Vacation = knitting.
So many ways to think about this, here. It took me about an hour and a half to pack my bag for the Folk School, and about 85% of that time was devoted to which projects I would bring, making copies of the patterns, debating over whether or not to follow Kelley Petkun's advice and bring a spare ball of yarn and some straight needles, in case I met someone who really wanted to learn (I did end up bringing supplies, but didn't teach anyone), and the science behind "how much yarn will I need for a given number of days on vacation." Which has probably been blogged about with more aptitude and witticism than I can do here, so I'll skip it, and just share my personal philosophy for packing more than a few days' worth of knitting at a time:
-Bring something skinny, something medium, and something fat. In other words, something with tiny needles and fingering weight yarn, something worsted that uses a US size 7 or 8, and then something bulky, if you want. The theory here is that your hands hurt less when you vary up the size of the things they're gripping. Just can't hold on to that sock yarn any more today? Whip out your scarf and work a couple dozen rows.
-Bring a no-brainer project that you absolutely will not have to look down at, for knitting after meals when everyone is sitting around or when you're going to be listening to a talk/concert/whathaveyou. Then, bring something just mentally engaging enough to keep you interested (socks are perfect) but not something you'll really need to pay lots of attention to. Then there's the "I'm learning something new on vacation" knitting, which requires lots of personal space and a pretty quiet room, so that you can re-read the directions for that new stitch pattern, or mumble over a lace chart, without being disturbed.
-Finally, bring more yarn than you think you'll need, and bring yarn you can tote around with you. Nothing too finicky that can't be stuffed into your bag and swung over your shoulder. Those things are not vacation projects. Unless your vacation promises to be really clean (mine never do).
So what did I bring? Well, I had to finish my pair of squeezed-out ankle socks, wrought from a leftover ball of not-enough-yardage sock yarn:
(you can see that I did indeed make it past the heel-turn and ribbed a significant enough amount to qualify them as functional socks)
I also brought my beloved and revered Silky Wool, and knit like crazy on it for four days in a row, and now have this to show for it:
Hooray, it's (going to be) a cardigan! I have deep azure buttons for it, which I never would have thought to put on a carrot-orange-red cardigan except that when I was at home I was cleaning out my junk drawer and found those buttons that I bought at a market in Saigon last year. Aha, I thought. That will just do. (Pictures of the buttons to be posted some time soon).
I had also brought some cheapo purple Wool-Ease to give the My So-Called Scarf a try, but realized after casting on that I needed bigger needles. So I put it away and focused like a crazy person on the cardigan. It's almost time to start the sleeves...