Yesterday, I left San Francisco and made my way to Fort Worth, Texas.

(View from the top of Twin Peaks, courtesy of an early morning jaunt with Stephen)

This trip is mostly knitterly, with a quick trip to visit my friend Stephen thrown in, and that means that I’m carrying my teaching stuff, my teaching supplies, student supplies, handouts, a computer projector, examples of knitted stuff,  you have no idea.  Then there’s my personal stuff, and although I tried to keep it reigned in hard… It’s chilly in San Francisco, and hot in Texas and cool in Minneapolis and that made me think I needed more clothes than usual, and then I needed boots for hiking and sandals for the heat and so they’re in there, along with a raincoat because… well. Clearly I came a little unglued.  All of that fits in two bags, and then there’s my carry on.  In that I have all my computer stuff, and the ridiculous number of cords and plugs,  and a big camera, and all my knitting (two kinds, in case I finish one) and also my wallet and really, that bag is so heavy that carrying it is making me shorter. 

All of this is unwieldy and heavy and I feel like I have way more than usual (because I do) and yesterday morning I carried it all down three flights of stairs, somehow got it onto the street in San Francisco, and kept it from rolling down a hill, and then lifted it all between parked cars, and then I got it into the taxi, swearing on my stash that I would never, ever have this much luggage again – all the while thinking that it’s insane that my bags are this full, when I didn’t even bring a swift and ball winder- which is a huge measure of restraint.  I keep going over those bags and trying to figure out why they’re so full, why I have so much – why I’ve had to unzip that expansion thing on the side of the suitcase just to keep it from exploding, and seriously, there really hasn’t been an upside to having this much… until today – see, I was already knitting with Verb For Keeping Warm yarn when I landed there… and that really did take the edge off of my collecting habit.  I only got one skein- which is a miracle of remarkable proportions. I have a bit of a thing for their yarn. 

Today, today I have no strategy.  Today I’m going to be at MadTosh.  I’m giving a talk at 6pm, and it’s right in the store, and I really, really don’t see how it’s going to be possible to avoid the yarn.  To make things worse, I’m still trolling for nephew sweater yarn, and that makes me feel like I need to buy some…

and I’m about 20 minutes away from finishing my Suki. 

The only thing that’s going to help me? (And I swear in the name of everything holy that if one of you makes shipping it home sound reasonable and sane instead of expensive and crazy I’m done with you)

I can’t buy much.  It won’t fit.

PS.  I just realized that I’m already in trouble.  I meant to type "I can’t buy anything" and just noticed I’ve already rationalized my way to "much"  I might need to take a buddy.

149 thoughts on “Luggage

  1. That is a remarkable color combination you have there. Eyecatching, muted, and shows off the texture of the pattern really well. Geez – now I want to knit one.
    Is it all part of your plan? If you foist your poor impulse control on us, you won’t feel tempted in MadTosh? (And seriously, I would sell a kidney on the black market to make a bed of madtosh).
    What if you buy a pillow case, fill it with yarn, and use it as your in-flight pillow?

  2. Space bags or ziptop bags with the air squished out…resistance is futile. Make sure you show us what you bought!

  3. You know, USPS has those boxes that ship at a low rate – “If it fits, it ships.” Just sayin. Good luck! I would never be able to resist MadTosh!

  4. throw out all th eunnecessary clothes and ship back the teaching supplies. That would be a business expense and deductible and not nearly as expensive….

  5. But… think of your chilly little nephew! And your chilly bigger nephew! Poor little lambs… All alone, with no sweaters…
    And I think the real reason that mailing the yarn home is a terrible idea is that it might take too long. Of course, you could just ship your clothes instead and pack all the yarn… which is what I would be tempted to do.

  6. Just got back from my honeymoon and had to ship fleeces and yarn home from that trip – if it’s sane and reasonable to buy that much fibery stuff on that kind of vacation (which of course I think it is!), then it has to be perfectly acceptable on one where you’re basically forced to interact with the yarn. Besides, MadTosh is wonderful – seems quite reasonable to me!

