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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!)

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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.

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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.

I travel for work. It is definitely not as glamorous as it may seem — slogging around with a wheelie crammed with all my electronics while making sure all your liquids are in small enough containers that can pack into a ziplock can get old. Nalgene must somewhere have in their database that I have purchased a bazillion little bottles.

Traveling is, however, one of the best things that happens to my knitting productivity.

First of all, pockets of time where I am  seated, with no other “Thing I Should Be Doing” are very precious. On a flight? I’m trapped. I cannot be addressing errands that should be getting run, cannot be hiking/training/playing with the dogs, and there are no piles of laundry or dishes that require my attention (that I can do something about, that is). Of course, I could be Go-Go Internetting my way across the country, but I’m not that productive. So — on with the headphones, on with either podcasts or an audio book, and the needles come out.

And for the duration of the trip? (Honestly, you didn’t think I traveled on a multi-day trip with just one project, did you?) On this one, I’ve got 4 with me. 2 shawls that were both more than halfway done, and a sweater that is done in pieces that is nice to have, and a project that is completely mindless (a garter body center for a shawl, done in teeny cobweb/lace).

Four is a bit excessive. But truly, I needed them all. First of all, the 2 “more than halfway done” shawls were definitely candidates to get completed on this trip. I would of course need a mindless project for times when I was sort of sitting around (lots of meetings!), and the sweater because it’s done in pieces (so I feel like it’s a finite thing) and if I can get a piece a done per trip, then I may not notice that I’m knitting sleeves. (This deserves a separate post. It’s an affliction that is similar to second sock syndrome, but The Second Sleeve That Takes Forever is another one of my diseases).

The shawl I have really been trying to work on is Romi Hill’s Rosa Flora shawl. I’m knitting it in (I know, I know) Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace in a silvery grey called Owlets. It’s beaded with clear, silver lined hex beads. It’s a semi circular shawl, and drop dead gorgeous. I want to finish…not because I don’t like knitting it, but I really want to see what this shawl looks like in its full glory.

The second almost-done shawl is a test knit, so I can’t talk about it until the pattern is released. I’m knitting it in French Market Fibers mohair lace in Spanish Moss, and it really looks like spanish moss. I am considering binding it off in a dark grey for some contrast. This shawl calls for beading, but I am probably going to omit it, so I don’t take away from the fluffiness of the shawl.

The sweater is Viften/The Fan by Marianne Isager. This sweater has been in my queue for quite some time, and I thought this was work worthy….and I’m working on the 2nd of 5 pieces for this sweater. I’m using Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Montauk Monster, which is a dark grey. (It’s a Cephalopod Yarns color now…)

The “mindless project”, which usually lives in the drawer in my office, is Quill, by Jared Flood. It really is going to be pretty, but I need to knit 270 rows of garter before the fun (lace) begins. I am ALMOST there (at which point this project will escape “mindless” status). I’m knitting this shawl out of French Market Fibers Uptown Lace, in 2 colors. I will talk about this shawl a lot more when it gets more interesting — and I am knitting this because what I really want to do is knit a fingering version, cut in half into a triangle. I figured that before I start really monkeying with a beautiful design, I should understand the original first. (I know. I have a strange mind). I think I know EXACTLY how I want the construction to go, but I may come up with more ideas as I progress with this shawl. I’ll definitely document the modification process here.

Running back to my knitting, as I really want to free up my Signature #5 needles that are in my Rosa. Because Romi has released another shawl that would be absolutely perfectly cozy for fall in a tweedy, classic yarn!!!

What’s on your needles right now?