Exactly Yarned

On Wednesday, after I got out of bed at 4am to go to the airport for the of three planes (plus two cars and a ferry) to take me to Port Ludlow (I really need a new travel agent. At present it’s me, and it turns out that consistently the thrifty Stephanie who books the flights has an almost boundless amount of confidence in the Stephanie who has to execute those flights) I stood in my living room drinking a huge cup of coffee and looked at the pile of knitting I’d amassed for the week, and tried to decide what to take and where to pack it.

On the top of the pile was the Tool Box Cowl I’ve been working on – not much left on that I thought, so I moved it to my carry on. I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to be enough – it was more than half finished of course, so I added the Jilly Mittens, though I almost had one of those finished and they’re really fast and… I moved another cowl to my bag. I sipped coffee and surveyed that. Three flights, two short layovers… a car ride on the other end, that should be enough, I thought.  I added the yarn and needles for the November Socks to my checked bag – all that, I thought, had to hold me for a week (considering that I was planning on buying more yarn at the marketplace) and two cowls and a pair of mittens would definitely do for the travel day, for sure.  I zipped shut my suitcase, moved my carry-on to the door and perched my passport on top, and went to get a bit lot more coffee.  While I poured it, I checked the weather – it was fine.  It was fine in Toronto, fine in Calgary, fine in Vancouver and fine in Seattle.  As I checked for potential delays, I started to imagine more.  A cancelled flight? Lost luggage? What if Debbi’s car broke down on the other side, or what if the way we struggle with the Ferry schedule was suddenly insurmountable? What if I have to spend the night in the airport? For what reason I couldn’t imagine, but what if? You can see how this ends, and two minutes later I was frantically winding yarn for another project and stuffing that in my bag too so that if I ended up living in an Airport for days I’d be just fine.

I got on the plane with all this-

Which actually wasn’t enough to manage days in an airport but was about all I could fit in a carry on, and enough that my seat-mate definitely made up his mind about me when I took that picture, and I cemented it when I returned his stare and said, as boldly as I could manage, “I knit.”

I did not spend the night in an airport, and I didn’t finish all that on the way, and it was more than enough for another whole travel day home, which means it was exactly twice what I needed, which seems about right.  Details? Glad you asked.

Pattern: Tool Box Cowl. Yarn: Raveling Rose recycled cashmere – 6 mini skeins.

An invented cowl, cast on some and used up all the leftovers from this one. It’s about half the size of the first one, and just right as a cozy little tuck in.

Pattern, Jilly Mitts. Yarn: Jilly and Kiddles Aurora in Raven. (The yarn’s hard to photograph, it’s darker than it looks in those pictures.  All the snow outside kept throwing it off. Yeah.  Snow.  Sigh.)

Pattern: Silhouette and Sky.  Yarn: Gauge Dye Works club yarn.

That’s a considerable dent in the WIP pile to be sure, but don’t worry, I have lots more – and another set of flights coming up.  I’ll be in Edmonton next week- if you’d care to join me, I’ll be teaching at River City Yarns on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of November. (I love Cynthia and Barb and their podcast) and here’s a link to the workshops if you want to come.  I’d love to see you.

45 thoughts on “Exactly Yarned

  1. Thanks for the pics and travelogue. Exactly twice what you need sounds just about right, especially as you didn’t hit any of the ‘what if’ scenarios.
    Edmonton is six hours away. Wondering how to swing that …

  2. Let’s not forgot that flying across the continent is a long trip and you may want to change your mind about what your knitting on all those planes, trains, and automobiles. At least, that’s how I justify it!

    • Advent? What about advent calendars for the new kids?!
      And matching tribal toques for the new additions…
      Hope they’re on the spreadsheet….although the Sox of the Month are roaring along!!

  3. I am already debating what to take on a six day trip after Christmas. I will probably still have a bulky sweater WIP and will definitely have a full size throw WIP but will I have sufficient lap space on the plane or waiting at the gate for those? Dare I bring the socks with pointy DPNs as they sort of look like weapons? Is it weird to pack more yarn than clothing?

    • Not sure where you’re flying (which airlines, though which security points) but for the past number of years I have had NO problems with stainless steel sock DPN’s going through in my carry-on…years ago (after 9/11) they would always open up the cardboard protective tube and have a look, but even then I never had them confiscated…

      (The irony of this–because yes they DO look weapon-like, confirmed by nearly every non-knitting seat-mate I’ve ever had (“How did you get THOSE through security??!?”)–when they are still taking my suntan lotion if I mispack it–all I can suggest is do NOT point it out to them! Take your needles and walk fake-casually away from the scanners…!)

      Maybe there’s been an industry-wide bulletin that knitters generally present FAR less threat to the public if you let them keep their needles??!

      [click the airplane–classic!! does this thing read our posts??!]

  4. The first cowl is gorgeous — love the colors! The second cowl looks as light as a wisp of fog (too bad that yarn sheds like a herd of cats). You’re a brave woman to knit those mittens and that cap in those dark yarns on an airplane! How could you see what you were doing?

    P.S.: Are those November socks even on the needles yet?

  5. I once had a pilot sit next to me on a flight (he was flying to a hub airport to catch his first flight). At the end of the flight, he told me that he wished more passengers knit.

    Airlines should open a “knitters section”.

    • I had an idea years ago which I myself would never be able to do, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a knitting kiosk in every airport? Stocked with basic yarns and needles and stitch markers etc? For those emergency fixes we all need sometimes? I also have noted a remarkable, complete and utter lack of knitting magazines in airport “book stores.” Foolish vendors…

  6. Impressive! And we all know if you only took half of all that knitting there would be a sobbing mad woman in the airport lounge frogging her FO to keep from running through the terminal with her needles when a delay was announced. Or more likely, eyeing every knit that walked by wondering if it could be unraveled and wound before they reached their gate. If caught in the act, she would gleefully announce, “I’ll knit you a new sweater!”

