Knitting on the Go

 Most of us live a furious, busy life. Our knitting time can be limited, but because it's portable one can always have a project at their side to work on when the situation allows. Many compulsive knitters have more than one project started at the same time, but not all knitting is easily portable. Therefore, one could have two or three permanent projects strategically placed in various locations in the house. The family room is a good place for that really large WIP (work in progress). An afghan perhaps, or a sweater. Next to the bed, to enjoy with morning coffee, could be a project you've always wanted for yourself and needs your early morning, undivided attention. You could actually keep another basket of yarn in the kitchen to pick up while waiting for the next step in your meal prep, between bites in your lunch, or while you are on hold during a phone call. Make sure, however, that this project doesn't shed. Nothing can aggravate other household members more than finding yarn fibers in their food!

But now on to the portable projects. In a place, easily accessible, line up your bags of traveling WIPs. You need to have them handy to just grab on your way out the door or you could actually leave one in the car ready to pick up. The project you take with you will depend on your destination, whether you are driving or a passenger and how long you will be gone. Here are a few suggestions:

If you are doing the driving, planning your knitting can be tricky. Before I go on here, let me say that this concept is a result of living in Mystic, CT for most of my life. In the middle of town there is a draw bridge over the river. Regardless of how you plan, it seems that getting caught at a bridge opening was a given when trying to get from one side of town to the other. Therefore, having something productive to do while waiting makes perfect sense. The bag or basket you use is as important as what the project is. Make sure you don't have to fumble with it. Something with an open top is good - I think a basket is best for these occasions. The project should be fairly mindless - a small project on circular needles is the most practical. A hat or scarf maybe. But don't make it too small a project if your destination is a Little League game, school play or concert. You will have a lot of time to knit as you watch. If you are headed for a doctors' appointment your knitting time could be shorter (hopefully!).

If you are a passenger, your options are broader, but an uncomplicated item on circular needles is still preferred. There is nothing worse than trying to read a fussy pattern while on a car trip or loosing a DP needle under the seat of the car. I can assure you that the driver will not be happy if forced to stop along the road for you to retrieve your needle.

Leaving home for several days brings its own planning dilemma. Not only does one have to have a car project, and perhaps a plane project, but a portable destination project that can be safely packed in a suitcase. Check with your airline in regard to the latest guidelines for knitting on a plane.

In addition to selecting the best knitting project for your trip, you need the right bag, you should make photo copies of your pattern and put it in a plastic sleeve and each bag must have their own supplies. It never fails - just when you grab a bag you think is ready to go, it's missing a critical component.

Here is a list of what should be in EACH of your knitting bags:

copy of your pattern

tape measure 

sewing up needles
stitch markers
pen and note pad
stick-on notes
scissors (airline approved, if flying)
crochet hook

May you all have many hours of stress-free knitting!


I wrote the above essay some time ago. After that my life took a new turn. I was most definitely 'on the go' myself. Read about it further on in this website. After being 'on the go' for nearly eight years, I'll tell you that I did pretty well in planning my take along knitting. My passion had been designing and knitting socks. The yarns are easy to store, the projects are always fun and they are easy to take anywhere to work on. Of course I have added to my stash considerably over the last few years! And my knitting is no longer limited to socks. But to complicate things, I spin, quilt and I have started weaving too!!

The Yarn Shop - Taos, NM

The Yarn Shop - Taos, NM 

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Pat Blair