I enjoy both crochet and travel and have mixed them together on a lot of occasions. Crochet is one of those hobbies that can be really portable and can fill in those long hours. I crocheted on my USA trip and have come up with a few pointers and tips for anyone interested.
Size. Don’t bring a giant double size blanket with you. It’s heavy and not practical. Bring something small or something you can sew together later. Make a few granny squares, a baby size blanket, a scarf, beanie, or shawl.
Limit yourself to only a few colours. The last thing you want is to juggle 15 different colours. This takes up space in your bag and increases the risk of misplacing something. Stick to 3 balls of yarn. If you must bring heaps of colours rewind them into smaller balls.
Storage. Project bags are a must. I have several made of cotton or organza. The opening is a drawstring allowing it to be fully closed but still be able to draw up the yarn. I travel with a normal sized handbag which allows for 1 ball of 100g 8ply yarn. This is an awesome size as it isn’t too bulky. Watch out of liquids in your bag (or nature) from spilling on your project.
Hooks. While it is legal to carry hooks on Australian international and domestic flights you should always check with your airline. I’ve had mixed results in having to open my bag and prove that it’s just a hook. With my first flight with hooks i was so scared they’d take them off me I brought a plastic hook! I hated this and it slowed me down. My next flight saw me take my ‘good’ hook and wasn’t any drama. I also took my hooks through security at The Pentagon, One World Observatory, and The Capitol Building in Washington with no problems. This info may change at a later time 😉
Looks. People will look, people will be curious. It’s something you have to deal with. I go into my own world and don’t even think about it, my sister seems to notice it more.
Goals. Don’t set goals, enjoy your holiday. If you don’t feel like crocheting, don’t do it.
Wildfiber Studio is a really neat yarn store in Santa Monica. We walked from the third street promenade and it took about 15-20 minutes. The store is bright, open, and has a real nice feel to it. As this was the first yarn store I visited in the USA I was slightly overwhelmed with the choice. I spent about 30 minutes here looking and touching all the yarn while my sister enjoyed the lounge chair and lovely air conditioning. If you are in the Santa Monica area I encourage you to check this out.
We did a Contiki tour around the USA, basically a group of 50 18 to 35 year olds in a bus. This allowed for a lot of crochet time and also to visit small towns. We had a couple of hours spare in Durango and for the fun of it googled if there was any yarn stores nearby. There was! This place was located right in town and about 15 minutes walk from where we stayed! The store is super cute and packed to the brim with all sorts of yarn. I spent a great deal of time (and money) looking at all the things and selecting a few balls of yarn. I highly recommend this store if you ever find yourself in Colorado.
I wanted to visit Purl Soho for a while now. Their website and Instagram just seemed to high end and cool. We decided to walk from the One World Tower so it took about 20-30 minutes. The shop was cozy and bright. They sell fabric as well, so it was full of really pretty stuff. There was some really nice yarn which was about $97 and I was very very tempted. I resisted though hahaha. Purl Soho have their own range of cottons so I had to grab a couple of balls to try it. I also got a very nice project bag. I would say this place is slightly more high end than the other shops I visited. The colours were muted and the yarns were all soft and unique. They also sell kits for projects which were a bit out of my price range.
I almost forgot about this place until one of the last few days in New York! We spent the morning in Brooklyn and as fate would have it, the subway line went right past this shop! We walked for about 10 minutes and almost walked past the door (thanks google maps). This is a tiny store filled will amazing yarns. Floor to ceiling! They had a few yarns which have appeared in nearly all of the yarn stores, but also some really different ones as well. This place is really affordable. Of course I touched all the yarns and grabbed a few items. The staff were really friendly as well which is lovely to see. Downtown yarns is worth a look if you’re in New York!
We found ourselves in Fort Worth Texas and had a few spare hours before dinner. Luckily for the internet and Uber, otherwise we wouldn’t have discovered Jenning Street Yarns. This super sweet store was only about 10 minutes drive from our hotel! I found so many lovely unique yarns here (maybe have gone a little crazy). All the staff were lovely and I even got to meet the owner! I love how warm and friendly the people of Texas are! My sister loved this store as they had a comfy chair for her to wait in. I tried to get local yarns at each of the stores I visited at, and was so happy with my Texan stitch holder! I wish this store was local to me!
We found ourselves right near Lion Brand Studio on day in New York and had to go have a look. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was different to how I imagined. The space was really inviting and super colourful with lots of choices. I really loved the hand dyed cottons and wool that are made in small batches by Darrin. I didn’t realise until we left that he was there! I grabbed a bunch of these yarns and ran away before I could spend anymore money. I wish we were in New York longer so I could have done a class or two. That is something we are really lacking in Australia. Every store seemed to run classes or a social event which would be a great way to meet fellow crocheters. If you are in New York I highly recommend paying this store a visit. We walked from the High Line and the surrounding neighbourhood is so pretty.