Great expectations

Tomorrow, we head out on another road trip, this time to visit a good friend in Asheville, NC. I’m excited for all sorts of reasons: I haven’t seen this friend in a couple of years; it’s a chance to see a whole new swathe of the South (anything east of Atlanta on this trip will be new to me); my friend knits, and knows where to go in Asheville for local yarn and fibre (woo!); and the drive is about 6 hours each way. That’s twelve whole hours in the car. That’s some serious knitting time, folks. So right now, my brain looks something like this:

Jumbled and slightly askew.

Notice something? Yes, for once, I do not feel compelled to start a brand new project in honour of the trip. Oh, no. This time, I actually want to use the time to finish things, or at least make a serious dent in the Heap of Shame. So today is all about going through the many, many WIPs that litter the house and selecting the ones that will come with me. They have to be fairly easy — car knitting and social knitting do not lend themselves to intricate work — and they have to be portable. (Alas, this means that the collar of Moonstruck will remain unfinished this week, as will the sleeves on the Slinky Ribs t-shirt that’s been sitting on the coffee table for an embarrassingly long time. These restrictions also rule out my sister’s lace shawl and my other sister’s mittens, both long overdue, and both too complex for travel.) It’s going to be hot, so any knitting outside of the air-conditioned movable microclimate that is our car will have to be in a yarn that is cool to work with, and the project cannot involve having a large pile of insulating fabric sitting in my lap. With all that in mind (to varying degrees), here are the top contenders:

I’m totally winging this. Therefore, there are no mistakes.

This baby blanket is for my cousin’s newest, who was born in *cough* March. Oops. It’s perfect for this trip: portable, simple (though I’ll need to chart that border stitch pattern today so I’m not futzing around with a Barbara Walker tome on the road), and the yarn (Rowan Wool Cotton, my current favourite baby project yarn) is relatively cool to knit with. This blanket is definitely coming to Asheville. Then there’s:

Monster! Or at least, almost a monster.

Another baby project, for another baby who had the temerity to be born before I got my act together. Honestly, the nerve of some babies. This project is also in Wool Cotton, and it is a bit more fiddly than the blanket. Still, there’s not much left to do, and I can take it with me wherever we go without lugging a giant project bag overflowing with yarn, which a) is impractical, and 2) has more than a suggestion of the crazy knitting lady look about it. (As opposed to pulling a tiny monster arm out of my purse and knitting away on it, which is not crazy-knitting-lady-ish at all. No, sir.)

Next up for consideration:

At least it’s bigger than last time.

Remember this? Yeah. Well, we’re heading eastward, and will even be going by Atlanta, so by my convoluted logic of the road trip, this can come with. It is alpaca, so it may remain as car knitting, unless the nights in Asheville cool down a lot more than they have been doing. Speaking of road trip projects:


The socks from our last trip. More accurately, the sock, since I haven’t spun the yarn for sock number two, so this project is far enough from being a pair that it doesn’t deserve the plural. The wool is pretty felty, so this project would be relegated to the car as well.

Then there’s Dahlia.

Poor, neglected Dahlia.

Now that we’re past the interesting lace bit, Dahlia and I don’t spend that much time together, and that’s kind of sad. This is a bit bigger than I like in a travel project, but it is some seriously mindless knitting. So mindless that a long session in a confined space may be the only way I’ll make any progress. The yarn (The Plucky Knitter‘s merino/bamboo/silk fingering) is lightweight and has a high non-wool content, so it’s not insanely hot to work with, and I probably won’t end up feeling like I have a giant heating pad on my lap. I’m on the fence with this one. I’m also undecided about:

More socks!

Can you believe I still haven’t finished these socks? Ridiculous. For this project to make it into the travel bag, I’d have to get the toe started today: the first few rows of a toe-up sock are just too damned fiddly for me to be farting about with them while in motion, if I want to avoid vomiting all over my lap half an hour into the trip. We want to avoid that. This project has a couple of other drawbacks, too: there’s the striping, which requires juggling two cakes of yarn and counting rounds with impractical frequency, and there’s the wooliness. These are some wooly socks. Another count against it is that I’d probably want to tidy up my notes on how to make the damned thing, as it’s been too long since the first sock, and I don’t want to be studying that sock on the road trying to figure out what I did the first time. The jury’s out on this project.

While digging around in the WIPs, I also came across this:

That’s like a black hole of purpleness right there.

This is a skirt (or it might become a dress) that I started, oh, about three years ago, and cast aside as soon as it reached the endless stockinette stage. The yarn is a linen/cotton blend, the project is still at a manageable size, and I’d really like to get this skirt/dress/whatever it might become finished, so this project is a pretty strong contender. It may come along just because it doesn’t take up much space, and since we’re bringing the car, space is not at a premium. Besides, what if I run out of knitting? Egads, the very thought. Just in case, maybe I’ll pack that Slinky Ribs t-shirt after all. That sounds reasonable, right?

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