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Portable Projects

With our recent summery weather (although, it is Erie, and it is still May, which means we are still at risk for frost and colder temps), many of us are in the mood for more portable projects. As more and more of us are vaccinated against covid-19, and meeting up with people outdoors offers a safer way to gather, having a portable project gives us something do with our hands and can lead to really interesting conversations. I don't know about you, but I find it very strange to sit without having something in my hands to work on. It actually feels uncomfortable to watch tv or wait at the dentist or go on a longer car trip (with someone else driving, of course) without something to knit, crochet, or read in my hands.

But, sometimes, the project that I've been happily toiling away on at home isn't the right project to tote around someplace else, either because it's too big or has too many different colors or requires me to follow along with a chart or pattern that could be more difficult to manuever if the wind catches it. (And, before you ask, I'm terribly old school and don't like to use my phone or tablet for anything other than purchasing patterns for my Ravelry library).

So, what does a relative luddite who doesn't want to carry around a printed pattern do when she just wants to have something in her hands?

Typically, I find my version of a portable project, which generally consists of a pair of relatively simple or easy-to-remember-patterned socks or a basic hat or an easy-to-remember-pattern-repeat shawlette or scarf. Something I don't have to pay too much attention to but can keep my hands busy if I have to be somewhere not-at-home.

Lately, I've been particularly enamored with ankle socks, which are small enough to fit in a small bag or a large pocket and have easy-for-me-to-remember numbered rounds--seven for the ribbing, ten before the heel flap, 30 after the gusset before the toe decreases (although, I will admit that I never remember how to start turning the heel and will probably have to sneak a folded up copy of the pattern into my bag with the sock just for that one little sentence). These little portables are easy to slip in and out of my bag, and they keep my fingers occupied, which ultimately, helps me relax.

And, as those who take portable projects with them places will probably attest, you can have the most interesting conversations with people when they spy you in the act of making. Everything from "Oh, I used to know this person who could also knit/crochet/drop spindle." Or, "I still have the afghan/socks/scarf my relative made for me." Or even, "OMG! WHERE did you get that yarn?!"

A word of caution, though. If you are a beach maker, don't forget to shake the sand out of your project before going home...

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