Crafting on the run---on the plane, train, bus and car---projects while traveling!

Yes, I confess, I'm that crazy woman you see knitting, crocheting or embroidering at the airport or train station. I just go batty waiting. If I have to sit idle while doing so there is danger of me exploding (and this seems to be frowned upon in public places). At times I'm even tempted to take my knitting along to church and sit in the back pew. I haven't yet but I keep teasing our minister that if he gets any more long winded in his sermons I just might have to start. (The minister is a good friend so I can get away with saying things like that to him) His answer to me was that he would like a pair of brown wool socks for Christmas that would fit his size thirteen extra wide feet to perfection. (Naturally I won't knit them for him in church, but I have a pair on the go for him... just about halfway done...) The only reason I mentioned this is because it was this talk that we had a couple of weeks ago that gave me the idea for this hub.

It's getting fashionable again to do handy work...

I've never been too comfortable in large crowds and idle gossiping is just not my thing. So when I'm invited to a large gathering of some sort, the kind where I do not have to help out, I bring along my knitting. I find myself a cozy comfy spot from where I can people watch and then I pull out the project of the week. This keeps my social anxieties at bay, my hands busy, something to talk to strangers about (as they usually wonder what's being created) and best of all I get some work done on my projects. Many a baby blanket was produced at these large wedding and baby showers. (funny thing happened over the summer, when one of the aunts of the future bride-to-be called me up and asked if it was okay for her to come sit by me with her knitting... I guess the word has gotten out because at that particular wedding shower we had five of us knitting and crocheting in the corner)

On the train...

My children all live a few hours away from me, so every once in a while rather than having to drive especially in the snowy or blizzardy winter I hop on the train. I love it, if you haven't taken a train for a weekend trip lately, I highly recommend it. It's well worth the price of the ticket for two and a half hours of knitting, reading and relaxing. It's just a couple of dollars more to have all this great relaxing time when I'm off to meet with friends up in Toronto. Over the summer I paid almost a hundred dollars for parking over the three day weekend. By the time I add up the gas and the parking taking the train would only have cost twelve dollars more... not mentioning the aggravation, wear and tear on the car etc.

On the bus...

There is nothing more natural then taking a knitting, crocheting, crazy quilting or embroidering project on the bus. Last year three of my friends and I went to a quilting retreat weekend up in Bala Ontario. Instead of either one of us having to drive we decided to take a Grey hound trip (bus). It worked out fabulously. Naturally it's the smaller projects that work the best while traveling. Knitting socks is just one of those great projects. Even if you do like I do and knit both socks at the same time (For some unknown reason I like both socks to be the same... chances are that I can get both to a certain stage together before I have to set them aside... having arthritis in both my hands, my tension from one week to the other can be notably different...) Socks even when on the needles take up very little room. If you prefer to embroider, try to remember to cut your floss a bit shorter so your arm won't have to stretch out as far. For some reason or other (I'm not sure why) but your 'next-seat-neighbor' will appreciate you not poking them after every stitch. You should also try to get a seat next to the window preferably on the right side of the bus (if your right hand is your stitching hand)

On Airplanes...

As far as I know, officially it's allowed to bring knitting on airplanes, however I have not taken a chance of having my needles confiscated. I haven't heard anything about crochet hooks being banned, but because I would definitely go nuts if I had to sit in an airplane for hours on end with nothing to do but twirl my thumbs I wouldn't take a chance on them either. What I have taken along is my embroidery and I haven't had any problems so far.

My friend who is an avid 'petite point' artiste and not wanting to 'rock the boat' (better said airplane) agonized weeks before her trip then found that she was able to work well enough with a plastic embroidery needle. She hunted high and low and eventually found a company that makes them in different sizes.

If you're a knitter the best tips I can offer are to pack your work in your suitcase and bring along a pattern book or two so you can design and plan your next project on the flight. However if you're going to take a chance do not take your favorite set of needles along, you know, the once that you would miss if they were confiscated. I would also think that bamboo needles might be better to take along than aluminum etc.

