View Full Version : What's in your travel knitting bag?
01-15-2009, 07:58 PM
Not just for specific projects, mind. Sort of a general purpose thing.
Okay, I'm traveling, long-term, and I've just started knitting. Everything has to go into my luggage. So I'm trying to figure out what should be in a general knitting 'kit.' I've got sewing things with me, so scissors/snips, measuring tapes, etc. are not a problem. I have needles that I've used for specific projects so far (15mm, 6mm, 5.5mm, plus 4.5mm circulars) and that I've purchased because I thought they'd be useful (4.5mm, 5mm, and 4.5mm DPN), plus some stitch holders, cable stitch holders, markers of various sorts, and tips/stops. At some point soon I need to get a couple more crochet hooks in different sizes -- I have a 12mm one, which doesn't do me much good on worsted and lower. :)
What do you consider indispensible in your general knitting travel kit? What else should I buy while I'm in London, where I have lots of choices of stores?
Thanks in advance for any input!
01-15-2009, 11:44 PM
You might want a set of Chibi yarn needles. They come in a little container that helps to keep them from getting lost. I always have those in my knitting bag.
01-15-2009, 11:46 PM
Are those the same as the Chibi darning needles? I think I saw those at the LYS today...
01-16-2009, 12:05 AM
Yes, they come in a plastic container shaped kind of like a bullet. I love Chibis because they have a bent tip, and it's amazing how much easier seaming is with them!
Here's a link (http://store.nobleknits.com/chibigold.html) that shows what they look like.
01-16-2009, 12:10 AM
Thanks, Marria -- those were the bunnies. I'll probably get them tomorrow! I'm trying to get everything together before we go stay in a seaside town for a month, during winter. I imagine I'm going to have a lot of time to knit. :)
ETA: any advice on the most useful needle sizes to have on hand? I don't want to get caught out...
01-16-2009, 12:23 AM
Well I'd say the needle sizes would depend on what type of project you plan to make. Do you have anything preconceived in mind? If not, what sizes do you typically use? I'd take needles of those sizes. And if I had the opportunity to do the traveling you're going to do (did I mention I'm jealous? ;) ) --I would get circs. If you can do it before you go, this might really be a good time to invest in an intechangeable set before you leave--then you will have whatever you need.
On the other hand, there have been plenty of times when I was out of town and I ended up buying a set of needles I already had at home. They really aren't that expensive for the most part.
01-16-2009, 12:29 AM
I don't travel that much, but I do keep a "standard" kit in my knitting bag. I actually one of those little travel bags (like for your toiletries, with several zipper pockets). In that, I have some crochet hooks, stitch markers, my cable needles, the chibi needles, a needle gauge, little scissors and one of those round cutting tools (one or the other would be enough...I just happen to have both!)...probably some other stuff, but that's what comes to mind.
As to needle sizes, I either carry just what I need for the project(s) I'm working on, but if I'm going to be in a situation of suddenly starting a project I hadn't planned on...I have my KP Options and/or Harmonies tha I can just stick in the bag in their respective cases. Otherwise, I'd just decide ahead of time what you want to knit and take the appropriate needles.
01-16-2009, 08:24 AM
Well, let's see -- so far I've done projects with Rowan's Big Yarn and have 15mm needles from that, and mohair. Also, Cascade 220 for the USO hats, and have the 4.5 Addi circulars for that. I also intend to get some of the Emu Superwash and make some more charity items for practice.
I won't be ANYwhere near a LYS, the nearest not being very close to the train. At that point, I'd be just as well off going back into London.
In the mini-stash (which is threatening not to be so mini as I prepare for a month of not much else to do but Web-surf, cook, knit, visit the local pub, and walk by the sea (a tragedy of a life, honestly! cloud9 ), I have 214 yards of gorgeous robin's egg blue 8 ply Australian merino that I haven't decided what to do with yet, and two balls each of several ggh Soft-Kid colors.
I intend to try and get good enough to attempt real lace knitting (rather than the openwork I'm doing now, which is fun, gorgeous, and challenging enough at the moment for a beginner like me) by the end of my month there. Right now with lace patterns, I make and tear out, make and tear out (and after about iteration six I give up), which becomes tedious on mohair.
I'd love to also get some of that gorgeous hand-dyed silk and do something artsy with beads, but I really DO have to get better at knitting before setting needles to something that expensive. :D
I don't have anything smaller than 4.5 and nothing larger than 6 (besides those 15mm ones). I was thinking of getting a couple of lace knitting addi's for the mohair, as sometimes the tips of my other needles don't seem sharp enough to me.
I have the ability to buy just about any of the circular sets, being here in London -- which ones are the best to knit with? I don't mind spending money, although the 79 quid for the Addi circular Click set makes me cringe a bit: is it really worth that?! I suppose it must be! But I know for sure I can get Harmony, Addi, and Denise. (I note that the Denise needles are supposed to be airline friendly, which is a plus!) Anyone have a rec for which one of those would be the best long-term investment?
If I'm going to do this, I suppose I might as well do it right from the beginning and not end up buying two or three different sets of needles...
01-16-2009, 02:07 PM
I would also have some sticky notepads and a couple of pens or pencils to keep track of your progress.
I've traveled stateside on various airlines with my Harmonys.
01-16-2009, 02:11 PM
Oooh, sometimes it's those simple things that you totally miss...must make sure there's room for a notepad and such!
