Vacation Knitting: Back-up Plan

By Kay Gardiner
August 12, 2021

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50 Comments
  • Your Hana-in-progress is droolworthy! I too have a boatload of Rowan denim yarn and if I can ever fight my way into my stash room I will be reunited with it. I know I have at least 3 sweaters-worth.

    Why oh why is Rowan so cruel as to discontinue some of my favorite yarns? I am still very bitter about Calmer. And Softknit Cotton, I hardly knew ye.

    • Calmer never got the aclaim it deserved, and I have never found an acceptable substitute. Had I known it would leave us so soon, I would have stored away quite a bit of it, maybe not 60 balls, but a couple of bags at the very least.

      • So true.Calmer has not been replaced. I wish I had the stash wisdom of Kay and Wendy.

  • I’m knitting Petula in Mohonk. Love it. Have already knit Bottom Line . Field Guide 10 is your best ever – my happy Field Guide!

  • I love this! And I’m fascinated that anyone would have SIXTY balls of wool that you had forgotten about I am about to leave on an epic trip from Cape Town to New York for my sons wedding – I will have three different knitting projects in my hand luggage !!! we have to go via Montenegro for two weeks before going into the US! I’m going to be in NYC for a few days – can you tell me which is the best ever yarn store that a little South African crazy for all things knitting should absolutely have-to-must visit???! XSusie

    • Knitty City on West 79th Street in Manhattan.

      • Wow- thanks for the reminder. Dropping kid in NY soon and I think our hotel is just around the corner. Yarn shopping as consolation!

    • Stop at Downtown Yarns (45 Avenue A at 3rd St.)!

    • Purl Soho

      • Purl Soho brick & mortar is closed. Online only at this time.

    • I second all three recommendations, these are my three favorite shops in Manhattan.

      If your visit includes Brooklyn, my other two favorites are String Thing Studio and Brooklyn General.

      These shops are all different from each other and all Special To Me.

  • Loved your description of your vacation plans! Enjoy every minute!

  • Oh Atlas, maybe you will start a trend, I am sick of trying to decipher whether “River’s End” is a muddy blue or maybe a brownish-red because that’s where a bloody murder once took place (and we”re supposed to know that.). So glad to know that Den-M-Knit is the same as Rowan’s Denim. I really loved that company and still mourn its demise. Can’t wait to see your Hana. Brownish tones are really coming in a lot lately. You will be so on trend. Have a great vacation!

  • P.S. I didn’t know you could put “savory” and “fungus” in the same sentence.

  • My one experience with Rowan denim yarn was knitting the rib for the back of a sweater when sweaters were knit in pieces. Blue dye from the ball of yarn was all over my hands and my new white sheets. I was horrified to think I could have been knitting on my white sofa or my friend’s white sofa or my mother’s white sofa (lots of white sofas in the 1990’s Hamptons). I took the whole sweater quantity straight to the trash including the needles. I never forgot nor regretted tossing that yarn. I guess there’s a good reason you were able to get 60 balls in one dye lot.

    • I absolutely love the stuff!

      • Hi Marsha D, are you still in the Hamptons? I am and wondering if you know of a knitting circle in the area?

    • Someone bring me the smelling salts!

  • My Petula pullover is one of my favorite sweaters. Enjoy vacation!

  • Oh my gosh, Denim for Hana! I might swipe the black denim I’m holding for something for my husband. Or maybe a multi colored denim one???? You are a genius

  • It *IS* all about the journey. Plan B, aka “days of stockinette” is something we all should (also) have on needles. How many times have you sat around the table at knit night and seen somebody sitting there idle because they can’t work that pattern and talk at the same time? A “bandana in your bag” or, as I heard the other day, “a sock in your pocket” is some of the best planning I can think of. Enjoy your vacay Kay.

  • Two great choices Kay! The Atlas yarn colors that Allison chose for your Petula sweater will look great on you! I can picture it now. The Hana sweater will provide a wonderful variety of cables to knit for your vacation and perhaps beyond. Also, its neckline got a great neckline; and, I love the color you are using. It reminds me of the traditional ganseys.

    • Your denim cables are looking so good! I’m planning an Oban cabled cardigan after I finish my Petula pullover…only 1 1/2 sleeves to go.
      Knitted mine with Dyed in the Wool. Now I understand the Spincycle obsession. Have a great vacation, Kay!

  • Because of you Kay, I have a mere 20 balls of Rowan denim! Of course it is deeply stashed! I read one of your letters describing its wonder and went nuts until I found some (it was after it had been d’cd)! I am wondering if you have some tips on knitting with it as I have read about it’s horrors—-bleeding mostly? Since it is cotton, does it behave better with a pattern knitted into it or is stockinette okay?
    While I am here please let me say how much I love you guys! I start every day by reading your post. You all inspire me like nothing else can to keep on knitting! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    PS Have a super great vacation!