Even though you might not be able to work on your project on the plane, you can always find a shop at your destination where you can buy a pair of needles... so make sure you know the exact size you're using on your ongoing item.

At family get-togethers...

These family gatherings drive me nuts so having handy-work at my finger tips generally keep me from going over the edge. However these project have to be simple projects as trying to concentrate when one of the Aunts comes at me nattering with a vengeance it's almost a 'mission impossible' not to make mistakes. I save the one coloured, easy patterned afghan for just these get-togethers. These 'no-brain-nor-eyes-needed' knitting projects have saved my sanity on many a family fracas. (sorry Aunts, I know the truth can hurt at times)


At weekend retreats:

I have quite a few friends that are involved in crafting and quilting etc. We often plan on weekend retreats where we all work on our project and have a great time of companionable chitchating and idea sharing. We craft, yak-e-dy-yak, we eat, we share recipes, and have a drink or two of coffee, tea, wine or... some lovely weekends for just girly stuff especially when football, baseball, curling etc is on-going

Car trips...

Project for car trips can be tricky at times. I always have to remember to bring stuff that doesn't need great light. More often than not we plan on coming home on time but because we end up chitchating our days away we need to travel home when it's already dark. As clenching a flashlight in my teeth for hours on end is not my idea of fun again one of those 'no-brain-nor-eyes-needed' knitting or crochet projects are best suited for these occasions too.  Embroidery and sewing rely too much on the stitches being placed in just the right place.



The crafters travel tool kit:

Over the years I have made many a project bag. Not all of them worked out just the way I had planned them to work. I now have a universal type that I have fine tuned for each of the types of crafting that I do... for knitting, crochet, embroidery, crazy quilting etc.... Here is what I found works for me. (I will put a hub together soon, [after Christmas] in which I'll make up a new bag for myself, with pattern, dimensions and how to pictures)

  • The bags should not be too large (if you're like me, you over-estimate how much you can accomplish in the time you're traveling and then try to stuff in way too much into the bags)
  • Just like they say when you live in small spaces you should have a home for everything so that you're space is not cluttered, so should your project and travel kit have a spot for everything. Make a bag for yourself that has at least 6-8 zippered pockets either on the outside or the inside of the bag. (mine has 3 on each of the sides on the inside and again 3 on each of the sides on the outside plus one on each end... one of these on the ends I use for my cell phone and the other one on the other end is a larger flat one that I use for my travel tickets etc.
  • Each of the zippered pockets is a home for something particular.

I always put the bag down in the same direction at my feet that way I won't have to fumble and hunt for just the right tool that I'm looking for.

Here is the list of items in my knitting bag:

  • Room for the knitting project
  • Room for extra balls of wool
  • Knitting needles (extra sets, same size [just in case I lose one], smaller/larger [just in case the work just doesn't seem right... especially if starting a new project)
  • Knitting pattern x2 (an extra photo copied set just in case I lose the original)
  • Thread snips {(I use small nail snips so that they will not be confiscated at the airports)make sure you try them out at home to make sure that they work on thread (a friend found a 3" small pair of children's scissors made out of plastic works well too}
  • Scissors (if not traveling on plane)
  • Small pincushion
  • Safety pins, pins
  • Large big eyed sewing needle (to assemble/finishing)
  • Small wooden ruler/measuring tape
  • Pen, pencil, small pad of paper (I never know when an idea for a project comes to my mind and if I don't write it or draw it down it is lost forever)
  • Clothes pins (work well to keep pieces that need sewing etc together)

Here is the list of items in my crochet bag:

