How to keep your knitting safe on the go
Like to carry your knitting projects with you? Travelling knitter Elizabeth Bagwell shares her tips for taking your yarn with you wherever you go.
Like an athlete in training, I’ve been taking my knitting out in public this week. I’ve knit on a plane, a boat, a bus and at the beach. Over the years, I’ve developed a few guidelines to help me keep my yarn and knitting needles safe on the go.
1. Protect your stuff from your needles
In 10 years of carrying my knitting around, I’ve damaged about 3 needles, usually due to trapping one in something unyielding, like a car door, and lots of bags. Most of my bags now have 2.5mm holes in, thanks to my habit of shoving a sock-in-progress in every one. Point protectors not only blunt those spikes but also keep your needles together, reducing the chance of losing one.
2. Keep your yarn clean
A sandwich bag, a tea towel, a dedicated knitting bag it doesn’t matter what you use. Ideally, choose something that will resist liquids, so if you plonk it in a wet spot on the coffee shop table or a drink carton leaks you’ll have one less thing to clean up.
3. Don’t keep your keys in with your yarn
It’s so tempting, particularly if your clothes don’t have pockets, but resist the urge to toss your keys or anything with a zip into your yarn bag. Snags and tangles are almost inevitable and can turn into a snapped thread.
4. Use a centre-pull ball
Pulling your thread from the centre of the ball means the ball will move around less as you knit, which reduces the chance of it jumping off your lap and rolling halfway down the bus.
5. Use a circular needle
It’s not always possible, I know, but circular needles are ideal for knitting in public. They’re joined together and permanently attached to the work, so are hard to lose or forget. It’s incredibly frustrating to realise you’ve brought just one needle to knit night or to lose a DPN down the side of an airline seat just after take off.
6. Be aware of your surroundings
There are few places I won’t knit, but it always helps to be aware of your surroundings. Train so crowded your head is in a stranger’s armpit? Toddler with sticky fingers wants to sit on your lap? Had a couple of drinks and your tension has gone a bit wobbly? Maybe the yarn should stay in the bag…
7. Yes, you can take needles on a plane
Knitting needles are allowed on planes. You’re also now allowed to take scissors with short blades (under 6cm) on most flights. Be aware though that the decision made by security is final: if they decide that your item, whether it’s a knitting needle, a hank of yarn or a paper towel is a threat, they are duty-bound to confiscate it, so don’t take anything you’d really hate to lose. That said, in over 20 flights in the last year the only things I’ve had confiscated were water bottles (my own fault really) and nail scissors, once.
Do you travel with your knitting? What do you do to keep it safe?
Last updated: June 27th, 2018.