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Summer travels deserve a portable knitting project… one that fits tidily into a bag, isn’t too demanding and keeps you busy for the long haul. Thanks to the Common Cod Fiber Guild Knit a Long (KAL), my traveling project for summer 2014 is Bristol Ivy’s Thorn.

Alanna Nelson knits Bristol Ivy Thorn

Thorn, an asymmetrical wrap designed by Bristol Ivy

Let me be honest: When the Cod announced the KAL, I surveyed my stash and found no good fingering weight yarn in 1000 yard quantities that fit the bill. Either they were earmarked for other projects or too variegated for a delightful result. So I thought I’d pass. Then one day in early July, a most appealing shank of lace weight silk from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns began calling my name at In Stitches.

Claudia Hand Paints Silk Lace

With 1100 yards in one skein, I could complete Thorn

Alanna Nelson knits CCFGThornKAL

Thorn sails into Rhode Island Sound

By the time I wound that shank, it was nearly time for our sail down to Block Island. I rigged a color mesh yarn bag from Walker with a lanyard and a foam base, downloaded the pattern and cast on.

Alanna Nelson knits, sails.

Sea worthy knitting!

Technically, Thorn is not a difficult pattern. It does, however, require one to count. I have learned that I do not always count correctly. Counting incorrectly means a lot of ripping or reverse knitting. Did you catch that I chose a finer yarn than the pattern uses? Oh, yes, knitting on size US 1 needles means those stitches are just that tinier when you reverse knit.

Learning from others in the KAL, I did place a nice bright green thread as a traveling marker. I often watch it shrink… the last big mistakes discovered a good 54 rows later. Sigh.

On weekend sails, car trips, any time I thought the light would be good enough, Thorn travels along. Sailing friends have watched it grow.

Alanna Nelson knits on Boston Harbor weekend sails

Thorn sailing out of Boston

Having finished section B2 this morning near Montreal, perhaps I’m in a Thorn -y groove?

Alanna Nelson knits Thorn

Thorn, Section B2 finished near Montreal


At this point, I cannot recommend Thorn in lace weight yarn as a great traveling project. Off to check the hash tag #CCFGThornKAL to see what other yarns people are using.

What makes a good traveling project for you?