  7. I have a better idea. Ship your clothes home – either the ones you no longer need in light of weather, or the ones that are dirty. I know, not really helpful. But an idea.

  8. Stay strong, keep tough … what else can I really say? My expectations for you are low in that sort of stress-inducing environment.
    Oh, and the knitting is absolutely gorgeous!

  9. I second the vacuum packing – you can use a regular garbage bag and beg/borrow a vacuum from someone. It is amazing how much stuff shrinks down when you do that – I bet you could really load up on yarn that way! Besides, it is the harvest season – abundance is the order of the day.

  10. If you can afford it and you want it – buy it – life is short and one never knows when things might turn around and you might not be able to afford more yarn. The bigger the stash, the longer you can knit if you can no longer buy any new stuff. I wouldn’t have believed it could happen either and am so happy I took my own advice. Carpe diem. And don’t hold back – buy some for the Gipper.

  11. Hold on…on the way DOWN, you had the yarn for suki IN your bag. Now Suki will be done, so you can wear it. That frees up at least a little space, yeah? I think it totally gives you license to at least replace those skeins.

  12. that shawl is really quite nice. when you first showed the colors, i thought uh,oh, that’s gonna look like a christmas item. but it doesn’t! it looks like something i want!!!

  13. I have a friend who was traveling in Southeast Asia and she left all her clothes there so she could bring home beautiful, insanely cheap fabric. Just sayin’.

  14. Well, of course you should have the yarn shipped home to you. I was thinking that way before I got to where you said you’d be done with us if we mentioned that. Think of it as helping out the USPS, which has been struggling. You’re helping save someone’s job. So, there, you have to do it or you’ll feel guilty. 🙂

  15. Ilive in Ft Worth….work about 5 minutes from MadTosh. In my experience, entering the store is a dangerous proposition in any event. However,you must buy while there, because the handpainted yarn doesn’t have a dyelot number and there are variations. So, you want to go ahead and purchase today. Just a suggestion from a woman with enough MadTosh yarn to fill a bin or two, and who will be at Stephanie’s lecture tonight and doubtless go home with a few more skeins. It’s useless to resist.

  16. I regularly knitshop while travelling, usually I ask the shop if they are able to ship whatever I buy (with postage just added to my bill). Often they get a slighlty better shipping rate, I don’t have to worry about finding a box/PO/tape etc and then it’s like a little reward for me actually deciding to come back home and not stay in whatever interesting place I’m working/visiting. It’s a win win 🙂

  17. Can’t help you there cause I would SO ship my clothes home for my favourite yarn dyer! In fact, I’d go through my clothes and decide what is suddenly out of style, what is “kinda” snug and any underwear with just ONE hole and chuck ’em and get that yarn in the bag!
    Just sayin’ (as said person is knitting Every Last Yard with Tosh DK in Crumble and is euphoric over how blessedly gorgeously it knits up and the COLOUR! OH, THE COLOUR!).
    Anyway, ya… um… sorry… I’m a CLASSIC enabler.

  18. Don’t tell anyone (especially my husband), but I’ve been known to throw away dirty clothes when the choice came down to clothes or yarn. It was worth it.

  19. Wear as much as possible1 Suki as well, unblocked…..anything you
    buy (and you will) skeins round your neck. I hope you have clothes with pockets, stuff them up well too…….

  20. Honestly now when will you back to this store again???
    I have special rules for “once in a life time”.
    If you fly Air Canada that often I would check my baggage allowance,I’m pretty sure you will be allowed 3 bags for check in.
    Just a passing thought

  21. You could ship home the clothes and things you needed in San Fransisco and Texas but not in Minneapolis. Also, have you considered buying nephew sweater yarn for just Luis? He’s smaller and requires fewer skeins.

