Crafty projects for travel

One of my favorite things to do is knit. I love feeling the yarn, seeing the pattern come to life, and creating something for a loved one. With the Christmas knitted hatholidays right around the corner (how did that happen??) it’s time to get make some serious progress on my gifts! Luckily I’ve got plenty of plane time to spend on my projects. I’ve been strategic this year—knowing that I would do most of my knitting on trips meant they needed to be small enough to fit in my bag. Here is a list of what I’m working on.

Tutu. My niece loves to spin around and pretend to be a “ballernina” so I am making this delightful tutu from What to Knit When You’re Expecting. (No, there is no big news—it’s just a book full of great patterns for babies.) I love how soft and flouncy it’s turning out! Also since it’s a simple pattern it’s perfect for travel since I can start and stop without losing my place.

Sweater vest. I love sweater vests on little boys, so I’m making one for my nephew. The basic pattern is from What to Knit When You’re Expecting but I’m adding cables. Excited to see how it will turn out!

Baby blanket. While knitting is my first love, I also crochet on occasion. I am making a blanket for my newest baby nephew (only one week old today!) out of crocheted granny squares. The basic granny square crochets up pretty quickly, and they are so small they are ideal for travel. Of course, now it’s time to sew them all together so I’ll have to finish at home.

Elf hat. Another project for my new baby nephew! Pretty much nothing is cuter on babies than an elf hat. Hats are great for travel because they are small and knit up quickly. I’m making this one in a red and white stripe for the holidays, like the one I made for the Mini Warrior two years ago (pictured). (Beware if you’re using double pointed needles, as I was once told they’re not allowed during takeoff and landing.)

Lace scarf. I’m making this beautiful lace scarf in a metallic gold for my best friend. Leaf patterns are some of my favorites! It’s amazing to me that something so lovely can be created from simple yarn overs and knitting two together.

A few tips for knitting on a plane:

Know the rules. In the US knitting needles are allowed on planes, and other than the one time I was asked to put my needles away for landing I’ve never had a problem. However, in Mexico I was required to put them in my checked baggage, and I’ve heard the same of other countries.

Get the right tools. Obviously which needles you use is determined by the project, but if at all possible I prefer to use circular needles. Also, while I was told cutting medallions are not allowed, according to the TSA scissors are okay as long as they’re under four inches.

Prop your patterns. If you have a paper pattern, I’ve had great success with hanging it from the tray table latch. When my pattern is on my phone I take a screenshot and then change my homescreen to be the pattern. That way whenever I need a quick look I don’t have to unlock my phone.

Bonus: In the past I’ve used my tray table to wind yarn. Much easier than convincing my husband to hold it!

Readers, anyone else like to craft on planes? What projects are you working on for the holidays?

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been knitting and crocheting on the planes since 2003. A blanket is a good project, so is a scarf, mittens and knit toys 🙂

  2. And wasn’t it great when lots of the airlines changed their thinking on knitting needles! One of the first thing I check now is whether or not it’s worth my while putting knitting into my carry on bag lol And you do have to look at those regulations carefully – Air Canada stated plastic needles only last time I looked.

    I do remember many years ago sewing wasn’t allowed either – annoyng when you wanted to do small cross stitich items to while the time away on a long flight. Small sewing needles are now allowed but much to my annoyance still not the scissors (no matter how small) – so I just cut my threads to a manageable length as I’m putting the project together. I found that one out to my loss here at Tullamarine (Melbourne) just this past September; I’d forgotten to put them into my checked case and they were confiscated. “Sharp object Madaam. You should know better” Luckily they were cheap tiny little folding ones and not good embroidery ones – and thankfully there was another pair in the case.

    Most of my knitting is charity knitting for children so goes on year round. Nothing special on the needles at the moment.

  3. I always bring a knitting project on domestic (US) flights – usually something small on circular needles. Before I leave home, I also download NYTimes crossword puzzles onto my ipad (no need for wifi when you are working on them.)

  4. Sadly I am a scrapbooker and while I have created a travel set to take with me and have managed to include scissors it is not a craft that can be done on an airplane. I have pulled it out in hotel rooms to pass the evening times and enjoy seeing how many coasters napkins and takeout menus I can use as pieces to document my travels for work. The hardest part is including actual pictures. I have been up loading pictures to my Costco app and ordering them for pick up when I get home. I am surprised how much I miss it when my supplies get pushed out of my luggage for other work related items.

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