  7. Well, now I feel guilty for the three “almost” done projects I’ve had looming all year. However, less guilty because I’ve been mending a wrist and shoulder injury (not on the same arm). Here’s to better knitting in 2020. Also, how many of those are going into the Christmas box? All of them I hope. I’m starting to get worried. It’s already almost the end of November and I haven’t seen any talk of the spreadsheet.

  8. I wonder if the ‘Thrifty Stephanie’ could give herself a break and just once fly non-stop at a decent hour sometime. Just once. As an equally thrifty frequent flyer I stumbled onto such an experience a while ago (the stars aligned) and it was amazing. Cross country. No stops. On a major airline. They even served free lunch. The price that particular millisecond in Internet Time, just a bit more than a thrifty schedule one. Since you usually fly solo you are more likely to find such a thing, Just a suggestion:), and a realization that even 4 years ago airline flying has probably changed a whole bunch. But you never know.

    • Being a grandmother on the East Coast of the US (RI) I have not been able to find a direct flight to the grandchildren in WA. In fact I have to fly into Oregon to see them.
      The best I can find is one connection in Chicago, before that it was 3 changes
      RI to (Charlotte, Philadelphia or DC) then to Phoenix, AZ and then to Portland, OR.
      always amused that I had to fly to the Southwest to get to the Northwest.

  9. Had a sudden vision of you, The Terminal-style, spending years in a corner of the Airport. I imagine you would make a living knitting for travellers; people dropping off yarn as they prepare to board and then pick up finished knits as they return from their trips.

  10. Thank you for confirming that I am packing correctly for trips, as least as far as my knitting is concerned. If I ever get held up somewhere, I may not have clean underwear, but at least I won’t be caught without knitting.

  11. You packed wisely. I just got back from a four-day trip. Packed one new multi-color project, far bigger than I could complete in four days, only to discover to my horror that a tiny ball of bottle green was missing! I switched up the color sequence to go as far as I could, but finally had to find a yarn store in a strange city so I could start an emergency hat. (An enjoyable detour, and yarn person gave me some good advice about local attractions, but still …)

    • HAD to find a yarn store? When I go out of town, yarn stores are high on my list of “things to do.” Right up there with bookstores and museums.

  12. Heading home after a trip of 18 days. I brought (and finished) one work in progress. Brought yarn for 5 more. Small things like socks and hats.
    Then I purchased yarn for 2 more hats. Completed one started the second.
    Then I purchased a third hank.
    Because I had to ship a box home (bought ice skates 😉 I packed most of the yarn and away it went.
    Carrying a hat in progress and yarn for another. Hoping to nap during the 3.5 hour last flight but very prepared for wakefulness and delays.
    BTW, all fingering weight yarn. Easily packed and more knitting time.
    I love to knit while I travel and care not at all what strangers think or assume.
    We need to come up with one word that means “knitting while traveling”.

  13. I packed an entire carry-on in yarn last month, a five day trip. Yours looks like a more reasonable amount.

    We were going to my father’s funeral. He spent his career trying, among other things, to help keep the 500-year-old Aubusson tapestry weaving guild alive, and I knew he would approve of my bringing an exuberant amount of wool in many colors while coming to celebrate his 93 years making this world a better place.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. It seems he packed a lot of memories for you in all your years to keep you company.
      And now you’re doing your part to keep knitting going.
      Thank you for mentioning the Aubusson guild-I’ll read up.

  14. Can’t make it to RVCY in Edmonton this time but…I wish you safe travel and no freezing rain (which we seem to have had a good bit of in the past 2 weeks). I still cherish the photo I took of you with my sock there a few years ago. 🙂

  15. My professional lexicographical opinion is that “underyarned” is a legitimate coinage formed from the combination of “under-” meaning “not enough” and “-yarned” meaning “in possession of spun and plied fiber.”

    However, I find no evidence whatsoever for “exactly yarned” or “overyarned.”

    Clearly they don’t exist.

  16. SUCH A GOOD PLANNER! I do the same, PLUS add in at least one novel (“what if I just feel like reading?”) one or more magazines (no time to read them at home), a mini bottle of Baileys (in case I want to sleep) and usually some kind of bullet journal calendar project. This is for the 3 hour flight to visit my daughter in Virginia. 🙂
    When I go international it gets really out of hand.

  17. What have I embarked on? The lady who gave me the pattern said 8 skeins would be enough. So I ordered 9 skeins from one of my local yarn shops. They had only 8. In my enthusiasm I started the project, never mind that the 9th skein, on backorder, might not be the same dye lot. Yesterday I had an errand near my LYS, 30 miles away, and I had finished the first section of the project, so I stopped for a consultation. The clerk “thought” 8 skeins “might be” enough, but gollygee I am still quite skeptical, so I added 2 more skeins to the back order. Been waiting couple of weeks for the 9th skein on backorder, now awaiting also the extra 2 skeins. Same dyelot, or will I have to do some adaption if the dyelots do not match? But for the moment the project has come to a halt.

  18. It’s me again. We had a marvelous Thanksgiving brunch in the big ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas. It was a special Thanksgiving because this year Thanksgiving Day was also my birthday. We had a wonderful wait staff and I told them all that I would be back again in about five months when the entire ballroom would be filled with knitters! The Sunflower Knitters Guild biennial weekend workshop event, KITH (Knitting in the Heartland) April 17-19 with a very special expert knitter — Stephanie Pearl McPhee. I still laugh every time I remember the day my middle child learned that ‘purl’ is not spelled ‘pearl’.

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