  • Room for the crochet project
  • Room for extra balls of wool or crochet cotton
  • Crochet needles (extra sets, same size [just in case I lose one], smaller/larger [just in case the work just doesn't seem right... especially if starting a new project)
  • Crochet pattern x2 (an extra photo copied set just in case I lose the original)
  • Large big eyed sewing needle (to assemble/finishing)
  • Thread snips {(I use small nail snips so that they will not be confiscated at the airports)make sure you try them out at home to make sure that they work on thread (a friend found a 3" small pair of children's scissors made out of plastic works well too}
  • Scissors (if not traveling on plane)
  • Small pincushion
  • Safety pins, pins
  • Small wooden ruler/measuring tape
  • Pen, pencil, small pad of paper (I never know when an idea for a project comes to my mind and if I don't write it or draw it down it is lost forever)
  • Clothes pins (work well to keep pieces that need sewing etc together)

Here is the list of items in my embroidery bag:

  • Room for my embroidery project on a small hoop or stretcher bars
  • Extra hoop or stretcher bars
  • Embroidery needles of various sizes
  • Embroidery floss
  • Beeswax
  • Thread snips {(I use small nail snips so that they will not be confiscated at the airports)make sure you try them out at home to make sure that they work on thread (a friend found a 3" small pair of children's scissors made out of plastic works well too}
  • Scissors (if not traveling on plane)
  • Thimbles (I use thimbles whenever I sew and embroider and they like to disappear so have a number of them in my kit)
  • Small pincushion
  • Safety pins, pins
  • Small wooden ruler/measuring tape
  • Pen, pencil, small pad of paper (I never know when an idea for a project comes to my mind and if I don't write it or draw it down it is lost forever)
  • Clothes pins (work well to keep pieces that need sewing etc together)

Here is the list of items in my crazy quilting bag:

  • Room for quite a few pieced, pinned and pressed squares or ready to applique squares.
  • Hand sewing needles in various sizes
  • Quilting needles again in various sizes
  • Embroidery needles in various sizes
  • Regular hand sewing thread
  • Small pincushion
  • Safety pins, pins
  • Quilting thread
  • Embroidery floss
  • Beeswax
  • Thread snips {(I use small nail snips so that they will not be confiscated at the airports)make sure you try them out at home to make sure that they work on thread (a friend found a 3" small pair of children's scissors made out of plastic works well too}
  • Scissors (if not traveling on plane)
  • Thimbles (I use thimbles whenever I sew and embroider and they like to disappear so have a number of them in my kit)
  • Small wooden ruler/measuring tape
  • Pen, pencil, small pad of paper (I never know when an idea for a project comes to my mind and if I don't write it or draw it down it is lost forever)
  • Clothes pins (work well to keep pieces that need sewing etc together)




I will put a hub together soon, [after Christmas] in which I'll make up a new handy, trendy, craft travel bag for myself, I'll share my pattern, the dimensions I like and how to pictures.


great traveling while crafting

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Comments 44 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 2 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for taking a look and for commenting RTalloni. I love traveling and crafting so it only makes sense to me to combine my two passions.

Link away and I'm looking forward to reading your new hub.

regards Zsuzsy


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Expert tips here that many can benefit from! Crochet was my on-the-go choice for a long time, then a personal hotspot on my iPhone tried to take its place. I tried to go that route, really, but on this last trip I realized that I enjoy crochet so much more. This is not only useful but inspiring. You've caused me to rethink my best way to carry my crochet projects. I plan to link this to the hub I now have in mind for working that "best way" out.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 3 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Sharkye11, how right you are. I can not even list all the projects I have started and finished while traveling on the plane, train and by car. Thank you for reading and commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Love this hub! I can't read in the car due to motion-sickness, but for some reason I can embroider. I almost always have some small project tucked in my purse or bag along with some notions. I embroidered all the way from Oklahoma to South Carolina and back one time, and had four sets of elaborate pillowcases to show for it. Being confined like that helps me stay focused on completing a project. Filet crochet is also great because it takes only one color of thread.

I am so glad to see I am not the only one who likes to do this! Sharing this because I think more people would benefit from using their idle time in a productive manner. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Ben, your daughter will come around to crafting eventually. Glad you came for a visit.

greetings to you and the family

Zsuzsy


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Love it Zsuzsy Bee. In Chicago, the year I moved away, I saw many a hip young woman crocheting on the el train. I tried to convince my daughter of the en vogue quality of crafting but she poo pooed the idea. Ah well, such goes my scheme for a great hand knit elf hat. I love the quality and mind power that goes into these pieces of folk art. I must confess I raced through the item list. But I did take the ride with you on the Greyhound!

