There has to be an upside to spending hours and hours in cramped transportation going halfway around the globe, right? (Well, apart from the obvious one of ending up in some glorious exotic destination, such as Japan, natch!)
Now the airlines have seen common sense and allowed knitting needles back into the plane (only some types, mind you) one can be supremely productive whilst travelling. During our recent travel time I completed one whole pair of socks, and one and a bit socks of a second pair also. Yowza!!
I'm sure some of my fellow travellers looked on in amusement at the whacky lady knitting with thin thin yarn on weird skinny little needles... but hey, at least I wasn't wasting my time watching inane movies, or heaven forbid sleeping, or some other such unproductive activity, yeah... I got something done!
Every time I put up my latest pair of socks here I'm sure to get comments expressing thinly veiled incredulity that I can be bothered knitting socks, which are so cheap and readily available commercially, and so (relatively) expensive and time-consuming to produce oneself... Well I can't explain my passion either. I just love knitting socks, it is really my preferred knitting project above all others...
If you had met me five years ago, and told me I would be knitting socks, five-year-ago me would have firmly denied I would ever get mired in such silliness... well fast-track forward said five years and here I am. When I first saw my mother knitting socks (truly thank you, Mum, for passing on that particular virus) I was a little incredulous and disbelieving myself. Feeling a bit of an idiot, I decided to give it a go and visited the yarn shop. The lady in the shop told me I would get addicted, and I half didn't believe her... But now I too am thoroughly hooked... All I can say is that you have to try it to get it. It is such a very satisfying pastime. A very easy project, mindless even... which is the kind of knitting I actually like to do. I can very easily carry on conversations and watch (not very complex) movies at the same time as producing a pair of yummy handknit merino socks of a quality you never see in the shops. Socks are loads quicker than a jumper or cardigan, and feel a more worthwhile project than a scarf... And since I have big feet, I can make the socks to fit me... not a couple of inches too short, which is usually the case with store-bought.
So, in my book, it is well worth it.
Re knitting on planes: I checked with the airlines first, as I didn't want my needles confiscated. The short skinny double-ended ones used in sock-knitting are OK on the airlines we used. To further ensure they would be OK, I went out and bought some new bamboo ones, just in case some overly sensitive official got funny about my metal ones... and no one was concerned. The guidlelines I was given were; nothing bigger or thicker than a ballpoint pen. One of my new bamboo needles snapped (my bad!) but luckily the packet I bought had included an extra, so I didn't have to cease knitting!
I took this photo above in our apartment in Hirafu, Hokkaido. Now, in looking at this photo I'm sure you're all wondering what is the view out of the window casting that light from stage right, right? Yes, I'm sure! I'll satisfy your curiosity; here it is below, Mt Yotei: (sigh, missing that view already...)
Socks; made using Morris Superwash Merino 4 ply in Rainstorm (col 420) and Beluga (col 430), using a pattern adapted from the Ladies Sockettes from Patons Knitting book C11, a circa 1960's publication