    • I made Hestia this year with my hoarded stash. Stopped bleeding after a good soak and is just starting the gorgeous fade… worth every blue hand (washes out easily) Stockinette worked out just fine. Best of luck!

  • Almost too hot..for any projects….humility is over 100 degree…told fall is only a few weeks away..deb

    • Hah! Wish I had 100 degrees of humility, most days all I can muster is about 50′. Sorry, just had to laugh at your typo. I too absolutely hate humidity which is why I live in the desert of NM. During this summer’s heat wave was the first time ever it was too hot to knit for me. Hang in there, it will cool off eventually.

      • This made me LOL 😀

  • Finishing is not necessarily the object for vacation knitting. Thoroughly enjoying what you are knitting is. I think you’ve got that covered – enjoy your vacation!

  • Just finished my hoarded Rowan Denim Hestia from Amy Herzog this Jan. Gorgeous, SO comfortable, worth every blue hand that washed off so easily. I’ll take any extras off your can bear to part with!

  • The cable looks like how I do them naturally.
    It’s A design element. Who knew?

  • Kay I think you made perfect decisions for your trip! The Hana looks so gorgeous, what a treat for when you return. And I love the colors of Atlas chosen, thank you for choosing names that hint at the colors! I’m leaving Tues for the Netherlands, having anxiety about what projects to bring, will likely be a last min decision as usual.

  • Kay, you brought Hana to my attention in your previous post and I have fallen hard. I’m about where you are on yours and enjoying every minute. That said, it’s definitely not mindless knitting! Enjoy your vacation and all the stockinette of the Petula.

    • I think it’s the patch-y quality that makes it a bit more difficult than even an elaborate traditional cable sweater like Whitby–with Whitby once you had the charts in your head, you lived with them for a good long time and really got to know them. But I bet that now that I have an easy-knitting backup, I’ll still make good progress on Hana.

  • I can’t wait to see your Hana. I hope to start one in the fall, but haven’t decided on the yarn yet. And I too have a large stash of dark Den-M-nit waiting for the right project.

  • Both of these projects are going to be so good!

  • 60 balls! OMG.

    I never found any Rowan denim. And then, thanks to you, I kept looking at Elann den-m-nit but never ended up buying any. I only just realized they closed up shop. Oh well. It’s probably for the best, since I really don’t enjoy knitting with cotton. Animal fiber is my jam. But thanks to you again, I got Hana, and will make it someday with a tweedy yarn.

    You probably don’t realize just how influential you and Ann are, Kay! Speaking of which, can you wangle a guest post or two from Tom Daley? I bet you know people in high places in the UK!

    • Well now THERE’S AN IDEA. I bet he’s got a lot of people after him, but when the dust settles the knitters will still be eager to hear from him.

      I’m feeling real good about Hana and would love to see it in a tweed.

    • Tom’s from my home town! But he lives in Canada now…

  • Do you have a separate insurance rider for your craft room?

    • Lol compared to lots of people I know (not naming names), my stash is puny. I go long on Denim because I have literally made dozens of projects with it, including some real big things like blankets and sweaters for people who are 6 foot 7.

  • I have different vacation projects depending on if I fly or drive. I’ve found anything on small needles(5 or smaller) is no bueno for car trips. I take simple but any size on airplanes. Cuteness factor is important for public knitting. While waiting for my flight, I was complemented on a vibrant fisherman’s stitch cowl I I was knittering. All that attention broke my concentration and I made a mistake and had to redo a couple of rounds. Oh well. I must say Kay, you have inspired me to up my “stash building” skills. Forget that 4 or 5 skein purchase. Still looking for a yarn that I’m totally enamored with. The search continues…..

  • Thanks to Diane’s comment I just realized I meant Petula for the Atlas Cork and Truffle sweater. But also would love to see that Hana sweater as well.

  • Glad I’m not the only person who packs more than 1 project
    My knitting friend and I headed to the with a back seat loaded with projects

  • OMG. Based on your previous post, I too started Hana with den-m-nit in the same color! For vaca knitting. Serendipity. As a related question, anyone making this stuff anymore? I have 70 balled of it, but one of my sons is an addict (to this yarn!) and when he wears out that Alice Starmore with the anchors, I will need more.

  • Hana in Rowan Denim… so envious!

  • My Petula Pullover in Mohonk is one of my favorite sweaters. Fits well. Just enough colorwork for a challenge and lots of stockinette, my favorite. Enjoy!

  • I could not find a better place to leave a general comment: I have begun to wake up on Saturday thinking, “Happy Saturday! I’ve got Snippets!”