When I was getting ready to leave, I had the hardest time getting it all together. Going away on long trips is tricky. Not just because of the clothes and creature comforts, but the yarn situation. This being my life, I am travelling some superlatively yarny places, and if there was truly a shortage of yarn I could indeed buy as I go, but that always involves also buying tools, or packing a million needles, or not being teaching while the market is open, and space is at a premium this go round. I have one large suitcase for all my teaching stuff, and then all my personal things (for two weeks!) fit into a single carry on. I though it over, I tried to get realistic, and managed to fight off the way that I usually pack yarn. Usually, I pack not like I’m travelling across the country, but to an different dimension, where time, space and knitting work differently. Usually I pack like:
a) I am going to have more time to knit while I am working than I do when I am at home. (This, is lunatic. There is no knitting during a teaching day. There is talking about knitting, and looking at knitting and discussing knitting, and all the students knit, but I – do not.)
b) Like if I do knit, I will suddenly an miraculously knit faster than I ever have before, thus requiring massive amounts of yarn that I should have on my person. Example: I can knit about a sock a day. Three balls of sock yarn with me on a plane is not “insurance” or “optimistic.” It’s delusional. Even if my flight were delayed, I would not be delayed for six days.
c) Like I have tons of free time – because I’m not at home. This too, is completely bananapants. Today’s a great example. I got up at 5:30, had a bath, organized my teaching stuff, then sat down and did Bike Rally emails, and started this blog post, and now I’ll go teach from 8:30 til 4:30, and then there’s a booksigning from 5-7 (you should come. Say hi.) and then a quick dinner, and then it’s bedtime. How do I think that’s got a ton of spare time in it? At home I’d at least be knitting before and after work, but when I’m on the road I’m doing my regular job before and after work. This does not up the yarn requirements.
All of these things together, usually mean that I’ve put a small yarn store into my suitcase by the time I leave for a trip. Way, way, way more than I need – and this time I was determined not to freak out and over-pack. So, I packed:
1. A pair of half finished socks.
2. Two balls of yarn for a toddler sized sweater.
3. Two balls of sock yarn.
I am two days into my trip, and I think I have a problem. The pair of half finished socks became socks on the way here. The first ball of sock yarn is 1/4 the way done, the two balls for a sweater are cast on and going. I have one ball untouched, and 12 days to go,
I, am rather possibly, underyarned. I swung too far the other way. There’s not enough yarn on that hotel room bed to see me through, and I can see that now.
I’ll take a swing through the marketplace tomorrow at the The Dalles Fiber Festival Marketplace, and see if things are better. Right now? Me vs 14 days? I’m seriously underyarned. I went way too far the other way. I need 500m of a man coloured sock yarn, and rather possibly, a bottle of wine. We’ll see what gets solved in the marketplace tomorrow.