Cheers!

Ben


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

SupportMed, thank you for reading and commenting. I can knit and crochet in the dark, in front of the TV but only simple patterns. Actually I can't watchTV without having something to work on with my hands.

regards Zsuzsy


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

Crocheting and knitting are very relaxing and great at calming nerves. You must be an expert, since you do no haave to look down at your work. Voted and rated.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jo Deslaurier, yup beading will have to stay at home... unfortunately.

Thanks for reading and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


Jo Deslaurier profile image

Jo Deslaurier 5 years ago

Great ideas, too bad for me that my craft of choice is beadwork. One slip of the leg and those beads go everywhere =)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

fujoshicat, nice to see you here. Carrying stuff to do started out when my children were still young. Over-compensating, as I was a single parent by then I signed them up for everything under the sun at the YMCA. With other words I spent a lot of hours at the lounge of the Y or in it's parking lot... doing my handy work.

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


fujoshicat profile image

fujoshicat 5 years ago from California

I haven't crocheted anything in years, but I keep thinking I should start again. This article makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of yarn. ;)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

mgwhite, how are you? I've not thought of that one before...(good idea though) I have been known to take my knitting to the drive-in though, well I don't go there too often anymore just once last summer...

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

cwarden, I really honestly love to travel by train especially when I can listen to my books and knit/crochet/... and watch the scenery go by.

thanks for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


mgwhite profile image

mgwhite 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

I have a friend who crochets when she's in movie theaters. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lily Rose nice to see you here. It's a little too hectic before Christmas. I as always chewed off too much and am working every spare minute at trying to get my Christmas gift list finished in time. So my new replacement crafting bag will have to wait till after the holidays. I should be able to get at it the first week in January.

Hope life is on an even keel

regards Zsuzsy


cwarden profile image

cwarden 5 years ago from USA

I'm one of the "unfortunates" that has to read a book when traveling! I am taking a train to my friends house next week and now you have made me want to find a Knitting or Crocheting For Idiots book...if one exists!


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast

Great hub, Zsuzsy Bee. I crochet, but not very well - oh how I would love to be able to crochet without looking at what I'm doing! I would crochet so much more - I barely do it anymore because it tends to give me a stiff neck and shoulders; I guess my positioning is just not very good, but I'm self taught and stuck in my ways! I'm looking forward to seeing your craft bag hub...


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Yup, definitely me at the airport. I was wondering why you didn't offer me a drink... but then I guess you thought to get away from that crazy person armed with many needles as fast as your legs could carry you...

I love sitting at the airport...two years ago I went to Toronto to pick up some friends who were coming to stay with me for a bit... their plane was almost six hours delayed... I still had a fabulous time people watching, finished a pair of mittens and was half way up the toque once they finally came through customs and had found their luggage.

hope you and De wife are well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

So taht was YOU at the airport then? Wish I knew before. I would have asked you to join me for a drink :-)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

heart4theword, thank you for checking out the hub and for commenting.

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Audrey, having some of my project portable makes all the difference in the world when it comes to finished articles. My knitting bag seems to be the one I take along my travels the most...

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

DrumsAcousticMuse, thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

Yes, productive crafting:) So much better to get something done with your time, when it is in the chair you sit! Great hub, nice to see a list of what others put in their yarn bag:) Thanks for sharing!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

I love being a multi-tasker though, too and I say it all helps you stay focused. Mine are usually cross stitch or knitting - or now I've moved on to typing up stories for Hubpages. Ah well - we do what we can - well done as always and good points to make. Whatever we do it's important to have some things that are portable!!


