summer, you need to start thinking about what you really need to pack…your yarn! I personally bring it all. Just kidding! I wish I could bring all of my totes and bags and shove them in the car without my family noticing. So, in thinking about a trip, let’s discuss how we can travel and crochet at the same time.
First, I must mention that you must be the passenger. No driving and crocheting. I shouldn’t have to say that, but I have heard of so many people trying to get those few extra stitches in at red lights and stop signs. Find any excuse to be the passenger! You’ll get a lot more done, and we’ll all be safer for it.
Whether you’re planning for a day or a week trip, you really do need to plan your yarn and supplies. I think more about this than my clothing, and I always overpack both just in case.
No matter the length of trip, I start with my yarn bag. It’s an Everything Mary bag that has a roomy center and pouches on for yarn, water bottles, sunglasses and hooks/needles. I love that it can hold everything including my notebook and it’s all packed and ready to go into a hotel (because you know it’s not staying in the car). If you don’t have a cute storage bag, maybe a tote or mini basket will do the trick for you. Something that can go in your floorboard or in the back seat if you have the extra space. In my case, I travel with nine-year-old twins who have their own craft bags at their feet and so I can only plan what will fit in my foot area. I don’t have much room, but I make it work! If you plan on flying, a single small bag is ideal for the small space too.
Before we talk about yarn, let’s talk about the pattern that you will be working from. I would suggest simple repeat patterns. If you want to work on something detailed, make sure you have quiet time to think and work it out or else you’ll throw your work out the window in frustration and we don’t want that. For example, traveling with a van full of cute kids might not be the best time to tackle a detailed project. So, think easy pattern repeats that you can find in a baby blanket, bag, or scarf pattern. One thing that I’ve thought about is working on solid motifs. That would be fast and easy, but make sure you have space to store them as you will end up with a stack a mile high before you know it! So, once you figure out what you want to work on, let’s talk about supplies.
This is where the yarn comes in. Like I said, pack it all. One of everything you have. Shove it in every cup holder, trunk nook and cranny, and under the seats… just in case. That’s the feeling I get: I need everything ‘just in case’. You can always find a shop by using your phone on the way and can buy more if ‘needed’…and yes, we always NEED yarn. In that case, pack light and plan on finding a yarn shop along the way.
What if you’re traveling in an airplane? First, find out the TSA rules and make sure you are looking at an updated list. Call the airport and I’m sure they would be happy to assist with specific rules on scissors, nail clippers, hooks, etc. With that in mind, pack a bag that will go on top of your carry-on. Set it at your feet and crochet! But be warned, you will get lots of questions like, “How do you knit?”, “What are you making?”, “Do you think you could teach me?”, and lots of other fun comments are sure to follow. Make the most of your time and have fun and maybe even teach someone along the way.
Need a few more crochet and traveling ideas? Try these:
- Single color projects: If you can, work with one yarn for a project. Not only will this save space but this will help eliminate yarn tangles and frustration of finding scissors. But if you just have to have multiple colors, keep it organized! There are bags that keep the yarn threaded through specific spaces to keep it clean and simple such as Yarn Pop so check them out!
- Light weight yarn: This is ideal if you’re needing to maximize space. Think about it, a #3 weight skein usually has more yards so you can complete a scarf, shawl or even a lacy blanket with this one skein of yarn and not take up much room!
- Large skeins: Picture this: You’re working on a blanket and you bring along 10 mini skeins…or 3 large skeins. Plan your project according to your space. Keep it simple so you have FUN and RELAX!
- Center pull skeins: If you possibly can find the center of the skein, do it! This will keep the skein from rolling all over the car or plane. If you have a cake instead of a skein, pull from the outside so that the center doesn’t get all tangled. Every time I pull from the center of a cake, I get it in such a mess. I really don’t like tangles (pet peeve!) and I will cut and tie it together to avoid that time-eater-tangle. In short: Center pull from skeins, outer pull from cakes.
- Keep your notions (yarn needles, scissors, stitch markers) in one small container: I like to use a small school box that can hold all the ‘extras’ neatly. I keep my small supplies all together at home in this same box, so this is a no-brainer for me when packing. I just take the box. It’s not too big, so it fits nicely in my bag.
- Use a hook case: I bought my case from Hiya Hiya and I’ve had it for YEARS. It holds all of my main hooks, scissors, measuring tape, and more! Actually, I think it was originally a double point needle case, but hey, it works for what I need and want!
- Plan on a second project: If you have the space, make sure you have a backup project. If you really get going, you might finish the first project! Wouldn’t that be awesome? So, make sure you have a second project in mind.
In the end, it’s not all about what you pack or even how you pack it. It’s about how much fun you have crocheting along the way!