Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Making Plans

In a few days I'll be heading up to my family's cabin in North Dakota.  I've written about my cabin several times before on the blog (here, here, here, and here) and my incredible love for the sunrises and calm of being up there.  For the next week and a half I will be blissfully removed from technology - no tv, no computers, no cell phone service, and while I embrace this removal from the outside world, it means I have to be thorough in my plans for what knitting to bring with me.  I have to have my patterns picked out and printed, yarn wound, notions collected, and needles ready to go.  This trip is unusual in that while I'm there, I don't find knitting to be a necessity.  I could (probably) spend the whole week and a half without knitting and be just fine because there's so much more to enjoy while I'm there.  To begin with, I could watch the birds all day long.  I could spend hours and hours swimming in the lake, laying in the sun, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, reading a good book, or indulging in a day of general laziness.  But there's always a significant chance that there will be several days of thunderstorms that leave me trapped in the small cabin with 12-15 other people and then, THEN knitting is not a question of how to spend my time, but a question of how to save my sanity.  So you see, despite the fact that I may not need it, knitting is in no way optional when it comes to packing for this trip.  (Not to mention it's a 10-hour drive each way.)

It's a little embarrassing to admit that I've been thinking about what to bring for a so long.  In fact, the other day I texted my sister:

Me: "I don't know what knitting to bring to the cabin!"
Sister: "On no!  how much time do you have to decide?"
Me: "Six days..."

You see, even a week before the trip I begin to panic that I might not be adequately armed with projects.  But now I think I have it narrowed down.  A few days ago I started Ashby so that I'd have it in the works for the trip.  For a project like this I like to have it at least started so that if there are any troubles with the pattern or yarn, I'll know about it before I'm in the middle of the North Dakota wilderness.

That's the first half of the border, but I predict that by the time I climb into the car, I'll have the border finished and will have preferably picked up the stitches to begin the body of the shawl.  (I'm knitting this shawl in Cascade 220.)

Then I have a lace shawl prototype in the works and I figured there's no better time to finalize the charts  than while sitting outside soaking up the sun and listening to the wind blow through the trees.

I already know the pattern needs to be tweaked, but that's what prototypes are for, right?

And although I know that both of these projects will provide more than enough knitting for the trip, I'll also be bringing enough yarn for two pairs of socks as an insurance policy.  I don't really knit socks, but I kind of like wearing them and I figured a long car ride or a rainy day at the cabin might force me to make some.  Socks will also be much more mindless than designing a lace shawl or knitting cables, so it will be nice to have them around.  And before you ask, yes, the yarn for the socks is blue.  Yes, both pairs.  I know what I like.

What do you guys bring with you when you're planning for a trip?


  1. Wishing you a blissful and thunderfree stay at the cabin - it seems like a wonderful place indeed!

    I like bringing shawl projects (don't require that much yarn or accessories) and some leftovers for swatching if I get ideas I want to try. Twined knitting is good for trips too, since it's so time-consuming there's no point in bringing that much yarn. (This is often in theory only, though - I usually can't resist adding a sweater project... But I'd rather bring too much than not enough!)

  2. Shawls and socks. Nothing that requires me to think too much, as there is usually a lot going on in our family - lots of guitar playing and singing. So when I don't feel like playing along, I can mindlessly knit and still sing. I also bring my little Jenkins Turkish spindle with me. It's a good outdoor sunny day project and it's Zen-like process keeps me calm.
    Have fun at your retreat. ND is beautiful.

  3. I bring socks. I could knit them in my sleep practically so they're my go to knitting. I usually leave a pair in the car as well for that reason! Love your ashby, I want to knit one, but don't wear triangle shawls much so I'm thinking I'd want to modify it to be a wrap/rectangle...

  4. Clearly, you've got this covered! I was going to make a crack on you for all the blue, but in light of my post yesterday about all the minty/white green... yeah. I can't throw stones. :P

    I hope you and the family have a great time!

  5. Oooh, I'm so excited for you! I'm loving all those blues, and my interest is especially piqued by the lace you're scheming.

    I'm afraid I take after my parents when it comes to packing for a trip. For a week-long trip I feel compelled to bring an easy sock and a hard sock, a shawl, and probably at least two more projects, plus spare needles and some more yarn in case inspiration strikes to whip up a hat. As if that wasn't shameful enough, I also pack my handknits like Barbie packs multiple outfits for a single afternoon. A guy must not chance getting too chilly in the evening because he did not bring a matching shawl.

  6. Your time at the cabin sounds marvelous! Your project choices are perfect for time away. I'm always in panic mode when a project is near completion. It only gets worse when I'm about to leave town.
    Have a great time!!

  7. Hope you have a great time at the cabin, and that the weather is warm and mild.

    I generally bring a sweater project with me on my travels, and a scarf or two.

  8. I am going to the hosp today with my dad. I will be there all day for a surgery he is having. Just for the day I am bringing....Blanket I am knitting, shawl I am knitting, a lap blanket that needs ends weaved in and a baby blanket I a crocheting. I think it is normal for a knitter to have lots projects for any kind of trip.