Sunday, April 3, 2011


Wow, it's already day 7 of 2KCWB, and it's been a dizzying festival! This last post is about how and when we knit. In fact, that is the most commonly asked question by non-knitters, "Where do you find the time to knit?" And I always cheekily answer, "I don't find time, I make time to knit." Except for the lucky few who make a living from their knitting, most knitters (even "hard core" ones) have completely unrelated jobs and other demands on their time. Back during residency, I would be able to knit at work if, for example, I was working overnight and on call at the hospital waiting to be called to see someone in the emergency room. But now my work activities are different, so there's no knitting at work. Fortunately, there aren't any overnights at the hospital either!

So my knitting time is always at night after work. I don't watch television (which is, I suspect, why other people badger me about where I mysteriously find more time than they have), but once in a while on weekends I'll knit during movies or shows on netflix/iTunes. Otherwise, I knit while reading books in bed, or while reading the internets at my desk, unless a pattern requires constant reading of chart/directions for each stitch. If a book needs to be propped open, I use this coaster, which is made of remnants of marble tile from the fireplace hearth, but unfortunately got a chip. It is the coaster on my bedside table and gets used a lot as a book holder-opener. Like so:

It's very complicated and tech-savvy.

One solution to the complicated-pattern-incompatibility-with-reading problem is listening to audiobooks! During the past 4 months, I spent a lot of time listening to all 7 Harry Potter books (Jim Dale version). Heck, I listened to them even while knitting easy patterns, it's so fun! I finished the last book a few days ago, and so it's back to regular books.
 The ipod cozy got a good workout during the HP phase and is looking gnarly; it's time to knit another one!

I never eat while knitting, except on Tuesdays during knit night, when I eat a bag of salt and vinegar chips, sometimes a sandwich, and usually a beer. True story: Once I was at the farmer's market, and the person who was selling me my veg looked really familiar, and she thought the same of me. After several questions about possible shared workplaces or other activities, I asked if she knitted, and she said, "Wait you're the one in that knitting group who always gets a bag a of salt and vinegar chips!" (She sometimes also worked at the cafe where we meet.) Ha! Anyway, that is my knit night ritual, but otherwise at home I usually knit with a drink only--wine or decaf tea/tisane, but not both. I have never spilled on my knitting (touch wood).

Lastly, I knit when traveling. An inordinate amount of thinking, planning, and energy goes into figuring out what knitting to take and how to pack it. So I'll let you wise readers help me out: I have a 7-day trip coming up, with approximately 12 hours travel time each way by plane. I am planning to take a small carry-on and medium-sized purse. I would prefer to have all the knitting fit in the purse, but would consider putting extra balls in the carry-on, especially if the project is something I can wear back on the return trip and free up space in luggage for souvenirs. I do not check baggage. The destination is a tropical island (ie don't want to knit a big warm weather item). I do not enjoy knitting socks. Here are the choices:
  • Lace shawl. It would have to be a quite big one (which can be tedious to knit, and also not worn much) to take up all that time, or a small shawl + something else. Shawls are great portable projects, on the other hand I'm kind of sick of knitting shawls after knitting 10 of them last year.
  • Top. This could probably be finished on the way and during the week, and worn on the return trip. However this would mean another project would need to be packed for the return trip. Also, the only top I have yarn for is one I am designing/editing, and I don't want to do that while traveling. But I could always get yarn for a different top pattern.
  • Baby stuff for friend's baby in utero.
  • The 70's dress. This would be fun to finish and wear back, although unknown if I can finish a fingering weight ribbed dress that fast. (It would be sleeveless though.) Also I'd have to update the old pattern before leaving, swatch, and pack a lot of yarn.

Please comment with suggestions, vague or specific! Remember I am trying to knit uncommonly knitted patterns, for my 12 under 43 resolution. And there's no stash yarn I have to use up, so you're free to pick any pattern/yarn combo!


Sharripie said...

As I seem to be easily distracted when I'm traveling (listening for boarding calls, giving drink orders, chatty folks in the next seat), I think I would take the baby stuff. If it's a series of small projects like a hat, cardigan & booties, it could be easily resumed after interruption.

Otherwise, I'd take the lace because people are always so impressed when they see someone working on lace.

Gidgetknits said...

I know it's bad of me - but the dress! I love vintage patterns and the idea of a knitted dress still pre-occupies me! I also love your hi-tech book holder-opener. Isn't it funny? Somehow the makeshift holders and markers are always better.

Anonymous said...

I love the knitted dress it looks so cool even if it is vintage XD

Kepanie said...

I would say the lace shawl because you would be able to concentrate in peace on the plane.

Vivianne said...

Baby stuff: small, portable, easy to pickup/put down :)

rachel said...

Travel knitting is a requirement for me... but I always end up packing too much yarn.

Anonymous said...

Audio HP is amazing!!!

tina said...

your posts have all been wonderful Yo-El! Thanks for taking the time! Now, no suggestions for you, I can't bear the thought of a tropical island. Just. Can't.

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soknitpicky said...

I've been hugely busy with work. I did *make* time for knitting, but not for reading blogs and am just now catching up with posts! Unlike you, I absolutely cannot read or listen to audio books while knitting, so I'm always having to choose one or the other.

For your trip, I vote for baby things for the trip. But I'm probably just projecting: I never actually spend as much time knitting on a trip as I think I will. Baby things would be easier and more realistic...for me.

tamdoll said...

I love how you "..make time to knit".. I do the same thing! And I carry it with me wherever I go in case I am stuck waiting someplace. I also don't watch tv unless I have a project in my lap - there's so much more time in a day without a television running.

I'm in awe about your travel knitting. Usually I have really mindless knitting when I go (or I simply pack too much and too many projects) - a pair of mittens or a scarf, maybe a hat is all I dare bring with me when I'm on the road, I'm afraid of anything too complicated. From your list, I'd probably make baby stuff - the little tiny things are so adorable.

Wow, that's a lot. I usually lurk but love reading your posts!