I have a set procedure for dealing with my knitting when I travel. I always take socks, preferably one that I just started so that I won’t need scissors while I’m gone because I don’t take them. The socks are always on bamboo double pointed needles. I put everything I need into a project bag that a friend made me for Christmas that fits nicely into the front pocket of my carry on suitcase. I take the project bag out as I get on the plane, and put the suitcase in the overhead bin.
There is generally a lot of knitting time while the rest of the passengers board, and while the plane taxis to the runway. Sometimes I can get ten or more rounds on a sock knit during that time, depending on how complex the pattern is. Then, when it comes time to take off, I stop. Take off can be bumpy, so I usually wait until the ride smooths out before I start knitting again. I always fear that in the speed or bumps of take off I will drop something and not be able to reach it.
On Tuesday night everything was going as planned. I was knitting while other passengers were boarding, and while our plane was taxiing to the runway. I could tell the plane was turning to take off, and I was in the middle of a needle. I tried to knit really quickly to finish the needle before we took off. I was successful, but because I was working so quickly I lost control of one of the needles on the last stitch and dropped it in the crack between my seat and the seat next to me just as the plane started speeding down the runway.
I tried to bend over to find my needle, but it was very uncomfortable. I figured I would wait until after take off. After a few minutes I started looking again, and I couldn’t find my needle. I thought that perhaps it rolled back during take off, so I asked the people sitting behind me if the needle was on the floor by their feet, but it wasn’t.
What could I do now? I didn’t have an extra needle. I considered putting all of the sole stitches onto one needle and continuing on, but after my butterfingers move earlier I didn’t want to take any chances. I put my knitting away and took out a magazine.
I started contemplating how hard I would look for the needle after landing. What if it still wasn’t under my seat? Would I wait until most of the people cleared out of the plane to try to find it? Was it worth it? Should I just buy a new set of size 1 DPNs?
Fortunately I didn’t have to worry about it. The gentleman sitting behind me found it as he removed his carry on from under my seat. I got my needle back!
But this incident got me thinking. Maybe it’s time to make the switch from knitting socks on DPNs to knitting them on two circular needles. Maybe not all the time, but at least on the projects I take with me while traveling. If I had dropped one end of a circular needle all would have been fine because nothing would have fallen on the floor. I also want to make Skew, which won’t work well on DPNs.
So I’ve decided I’m going to buy some bamboo circular needles, even though I contemplated getting some cheaper stainless steel ones. I haven’t decided if I will buy them before I move or not, as I don’t think I would get started using them before that.