Monday, September 12, 2005

Have Craft, Have Shoes, Will Travel

Preparing to pack for any trip, whether it be for business or for pleasure, consists first and foremost of determining which project should accompany me along the journey. This is no easy task for there are many factors to consider:

  • Planes, trains or automobiles?
  • Boat? Stargate???
  • If boat, waterproof bags to house supplies?
  • If planes, which craft tools are restricted?
  • Crochet, knit or sew?
  • How many hooks/needles do I need for sustained crafting throughout the trip?
  • Work on a WIP or begin something new?
  • How many balls of DMC size 8 perle cotton is too many?
  • What if I don't bring the "correct" colors of DMC size 8 perle cotton with me because of self-imposed limitations? And hey, do I have room for a hank or two of Artfabrik thread? Damn, which colorways? Oh hell, I'll bring them all! Wait, didn't I decide to bring my knitting?
  • What if I need to stuff some new amazing creation made in the plane, train or automobile??? OMG, I almost forgot the fiberfill! Will that fit into my craft travel case? Maybe I don't need the whole 1 lb. bag, but just a portion of said bag. What if I just fill a sandwich bag full with that white fluffy goodness? No, too small. I need at least a gallon freezer bag full of it, otherwise I may not have enough to stuff my travel masterpiece. Nope, I'd better just bring the original 1 lb. bag. Will that fit into my craft travel case? Honey, should we bring the bigger suitcase?!?!
  • Don't even get me started on whether or not to bring my stitch bible...
Are you getting a taste of my predicament? Oh wait, there's more. C'mon, you knew it...

After having spent hours, literally, packing my portable studio for the trip, I then have to confront my next travel conundrum... How to travel smart (I can assure you, knowing how many hooks to bring with you while traveling is VERY SMART, so there) by using my small rolling suitcase, thereby limiting the amount of clothing items and shoes I am able to pack, not to mention the fact that this mini-me suitcase limits my purchase power because there is little room for acquired paraphernalia (read: travel treasures) in that squished domain. No, I prefer the alternative to travel smart, which is to travel even smarter by bringing my GIGANTOR suitcase (Honey, we do need the bigger suitcase!) that is capable of holding, pound for pound, a plethora of outfits, myriad shoes and many, MANY acquisitions, which may include crafty items such as yarn and fabric, books, clothing, accessories and of course, NEW shoes...recalling a statement I made at a popular Mexican restaurant here in LaLaLand while imbibing many a margarita with the girlfriends, "Shoes are very, very important to me." And believe me, those women will never let me forget that I uttered those incredibly true, but nonetheless shallow words, with fervor, in public. I digress.

I know what yer thinkin' right about now. LadyLinoleum is just a teensy, weensy bit neurotic about this whole travelin' thang. Okay, and maybe just a wee bit high maintenance in her own right too...Hell-o? Been covered.

So yes, despite the serious preparation required for travel, LadyLinoleum, mistress of the no-wax floor, will bust outta Dodge nonetheless. And peeps, every ounce of preparatory paranoia is time and subsequent headache well worth the effort. I've been priviledged to travel the world, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and family, all the while neuroses intact, baggage galore, craft supplies at the hip becoming more worldly and dare I say it? More crafty with each and every step. I've looked upon the calm waters of the Persian Gulf and the cold depths of the Thames. I've walked the crowded streets of Hong Kong in search of the perfect knock-off Gucci bag and climbed Kukulcan's 91 steps to stand atop the pyramid itself taking in the ancient vista of the lush, jungle-ridden Chichen Itza. I've tantalized my palette with foie gras ravioli in a balsamic reduction amidst the urbane wonderland that is New York City and sated my voracious hunger with red beans and rice at 2:00 am in a seedy jazz club in my beloved and now submerged New Orleans. Yes, I've traveled with a plethora of craft supplies, a truckload of shoes and a sense of wonder and excitement that only travel can provoke. I can also state proudly that I fervently knit a mile long scarf while traveling around the Middle East, each and every stitch a reminder of the sand, the sun, the coffee, the parties, the people...and of course, my myriad trips to Ikea in Kuwait City, an unforgettable scarf for an unforgettable travel adventure.

Next stop, Arizona, where I have decided to bring along one of my current WIPs to accompany me on the journey - a life-size fair isle knitted skeleton. Knitting bones in the Southwest...Now, what could be better than that? Maybe another pair of newly acquired shoes from our travel destination? Oh yeah...

So peeps, I'd love to hear your crafty travel adventures from the packing to the crafting on the road/air/water/etc. Sit down, pull up a comment and/or a blog entry and share your tales...

Have a good week everyone!


Jessica said...

Heh. Your bulleted list strikes a deep chord.

