Thank you for the excellent comments to my last post. The eminently logical solution suggested by Sarah and Romy had eluded me. When I return from my travels I will clean up my work table, collect my thoughts, grab my scissors and embark on sweater surgery. I have done it before, and making an unworn sweater wearable was eminently satisfying. There is a bit of Dr Frankenstein's magic in bringing a forlorn knitted thing to life. It will be fun...or a disaster, possibly, but there is no harm in trying. Stay tuned for Favorite Summer Sweater: the Sequel, coming later this summer.
I have this fantasy about seasoned travelers: they are cool, collected and packing doesn't faze them one bit. They have luggage just the right size, luggage tags at hand and bearing updated information, toiletries all packed compactly, the right amount of ideal travel clothes that look perfect and won't ever wrinkle, the perfect traveling shoes, the most addictive bestseller to read in flight.
And then there's me: forever taken by surprise when it is time to pack my bags, doing frantic loads of laundry until the last minute, deciding to iron just about every bit of clothing I own before I get to crush it in my suitcase, interrupting the packing every ten minutes to add a CD to my itunes library... I have a wide range of luggage-avoidance techniques, to which I can now add blogging about the knitting that may, or may not, take place once I reach destination. Let's go already!
I won't bore you with the progress update on my various projects. Travel knitting is complicated enough without those rules I try to follow the rest of the time. I don't like to take projects along that are nearly finished, like the Landscape shawl or the Grace cardigan. I need to be home to block them, so I might as well finish them here.
Paris in June, my destination, may be too hot to knit wool once I am there; mohair especially would feel awfully sticky. Lace, on the other hand, is perfect: lightweight, compact. My oldest daughter had admired the shawls and scarves from Victorian Lace Today ; not long ago, I found a suitable yarn in the exact shade of emerald green color that she loves. I browsed through the book to see what she would be most likely to wear and I settled on this:
This lovely, airy rectangular confection bears the evocative name of "Large rectangle with center diamond pattern." I think it should fit my thoroughly modern romantic girl well. I can always make the center panel longer and add a bit of width to the edging, too.
Before settling on this as my travel project, I made a little swatch:
Here it is, blocked and scanned. I was hoping the scanner would reproduce the colorway more faithfully, but this is pretty close. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, which I had never used before. I have knitted a couple of sweaters and a blanket with its thicker cousin, Cotton Fleece, so I know and love how this yarn feels and behave, the bounce that a bit of wool brings to the cotton fiber, the slight sheen of it all... but I am a tad anxious about the weight of this cotton blend compared with lighter, more traditional fingering weight yarns used for lace. Obviously, it won't have the delightful sheerness of the original. Still, I plan to forge ahead. In fact, I have already cast on and I have about 5 pattern repeats done already. It is the perfect vacation-lace-project: relatively easy to memorize, so I won't be wedded to a chart. I also went up one needle size from my swatch. I am knitting this on a #6 bamboo circular, in my typical loose way.
This daughter of mine has been traveling away from home for months, and knitting a bit of lace for her will be my way to count the days until she, too, packs her bags and comes home. I can hardly wait.