Is a sunny beach holiday on the cards this year? Or are you heading off to conquer the Alps in your cool new hiking boots? One thing’s for sure: holidays are handcrafting days! If you’re swapping your less-than-sunny ‘playa del backyard’ for the real deal on the Med, then there’s a few things every good handcraft enthusiast needs to bear in mind. What’s that, you ask? Well, read on for all our handy tips for handcrafting on holiday!
Lazing on a beach lounger, comfy towel stretched out beneath you, a breeze playing through your hair and an ice-cold cocktail on the table. But what’s missing from this picture? Your latest yarn project on your lap, of course! To make sure that your handcrafting is as relaxing as the rest of your holiday, consider the following tips…
Tips for a top trip
Cabin, hold or trunk, luggage is ever an issue. And once you’ve arrived, your yarn and needles will go from suitcase to beach bag, from buffet to beach to swimming pool. And once the day is done? You’ll have to lug it all back to your room, if you can even manage that. With those aching shoulders and tired arms. Not exactly the relaxing holiday you had in mind, is it?
So, a word to the wise: Choose your next project carefully! If you need a metal ring (say, for a wall hanging) or plan to tackle a fiddly amigurumi, you’ll need to carry more than just some balls of yarn and hook(s)/needles(s) from A to B, C, D… So, do yourself a favor and take a ‘ready-to-go’ project with you on holiday; one that’s easy to pack in, carry around, pick up and put down again! Something like this Yarn and Colors Market Bag Crochet Kit: 3 balls of cotton yarn, a hook and the pattern. What more do you want?!
It’s not just the physical strain of dragging all your craft supplies that can be tiring. The project you choose can itself cause extra stress that no one needs on holiday! Of course, it’s great to challenge yourself and stretch your handcrafting muscles now and then, but a holiday is a time to relax. Beating yourself up because you haven’t properly mastered a stitch or can’t work out the next set of instructions in the pattern is bound to put a damper on your chilled holiday vibes. So, yes, make another of the same scarf you’ve already made a hundred times. Or use a stitch you’ve had in your personal stitch library for a while. As long as it’s something you enjoy, because that’s the whole point of handcrafting on holiday (or any other time, for that matter). Have fun, nothing less!
Maybe you’re lucky enough to stretch your vacation out for a good chunk of time, or maybe, like many this year, you’re going on staycation. If you find you have a decent amount of free time (and aren’t going on retreat or a long-distance trek), then take the opportunity to make substantial progress on a current WIP (work-in-progress) or get started on a slightly bigger project. A fantastic option is the gorgeous summer special edition of the Dream Blanket 4.0!
Just remember to leave enough room in your suitcase for the (many) balls of yarn you’ll need to properly tackle such a project. And if you’re headed off camping (or glamping), there’s bound to be some space in the trunk to squeeze in enough balls for such a large project. It’ll definitely be worth it!
New handcraft technique
Does a big project not take your fancy? Or does the thought of using the same ol’ stitches or handcraft technique leave you feeling flat and uninspired? Then why not dip your toe in the pool of handcraft techniques and try something new! You could stick with yarn and simply swap your hook for some knitting needles, or vice versa. Yarn and Colors have recently released the perfect Lookbook #4 for those looking to make this exact swap! You could knit/crochet a simple scarf, cleaning cloths for the home, a funky wall hanging. The kits come complete with detailed instructions to guide beginners through the learning process. With plenty of time to take things slowly, you’ll be bi-stitchual before you know it! But remember: NO STRESS! Just happy thoughts!
And when you're ready to master some new stitches? Check out our Stitch of the Month series where we take you step-by-step through a fun new stitch, complete with video tutorial.
Hot, hot and hot
And if the summer turns out to be a real scorcher and wearing swimsuits is no unnecessary luxury, then what yarn you choose for your next is particularly important. You certainly won’t want to stroll along the beachy front with a huge ball of wool or acrylic under your arm. It’ll give you heatstroke quicker than the sun! Instead, go for lovely (glossy) cotton that is cool to touch and lets your skin breathe, and leave those knitted socks for winter!
Why not go for some Yarn and Colors Epic and Must-Have (Minis), Budgetyarn Cotton DK or one of the many, many other cotton options in our assortment!
I’m leaving on a jet plane, and I’m taking…
Long meanders through authentic little streets and mazes of alleyways in a picturesque little town somewhere in southern Europe. The stuff of dream vacations! But what you won’t want to do, is rush around frantically trying to locate that one vital piece of toolkit you need to get on with your project. All in the blazing sun! Throw in a language barrier and poor map-reading skills and you’ll really be stuck. So, before you jet off, make sure you’ve got the essentials packed in. Here’s a handy little checklist:
And all that’s left for us to say is: Happy (Handcrafting) Holidays!