Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Relegated Knitter

Have you ever been out knit? You know, someone else nearby is constantly managing to create the most wonderful things and you're struggling to even pick up the needles. To start with it's mildly irritating, but after a few weeks it REALLY begins to grate.

Such is my situation now. For all of my good intentions, I managed only about an hour of free knitting time during my vacation. It just wasn't that kind of holiday. In fact, I was so pathetic that I couldn't even get my act together enough to knit in the car as we drove to Canada. In my haste to get everyone and everything safely stashed in the vehicle, I completely forgot to throw my knitting on to the front seat. Halfway to Vancouver, I turned round to see that DD2 was knitting on a fushia pink winter hat and grinning like the cat who got the cream!

So much for being a knitter with a capital "K". This summer I've turned into a pathetic excuse for a knitter. A knitter who is definitely a knitter with a small "k" and should really be considered a "nitter" with no "k" at all! If I was a soccer team I definitely wouldn't be first division material and would now have almost certainly been dropped from the division and perhaps even relegated to the bottom of the league. Yes, relegation is my new calling.

In fact, my only saving grace was that I did have the forethought to pack my knitting bag where I could find it for the return journey. What a godsend that turned out to be. Friday night at the US/Canadian border is no picnic, I can tell you. I was relieved to have the scarf to knit and the latest copy of "Interweave Knits" to browse through while we sat in line. Eventually, I decided to take pictures of the beautiful garden at the border, a decision that very nearly resulted in me getting left behind. I was just heading back to our vehicle when they waved our block of cars on to the front of the line. I rarely run in public (and for good reason) but the prospect of being left in Canada with no passport and no money was enough for me to attempt to emulate Usain Bolt, much to the amusement of my fellow travellers!
We waited over two hours just to have the pleasure of showing our green cards to a stern border patrolman, who asked whether we'd bought anything and got hit by one of P.A's "Er, wells?" This was not the time for a laid back, contemplative "Er, well?" His suspicion aroused, the border guard ducked his head back in time to hear that DD1 had "just bought a few clothes." Now anyone with half a brain would know that purchasing anything up there would have been pretty pointless. The clothing was so small that I could have dressed a doll with it and there wasn't a yarn store within miles of downtown (I did google them.) Add to that the fact that everything cost a lot more than it does here at home and you get my point. Unless they happened to be selling Quivit nextdoor to my hotel, then I wasn't going to be tempted by much.

In California last week, I managed an hour on my Kid's Keyhole Scarf. I console myself with the fact that it was the most complicated part, as I managed to make the 'keyhole' part while I was there. Still, I am definitely fodder for the "Knitter Relegation Squad" when it comes to airline travel. Yes, I confess, I was intimidated by airline security and so I packed my knitting in my suitcase. I like to travel light too, which means that I check my tiny, roll along suitcase and then watch the rest of my fellow travellers trying to shove theirs into the overhead lockers. It's actually rather amusing. Here in the US you can bring a handbag and a small case on to the plane. As a European, I'm used to travelling with a lot greater luggage restriction and frankly, the hassle of trying to fight other people for that locker space is just not worth it. While they're wrestling with their hand luggage, I have usually left the plane and am cruising into the terminal to retrieve my roll along from the baggage carousel. I arrive at my destination a whole lot calmer and less dishevelled.

Still, I haven't mastered the art yet of aeroplane knitting. What are the rules? How do you get needles and stitch holders past airport security? Do you just use bamboo for airline travel and are socks out of the question because the needles are so small and sharp?

To avoid relegation, I think I need to know!


Jessi said...

I've never had any problem at all flying with knitting needles in the U.S. It's only on flights that go out of the country that I have troubles. (I had to give up some really nice needles in Costa Rica.)
I usually bring a tapestry needle and some waste yarn, just in case I have to take my project off the needles. However, the FFA does say that knitting needles are OK, so you are unlikely to have troubles.

Kimmie said...

I'm sure you'll get your mojo and capital K back ..... give us an update in about 3 wks after school starts?

Australia had a sign posted "no knitting needles."
DH showed me the sign wondering what I should do about it. I shrugged and did nothing. I had bamboo needles with a 2 inch lace panel on them already about 2 feet long (for pillowcases) I wasn't about to surrender it. After taking 4 flights in 2 wks within that country and their so-called rule and having my bag hand checked 2X - they were NOT confiscated. Maybe cuz they were bamboo? If asked I was planning to say that they're called sticks and not needles.

Rudee said...

"A knitter who is definitely a knitter with a small "k" and should really be considered a "nitter" with no "k" at all!"

I am disappointed a disclaimer about choking risks didn't come with this post. I almost aspirated my coffee.

I've not had any problems flying with knitting needles. I've done it with bamboo and my knitpicks options. My sister routinely flies to Europe and Africa and she takes her knitting, too.

Almost American said...

The TSA says knitting needles are allowed.

Anonymous said...

I have flown from Kelowna to Vancouver to London (England) to Jersey and had no problems with knitting. I take my Denise interchangeables - they're plastic and couldn't harm a fly.

Rositta said...

Last year Olympic Airlines banned knitting needles. I took 4 bamboo needles and stashed them in my eyeglass case and a ball of sock yarn. Once safely on board I was good to go. The flight attendants didn't even notice I was knitting most of the night. I think they were sleeping in first class anyway...ciao

Jane said...

Thanks for all the tips on knitting needles and flying. It was great to read all your travel stories. I shall try to be braver next time!

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