  22. US Postal Service Priority Mail…reasonable and it’s there within 2-3 days. Ship stuff to your home, ship stuff from home to classes. Have a backup plan, just in case, like a list of all the supplies you need so that they can be rounded up in no time.
    Send electronic copies of paper handouts to wherever you are teaching to have them make copies, or carry all handouts on a flash drive and copy at the hotel (many have business services) or locate nearby Kinko’s, Staples, Office Max (all do copying).
    Projectors are available all over the place, it would be easier to have location supply it. If they don’t know where to get one, check with the hotel you’re staying in for sources.
    Stunning shawl! Interesting how many shawl patterns lately are incorporating multiple colors, rather than relying solely on texture and lace patterns.

  23. How often are you in MadTosh, really? It would be a waste of airfare to not buy anything…
    As they say on Project Runway, “Make it work.”

  24. I will not talk about shipping it home. I am currently visiting my family, and I’m only going to be here for 2 days. I brought 4 knitting projects. 4. What the heck was I thinking? It isn’t like any of them are close to done!?
    So, good luck on resisting the best that MadTosh has to offer. I have no wisdom myself, because I’m clearly already on the crazy train!

  25. Good luck with the buddy thing. You see how well that works for me (hence the coming to the November retreat thing)

  26. I know you can save on duties if you bring it back with you rather than have it shipped, but it sounds as though you’re well and truly at your limit. BTW, Madtosh is great stuff, but I’m not sure it’s 12-year-old boy stuff. Just saying…

  27. Heck, I’d be shipping home that Tosh stuff and any dirty laundry I didn’t need before I was safely back at home. Think how much easier your excess luggage will be. (That’s the evil part of me. The more responsible part follows.) You know something could totally go wrong with customs and you’d never see that yarn again. Then where would you, and your nephew’s sweater, be?

  28. I can’t seem to make is out of my LYS without new yarn when a new shipment of MadTosh comes in. I’d be hopeless at the store. You won’t need the hot weather clothing for quite a while after Texas, so ship that home. Yarn stuffs well in shoes and hiking boots.

  29. … Or you might just need to arrange to have it shipped. It’s the logical decision – you have no room in your luggage, and carrying what you already have crammed into your luggage is making you shorter. Short people can’t risk getting shorter.

  30. I’m with everyone else, ship home the stuff you are done with, then there’s more room for yarn!

  31. Oh, like that’s going to help!
    YOU: I shouldn’t buy anything here.
    BUDDY: You should totally get that.
    YOU: You’re right!

  32. I vote for having a travel companion. That spreads out the teaching stuff and leaves room for more acquisitions.

  33. Hi, Steph,
    Congrats on the lovely shawl. Who were you planning on gifting it to this x-mas? Just mail it from Dallas and write “Do not open until Christmas” on the envelope. One thing off the Christmas list and more room in luggage. Win-win.
    It’s finally cooling off here and I’m revving up to do the final Christmas knitting, so I have Christmas on my brain.
    Have fun,
    Julie in San Diego

  34. USPS Global Priority Mail does have flat rate boxes, and the rates to Canada aren’t too awful. But… the shipping time can be slow. It’s really amazing how things can bottleneck when going through Customs.
    Love the PP who suggested that you ship your teaching supplies home & write it off as a business expense. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. =)

  35. Stop and think about this logically – deep breath.
    1 – Seeing yarn in person and purchasing it beats mail order by a mile.
    2 – When you get home there will be regrets and you will have a difficult time explaining to someone via long distance or email what it was you saw and now need to buy.
    3 – You will buy yarn.
    4 – You can’t possibly carry more stuff.
    5 – Abandoning dirty laundry at any of your stops could leave you open to embarrassment (eBay, Facebook, etc – it won’t be nice).
    6 – Just ship it. It’s the most professional choice you can make.
    7 – If you save this and repeat it to me when I am having a weak moment on the road, it will not be pretty.

  36. I’m sure the lovely folks at Madtosh will be more than happy to help you explore your options. And I’m sure you will be happy you brought clothing for HOT, because my thermometer says 92 — we apparently aren’t having fall in Texas this year! Wish I could get over there tonight to hear your talk!

