As any knitter or crocheter will know planning what projects to take on holiday with you is an integral part of your pre-holiday planning. I’m sure there are even a few crafters out there like me who think about what knitting they are going to pack long before they think about what clothes they will be taking with them.
I think it is fair to say that I always want to overpack when it comes to my holiday knitting projects. I may be happy to wear the same clothes more than once and take a minimalist approach to packing clothes but the thought of only being able to work on one project makes me feel a bit panicky. Thankfully I can still retain some common sense and recognise that packing a multi-coloured Fair Isle design or a complicated lace pattern is not a sensible idea. I know that something relatively small and primarily in garter or stocking stitch or with an easily memorisable pattern repeat will be my best option, but I still want to pack at least 7 of them!
So what do I usually pack when it comes to holiday knitting/ crafting projects?
- last year on a 10 day trip to Orkney, when space was at a premium, I packed a 3 colour garter stitch shawl using breed specific handspun yarn, a pair of simple textured socks in handspun, hand dyed Wensleydale yarn and my small Turtle Made Turkish spindle with 3 x 25g nests of spinning fibre. I worked on everything and didn’t get bored or run out of projects. It was the perfect balance.
- earlier this year I spent a week at my parents’ house with my children and packed a crochet blanket, a crochet jumper that I was making up as I went along, a cardigan I had been working on for my mum for months and some fabric that I was hoping to upcycle in to dresses for my girls. Before I went I had almost completely lost my knitting mojo and hadn’t knitted anything for days. Whilst at my parents’ my mojo only came back enough to let me work on the crochet projects and even then I was on “just keep stitching” autopilot. In this case it was way too many projects and slightly overwhelming at times.
Then most recently on a 3 day trip to Scotland I packed a 2 colour garter stitch shawl made from handspun that I was working on for my daughter and the wool/ needles for a 2 colour lace weight vest top that I had an idea about for myself and I worked on…nothing! Yes that’s right nothing, not a single stitch on any either of my projects. Why not? Well partly this was due to swapping places in the car with my daughter. In the past I would always travel in the back so my daughter who gets travel sick could ride up front but now she prefers to sit with her sister I the back and I have to sit in the front with my partner. In the back I could knit to my hearts content but in the front I get what can best be described as “crafting guilt” and getting my knitting out feels wrong when I should be making an effort to talk/ change CDs/ navigate/ etc. I’m working on trying to persuade my daughter to swap places again but at the moment she isn’t convinced its a good idea.
So why didn’t I work on anything at the holiday cottage either? Well firstly we were only there for 2 nights so there was more pressure than usual to be out and about doing things and very little time for sitting about relaxing and knitting other than at night when the children had gone to bed. Even then my knitting didn’t make it out of my bag as space was limited so me taking up room flapping my elbows about as I knitted would have felt a bit anti-social but also partly because the people I was on holiday with opted for subdued/ dimmed lighting to create a comfy/ cosy atmosphere. Me barging in with my knitting demanding that someone put the “big light” on so I could see to knit felt a bit selfish so I worked on nothing and accepted that it would be a craft free holiday. Clearly this surprised other people as my sister-in-law was worried about me and asked if I was alright as I had gone days without knitting! The plan was to catch up on my knitting as soon as I got home however that hasn’t quite gone to plan either as a result of an incident at the end of the holiday that saw me cockle over on my ankle and end up laying on the floor in a car park outside a ladies toilet. All dignity lost and a sore wrist gained!
Taking all that in to consideration when it comes to knitting projects and how many are enough to take on holiday I guess my answer would be that it depends but I will always try and pack something just in case and it is better to err on the side of caution and pack too many rather than run the risk of running out.
How about you? How many projects do you pack and what type of thing makes the perfect holiday project for you?