The Olsen twins of socks…


Yippee!  Something's finished!

My travelling project has been Traffic Island Socks in Vesper Sock Yarn (colorway is In the Wildwood) and even if I must say so myself, I think they're darn nifty looking.  The pattern is super easy to memorize and I can testify that you can knit it successfully with rampant sleep deprivation.  Vesper Sock Yarn will now be the standard I measure all other sock yarns.  I love it that much.  I shall be moving in with Julia and her SO as soon as they return my phone calls.  Not really, but this is love people.  Did I mention that this sock yarn was a present from my sister?  See, more love.

I did attempt to make these socks identical twins, but I fear that like those Olsen twins, they are fraternal.  I also know I can't tell those Olsen girls apart, so there are degrees of fraternal.  I will deem these socks "identical fraternal twins".  There we shall leave it.

OK, now onto the subject of air travel which I don't get into much on this here knitting blog.  But it is summer and there are many novice travellers hitting the skies.

Here is my advice to you:  if you absolutely must have "it" when you travel, bring it yourself.  That "it" may be a pillow or blanket (not provided on most carriers anymore – yes really), food, entertainment for your children or medication.  Also know that airplanes are cold so don't wear shorts/tanktops and please bring a lovely handknit sweater (or hoodie) even though you won't need it where you're going.  You can bring an emply water bottle through security and FILL it at a drinking fountain in the terminal.  Airplanes are also dirty, so wear shoes (not flipflops or sandals) at all times and bring a travelsize packet of wipes.  Most stations have about 15 minutes to "clean" an airplane before boarding up again.  That cleaning usually means picking up the biggest pieces of trash.  No joke.  Please know that I don't make any of the corporate decisions and trying to yell at me about them is futile.  Also know that we are FAA minimum staffed at all times – international flights too,  (1 f/a for every 50 pax seats) so please go with the service flow.

What else can I think of?  Oh yes, the airplane will be full so please abandon the notion you will have a row to yourself.  I see empty seats on planes maybe 1 in 20 flights.  If you can check in 24 hours in advance online DO IT!  General tips:  never connect to the last flight of the night and SERIOUSLY, give yourself 2 hours to make a connection, I don't care what those travel websites are trying to sell you.  Yes, you'll probably sit around an airport but you'll also greatly increase your chance of getting to where you want to be.  I'd rather sit around sipping a latte than flying standby during the summer.

Please know I wish we could have all the perks and amenities we used to have, but that ship has sailed.  Most people want cheap flights and we have had to cut to the bone to get there.  I follow my own advice and I fly 16-20 days a month, mostly without too many problems.  Forewarned is forearmed, so travelling knitters heed my advice and travel smart.


15 responses

  1. Love the socks! They look like twins to me.
    Love the advice, too. I’m amazed at how many people still fly thinking it’s 1962. Things have changed a lot and it’s easier to be ready than whiny and annoying.

  2. Handknit socks go a long way to keeping this frequent flyer comfortable in the air and when rushing through airports. It’s amazing how much easier that is when wearing cushy socks and sensible shoes.
    One other bit of advice, check your oversized, overstuffed bag. Please. It makes getting onto and off of the plane much easier for everyone.

  3. Yay! Vesper Sock Yarn does indeed RULE. Glad you liked it so much.
    Things must be getting pretty dicey up in the not-so-friendly skies for you to actually blog about FAdom.

  4. Such sage advice for the seasoned traveler. My sister still wears heels and shows a lot of cleavage on her flights. I am stalwart of comfort including tennis shoes and socks and the aforementioned hoodie. My sweaters tend to accumulate a lot of static on planes.

  5. We just went to Hawaii and back and all your advice rings so true. I was amazed how full all 4 of our flights were compared to previous trips.
    I do miss some of those “early days” of flying things… when I was three (back in 1972), I flew with my mom to see my family in Michigan. I can still remember the awesome stewardess who presented me with the fabulous glazed donut with the rainbow sprinkles on top. I still love those darn things and as a kid, I thought it must be the coolest job ever to be a flight attendant. And that memory comes back to me almost every time I get on a plane to this day.
    Agree with you totally on the Vesper yarn, BTW!

  6. I fly a fair bit, and 90% in economy, and I agree 200% with your advice. Thanks for the reminders!
    Just curious, do you have an opinion on small pets in plane cabins? Have you see a lot of seeing eye dogs (service animals in Air Canada lingo) on international flights? I really have not, and I wonder why not?
    wild socks BTW – congrats!

  7. Identical fraternal – I think I see what you’re pitching at! Nice socks, in any case.
    Good tips about air travel. I flew for the first (and so far only time) in 2003 and things were a little better then, so this insider knowledge is great.

  8. Do they test all prospective f/a’s for a magical level of patience? I think you are amazing.
    Didn’t know that about the water bottle. Can it be filled at a Peet’s with iced coffee instead of drinking fountain water?
    DD and I flew a lot when she was young and I was basically commuting back and forth every few months for a couple of years to deal with the cancer. DD can pack a bag with the essentials and a hobby project in minutes, can find the bathroom and best coffee in any airport within a moment of stepping off the ramp, and she hasn’t fussed since one whimper at 4 months old when we did a vertical take-off from Missoula.
    Good projects for a kid while flying include a styro kumihimo wheel or a paperclip and plenty of embroidery thread to braid/plait, a package of paper strips for folding Korean stars (we shared once with a Korean family and the mom was lightning fast at folding and her kids calmed down to fold, too), and Nancy Finn’s Chasing Rainbows dyed silk hankies to open and work into roving.
    I used to fly with my cello when I was a kid. What a bother!

  9. Good advice on flying. I have been on three trips in the last month (which is usually what I fly in a year). I was saying to friends that I couldn’t believe everyone in flip flops at the airport since they would all have to take their shoes off and walk barefoot through security. Yuck. Everyone I talked to thought I was being paranoid but then they don’t wear flip flops in the gym locker room either.
    You must have the patience of a saint. I wouldn’t last a day as a flight attendant.

  10. I also fly frequently and would like to add my favorite advise for flying. Please remember that there are security regulations for liquids, creams and gels, 3- 1-1; 3 ounces or less, 1 quart size ziplock baggie or another type of 1 quart clear bag, and only 1 one quart (not gallon size, read the box) bag per person. TSA will not let you through security with an 8 oz. jar of lotion no matter how much you paid for it. Standing at the front of the security line arguing with TSA personnel doing their job just slows down the line for everyone else and the TSA employee will confiscate the 8 oz bottle of lotion anyhow.

  11. Just found your blog.
    Those were great travel tips!
    I was wondering what you suggest for taking knitting on a plane. I’ve had them sometimes let me and other times I had to go find a way to check in my knitting project.

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