Most people really don’t like it when they have to wait for something; when the doctor is running late, or they have to go to the DMV, or they have to get to the airport 2 hours ahead of their flight. Knitters, on the other hand, love a nice wait. It’s a perfect excuse for knitting right in the middle of everything!
Of course, it’s best if it’s a seated wait, but if we’ve planned ahead, we’ll have something that can be worked on even while standing (another reason to love socks!).
Anyway, how wonderful to have a period of time where you’re clearly making the best of things by knitting – great on a plane or a bus, doctor/dentist/optometrist’s office, kids’ sporting events, hospital waiting rooms (I wouldn’t actually wish anyone I love to be in a hospital or having surgery, but knitting through it is very therapeutic). I consider knitting to be my “non-prescription Valium.”
It keeps the hands and (part of) the mind occupied and produces something of value – very important when you have so much to do and someone is “wasting your time.” My mom, who doesn’t knit, gets pretty bent out of shape every time she goes to the doctor and they leave her in the examination room for “forty minutes!”. A: I don’t think it’s really 40 minutes, and B: If she had knitting with her, she might even be a little sad when he finally shows up.
I’ve taken to carrying my knitting with me when I leave the house. I have several different sized bags – the huge one which also happens to have an incendiary political statement stenciled on the side; the medium one that is very low key, but still big enough to stuff a scarf or even a lace shawl into; and the small one I made myself (felted), which can easily hold a sock, yarn, etc., and besides, it’s so cute!
So I do need to take a moment when I leave the house to decide how long I might be gone, so I know which project, in which bag, to carry with me. There was that one time I thought I had a simple nonstop red-eye flight home from New York – had just a small project with me, a little DanDoh scarf that was to be sent to Japan as a gesture following the tsunami. (I bought the yarn in a yarn shop in NYC – but that’s another story…). Anyway, nothing else to knit. Well, I was planning to sleep a bit, so it seemed like that would be plenty. NOPE. Six hours delay at the gate, but we were on the plane. SIX HOURS. And I had nothing else with me to knit. NOTHING. And this was before I had a smart phone, too, so I couldn’t even browse Ravelry (which I can happily do for hours…). They let us off the plane for about 20 minutes at some point – WHY isn’t there a yarn store in every airport??? I finished the scarf. Then I had nothing else to do but sit there and try to stifle my silent screams of anguish throughout the flight. ALL THAT WASTED KNITTING TIME!!!
So now I tend to put more yarn than I will ever need into my bag. And extra needles. And the instructions for the next project I’m considering… Just in case. Here’s a little list of other things you might want to keep in your bag:
- Scissors (I carry small kitty-nail-clippers, just in case I have to go through security – photo below)
- Tape Measure
- Crochet hook (to pick up dropped stitches. I know, I never do either, hahaha)
- Waste yarn (something bright, and enough to put your project onto in case of emergency, like a broken needle, or a TSA agent who doesn’t know you can take your needles on the plane…*)
- Nail file
- Row counter (in case you might get interrupted and have to jam it all in the bag…)
- Instructions for your current project (and the next one…)
- Stitch markers (regular and locking)
- Small notebook to note any changes you make in your project
- Chocolate (shouldn’t there always be chocolate?) (I leave it to you on how to keep it all from becoming chocolate knitting…)
That’s it for today. Oops, here’s a shot of the completed socks from last time:
Next post: The all-important LYS….
* Incidentally, it’s never happened to me, but I did once hear a lady say she had to take her project off the needles because an agent said she couldn’t have them on the plane. So I ALWAYS print out the TSA info online that says knitting needles are okay – I print this when I print my boarding pass, so it has a current date on it. Just In Case.)