Knitting · Memoir

Aches on a Plane

Knitting on the plane Saturday proved to be a little more challenging and uncomfortable than I expected.

I flew alone this time, because my husband is spending a few more days at home for work before planning to fly out on Christmas Day to join me here in Kansas. So, being a solo flyer, I ended up sitting next to a very pleasant stranger, who was also on his way home to visit family for Christmas. He looked as though he had been through some exhaustingly cruddy travel stuff all day. (Think Steve Martin in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.) Needless to say, he passed out and slept through most of the three and a half hour flight.

This would have been absolutely fine if it weren’t for the fact that this guy had some major manspreading going on. I’m talking WIDE. He was also hogging the shared middle armrest.

Feeling sorry for the guy, I decided not to wake him and complain. Christmas spirit and all that. Instead, I tried my darndest to make do with my window seat crampedness situation. Eventually I was able to settle into squash myself into an awkward yoga-like position with my knees and torso turned towards the window while my head rested against the wall. As you can imagine, it was a very uncomfortable knitting position, but I did have an excellent view of the lacy ice crystals forming along the edges of the oval shaped window.

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt

During this rather squished trip, I unhappily remembered some other TPPKEs (Traumatic Past Plane Knitting Experiences) I’ve had in my life.


One fateful plane ride, I unwittingly lost a double pointed needle that had slipped into the abyss, which exists between every airplane window seat cushion and cabin wall in the world, never to be seen again. (A similar abyss exits in between a car passenger seat and door.)

Another time, I had both my stitch scissors AND knitting needles confiscated by security when getting ready to board a painfully long, now knitting-less, flight from the States to Europe.

Oh yeah, and then there was the moment when I mysteriously dropped a stitch during a red eye flight and tried in vain to fix the mistake in the terrible light beam cast by the bulb above my seat. I was forced to haphazardly balance my book, which had a tiny book light attached to it, vertically on my tray table to aid me. Oh, and did I mention that there was a lot of turbulence, which constantly caused the book to flop over?

Shudder (and tear) worthy stuff right there.


Anyway, pretzeled as I was on Saturday’s flight, I managed to remember some happy travel knitting memories, too. Like, for instance, my very first knitting project, which I had started during a flight across country when I was 10. (That’s quite a nice memory that I will share more about soon in a future post.) I also managed to work on my Lizzie Bennet Shawl lace project for a good hour before my shoulders started to ache so much that I decided to put it away and to take a reading break. (My current read is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, and it is hilariously awesome. I can’t recommend it highly enough.)

My sore shoulders and other achy muscles from plane travel have mostly recovered. I spent yesterday shopping with my mom, and then I managed to get in a good chunk of knitting time while geeking out over an alien invasion mini series with my dad. So, an extra nice day to make up for a achingly awkward one. ♥


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