Every year, I take a trip to your neck of the woods, usually endeavoring to do it carry-on-only (I loathe LAX lines). First for me is: "which sneakers?"

The green? The orange? (Both suede Pumas and, frankly, too hot for summer, but that's not stopped me before.) Pink and turquoise? (They're the most comfy, but I look like a dayglo sign if I try to match every day. Again, hasn't stopped me before.) The navy blue and teal? (Kind of a weird heel, but very cool. And they go with most everything.) The basic black Sambas? (A tad boring, but comfy.) The silver? (Scream "jogger" but they are silver.) ...

Only then can clothing be chosen and packing space appropriately determined. And I usually buy one pair of shoes per trip, but I find bringing a hostess gift saves enough space for that purchase.

Plus, don't forget, you can always mail stuff home. :)

Happy travels, Regina!

Anonymous said...

Have a safe a crafty trip. If you travel by Stargate (as I sit here watching SG-1 reruns on Stargate Monday), remember to take your portable DHD. :-)

Micky said...

Well unfortunately, I don't go anywhere. I have 4 kids, enough said. But I did knit at the dentist's office a couple of weeks ago.
I think it's cool to be knitting bones in Arizona. Don't forget the tombstone.

Micky said...

Sorry I forgot to ask you.
How do you become an honorary member?

Granny said...

My dear husband has given up. He waits until after I have everything that I may need packed before we pack the other stuff ( clothing & shoes ).
I HAVE to keep in mind the idea of mailing things back home... GREAT IDEA!!!!!
Hey, how about wearing 1 outfit, buying new clothing & shoes in Arizona, (that way you fit in with the culture). Then you can mail all of the new stuff home, along with new craft supplies, for padding, and have plenty of room in your large suitcase for your current craft supplies?!?!?!
I'm brilliant!!!!
How does someone become an honorary member?

Heather Cox said...

I can pack a suitcase in 5 minutes flat and I hate checking luggage, I've astounded people with how little I can carry on.

But packing a project is such a trial! When I went to Denver last month I forgot my knitting needles. What if I'd been in the Sahara with no craft shops for thousands of miles? I'd have gone totally mad.

Good luck with your lovely bones project. Arizona is an excellent place for that. :)

Anonymous said...

Making bones in the desert. Lol. At least you are knitting them.
Oh, packing for a trip. I go through all that just packing for a day trip, let alone a trip out of the state.

What projects? What if I get bored with the one/two that I choose to take? What if I finish early? Hooks? What if I need to change size? I should just take one of each. What about colors? What if I start the thing, and don't like it in that color? What if I need to sew something? Can't forget my fave scissors...but I better take the smaller pair too. Tape measure. Oh and I'll take some thread too in case I want to make some smaller projects. But then I need my steel hooks too.
I could go on and on.
And shoes...this is how I remember each trip I the shoes I come home with. But don't make me go through the choosing of shoes for a trip. My husband just dreads that. He cannot believe what I go through to decide and how many pairs I take. And come home with. Men.

Tara said...

Might I suggest something that I have learned from painful experience? Take 2 bags. Put half of your shoes and craft items in one, and half in the other. That way, if one bag goes missing, or gets STOLEN like mine did, you have only lost half. I miss my stolen yarn so very very much. Have a fun trip!

Jana said...

a fairisle skeleton?????? i thought i wasnt so bad in the creativity department, but you take the cake.............have a blast in arizona!

LadyLinoleum said...

Micky, are you talking a VLA honorary member???

LadyLinoleum said...

Okay you guys, I am happy to see that I am not the only one!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you just described every packing experience I've ever had. I don't worry about the clothes all that much but god, the books and craft stuff!

Micky said...

Yeah I was talking about a VLA honorary member. Had seen the buttons around and was just wondering.
Oh and I added your link to my blog. I used that button from your blog, the one with one of the creatures on it, I hope it was the right one. If it's not, you can just let me know.

Anonymous said...


I seem to remember that you left a comment on my blog about how running out of a yarn could lead to more creative solutions...and it worked for me. Take less literal & metaphorical baggage and you'll have a great time!

Heather Cox said...

Hey, I haven't been ignoring you, just my hotmail. I'm sorry! Just replied about your mandala request with a big yes. :) Have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

I am totally giggling at the idea of taking your knitting through the stargate.
I am glad to know there are more crafty sci fi peeps out there.

Have a great trip!

kath red said...

haha - i knew there was a shallow person in there somewhere. have a blast and take as many damn shoes as you want.

LadyLinoleum said...

Kath - yep, totally shallow, at least with regard to shoes! LOL

Jane - Absolutely! Good point.

Faye and Micky - I will post the VLA button so you guys can snag it.