Summer holiday means a bit more time for leisure for me. No matter how we spend our down time, us knitters often prioritize our projects when we pack up to hit the road.
Whether it’s a simple satisfying take-along project, or something grander, we’ve usually got something on the needles.
Travel Knits: memories in every stitch
I often find that knits created on holiday encapsulate a memory and bring me back to a special time and place. They are beloved keepsakes; souvenirs created as I watched the scenery out a train window, laughed late at night with distant friends and family, or soaked up the sun in a foreign square.
In 2011 I was on the brink of my adventure to Scotland, and to say goodbye to Canada I took the greyhound cross country, visiting friends I hadn’t seen in ages. While I rolled on over the vast continent, I worked on the Branching Out shawl. I remember sitting at my friends kitchen table in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and charting out several lace options. Then, as the landscaped passed on the way to Montreal, knitting and knitting for hours. Every time I look at that shawl, I remember that adventure.
I designed the Lush cardigan while on a visit to Vancouver Island. The bulk of the knitting happened on Labour Day weekend. I sat on a pristine beach on Vargas Island, a tiny little island accessible only by boat, near Tofino. My sister and friends and I spent three days there, camping on the beach, swimming, fishing, and cooking gourmet food over the campfire (you’ll never imagine how much butter and garlic were required for our 3-day trip!). Lounging in the sand, soaking up the sun, I knit, knit, knit. At the end of an unforgettable weekend we headed home, and I wasn’t sure that I’d ever get the campfire smell out of that sweater!
When my husband John and I honeymooned in Greece and Italy, I wanted to work on something very special just for me, that I could have forever as a keepsake of that time. So I knit a gigantic stole-sized Thistle in beautiful DK weight angora from Bigwigs Angora. I knit in the hotel room in Athens, on the beach in Aegina, and in a sunny square in Rome. Luckily, John enjoys reading and lounging when he’s on holiday, so my knitting didn’t cramp his style!
I bet if you think about the things you have knit, many of them will hold a story, a distinct memory of the place or time it was made, and maybe the way you felt or who you were at the time. Do you have a knit that holds a story within? We would love to hear it! Share it in the comments, or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Summer Holiday Knits
Are you headed an adventure this summer? We’ve got a few suggestions for what project to pack.
For something classic and simple, I’d suggest the Paddle mitts. They make an excellent gifts, and fly off the needles. We made them in a Hudson’s Bay inspired palette, due to our ever-growing love of Canadiana!
If simple knits are your jam, take the Viewfinder cowl along – it’s light as a feather, and perfect for that lovely skein of laceweight you’ve been saving. Alexa photographed this one on her family road trip to the Rockies, overlooking the pristine waters of Lake Louise.
Perhaps you have bigger ambitions? While you road trip across the continent or settle in to the rhythm of life at the cabin a patchwork blanket like Vivid, Fly Away or Pop might be the perfect piece-by-piece knit for you.
Hats are probably my favourite sort of project for travel knitting. When I was visiting Dublin to teach at This Is Knit last month, I made this Stovetop hat for a new little friend!
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