Emergency Car Knitting

It's every knitter's nightmare: being stranded somewhere without knitting! 

Or at least it's my nightmare. Last week on my way to work (it's a winding 2-lane highway through the hills) I got stuck behind a car accident with no real way around it.

Luckily, I had my current sock-in-progress with me, and there was enough knitting left to get me through the 45 minute wait. But it got me thinking... what if I'd only had the toe decreases left? How would I have managed the other 30 minutes of sitting in my car waiting for the road to clear? I may well have had to rip and re-knit the toe several times... and while I'm all about ripping and re-knitting to improve a project, I don't particularly want to do that just to keep my hands occupied.

Project bag in the glove box

In order to avoid this potentially horrible situation, I have come up with the Emergency Sock in the Glove Box solution: put a set of needles and skein of yarn in a project bag, and store that in your glove compartment. Then, if you forget to take knitting with you, get stuck waiting unexpectedly, or finish your other project, you've got backup knitting!

Sock in progress in the glove box

 Here's a plain vanilla sock in Biker Chick Hot Shot tucked in next to the owner's manual.

Of course, make sure the yarn and needles in the glove box are not your absolute favorite, and that the socks (or whatever you decide to knit) don't have a deadline, because once they've rescued you from that particular emergency you'll want to put them BACK in the glove box! Otherwise, you may well end up in exactly the situation you are trying to avoid...

Ever wished you had your knitting when you were stuck somewhere? 


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I personally would never leave my knitting in a car. Wool absorbs moisture from the air, and if left in the hot sun it will bake a crease into your project. Many students have brought their projects to my teacher and there is nothing that can be done. No amount of blocking or ironing will take it out.

The above MAY only happen if left is a plastic bag but I am not 100% sure about this. My teacher has been teaching knitting for over 20 years, she knows her job. I for one, would never leave knitting in a car regardless. I never leave anything in a car that I would not want stolen, so therefore my car is empty. I do however carry a project with me in my purse.


Oh Mary Lynn, I do the same thing at red lights! Don’t tell hubby, though. I do have what I call my car project. It’s a small bag with a simple scarf using novelty yarn. And Jean, you’re right. I’m a much more patient patient with my knitting.


I always have a sock in my purse. I need to have something in my car. I usually do washcloths for car knitting. I love the post about clean undies and sock yarn/needles. Cracked me up!


Oh my gosh this is a BRILLIANT idea. Now to convince my partner to allow me to keep knitting in his car since that is the only place I am the passenger!

Lise Mendel

That’s one reason I always try to have multiple WIPs! If the one I’m concentrating on is almost done, I grab the next project bag as well when I’m leaving the house, just in case…

Etienne (Cooky)

This is a wonderful idea and I will put it in force immediately. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and the traffic is so awful that awful does not do it justice. I always have extra knitting with me and in the car, but that bag is great.


Knitting… and a book… everywhere I go. With kids doing lots of activities, there’s always somebody or something to wait for. Don’t actually keep a project in the car, though! That’s a great idea.


I always have my knitting bag with me when I leave the house. Doesn’t matter what the project is in the bag. I don’t want to be caught without my knitting!!!

Mary Lynn

I always keep a project in the car for emergencies. In all my years of knitting, I have yet to knit a sock. I think its about time. I have, also, been known to knit at red lights.


I have a back up for the back up. I may not want to work on the first one…


I got stuck for 2 hours at a gas station recently when my car wouldn’t start. I didn’t have my knitting because I wasn’t going far an only on a quick errand. Lesson learned!

Nancy Tiffany

I try to keep a project in every car for just such times. But I like your idea of glove compartment sock!


great idea! I always have a sock in a Tom Bihn stuff sack in my car…. Currently, it’s Berlin your color way, Miss Babs, and Hermione’s Everyday sock. I have learned from experience!


great idea! I always have a sock in a Tom Bihn stuff sack in my car…. Currently, it’s Berlin your color way, Miss Babs, and Hermione’s Everyday sock. I have learned from experience!


ALWAYS, always have a project with me, the current one is knit your love with Miss Bab’s yarn (can’t remember which but it was a kit). It’s in my schlep bag which is with me most of the time. When it’s not, I have my big project with me. Makes me a much more patient patient (or other waiting role!)

Margaret Ann

I always have a project bag in my purse with a baby hat on the needles. I knit 200 baby hats a year to donate to my local hospital. The hospital likes to give each new born with a homemade hat. I go absolutely, no where without my knitting you never know when you will have a few minutes to knit. I also carry a book with me at all times.


i keep no look knitting in the car for whenever hubbie and I are out together. He drives, I knit. Right now, it is the endless black stockinette of the body of Whistler 2010, from Dale of Norway.


I keep a project bag in my car so when I visit my 93 year old dad I have something to do when he dozes. I just flipped out because my son has my car and I have my husbands. No knitting bag in there. I guess I will have to put a bag in his car now. My hands are itchy.


I always have a book with me. But, once I learn to knit socks, I will make sure to always have that project and spares handy !

Beth Aalberts

I always bring a pair of socks with me to work on no matter where I go. Even when we go out to the desert offroading I bring them along. I usually have about 4 pair in various stages of doneness in my bag to bring along, and I always bring my little needle case and sock ruler. I went with my husband on an errand yesterday and we were driving along the freeway and realized I hadn’t brought a sock, I almost broke out in hives. LOL

Leslie Fehr

I always have a project(newborn baby hats)in each of my purses and one in the car and even on in my husband’s truck. They all use the same pattern so that I don’t need to “un-remember” any pattern if I end up with a different purse or in the truck and not the car. A ball of yarn will make a couple of that size hats, so if I finish one I am ready to cast on for the next.

Ronni Lynn

My mother always told me to have a clean pair of undies and a ball of sock yarn and needles in the bottom of your bag and in the glove compartment of your car so that you are prepared for any situation.

I taught my daughter to knit at age 8 and told her the samething – to have a clean pair of undies and a ball of sock yarn and needles in the bottom of your bookbag and then after she was old enough to drive, to have it in the glove compartment of your car as well.

After all as my mother said you never know if you are stranded somewhere, in an accident, or anywhere/everywhere where the possibility exists that you find yourself with an unexpected wait.

To this day so many years later, I still follow my mother’s advice and am never ever anywhere in the world without an extra set of clean undies and a ball of sock yarn and needles……..

One can never be too careful.


i went back to school in my 30s, and after work, would have to drive into Boston (for my classes). There nights when the lower Deck was a parking lot. I enjoyed almost every delay — because I could get some knitting time in!

Margaret T

Yes I have been caught before without my knitting. It happened like you sort of and I was very frustrated because I had’t brought any with me. This is a great idea and I will certainly do this so that I will always have something to work on. Guess this means I will have to buy more of Miss Babs yarns to keep my glove box full .

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