Friday, December 3, 2010

The Perils of Travel Knitting

Thanks to all who responded about the yarn give-away.  My skeins are now happily winging their way to Australia and I hope they find a happy home there.

The honeycomb heel flap

In the meantime, I have completed one sock and one glove from the Fabel, and I am particularly pleased with how they came out.  The colorway is quite beautiful, though my photos don't really do them justice.  I picked this yarn up during a recent trip to Canada, and (gluttony aside) I wish I had bought more.  I ended up doing a honeycomb heel flap and gusset, with the cable carried along the top of the foot and the central braided cable continuing into to toe shaping.  Now one more of each to go, and I can move on to the next project.

Which brings me to my sad event of the week.  First, let me give some background.  I frequently bring my knitting along with me on business trips.  I used to bring my whole knitting bag, but it has become too big and bulky, and every once in a while you find yourself in the situation of having to explain to a customs officer why you need that many needles in your carry-on.  The Canadians seem to be particularly concerned with this.  The Germans and the English tend to let it go.  Just saying...

Now I had never had a problem until the day that I call the Sad Case of the Purple Airplane Sock.  You see, I had knit the most beautiful purple sock in Malabrigo sock, which I think may be the most beautiful yarn ever invented, which I found in my favorite eggplant purple, and made up in the perfect pattern.  Angee, from Cookie A.'s book "Sock Innovation," to be exact. And I dare say, it is the most beautiful sock I have ever knit.  It was perfect in every way.  The stitch pattern perfectly showed off the subtle variegation in the yarn, the yarn had a nice drape and shine that just hugged the foot and leg beautifully, and it was oh so soft.  Seriously. Perfect. 

I completed it on a long flight from Frankfurt to Boston during a snowstorm that shut down parts of the east coast, and even made two new friends during the flight as we discussed knitting.  About a month later, I was finishing up its mate during a flight from San Francisco to Denver.  This time, I had decided to carry only the sock, the yarn, and one pair of needles and I was just finishing up grafting the toe together as we taxied in to the gate.  I had a pretty tight connection, so I quickly grabbed the blob of yarn and sock from the seat back pocket, shoved it into my handbag, and ran for my next flight.

Halfway during my next flight, I had a sudden realization.  Was the blob of yarn and sock that I picked up from the seat back pocket heavy enough?  I grabbed my purse and sorted through it twice, and sure enough, the perfect purple sock was not there.  The new sock--its mate--was there along with the leftover yarn and needle, but my purple sock had been left behind in the upper seat back pocket of seat 6E of the previous flight.

I filed a claim with the airline, thinking that a purple handknit sock might be something distinctive that they don't find every day, making it relatively easy to locate.  Of course, when I reported it, the airline worker looked at my blankly and asked if I really needed it back.  I sat there in stunned disbelief when she said "if you made that one, can't you just make a new one?"  I think non-knitters just don't get it.  Seriously.

Detail of the second purple sock.  Not quite as perfect as the first one, but still very nice.

Well, this week it happened again.  Instead of my entire knitting bag, I now carry the current project, as spare skein, and a little ziplock bag with my 16" addi turbo US size 6 circulars, which I use to cast on for top-down socks, some darning needles for kitchener grafting of toes and weaving in ends, and some stitch markers.  Sunday night, I cast on the Fabel cable sock and when I left the plane I put everything in my purse.  I checked the seat back pocket 3 times, front and back.  When I packed at my hotel Tuesday night, sure enough, the bag containing the circular needles, darning needles and markers was missing.  I can't imagine how, but they are not in my purse or suitcase, and once again, no one turned them in to airline lost and found. 

I am not sure if it is worth replacing the needle.  I cannot knit comfortably with a short needle, and the needle portion is not long enough for me until the 24" length, but it sure was perfect for casting on socks.  And I have not yet had the heart to re-knit the purple sock, though my replacement skein of eggplant purple Malabrigo has been sitting on my dresser for months now.

So if anyone out there happens to find a purple sock on a United flight or a size 6 circular needle on Jet Blue, please keep me in mind.

1 comment:

  1. They will most definitely find a happy home here ^_^ "winging their way to Australia" sounds rather romantic :p sadly it's sooo hot here right now - but it hasn't stopped me knitting! :p Thanks again!