Updated July 20, 2019.
Although with the price of gas, your vacation may be no further away than the closest theme park, beach, or even swimming hole, I thought I’d take a little bit to talk about stitching when traveling and when on vacation. I’ve divided it up into sections, so you can read the relevant parts.
Remember that vacations are for relaxing so find needlepoint which is relaxing too. Something with no deadlines, no hard techniques or threads. One of my favorite things to do in the car is basketweave as the trip gives me plenty of chances to look around and take plenty of breaks. Even so you can get lots of needlepoint done on a car trip.
Stitching on Airplanes
Although the restrictions have eased on sewing scissors, you might want to look into thread cutters or blunt-ended scissors to take in your carryon. I like little needle threaders that have tiny thread cutters in them. But I have also never had a problem taking short scissors on planes.
Plane trips are long, connections often get delayed and airports are not always great shopping destinations. I always bring along with me at least two projects. One of them is a small low-priority project which I keep in my tote for emergencies. They are always on mini-stretcher bars and have all the instructions and materials, including the project in a bag.
Stitching in the Car
Car needlepoint needs to be something that can be stopped and started and which can be done either on small stretcher bars or in hand. If your seatmates object to needles flashing near them, precut short stitching lengths.
Prethread your needles because it can be really hard to thread needles in the car. I use the Clover Domed Needle Threader in the car. It’s compact enough that I can keep it in the pocket near the door handle. It allowed me to keep my project bag closed. It made stitching in the car last weekend very easy.
If it’s a long trip, use several carriers. If the trip is several days long, load up the carriers in the evening to be ready for the next leg.
Don’t try to use stands, although lap stands would probably work. They won’t stay steady in the car.
Keep your project bag closed so you don’t have it spill stuff all over the floor. I know this from bitter and repeated experience.
Stitching in Hotel Rooms
Most hotel rooms do not have good light. Bring extra high-watt light bulbs, or a small travel lamp that uses batteries or a USB connection. Bring extra batteries and/or a USB cord.
For hotel stitching pick projects with larger holes in easy to see colors. That will keep your stitching easier.
Often hotel rooms have seating areas near the window. Often with just the sheer curtains closed, these are great places to stitch during the day. It can be a restful break. Hotel lobbies and coffee shops are also good for this. I think you can tell I have spent my share of time waiting in places like this.
Needlepoint in Your Luggage
If you are bringing projects in your luggage, don’t have them on stretcher bars, take it off the bars and roll the canvas around them, it packs better. Keep all parts of the project together.
Several stand makers make travel bases for their stands. If you will be traveling with your stand, look, into these. Remember to take your stand apart to put it in your luggage. Put all the small bits into one zipper bag and tape that securely to part of the stand.
Needlepoint near water
Swimming pool or beach, needlepoint near water can be a challenge. First off make sure all the threads you are using are colorfast. You don’t want an errant drop of water to ruin your work.
If you like plastic canvas, use it. Since there is no sizing, it won’t fall apart if it gets wet. 14 mesh plastic uses the same size thread as 18 mesh canvas.
If you needlepoint at the beach, expect sand and only bring things where you won’t care about that.
Keep your needlepoint, all of it, in plastic bags which zip and keep them zipped.
Boats move on the water, even when docked. Try to needlepoint and if you don’t like it, keep your stitching on shore.
Have a happy vacation!