What a Knitter Does on a 14 Hour Flight.

Knit, of course. In fact, a knitter may actually look forward to a 14 hour stretch of time when she is trapped in one place while hurtling through the air at 1,000,000mph in what appears to be a large tin can.

I travel a lot. I have almost, since my teen years, never flown without knitting. Except for a few occasions (once in Mexico and once in Korea), my knitting has made it on board without issue at the security gate (this in more recent times, TSA has relaxed now though, making things a bit easier for domestic travel).

Preplanning your travel knitting is quite crucial. One has to be extremely realistic about the amount of true knitting time that she may have, but she may risk a psychological meltdown should she run out of knitting during a long flight (where, as I mentioned before, you are strapped into a chair inside a tin can far above the earth’s surface).

My strategy in thinking about knitting on-flight is two fold — bring one project that “needs” to get done, and bring one project you “want” to work on.

The “need to get done” category could be the never-ending-stockinette/garter portion of a larger project; a project with a deadline; or something that needs the last 10% push to get through the “boring” part. My “need” category for this trip, of course, consists of socks. It’s actually perfect for travel since socks are pretty compact. And, I finished a sock on this flight — the Solfar sock in Plucky Primo Fingering. To be fair, I was already up to the heel turning (my favorite part of a sock) on this sock before the flight. (Please excuse the photo quality – at least hotel sheets are white for a good background!)


The “want to get done” category for me generally includes a new project that I may want to work on. A word of warning here. READ THE PATTERN first. Otherwise, you may get all excited to cast on only to realize that you don’t have the waste yarn on hand, or the right stitch markers, etc. My way of combating this mistake (and I have made this mistake before) is to cast on for the project before the flight. I finished most of a mitten on this flight as well, the Octopus Mitten in Cephalopod Traveller.


I have 2 more inter-continental trips (which are always longer flights than you think), and of course, I have to return home (with the jet stream so this is a shorter flight at ~11 hours). I have big aspirations for how much knitting I am going to get done on this trip, along with my jam packed schedule of work (yes, this is a business trip).

Perhaps a bit of a travelogue if I have time, although this is a really really short and jam packed trip.

    • Now you are regretting not giving me those snow drift mittens. See what happens when you are not generous?

  1. caityrosey said:

    That octupus piece looks more complex than anything I would normally choose for airplane knitting. Color me impressed.

    • It’s a cool pattern — and if you ever wanted a project to practice trapping yarn when you are doing stranded color work, this is not a bad choice!

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