Story last updated at 8/26/2009 - 2:11 pm
I'll admit, last week when my morning radio groove issued the decree that "fall is here," I was not a happy camper. I mean, three days of rain and we declare summer is over? We have more gumption than that in Southeast! But, as the days wane I am becoming a convert, and taking solace in nothing less than... my vacation plans!
We Alaskans know that summer is time for enjoying our fine state, and the rest of the year is fair game for gettin' out. Of course, in Southeast it takes quite a bit to get out. At least a plane, maybe a boat, a train and a few car rides as well. And all these lengthy trips are perfect opportunities to test our crafty-on-the-go skills. Here are a few tips I've gathered to keep you in the craft.
For travel, flights are the most stringent and we crafters never know what TSA will throw at us. Will knitting needles, scissors and crochet hooks be allowed? I went straight to the source to find out some answers:
Some things that are allowed in your carry-on (paraphrased directly from TSA):
- Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches are allowed
- Knitting needles and needlepoint equipment (ie. sewing needles) but no rotary cutters or "cutters with a blade contained inside." That seems obvious. Oh also, turns out throwing stars aren't allowed in your carry-on, but are allowed in your checked luggage. Who knew?
Though TSA has rules outlined for safe crafty travel, everything is subjective, so my advice is to look like you know what you're doing. If you are embroidering a hankie, have the project mounted in the hoop and a few stitches completed. A half-completed scarf is harder to argue with than two naked needles and a skein. And bring a back-up envelope to mail your craft home just in case (that way they surely won't take it, right?).
So, besides what is and isn't allowed, here are some guidelines to follow with all your on-the-go travel crafts.
Keep to the small stuff - you'll want your craft to fit in a small space (your carry-on) next to your wallet, your book, your toiletries, whatever.
Minimal directions - if it's a pattern from a book, copy it out or sketch down the instructions to conserve space, both in your bag and on that tiny tray on the plane.
Easy to pack - make yourself a kit where all your crafty pieces go together quickly. I whipped up a knit-kit out of an old water bottle (to hold the yarn) and a fabric sleeve (to hold the needles).
No teeny pieces - although beading sounds fun, it is not so fun to chase tiny rolling creatures down the aisles of a cramped 747. Opt for big crafts with big parts (think size Q crochet hooks here).
Make something useful - if you're winging your way to a wedding ceremony, think about crocheting a saucy garter. Or, in anticipation of your return, whip up a cozy cap to survive the wet winter.
As you travel, connect with crafters worldwide while making your way through sunny landings, and sunny sky-high crafty flights.
Tanna Peters is a crafter and designer from wonderful, rainy Southeast Alaska. View her latest creations at suiteliving.blogspot.com and her shared crafting sitecraftaddicts.blogspot.com. Send local craft inquiries and info to firstname.lastname@example.org.