  37. Life is short, and yarn is beautiful. I’m sure you’ll make buying yarn happen. Although, I have to say – I rather liked Anna’s suggestion of buying a pillow case and stuffing the yarn into that for your flight home. I think that’s brilliant!

  38. If you keep the package under 4 lbs total, the shipping to Canada from the U.S. isn’t terrible…

  39. But… if you ship home the clothes you won’t need for the rest of your trip, you’ll have more room in your suitcases… and adding yarn to the boxes of clothing you’re shipping home will add padding so nothing gets bounced around too much during the trip…..

  40. One word… Pockets. (altho’ shipping is a good word too… but only for stuff you can’t get at home).

  41. I know someone who ships golf clubs to and from his vacation! Yarn is so much cheaper to ship………but I would ship the clothing and pack the yarn. For me, it would be easier to replace clothes if they got lost.

  42. I was reading and nodding agreeably until I read that you would be at Madtosh. Thud. There is no way ever that I could resist Madtosh unless I was completely out of Ramen. And I bet I could con someone into buying me a few cheap packets of that.

  43. But taking a buddy won’t help. Every one of your buddies is a yarn-enabler. You have very few yarn resistant friends. You are doomed!

  44. I have the perfect solution: buy as much as you want, and ship it all to me, where I will give it a good home and disavow all knowledge of your involvement. Perfect, no? 🙂

  45. Words of hard-won wisdom: you will regret far longer the frugal impulse! Have you ever had buyer’s remorse for a yarn purchase of this quality? Not in my experience, but the sharp stabbing pang of regret is still with us over some powdered green chiles we passed up in New Mexico 2 years ago. Thank goodness we bought the gunny sack of fresh, or the pain would be unbearable.

  46. Apparently the readers above me were not impressed with your threats…lol. Here’s my suggestion: ship an entire suitcase home with dirty/unnecessary clothes, etc. That way you won’t have to lug it around. Pick up a light weight sipper, nylon bag in the airport to hold whatever jumps in there at any given LYS and enjoy yourself. It goes without saying that the nylon bag should be huge with straps that go over your shoulder. If you ship the suitcase as cargo via the airlines it costs less…. just a thought.

  47. i’m pretty sure there is a chapter of Yarn-aholics Anonymous near you (and if there isn’t, there should be! somebody get on that please!) and like AA, you can call a yarn-aholic hotline where someone will talk you through it. or… they might just say, wait for me! i’ll meet you there! 🙂

  48. I’m with Janie at 3:03.. I checked out Madtosh’s website. there ain’t no way i’d be walking out of that store with nothing!
    Go back to the basic questions:
    Are you hurting anyone with the yarn?
    Are you able to keep food on the table, lights and heat (although it is furnance war season coming up!) in the house?
    If the answer is yes. buy and ship! I’m sure your talk will be fabulous!

  49. Welcome to Cowtown, as the locals call Fort Worth. I wish wish wish I could be there tonight, but family illness will keep me away. Maybe another trip. Go to the museums while you are in town: Amon Carter, Modern, and of course, the world-famous Kimble. They are all close together and close to MadTosh.

  50. If you find the perfect yarn for a nephew sweater here’s the USPS prices, USD, (from Oregon to Toronto CA, it should be the same or close from TX) for International First Class: (Priority is way expensive)
    8 oz = $4.05
    12 oz = $4.90
    1 lb = $5.75
    1.5 lb = $7.45
    2 lbs = $9.15
    It’s not wise to pass up a great opportunity. Why live with such a regret?

  51. If you brought a buddy, you’d probably talk *them* into buying yarn, too. You’re on your own, chickie.

  52. So happy to have you return to Texas. The weather gods aren’t smiling on your trip but I promise the people will make it worth your while! Wish I could come hear your lecture but the timing doesn’t work out. Have a great stay!
    ps- good luck with the MadTosh and be glad you don’t live in driving distance of the shop!

