Packing lighter than usual

Lately, I’ve been blogging a lot about travel knitting and travel spinning for our upcoming trip to France. After viewing a long string of such posts on Instagram, my sister commented:

I would like to see a picture of everything you’re bringing in your suitcase. I have a feeling it’s very different than what I bring when traveling.

Too true. Too true. Although I want to assure you, my suitcase is not half full of fiber and yarn. Really, it’s not. I dream of such things, but I know it would be a pretty silly thing to do.

On our trip, my husband and I are each taking one bag that looks something like this. It’s a backpack with a zip-off day pack. It has some pretty serious capacity, but it’s nowhere near the size of some of my roller suitcases.

full packThe day pack is where my knitting and spinning projects live. See that cute little monster bag. That’s it. Well, almost.

I’m taking two projects. One pair of colorwork mittens. And one travel drop spindle with fiber. The bag contains:

  • Approximately 150 yds of two different sock weight yarns, wound into center-pull balls.
  • My new Akerworks drop spindle, plus about 1oz of fiber.
  • Some assorted notions/tools

day packThe remaining yarn and fiber resides in a compression sack in the main compartment of my bag. It’s scary-amazing how much fiber squishes in a compression sack.

Fiber and yarn are in the little compression sack at bottom left.

As for the rest of my packing, for those who are curious:

small front pocket
Pen and pencil. My treasured yurbud headphones, which let me hear what’s going on around me while listening. Good for urban settings. Other earbuds for the plane that block noise a little better, because it’s super annoying when you can’t hear your audiobook, even with the sound turned all the way up. And earplugs to combat pressure changes.
Three pars of light shoes or sandals. One may still be jettisoned before we leave. I can’t quite decide which.
day pack
Besides the knitting/spinning I’m bringing: Kindle, folding fan, wallet (duh), journal, neck pouch style money belt, compact, lip balm, sun glasses. This all goes in the day pack to keep me entertained on the plane.
The top layer of stuff in the main compartment of my bag. A compression bag full of wicking undershirts, undies, bras, pajamas, etc… The aforementioned extra yarn and fiber. A toiletries bag with all the usual. A purse, because I don’t want to always have to carry backpack. Two packable shopping bags. Another waist moneybelt option, because I can’t decide which one to use. I hate them both in different ways.
clothes folder
A packing folder containing the bulk of my clothing: 3 tops, 1 cardigan, 1 sundress, 2 pair capris, 1 skirt, 1 pair dressier black jeans
plane clothes
And a plane outfit. Light weight long-sleeved buttondown, undershirt, scarf, light weight long pants. And a squishable but still stylish sun hat, which I may just stuff into my bag.
how it all fits
All of it fits, with room to spare. Not a lot, but some. Husband is packing a couple of extra compression sacks just in case we need them later.

I still have a day or two to narrow things down and weed. I may yet nix an item or two of clothing. But this is basically it. Can’t wait to hit the road/skies.


  1. I just saw you were in Alsace two days ago, I was there myself last week and was born not far from Colmar, if you need addresses, let me know 😉

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