Tomorrow I am off on a last minute trip to El Paso.
In addition to making flight, hotel, and car arrangements, I have to pack. Tossing a few outfits and the necessary toiletries into a suitcase is one thing, planning one's travel projects is altogether different with far more considerations: complexity of the pattern (this typically rules lace out for me), overall size of the project (which, doggone it, means the sweater I am almost finished with is way too bulky to actually fly with), and the type of needles used.
For me, the substance of the needles affects my gauge. If I start a project with metal needles, I must finish with them because stitches on bamboo or wood do not slide as easily and my gauge always comes out bigger.
I know it should be perfectly safe to travel with knitting needles, but TSA does have the authority and the discretion (irrespective of what their written policy says) to prevent me from boarding a plane with a pair of them.
While TSA has yet to take my needles from me, I fret about losing them, as well as disrupting an ongoing knitting project.
In my mind, metal needles are the first no-no. So, that ruled out every, single project I am working on at the moment because I usually prefer the slickness and speed of metals.
So, I was left with nothing else to do, but start a project or two.
First up was Avaya by Amy Herzog in Madelinetosh dk, colorway "Cove."
I cast on with bamboo needles and it is going quickly. I love the feel and colors of the yarn; however, because it is hand-dyed and I was concerned about pooling, I am alternating skeins every two rows, which makes it a bit more cumbersome to work with and carry.
Undeterred, I pulled out a very special set of needles given to me by a lovely lady. They are hand blown glass needles. To make the project even more special, I selected the yarn another dear friend gave me (which I had hand dyed especially for me, pictures in this post). Would you believe gauge was spot on the first time?
Gamine by Veronik Avery was in the Premier Issue of St-Denis magazine (Fall/Winter 2009). This design featured 2 strands of the St-Denis Nordique yarn which is a sport weight. Together they created an Aran weight yarn.
What appeals to me about this sweater is the comfortable ease with which it appears to be worn. It looks so darn comfy.
My swatch was done is a heavy worsted and in pattern it is exactly perfect with stitch and row gauge.
As a bonus, I think the color is pretty amazing, too!
What could be better than a relaxed and comfortable sweater made with beautiful needles and great yarn from a couple of my closest friends? Talk about a big hug... Love to you both!
The good news is, I have two sweaters cast on for me.
The bad news is, I could not decide which of them was flying to El Paso with me.
For fear of having the glass needles confiscated, they will be going in the checked bag to be knit at the hotel. The bamboo needles and Avaya will be airport/plane knitting.