  53. Your baggage woes sound like the first chapter of the best-selling book “Wild” in which she dubs her backpack Monster. And I so sympathize with having to pack for all kinds of weather in which it is impossible to carry out the idea of “core wardrobe”. That shipping home idea is the best. And last weekend I narrowly missed an accident with MadTosh for the simple fact they did not have my color. Maybe you could practice loving (to the exclusion of all else) the most impossible-to-get color even if that would be “pale putrid”. At least until you get out of the store. Other than that I have not a thing to say about this multi-issues action-packed post. Have fun in Ft. Worth! (We’ve been there and we loved it. Can you knit a sock while riding a mechanical bull? How about between swigs of beer?)

  54. Couldn’t you email @ least the student handouts to the store and have them print and photocopy the pages and have them ready for your arrival? A flash drive would weigh so much less…

  55. I have a friend who takes op shop clothes on vacation so she can leave them behind and bring back souvineers. Just saying ….. It leaves lots of space in a suitcase.

  56. FedEx advertises that they’ll ship golf clubs cheaper than having golf clubs fly with you, so I’m sure they’d do you a deal for yarn 🙂 …then I’d say show no restraint…. after all it’s TOSH….ship a box home

  57. You think you have a problem now??? Just wait to you get to Mpls and Steven Be’s. It’s so over the top and totally irresistible. I’m with those who say to ship anything you don’t need home. And please, we are in a severe drought up here and wish it would rain…please ship the raincoat home so that we can tempt the fates.

  58. I’m pretty sure that dirty clothing ships home duty free. Wool yarn is supposed to be duty free if made in the USA, but not all post office people know that. If you bring it home under the exemption limit, no GST or HST either. See how much money you just saved!

  59. wait, you only have one carry-on? if that is correct you can have a second bag such as a purse or laptop. i suggest picking up a nice little tote to jam pack full of said yarn.

  60. Dear Steph, this is why FedEX was invented. You can buy NephewSweaterYarn and pop it into a box and send it home. Or if you can’t bear to part with it (which I totally understand!) you can FedEx your dirty clothes home and put the yarn in the suitcase. Not that I’ve ever FedEXed my laundry home in order to have more space for yarn. Never ever. (It was fleece…)

  61. I realize that you may not trust the schedule/site to have photocopying available, but most bigger cities have it at Staples, Kinko’s, or the equivalent. Kinko’s even has computers with rentable time for getting that first printout. Hotels sometimes have a computer room available, too. The flash drive could work (some hold astonishing amounts now) or even – ask your computer guru – Could you put your teaching materials online (in a password locked file, maybe in cloud storage or a special account set up for it somewhere) and have them accessible that way? You could either download/print off copies in the hotel or worst-case scenario give the students the password to that file.
    Or ask the publisher for a “minder” to help handle the stuff…

  62. Every year I ship a box home from vacation with the stuff I bought at the spice store (heavy, pounds of salts and peppers, etc.) and what I bought at the yarn store (not heavy, but space consuming.) Maybe some stuff I bought at the flea market if it doesn’t fit well into my luggage. If I mail it Saturday morning, it usually gets across the county to me flat rate on Monday. Totally worth it.

  63. I used to run around with a wildly creative friend who was on a tight budget, and she would always look at what I had in my hand and say “You could make that.” And I am betting that you have the fleeces in your stash to do it, too.
    (We will just totally ignore the fact that, at present, time is the most precious commodity and if the yarn for the nephew’s sweater needs to be spun first, you will probably be making a man-size sweater!!!).
    Personally, I would buy what I could afford and ship it home (and it is always fun to get a pleasant package in the mail!). And like others have suggested, MadTosh probably could ship it home for you, and already has the supplies on hand (and would probably like that extra boost of publicity when you blog “I am knitting XYZ with this yarn from MadTosh!”)

  64. Use a yarn mule (that you can trust) and then collect your new purchases from them at Rhinebeck. Or if you can’t trust ’em with the yarn have them take some of your clothes.

