Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Up in the air

Posted by Andi on March 27, 2010

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.

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6 Responses to “Up in the air”

  1. christine said

    I love the magic loop method, and I’d be happy to give you some tips if you’d like! I switched for the same reason – I was terrified of losing a needle.

  2. Angela said

    Either way you go, make sure you have a good join on the circulars.. For some reason I feel like the cord/join on bamboo needles wouldn’t hold as well as it would on metal needles.

    • Andi said

      I was planning on getting the Harmony fixed circular needles. I saw that a lot of people on Ravelry use them and like them. I much prefer bamboo to metal these days, so I will start with these. They are cheap, so even if I decide I don’t like them for magic loop I wouldn’t have spent a lot of money.

  3. Louise said

    I just received my order that included a 40″ Harmony fixed circular needle but haven’t tried it yet. My friend swears by them and they are all she uses. How did you survive the whole plane ride without your knitting? That would have drove me crazy!

    • Andi said

      I read for a bit then tried to sleep for a bit, but had a hard time because I was worried about my wayward needle. I likely won’t be ordering my circs for a couple more weeks. If you try yours before I order let me know what you think.

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