The more things change

Mr.Me and I are getting ready to hop a plane and head out to visit his mom so the last couple days have been a frenzy of preparation. There’s not been much danger of needing the clothes I packed as our destination is an 80 degree climate and we’ve been lucky to nudge 50 this week so packing early wasn’t necessary but I found myself with a few extra minutes one evening so I got it out of the way. But of course, that was the easy part. Packing my carry on bag has become a much bigger challenge lately.

It used to be when I packed for a trip, my biggest decision was what extra reading to bring along. I couldn’t honestly tell you the last time i wasn’t reading something. I also won’t lie and tell you what I’m reading is some deep, meaningful piece of literature or non-fiction.  I tend toward fluff. Light reading to calm the voices in my head that would otherwise keep me awake all night or that pass the lunch hour in a blink but keep me entertained in the interim.  THAT is my favorite kind of reading. So any time you threaten me with a few hours of sitting still, I know I’m going to need extra reading material. For a 3 day trip, this means the book I’m reading and at least one more, two makes me feel safer.  So I used to have to plan a lot of suitcase space around extra books. Well, one for the suitcase, one for the carry on unless I was just starting my current read.  My semester in Tokyo was a real bugger that way. Four months required a half-dozen books that could be re-read if I got through them all. Stephen King and I made great friends for that trip!

The advent of the Kindle, though, has lightened my load considerably.  Now, in the same single package that weighs the same as an average paperback, I can take 1500 books with me. I love this! Especially convenient right now when I’m only a small way from finishing my current teen angst laden but of sap. I have 6 Harry Potters, a couple of library books, countless “steals” from my brother. Oh yes friends, I am well stocked with enough reading material to get me through years, let alone a few hours on an airplane!

But, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m a gadget girl. So the space I freed up by eliminating books from the luggage is amply filled by electronics. Neither Mr.Me or I sit still particularly well. For him its clinical (ADHD) for me, it’s just how I am. So in addition to my Kindle, there must be items to provide background noise. My iPod has been a wonderful find for this since it involves much less space and weight than the old Walkman or Discman did and holds far more listening (and viewing) material at the same time. Love it! But again, this isn’t quite enough to satisfy my need for entertainment. So into the bag goes the iPad, too.  I think this is the first time We’re getting on an airplane since I’ve added the iPad to my arsenal. Again, I love how small and compact it’s made packing my entertainment. I hit up iTunes last night to download a couple of episodes of Torchwood and a Top Gear that should get us through actual plane time. We have a couple of movies, Netflix and HDMI adapter in case we can plug it into the TV in the hotel, and if necessary, I can download a couple more TV episodes for the trip home. All in one small, lightweight package! PERFECT!

Then there’s Mr.Me. He likes to play solitaire or SUDOKU to pass the time. So he’s bringing my laptop because it’s lighter than his. Of course we need to bring the computer AND the iPad because we can’t watch a movie and play a game at the same time. And that, obviously, is just not acceptable!  So the gadget tally is up to:

  1. Kindle
  2. iPod (Mr.Me’s)
  3. iPhone (mine, replaces the iPod, one less gadget to carry though honestly, at this point, is one more really that big a concern?)
  4. iPad
  5. iMac.

Apple likes us. They really do.

And of course, you know, as a Knitter, there’s positively no way that I’m leaving the house without something to keep my hands busy. It turns out, this was actually the most difficult part of the packing. What yarn to bring. What pattern to knit with it. The choices are endless. Well, maybe not endless, but vast and varied at the very least! I decided my choices needed to be limited to the yarn that was already caked up. Limiting the selection helps narrow down the choices right? Then I decided I should aim for a color family I seem to be lacking in for the Epic Blanket of Insanity.  Only this was a bit interesting because, having just organized my stash of yarn yet to be knit, I know I am heavy in a couple of colors with the skeins to be knit, but that doesn’t necessarily match with the leftovers going into the blankie. So I picked what is probably the most garish skein in my collection. It’s something of a lime green, purple & white. I think it’s a Holiday Yarn colorway called Monster Mash. Definitely unlike anything I’ve already got in the blankie box.

But you know your knitter can’t leave home with just one skein. What if we get stranded an extra day? What if the flight is delayed and I have extra hours to pass in the airport? GAH! These would be disasters of ginromous proportion. Can’t happen. So I had to pick a second skein to bring along. Again, trying for something I’ve been feeling the need for in my tiny little squares of knitting insanity. So a random green seemed to fit the bill this time. I think I’m sufficiently stocked on yarn for a 3 day trip. And I’ve already gotten a Ravelry recommendation for a yarn shop in Austin.  I should be able to handle the travel without too much twitching.

As for what to knit, I tent to go with socks on a plane (not to be confused with the horrible Samuel L. Jackson movie of a similar sounding name from a few years back). They’re small, require little in the way of supplies and I tend toward patterns that are easily memorized. No room on the seat back tray for the pattern, the Kindle and the iPad, right? So for this trip, I think I landed on a new bit of pure genius. A couple of months back I knit myself a pair of Flutter-By socks. And I loved everything about knitting this pattern. My random purple & green yarn will make for super fun little sock butterflies. The pattern was stupid easy to remember, they knit up quick as could be and they’re just plain fun. But just in case, I decided to wear my existing flutter-bies on the plane tonight so as to have a handy reference guide if necessary.

Fear me. I am a knitting genius.

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2 responses to “The more things change

  1. Suzy, That’s a riot. I did the same thing on vacation last month: first figured out what books to download to the Kindle, then made sure the iPod was stocked, that I had my cell phone with appropriate games on it, and then chose knitting projects. We have our priorities, ya know.

  2. It is truly a dilemma to decide what yarn and needles to pack for a trip. You should have seen what I took on a camping trip. Oh, yes! Let’s not forget a few knitting magazines I might want to browse through to look for a new project!

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