Jan in CA
01-16-2009, 02:24 PM
I don't have time to look up all those mm sizes you listed and I'm not familiar with them so...
Pad and pen
coilless safety pins
needles - I would take my KP Options
crochet hooks (a tiny one and a couple mid range sizes)
cable needle and/or a few DPN
01-16-2009, 02:40 PM
There's safety pins with no coils!?!
My goodness -- the modern world is a wonderful place!
01-16-2009, 02:59 PM
How about a row counter? I just googled it and couldn't believe how many different kinds there are~
01-16-2009, 03:04 PM
The only trouble with row counters is that you have to remember to use the darn things...I've tried using them with my knitting machine, and the only kind that works for me there is the kind that clicks off the rows automatically! :)
Today sitting in my local French caf, I made some adorable little stitch markers of blue crystal and a headpin, and a row marker with a coin pearl, all out of my traveling beading stash. Maybe I'll make some large jump rings and make one of those chain row markers that I saw somewhere else on the forum... :) I knitted up the new new second USO hat using them. I didn't want to take them off while I was on the bus, since I don't have a place for them to officially live yet, so I just kept moving them. It's sort of like jewelry for your circular knitting. My partner said it made the hat look like it was for some sort of mad university professor. heehee!
ETA: mind you, I just saw outdoordrea's post with the loops on the actual row counter. Now, I might remember to use it if it's stuck in the middle of the knitting!
01-16-2009, 07:57 PM
Just a couple of things - I don't think I saw anyone mention a row/stitch counter. If you're going to tackle lace, perhaps, on this trip then that could definitely be helpful.
About your traveling stash - You'll want yarn, lots of it probably and even if you don't use it all up, you'll be very comfortable if you know you've got it there to use. And you might surprise yourself and knit it all up in the first two weeks.
So, in the spirit of knitting abundance, I'd suggest getting yourself one or two of those storage space bags - the ones you jam stuff in and then suck out all the air with your vacuum cleaner hose. It's amazing how much they hold and how flat they can get. And yarn weight isn't the problem, it's the area balls of yarn take up in your suitcase. This would give you much more yarn to the square inch and you can stash to your heart's content!
About needles? I've never gone anywhere for any length of time that I didn't find myself wanting/needing a needle I didn't have with me, so go for the gusto and get a good interchangeable set. I have, and LOVE, the nickel plated Options and I have Harmonies dpns. If you can get Options, treat yourself. It's a wonderful set and a wonderful value.
Have a great trip and let us know how it's going!
Happy knitting (and traveling!)
01-16-2009, 08:19 PM
I'll mention all the non-obvious (such as needles, scissors, stitchmarkers, etc.):
Nail file (nothing worse than not being able to knit because you have a hangnail!)
Needle gauge & measuring tape
Pen & paper
Ziplock bags to keep your projects in
01-16-2009, 08:36 PM
Nail file! Right! LOL -- I have them scattered all over my luggage, as I also play the violin.
Thanks for the advice, Ruthie -- I think I'm pretty settled on Options as a first choice and Harmonies as a second, thanks to the help of people here. I know of a LYS where I can get Harmonies, but not the Options. I may have another look around the Net or give in and have them sent to me, or maybe buy the Harmonies now and get the Options later...
Good idea on the vacuum-powered bags. I might be able to find them in a travel store. I usually just use big ziplocks. I love ziplocks. But do you know how hard they are to find in England? Usually it's twist-ties, or a sort of adhesive close. I'll have to visit one of the bigger grocery stores to find the bigger freezer bags, is my guess...
01-17-2009, 06:10 PM
If I'm starting a project on my trip - I always swatch first so that I know my guage and needle size.
I photocopy my pattern and take along post-it notes and mechanical pencil. I can put a post-it on my pattern and either write down completed rows, or list the rows on the post-it and cross off as I finish each one. I like the mechanical pencil because it doesn't run out of ink or leak ink over my yarn. I also don't need a pencil sharpner for it.
I also have a small pair of scissors (mine fold up)
rectractable tape measure
nail file/emory board
travel hand lotion
small bottle of advil/tyelnol (never can get to my bathroom bag when traveling)
I keep all of this in a fabric lunch sack.. it is small enough to hold everything but isn't so big that everything gets lost.
I don't fly, so I'm not sure what airlines, domestic or international allow. I do knit in the car (DH loves to drive), so I will use DPN's or circular- I don't use straights because I tend to bump DH on the arm while he is driving. I like the circulars in the car, because when I need to take a break, I just push my work down on the cord. With DPNs, I have the tube that keeps them safe.
Jan in CA
01-17-2009, 06:31 PM
There's safety pins with no coils!?!
My goodness -- the modern world is a wonderful place!
Sure! I got them in the beading section of my local Joanns. :thumbsup:
01-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Hand lotion! I forgot about a bottle of hand lotion! I may add a small tube of papaya ointment instead. My cuticles get really dry really fast, and if I get the kind with no petroleum products in it, it should be okay even if some from my hands transfers...
I'll have to check out the Joann's website for those safety pin, Jan -- I used to work in a Joann's (for a sewing dealership), and I was always in and out of the beading dept, and don't remember seeing those...how funny the things you don't notice right under your nose!
I've got about half the list purchased now...
01-17-2009, 11:52 PM
What's in your travel knitting bag?
Options, yarn, assorted tools, pretty much everything. And it goes everywhere I do.
01-18-2009, 08:38 AM
Ah, addiction! ;)