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Whenever I fly to Ireland, I always pack a knitting project to work on during the long wait at the airport terminal. There is usually a minimum of two hours between the time I check in at the gate and the time the flight actually boards – even more waiting time if I get a connecting flight. I have found that I enjoy all that lovely free time to work on a new knitting project!

My favorite travel knitting projects include hats, mittens, socks and cowls. Sometimes all of these projects can be completed in one trip abroad. I start with something quick, like the hat. I will usually bring along some coordinating yarn for the mittens so I will have a nice set to keep or gift.

On a recent trip to Dingle, I was so inspired by my purchases of Donegal tweed yarns that I just started knitting right on the bus back to the hotel without any patterns at all. This is really not too difficult if you knit hats and mittens as frequently as I do.

As for the other projects like the socks or the cowl? I will no doubt find some lovely yarns during my stay in Ireland. There are excellent locally spun and hand dyed yarns available if you know where to look for them. And it is not unusual for one of the people on my knitting retreat to bring along some of her hand-dyed alpaca from her own alpaca herd. For these projects I will pack a variety of needle sizes and types – both double pointed and interchangeable circulars. (Finding knitting needles in Ireland is tricky even if you should pass a yarn shop. They do not have the wide assortment I am used to finding the United States.) I will also bring along a few patterns to experiment with. Don’t forget to pack notions and other important stuff in your knitting bag.