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7 tips for planning travel knitting & crochet projects

The holidays are a typical time for traveling. And of course, you don’t want to set out without a project… but picking the right project for your travels can be tricky. In this blog post, I’ll give you some tips for picking the right project for you, and I’ll give you a peek at the travel knitting projects I’m planning!


Tips for picking the right project, and preparations

  • Think about your travel itinerary. Are you going to spend most of your time chatting with family or are you going to be alone on a plane? Thinking about your situation will help you decide whether you want a mindless project or one that can hold your interest.
  • Keep size in mind. Especially if you’re traveling by plane, luggage weight & space is important. Choose your travel knitting project accordingly. I tend to pack a shawl, since one skein of fingering weight yarn is fairly compact.
  • Keep notions to a minimum. If possible, you’d like a project that only requires one needle size, to keep your supplies to a minimum. If you require a large number of needles, consider a compact set, like an interchangeable set.
  • Do gauge swatches and investigate techniques in advance. This is an extension of the previous point: you want to keep your pack small. So, go ahead and do your gauge swatch so you know what needle you need. Also, look up any tricky stitches and print your pattern in advance, so you’re ready to roll!
  • Think about your seating situation. Have you ever lost a double point needle under an airplane seat? Or do you get carsick reading a pattern in the car? These things matter! Plan accordingly.
  • Investigate yarn shops in advance. Is there a yarn shop where you’re going? Jot down the address even if you’re not planning on a visit. You’ll never know when you’ll need more yarn!
  • Bring a back-up project. I can never decide on just one project. It’s easy to get bored or get stuck. Bring a backup just in case.

My travel projects

Tomorrow, I’m departing for Australia, which involves a 2 hour drive to the airport, a 6 hour domestic flight, a 5 hour layover and a 14 hour flight over the Pacific. Talk about needing a travel knitting project, huh?

My first project is Spectra by Stephen West. It’s been in my faves forever, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve selected my two skeins of yarn:

Blue Yarns

I’ve even done a swatch! The pattern calls for two fingering-weight yarns. The multi-color yarn I’ve chosen is listed as a worsted, but it looks quite thin to me. Fortunately, a swatch reveals that the two will play together nicely:


My second project is the There and Back Again Socks, a lovely pattern given to me by my friend Hollie. I’ve picked two close-in-color yarns:

purple yarn

Socks are a great portable project, and the color changes will keep the pattern exciting.

For these projects, I’ll bring along a size 6 24″ circular and a size 1 9″ circular. (I love 9″ circular needles so much that I wrote a whole post about them here.) Not too much needle baggage!

Plus, if I run low on projects, I can pick up a new skein of sock yarn and either knit another shawl or pair of socks!

What are your travel tips?

Do you have any tried-and-true travel planning tips to share? I’d love to hear them!


  1. Love the plum colors. I’m totally going to do socks this year. I got a pattern book for them last year but have been too chicken to try. Now that the holiday rush of getting orders completed is done, I’m ready to try something new.

  2. Dawn G SAYS...

    Don’t make the same mistake I did… I was going on a trip, and downloaded the PDF pattern on to my electronic device.

    So, when you are on the plane, you lose at least 40 minutes waiting for them to ALLOW the use of electronic devices. So, have a printout with you, or a quick shorthand to get you through the electronics free zone.

  3. B SAYS...

    One of the things to do if flying is check whether your allowed to take needles, knitting needles, crochet hooks etc.. I know in Australia we are allowed crochet hooks, but knitting needles were banned for some time, I don’t know the current status. Nits worth checking wherever you fly what the latest regulations are instead of risking a favourite yarn tool!

  4. They look like a good set of tips. I’ll have to try and remember them for when my wife and I go over to the UK. I must admit though that I am having a little trouble with the idea of investigating yarn shops in our destination as we will be touring all over the UK and Ireland. Do you know of any good ones?

  5. jacqui SAYS...

    I try and sit in an aisle seat when flying so that my crocheting arm is in the aisle and not bumping people.