I have sent off our second shipment of household goods. With luck they’ll arrive at the apartment in Pune, India by the end of November. The flat is furnished, so there was no need to send furniture, but it’s a spare and barren space. The Resident Male is fixing that, but it will take time.
In shipment #1 we sent pots and pans, some linens, a TV, and other items of immediate need. This second shipment is mostly clothing for Younger Daughter and me, plus linens for more beds, some bits of kitchenware that we forgot before, and most important of all – Survival Boxes. Younger Daughter and I each got one.
What’s a Survival Box? It’s a box full of the hobby, reading, or idle time amusement things intended for maintaining familiarity and sanity far away from home, where supplies might be difficult to come by. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t be able to find hobby things at our destination, but I rather suspect that selection and proximity will both be limited.
Younger Daughter packed painting and sketching supplies, including paints, pens, and paper. Also some selected books, and crochet yarn and hooks, along with a book on intro amigurumi (Japanese inspired small soft toys, usually knitted or crocheted).
What was in my box? Really – you have to ask?
In all truth, packing the thing was the hardest move task to date. What to take and what to leave behind? On one hand, I want to have a variety of things to do because I work on stuff at whim. It’s hard to predict flights of whimsy for the 18 months to come. On the other hand, there’s no point bringing a ton of stuff because whatever I bring, I have to schlep back.
Here’s what I settled on:
1. My unfinished North Truro Counterpane. It’s about 40% done right now, destined to be queen bed size when completed:
The pattern is here, if you’re interested.
2. My giant green sampler. I packed the frame stand, but not the sampler and stretcher frame. I’m still working on (albeit slowly) and it will accompany me in person.
3. Lace yarn. I’ve got a huge hank of black merino lace yarn, plus a big spool of hunter green, some blue, and some accent threads that go well with the hunter. Not sure what I’ll do with them yet, but I am bringing my copy of the Sharon Miller Princess Shawl, just in case I want to attempt an impossible project in an unconventional color.
4. Extra ground cloth and threads. I rounded up my stashed bits of cotton and linen even weave. They range from 26 to 50 threads per inch. I’m bringing white and black DMC linen floss, plus a pile of red, black and green cotton floss. Just in case inspiration strikes. I don’t have a stash of silk floss and didn’t buy any because of everything that I use, that’s the most likely thing to be available in India.
5. Sock yarns. About four pairs worth. The best in my stash, including some hand-dyed, and a ball of (near) solid Zauberball in deep emerald.
6. Lots of knitting needles, holders, embroidery needles, a pair of sewing shears, a couple of hand-hoops, my magnet board folder (thanks Kathryn!), my swift and ball winder (absolute necessity with the lace yarns) and other notions.
7. The stitching kit I picked up at Winterthur, to make a reproduction of the Sarah Collins sampler. Still not sure if I’ll do this myself, but it’s a self-contained project and easy to transport. Compared to the stuff I usually do it doesn’t look like it will take very long to stitch up.
8. Selected reference books. I can’t bring my whole library, but I did pack a few big-bang-for-the-volume pieces – my Duchrow trilogy, a German knitting stitch treasury, and TNCM. Plus some others on a thumb drive.
With the exception of a couple of balls of sock yarn and the accent threads, this is all from my stash, accumulated over the years. Which is why we have these hoards in the first place. Right?
Given a trip for up to two years away from home, to a place where distraction would be appreciated and supplies might be hard to get, what would YOU pack?