  65. You think you’re in trouble now?? Wait ’til you get to StevenBe in Minneapolis…………hee, hee, hee.

  66. If you have a Google account (or make one) you can store all your documents online on their document/drive system. You can share the files with your students (either locked so they can’t edit, or unlocked for editing capabilities) and you can access it at any computer with internet, like a FedEx. You could fit an extra skein or two of yarn in without the extra paperwork!

  67. If all that is in a softside suitcase is yarn and clothes, you can sit on it for awhile while knitting and squish it down so you can then unzip it and add more yarn.
    You’re welcome,
    the voice of experience.

  68. How great to check out the blog and see a picture of the street where I live (well, almost, but I do live right under Twin Peaks). I was going to send an email, but a comment works better — I LOVED the mawata class you taught in Oakland!! It was a first-rate class on every level, and I’m really pleased with how my little bonnet is turning out. And I had a lengthy discussion about silkworms with my mother, a retired Kindergarten teacher who taught her students about silk. Apparently they had a mulberry tree nearby, etc, etc, and the kids waited patiently until the worm crawled out of the cocoon. At the end of the experiment, the teachers were asked by the suppliers to put the worms in the freezer to kill them, but my mom kept it secret from the kids!! I can’t even describe the rest of our conversation, discussing whether it is better for the worms to meet their maker in the oven or the freezer.
    With respect to the yarn issue, I’ve done it many times myself: mail dirty laundry home.

  69. i love this blog and read religiiously!!
    i need some help….i am travelling to toronto for business…will have my car and rhe chance to escape… where are the best knitting shops where i can soend money and increase my yarn stash? staying at the sheraton on queens west… thanks for everyones help!

  70. I have shipped things from the US back to Edmonton before. It can be surprisingly reasonable, and much cheaper than paying for an additional bag. (runs and hides hehe)

  71. Buy Tosh. Buy LOTS of Tosh. God how I love Tosh! Mail Tosh home if you have to. Ditch clothes and boots, you can get more if you really need them. Buy Tosh. Take it home.

  72. Buy another bag, a light one, just for the knitting and other essentials. “Lose” the other stuff somewhere. New clothes can be bought. Knitting can’t.

  73. As a last ditch attempt to prevent buying yarn, I sometimes have to resort to the moral superiority approach. I convince myself I will feel sooooo superior for not having purchased X, Y or Z that it will make up for not having X, Y and Z.
    It would totally work if I had no enabling friends, I think. And if there were no internet.

  74. I’m with Carrie at 7:29. No matter what it takes, buy lots and LOTS of Tosh.
    Just looking at it online is enough to make a person throw budgets out the window. I cannot imagine any circumstances under which I could resist its actual presence.

  75. Here is something to consider. The classification of yarn, knitting wool is 5106.10.90.00 4% duty applicable ( no duty if MX or US country of origin ) HST is applicable because you are a casual rather then commercial importer and the courier’s customs department will charge for clearance, as well. It might be a little pricier then you expect.

  76. of course it is crazy and expensive and the best thing you can do!! Media mail is not that expensive (at least in country but you are our good neighbors…) the first time I went to Portland OR I went to soo many fab fabric shops (wasn’t into, rather back into knitting at that time) and I sent about 4 huge boxes back with books, fabric and cloths. Why all that all around if you don’t need to? Save your height!! I know, no help at all….

  77. I shipped all my loot and some unneeded (dirty) clothes home from the last Knot Hysteria. The Port Ludlow Inn kindly took care of mailing it for me and even found a box to pack it all in.
    No, I don’t remember what it cost, because I just didn’t care, just wanted to travel lighter. It was great.
    Here’s a thought, it would be cheaper to ship to the Port Ludlow Inn than to Toronto. Then ship it home from there with the Knot Hysteria stuff, and it won’t even seem like you bought anything.

  78. I have been known to ship the extra bag as air cargo ON THE SAME FLIGHT. Much cheaper than the extra luggage charge. Gets there the same time as you. It’s all a business expense as this is a business trip. Pack the lightest into the air cargo container to keep the cost the lowest.

