Travel knitting

What do you usually knit while you are travelling? By travelling in this sense, I don’t mean lying on a sunny beach, or drinking coffee in a foreign cafe. I mean the part where you are on the train to the airport, waiting at departure gates, or in a plane for 12+ hours at a stretch!

I have travelled, in this sense, to a fro from New Zealand/Europe several times over the last year and a half now. I tend to be sleep deprived, so I always prefer something very simple. For non-travel knitting, I like a bit of lace, but in dimmed cabins with sleepy eyes, this is not my favourite things! I want something to keep my hands busy, but not something that I have to think about. I intersperse knitting with a spot of reading (that reminds me, I need to find a good book or two!), and of course, plane movies (the only time I can sit through an entire film or 6).

So far I have usually chosen something like a nice plain sock, but this time I have chosen something a little different to get me through my travelling period of Thursday to Saturday next week! I also like to begin the project before I leave, to get in to the rhythm of it, and besides, who feels like casting on or doing last minute math while waiting in security lines?

travelknitting1

So this is what I have so far. This yarn is Drops Alpaca (Ravelry link) in a dark maroony red, and a natural cream. It claims to be sports-weight, but I think it is much closer to a fingering. I am using 3.5 mm needles to knit a flat version of the semi-circular shawl Citron (Ravelry link), in stripes. I was inspired by several shawls that I saw on Ravelry, which are stripy with a lace border. I especially like this one, and this one, both of which are knitted with Citron as a base. I like it because there is no centre stitch as in the triangular shawls, so the stripes just flow and don’t change direction.

I am thinking of using the lace edging in the cream yarn from the Holden Shawlette (Ravelry Link), but I haven’t quite decided on that yet. I have a long way to go until I have to make a decision though, both literally and with the knitting!

Well, I had better get on back to my new favourite yarn store to stock up on more of this Alpaca – what would I do if I ran out in the air, or even in New Zealand?! I want to make this shawl quite large, and DROPS Alpaca is on sale at the moment! I am also considering a matching hat.

What do you knit when you are travelling?

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Hearty Mittens – just in time!

Finally, I finished my Strong Heart Mittens (pattern, Ravely). I’ve had this project in my queue since the pattern was released in September. I had been originally planning to make the handwarmer version, but by the time I was knitting them, it definitely got cold enough here in the Netherlands for a pair of mittens!

heartmittens1You might remember that I knitted these from two balls of Baby Alpaca that I bought in Hamburg.

stash3This yarn and colourway are amazing. The photos absolutely do not do the luminous colour justice. It is somehow both dark and bright at once. As for the baby alpaca, it is a dream to knit with. Because of its drape, I have to admit that it is probably not the best suited for a bouncy pair of mittens, but I just couldn’t resist having the buttery softness against my hands.

heartmittens2

heartmittens3Once I actually started knitting these, they progressed very quickly. The pattern is amazing, and I give so many thanks to Kiwiyarns Knits for sharing it with everyone! I finished them just in time, because yesterday it started to snow here (as you can see in the pictures – I can never find a good white background for photographing my knitting, but this time Mother Nature pulled one out for me!).

heartmittens6I love mittens and gloves, because you can admire your own work as much as you want. If you knit a scarf or a hat, you always have to wait until a shiny surface to catch a glimpse! Not so with what you wear on your hands. Living in the Netherlands, I of course cycle just about everywhere. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time admiring the lovely cables on these mittens!

heartmittens4It’s still snowing today, which I hear is quite rare in the Netherlands for this time of year. Usually if it snows, it will do so after Christmas. So, you can see that I am very much enjoying these lovely mittens! By next week, however, I will be back in New Zealand for Christmas, and won’t need them at all. That’s OK, there is still the European February when I get back here…

heartmittens5Ravelry links: pattern, project