Travel knitting is a great way to relieve stress and feel productive while on the road. This past week I spent in Columbus, Ohio and you best believe I’ve been working the whole time! Why such a random place for a trip you may ask? Well, this year Columbus Ohio hosted the 2024 US National Figure Skating Championships. My family decided to make the trip to watch my brother and sister (Oona and Gage Brown) compete for a placement in Ice Dance and possibly claim a spot at the World Championships. And while Ohio may seem like the opposite of an exciting place to visit, it’s been a fascinating trip! 

I started a Blanket!

The first highlight of the trip is that I started my first ever blanket (yes Kailey is very proud)! Being the designated navigator during a 10+ hour car trip gives plenty of time to work on some projects. The pattern I started working on is the Baby Chalice Blanket which actually is on my list of patterns I wanted to make, mentioned in a previous article.

As someone who gets bored very easily with patterns, I’ve been terrified of the monotonous commitment a blanket brings. Because of its lace details and large needle size, this pattern has actually been a joy to work on. It’s a 20 row repeat which is just the right mix of novelty and comfort knit. The blanket is the happy medium where you have to pay attention enough, but it’s not crazy engaging. 

Historical trips and Thrifting Yarn

First thing I wanted to do when we got to the city was scout out some yarn shops, but as a nerdy family, history museums came first. We visited The Hopewell Mound Group in Chillicothe which we were later surprised to learn is the former capital of Ohio! This is a fascinating historical site that still remains largely a mystery to archeologists. Most of what they present in the museum are inferred approximations on what life was like and the purposes of these mounds. During the course of the trip we visited about two other mounds.

On our way back from our first mound trip we stopped at a few thrift stores where I picked up a some sweaters to take apart. 

Thrifting yarn has been something I’ve long known about, but only started practicing in more recent years. When I was around 12-15 I took a crafting class where the teacher mentioned in passing to my mother about her latest obsession, thrifting sweaters for material. This was the first time I heard about this idea, but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that it became my obsession as well. There are so many garments that just need to be re-loved that end up at thrift stores. After ages of them not selling, these poor garments end up in landfills. Fascinating enough during this trip I learned of someone else with the same passion! 

In an article written 8 years ago, The Knitting Space talks about a man named EJ Jones from Columbus, Ohio who knits using recycled sweaters! He was interviewed and has a whole video on his process. As someone with a passion for knitting and refined taste much the same as him, I recognize how much this practice can save you. The luxury yarns like wool and cashmere often can be way over budget, with indie-dyed yarn often going up to 26 dollars a skein!

This is why “The man who knits” decided to get thrifty and find the materials he loves for a fraction of the cost. The most interesting part of the story to me was that he lived at the time in German Village, the very place we stayed! He and his wife had an art studio where he sold some of his goods. Unfortunately I could not find any more recent information on him, but I hope he is still out there doing what he loves! 

The Local Knitting Scene

During our stay I was able to visit one yarn shop, where I purchased a few notions that I was short on, as well as a gorgeous silk mohair. Knitting temptations is a tiny shop located in Upper Arlington. Both of the owners are very friendly and helpful. I witnessed one of them help the lady who was there before me with everything from finding the perfect sock pattern, to the right yarn, to all the accessories she would need to make it.

The shop was a little hard to find as it was basically a rented office space cubicle located on the second floor of COhatch. I was told they used to have a larger shop, but Covid made it necessary for them to downsize. Knitting Temptations is a very cute shop run by two very sweet ladies, and I recommend any yarn crafter to stop in and pay them a visit! I wish I was able to visit more shops, as Columbus has at least 5 little yarn shops that should be supported.

Other Adventures

Other cultural things we got to do on our trip was visit an Amish bulk store. Apparently Ohio has quite a large population of Amish who also are extremely friendly. We got to shop a few locally sourced goods and chat with the lady who ran the store. They had everything from houseware to medicine, toys, and baked goods. Following this shopping trip we drove about 2 hours to go to Dayton Ohio to visit two aviation museums.

The first was the heritage museum of aviation which was a free museum. In essence this was just a Wright brothers museum. It was a quick walk through, but very interesting. The second museum was the National Museum of the US Air Force. This museum not only was free, it was huge! We were unable to fit the whole museum in during the almost 2 hour visit and by the end both me and my son were exhausted, but he had a blast! His highlight was getting to sit behind the steering wheel of a special operations car and a mock cockpit for an aircraft. 

The Real Highlight

Obviously though the best highlight for the trip was getting to see my brother and sister skate. It’s been years since I last saw them compete in person and it was a great experience to be able to cheer for them in person instead of through a screen! Because of them, my 2 year old has an obsession with Canada because they train part time there. His current favorite line is telling me “I skating Canada” while balancing on one foot and twirling around. It’s only a matter of time before he gets on the ice and I’ll be making him skating accessories. I already have a few picked out when the time comes!

No matter where you travel, interest can be found anywhere. Despite our packed schedule and location there was plenty to do. There were activities not only for me a knitting fanatic, but also for my vehicle obsessed son and history nerd mother. Let me know if we missed any cool places during our week long Ohio stay, or what you think of any of the places we visited!

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