  79. Next trip, bring clothes that you can leave behind. I’ve used that strategy several times over the years. No significant other has caught on yet!

  80. If you packed your hiking boots, you can stuff some yarn in there. Then you won’t have to ship it home!

  81. Fill your shoes (obviously NOT the ones you are wearing) with socks, undies and/or yarn. Roll everything up, mail dirty clothes to yourself, buy ANOTHER bag, hire an assistant to travel with you (that could be me), mail the yarn you buy to me, and I will try to remember to send it on to you!! 😉
    If I cannot enter a yarn store and leave without buying yarn, you have no escape!!!!
    PS: I love those two colors together!!!

  82. It would cost waaaaay more to fly back out there and buy that yarn, and that’s not even counting the emotional toll on you from having it haunt your dreams. Shipping is totally reasonable and quite sane.

  83. Listen her, Missy — who’s foolin’ who exactly? We know you’re a gonner once you enter that store. Just be responsible, and for the Love of Mike, purchase enough in whatever colorway fits the bill for those precious nephew sweaters. No one wants to hear the bellyaching of not having enough after all this, savy?

  84. I would be helpless in such a situation. But if you’re shipping anything, ship the yarn! It weighs less than most clothing and therefore will cost less.

  85. I’d stuff a small skein in my underwear and one each in my bra cups. Blame it on “bloat.”

  86. Spaces exist around the pull-out handle, inside the inner zippers, inside shoes. I have been close enough on weight that I left small toiletries behind. 4oz container of shampoo is a small skein of yarn. You can wear/carry coats and sweaters and stuff them under the seat or around the carry-on. Put yarn or fiber into a zip loc and compress it, or stuff it into the coat pockets.
    I have carried plants in a rubbermaid container in my checked bags before by wrapping them with newspaper, and packing around them.
    Alternately, dump any excess student materials, mail it forward or have the host mail it for you, or mail things back that you don’t have to pay customs duties on and don’t need right away. USPS is relative inexpensive.
    Last, adjust speaking contract to add: “Host must provide yarn winding service upon request” to avoid having to carry a swift and ball winder.
    For student handouts, plan to use local copy services to save yourself the weight. Carry a couple of master copies and have some run off at Kinkos or an office supply store nearby, or email to the host and have them print them out for you and have them waiting. Paper is so heavy!

  87. For yarn’s sake! I’m sure both stores would be happy to ship large boxes crammed full of their best yarns to your home. Just phone Joe and the girls and tell them to expect some packages to arrive.
    Of course this means you’ll have the best-insulated house in all of North America. . .;-)!

  88. I’d pick up space saver vaccuum bags. They squish things down really far and you can get an amazing amount of things in your suitcase.

  89. I also agree with the space bags idea. Get 2 for your clothing and one for yarn. It’s amazing how much room you have after using these!

  90. I soooooooo enjoyed meeting you tonight. Than k you for coming to Texas.You are a hoot.
    I hope to take a class with you someday.

  91. Enjoy Fort Worth — many of my friends were at your lecture this evening (I just relocated to NW Indiana). The MadTosh shop is beautiful. The upside of having to visit Texas is that you might feel a little more kindly toward the upcoming winter!

  92. Open up the skeins and wear them as necklaces/scarves. I saw a hipster girl in a café doing that and all I could think was “holy tangles batman, fixing that’ll be a nightmare” …buuuuut now I see she may have been onto something.
    Another option: throw away the rain coat. It’s not like anyone LOVES their raincoat, and besides, even if you do, you love madtosh more, and madtosh will love you back.
    (Don’t you hear the madtosh whispering “Stephhhhh…. I love you tooooooo… take me home, we’re meant to be together…”)

  93. If you have a spare 30 minutes in Fort Worth go to the Kimbell Art Museum – a masterpiece in architecture by Louis Khan – really spectacular and I promise there is no tempting wool for sale in there.

