Socks on the beach, cables in the glow of a head torch by a camp fire, zoning out with rounds of plain knitting under a tree by the paddling pool.. summer can be the perfect knitting season. It can also confound us with unexpected challenges, particularly if it’s happening far away from your box of trusty tools, and not within easy reach of a well stocked yarn store. Now thanks to the following ingenious list of tips and hacks collected from east London’s most resourceful knitters, even the lightest of backpacking knitters can improvise their way over these challenges..
Welcome to The Barefoot Knitter’s Guide to Contented Summer
Challenge: Crocheting a provisional cast-on with no crochet hook
Solution 1: Ask a passing 5-year old to show you how to finger knit a chain. Then maybe teach them how to knit as a nice way of saying thank you :o)
Solution 2: In case there are no passing 5 year olds and no waste yarn to play with, Judy’s magic cast on will give you the live stitches you need on a spare needle plus the ones you need to knit up from.
Challenge: Unexpected cable in the pattern area and no cable needle in your bag.
Solution: grab a tooth pick from the bar or even better, make friends with this brilliant technique for cabling without a cable needle.
Challenge: Contraband scissors confiscated by a non-knitting security guard.
Solution: Take nail clippers – they work just as well for snipping your yarn ends when you arrive, and airport security don’t seem to mind them at all.
Challenge: You’ve finished knitting and need to weave in ends but you don’t have a darning needle.
Solution: Tie your yarn end onto a bobby pin hair slide and and push it through the stitches.
Challenge: It’s a raglan yoke, and you really need stitch markers.
Solution: Safety pins, earrings, washers, spare yarn tied into loops – basically anything that’s small and will slide along freely.
Challenge: Knitting’s finished, ends are woven in and you really want to block but there’s no wool wash.
Solution: Fairy liquid is perfectly pH balanced for wool and a tea spoon of conditioner will relax the fibres perfectly.
Challenge: Knitting is nicely soaked but there’s no spare towel to roll it in.
Solution: If your holiday place is furnished with a salad spinner, you’re home and (almost) dry.