DrumsAcousticMuse profile image

DrumsAcousticMuse 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Hey, i was just hopping some hubs when i came across this one. i'm not really too proficient with crafts, but i appreciate your writing a lot. Great Hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

WildIris, I have my workbags all set just the way I like them with all the pockets I could possibly need. As I promised in the hub I will post the pattern and 'how to make' my bags with pics after Christmas. I can never make enough socks for my gang. I find it does faster too if I make both at the same time...

Thanks for stopping by.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

susansisk, me organized? No, not really. I'm into too much stuff to be organized. I've always been busy, busy and now I'm lucky enough to be able to do what I really love to do. Crafting and writing, or is it writing and crafting? hmmmm

hope your well

greetings from a cold Ontario

Zsuzsy


WildIris 5 years ago

ZsusyBee~ You should think about making yourself an old-fashion work bag. The side pockets make it quite useful when traveling around with a project. Sock loom?? I've not seen one of these. I could use one. I've a single sock that has become a five year project.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Funride, how are you, my young friend? The hands all healed? Lucky for me I don't get 'seasick'... Also I can knit and crochet without looking down so I can enjoy the scenery too...

Hope your world is on an even keel

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello, hello, I know what you're saying... The first year when I joined hubpages I had very few finished projects, now I have a system set up so I can do some of everything...

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

kids-toy-box, to be honest I do both... read and knit or embroider or... Well, I'm forever plugged into my IPod onto which I download books from the Library. My need to read list is sooooo long but I never have enough time to read all the books I really want so I started doing both... before I started listening to books I used to hate all the time I wasted traveling

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


susansisk profile image

susansisk 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

You must be so organized. I envy you always getting so much done. As always, great ideas!


funride profile image

funride 5 years ago from Portugal

Hey Zsuzsy, I see you`ve been busy. Don`t you get sick feelings when doing those crafts while traveling? I can`t read or anything while moving without getting "seasick" :D


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I love knitting but since I have got the hub-addiction I haven't the time.


kids-toy-box profile image

kids-toy-box 5 years ago

What a great idea! I usually like reading in the train but if I forget my book then I 'm left staring out the window. I'm sure this will be a handy tip for the busy to fit in some creative time in to their schedules.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals, you brought your own cup, tea? coffee?

I know what you mean about having to keep the hands busy... I went to the dentist last week and almost went bonkers because the freezing wouldn't take... I sat there for over half an hour... that would have been a good few inches on my granddaughters Christmas sweater...

Hope you're well

take care

Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya breakfastpop, the great thing about crafts is that they will patiently wait for you to get all your other obsessions out of your system.

Thank you for checking out the hub

hope life is on an even keel for you

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

lisadpreston, a Husqvarna quilting machine stolen, oh ouch, the pain... what a shame. I have a long line of hubs in the works that might hopefully help you to get those heirlooms done.

Thanks for checking out the hub

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya singlmom, how are ya? Always glad when you drop by for a visit. Coffee, Tea? I love every type of handy work and some are better than others to take along. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Everywhere I go I have some kind of craft item with me to work on. I can't stand to just sit. Must keep those hands busy.

You have a ton of ideas and tips that are great. Voted up and awesome.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I too can't leave home without a project. I knit and I needlepoint. I have to admit that I now am completely in love with my Nook so the crafts have to move over a bit.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Handy information. I'm going to take up quilting and need to buy a sewing machine. I had bought a new huskavarna quilting machine and believe it or not it was stolen. I am so angry. Now I have to resort to a cheaper one. I'll have a look at your sewing hubs. I really want to learn quilting so that I can make heirlooms for my grandkids. I hope to be learning from you. Thanks a bunch.


singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 5 years ago

So many great and fun suggestions. I love crafts. I have never knitted, but I have crocheted, cross-stitched, needlepoint, crewel, quilted, embroidered and latch hook. I have done lots of floral arrangements, wreaths, bouquets, corsages, high school mums and buttoneres( spelling, lol). Made ornaments, etc. So I can see how addictive it is. At least it is a good addiction!!! Thank you for a great Hub!!!

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