  94. Isn’t this what pockets are for? I don’t wear clothes without pockets if I can help it!

  95. What’s wrong with shipping home your dirty clothes? My husband did that for me when we went to South Africa. Did you know that they have the most amazing mohair in South Africa? Anyway, he mailed home all our laundry and we carried home the yarn.
    New Zealand? Same thing. The man is a saint.

  96. Could you line your clothes with skeins kind of flattened out. They could wrap around your waist (like a hoop), around legs and arms.
    Who cares if you look rather strange on the flight home, you’ll be armed with yarn.
    No charge for excess baggage either, this could seriously work with a bit of planning.

  97. The sane plan would be to ship all the cool weather clothes, boots etc home (except for your traveling home layers). That should leave you lots of room in your luggage for…necessities.

  98. I can’t believe you put Suki down that close to the end, to post on the blog! That’s true devotion!! 🙂

  99. My mother always traveled with her “throw away” clothes. The old worn out ones that you don’t want anymore. Leave them at the hotel. By the time you head home you have plenty of room for yarn.
    I was at MADTOSH last night. You were great !

  100. It is so much cheaper to ship from the US to Canada than vice versa, you know. It’s just a fact.

  101. You need to find a new friend who is heading to Toronto soon and send the new yarn home with them…

  102. I simply cannot get the morbidly fascinating thought out of my head, from Debbie’s post at 3:38: How much would Steph’s dirty underwear sell for on ebay??? (Shudder)

  103. @Majka 2:48 pm 9/25: Oooh, gurl, don’t put ideas in my head — next time I go out of town, I’d sure like to stay out of town! Stephanie, that shawl’s lovely, such an unexpected color combo. Those nephews need a knitterly Auntie to keep them in mind; just sayin’.

  104. The only thing saving me from buying a ton at MadTosh would be to only take cash. That lovely yarn could sweet talk the most miserly knitter into buying a suitcase full!

  105. I once shipped all my clothes(except the ones I was wearing!) and all my new knitting magazines back to South Africa. My hold luggage and carry-on luggage and purse all full of yarn in those squoosh vacuum bags. If I can do it, then you can too.

  106. So grateful that you came to speak at Madtosh! Loved it even though I got there a few mins late 😛 I love hearing you speak. I hope you have a safe trip to MN, and that you come back to the great state of Texas very soon 🙂
    Happy knitting!!!

  107. Have you already shoved skeins in the shoes you’ve packed? Definitely unused space in your bag 🙂

  108. I will be an angel and say nothing about shipping yarn and/or clothing home. . . but oh, can I have a copy of that beautiful picture of San Francisco, my hometown?

  109. Spacebags! Out all squishy stuff in it and suck all the air out! Perfect for yarn (and coats).

  110. You can still find plenty of room. Wear boots on the plane – going through security will be more trouble, but the difference in suitcase space between it stuffed with yarn and shoes stuffed with yarn could be as much as 4 skeins. Wear your bulkiest clothes, sweater / shawl / or coat. That should be good enough for another 6 to 10 skeins…. Ask someone to bring a gallon zip-lock bag or 2 or 3 to the talk or class. Fill, close 90% of the way, sit on it and finish closing. Works best with yarn and yarn goods. Never do any of these things before leaving home. 😉

  111. Suck it up! You know we shop vicariously through you…rip the lining out of that suitcase and undo the hanks – see. it’ll fit! Besides you know you were just begging for tips and tricks and aiding and abetting. We’re glad to be of service.

  112. Wow, do I recognize and empathize with that luggage scenario. I have noticed, though, that yarn (or fleece) is lighter on the return trip than the handouts were on the way out. And significantly easier to pack. There’s no worry about crumpling the yarn so it won’t look nice when it’s time to use it.

  113. Shipping it home sounds perfectly reasonable to me! I nearly had to do that last time I went on vacation.

  114. It’s “reined”, not “reigned”. …comes from horses being reined in or controlled.

  115. did you ever see the movie killers the girl had packed all these clothes, and she got to france and had to buy a dress for a date with ashton K–funny — take an empty bag inside another one?

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