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Knitting and Buying Yarn While Traveling: A Guest Post by Designer Debbie Trainor

I’m Debbie Trainor and I’m pleased to bring you today’s post at Leisure Arts.  My blog is Knitting and Sewing My Way through Life and Jen has a great post on my blog today.  We’ve both decided to discuss travel knitting. 
Whenever I travel, I pack at least 2 projects--one for the plane/train and one for those moments early in the morning or late in the day when I have a few moments to relax.  But the projects that are most special to me are the ones that I’ve created with yarn that I’ve discovered and purchased while traveling.
I try to visit yarn shops when I travel.  Sometimes I check online before I leave to locate a shop and sometimes, yarn shops just appear as I wander around.  Whenever I find a shop, I look for yarn that I don’t usually find at home. Often I buy a single skein like the one in my recent post about my trip to Italy.  This yarn is now the center of squares that will be used in an afghan.
8 inch square for afghan
 On other trips, I’ve purchased kits or enough yarn for a sweater, socks, or even an afghan.  Those large purchases are difficult to get home.  On one trip, I had to mail my clothes home so that I had enough room for the yarn in my suitcase. 
There’s my sweater from yarn that I purchased in a small shop in the Cotswold’ when I visited England and the blanket from that same shop that still needs to be finished but working on it takes me back to my wonderful visit and I’m really not in a hurry to finish it.
Blanket with yarn purchased while on vacation
  My trip to the mid-west resulted in my “Dubuque” socks. 
Dubuque sock
 I visited a lovely shop there.  The owner was delightful and we spent some time discussing yarn and knitting projects.
There are a lot of other benefits to visiting yarn shops away from home.  I’ve met some wonderful people and also got a glimpse of what people like to knit in other parts of the country.  This has expanded the possibilities on items to knit.  The atmosphere of each shop is different.  Yarn, tools, patterns, and kits are displayed to reflect the personality of the shop and the knitters in the area.
Then there are a few knit projects that make me smile and even giggle every time I wear them.  In particular is my blue poncho.  I accompanied my son on an out of state interview many years ago.  While he was busy, I had several hours to fill.  So I used the phone book to locate a yarn store.  I asked at the front desk and got directions to the shop.  Of course, I got lost several times before I found it.  The trip was totally worth it, though.  I had a lovely afternoon in that shop and left with 3 different yarns that when knit together produced a very unique fabric.
I always pack some dishcloth cotton and an extra pair of Size 7 U.S. knitting needles too.  I use my dishcloth dresses as hostess gifts and I’ve been known to knit some while visiting family and leaving them as a thank you gift.
 I’ve often dreamed of a cross country or even a worldwide yarn crawl.  Anyone interested?  Please share your stories with us.  We all love to hear about travel and the great yarn that we’ve found.

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