In order to have a successful road trip, you need to do some careful planning. Emergency supplies and good snacks are a given. Music, directions, plans – all of these can be helpful. We crafters have one other step to take before hitting the road – proper project selection.
So what does make a good road trip project? It needs to be compact-ish. This isn’t the venue for your loom, nor is it the place for your fair isle project with the 19 balls of yarn. It should be mildly complex. Just enough so that if there’s nothing to look at, you won’t go insane from boredom. But also not so complicated that you won’t be able to look out the window if there is something to look at. You don’t want to miss an interesting sight because you were messing around with your cables.
I myself recently went on a road trip, and while doing so field tested various projects for suitability. Here are examples of the good, the great and the not so good.
This is an example of a bad road trip project. Not a bad project in and of itself – it is the front of a sweater that is working out beautifully, and that I am very much looking forward to wearing. It’s a great project! It’s just not a good project for the car. It has a cable facet, multiple balls of yarn, and is at a point where I have to refer to two different pages of the pattern (shaping directions AND cable pattern) to keep it going correctly. So – great for the couch in my living room, bad for travel.
This is an OK but not ideal road trip project. It is, of course, sock experiment #3 of recent post fame. I am at the k1p1 ribbing phase, and I don’t need any directions for it at all. Less than ideal is the need for 2 balls of yarn, but they are easily contained in my project bag. I’m using 2 circular needles here, which do have a tendency to kind of extend around me like very narrow tentacles, but they are definitely controllable. Still though, a few more things to juggle than is ideal.
Finally, a nearly perfect road trip project, which is what my Mom was working on during this jaunt. One ball of yarn, a 2-line pattern, which she has memorized and did not need to refer to during the trip, and one circular needle. Pretty ideal!
Your results may vary, of course. You may be traveling for days on end through deeply boring scenery, and want nothing more than a good Aran sweater to keep you from going mad with boredom. But I’ve got this to look at…
So I need to keep my distractions to a minimum. The main thing is to enjoy getting there!