Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame
22

FAQ: Can I knit or crochet on an airplane?

August 9th, 2010

Pin It

airplaneWe get a lot of questions from curious travelers about whether they can craft on airplanes. According to the TSA, knitting and crocheting is allowed on domestic US flights. Keep in mind that blunt scissors under 4 inches are permitted, but circular thread cutters are not allowed. As an alternative to scissors, you can bring nail clippers (as long as they don’t have a blade) to cut your yarn. Keep in mind, however, that TSA officials make the final call on whether you will be allowed to take your crafting on board. Just in case, it’s helpful to carry a printed copy of the TSA’s current rule on knitting needles and crochet hooks, available here. If you have a smartphone, you can access the TSA mobile website at www.tsa.gov/mobile, where you can quickly find current TSA rules through the “Can I Bring?” function. In case the TSA official will not allow you to carry your crafting supplies on board, bring a self-addressed stamped envelope with you. Many officials will allow you to mail the supplies instead of confiscating them. If you live outside of the US or are traveling internationally, keep in mind that each country has its own individual security agency with unique regulations. Check with that agency to ensure that your tools may be used on their flights. Happy travels!

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Masse/1519721801 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1519721801">Susan Masse</fb:name>

    Last year I flew round trip from Portland, OR to Washington, DC. I took a #5 steel hook and thread to work on pink ribbons for Relay for life. I accidentally set off the alarm by leaving the hook and thread in my jacket pocket. While I was being re-screened, the TSA officer noted that I was a “first” for him, but he had no problem with the hook. Generally, if you are courteous and explain yourself, you have very little trouble.

  • http://www.restlessgrace.blogspot.com Grace

    Do you know where to look for international flights? I’m going to Canada in September and would like to be able to knit on the way back to the US.

    Jess says: Hi, Grace. I usually just do a quick Google search for the country I’m traveling to. For example, I searched “Canada airplane rules”, which led me to the CATSA website here. Although knitting is permitted on these flights, it’s a good idea to follow the same guidelines as stated above: bring a printed copy of the rules and a self-addressed stamped envelope just in case. Have a great trip!

  • http://rather-be.blogspot.com Deb

    I just had two sets of needles confiscated on a flight home from Paris. We’ve made several trips to Europe over the past 5 years and this was the first time I’ve had this happen. It was tragic. Thankfully, my projects were saved and needles are replaceable…but an 8-hour flight without knitting? Torture!

  • Janeybake

    I have brought crochet hook and yarn from the UK to US a couple of times. I try to find a plastic hook (surely can’t be any more dangerous than a ball point). I haven’t had any trouble at all. I don’t carry scissors though. I just crochet something long…..

  • Kristen

    Thanks for this post! Is there a specific type of needle that is better for traveling (i.e. metal, bamboo, etc.)? I am taking a trip in September and have started gathering projects that I want to take with me on the long flight.

    Jess says: Hi, Kirsten. If you’re traveling within the US, the TSA currently allows any type of knitting needle. If you’re worried about taking metal needles on the plane, try bamboo or plastic needles. Remember to check the TSA site before you fly to make sure the rules haven’t changed!

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention FAQ: Can I knit or crochet on an airplane? | Lion Brand Notebook -- Topsy.com

  • BJ Strickland

    I’m not sure what you mean by circular thread cutters but I have flown many times over the last 10 years and always take one of the Clover circular yarn/thread cutters (pendant type, no sharp edges exposed, you pull the yarn through slits in the sides of the pendant). These cutters can’t hurt anyone or anything except what can be cut through the slits and I’ve never had a question from TSA or anyone else about them.

    Jess says: Hi, BJ. Technically, the TSA currently does not allow those types of thread cutters. Here’s what their website says: “Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage.” Since they are against the rules at the moment, I would recommend against taking them. They may not always consistently enforce the rule, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Barb

    I’ve recently flown both SW and JetBlue with knitting and crocheting with no problem. I did find it a lot easier to use wood/bamboo circulars but that was mainly a space issue. I pack or replace all 14″ straight needles, sometimes they even look like weapons to me :).

    Also had no problem with the small folding stork scissors.

  • Beverly Fleming

    I have never been stopped with my Clover circular cutter. However, since mine is sterling silver, I am not going to take a chance of having it confiscated. I am not sure what you are referring to about carrying an envelope to mail your stuff back home. There are no mail drops in any US airport. They were all taken out after 9/11.

    Jess says: Hi, Beverly. Actually, there is a company called Airport Mailers that specializes in mailing yourself items from the airport. Click here for a list of airports that they service. Some larger airports, such as New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, also have full or limited service post offices that are once again operating. I hope this helps.

  • http://twitter.com/DarnGoodYarn Nicole Snow

    You know what’s interesting about this post..while it’s helpful it just shows you that the TSA makes rules up as it goes along. Why the heck should I have to bring a envelope to mail items back to me just because an agent decides to not know their own rules and make it up as they go along. Another reason to abolish the TSA

  • http://www.tennisprinces.com/ Wilson Tennis

    ok! very good!
    wonderful!
    you are right!                 
    thank you! 

  • Anonymous

    , bring a self-addressed stamped envelope with you. Many officials will allow you to mail the supplies instead of confiscating them.

  • nike football shoes

    Prequel IOCP layered one Used in the object pool, I used a pre-written list of the structure of an array of analog, and made changes.

  • nike football shoes

    Why do you think Mag Flashlights are so desirable? They are described as a “work of art that works.” Enough said.

  • alpinestars boots

    Do you know where to look for international flights? I’m going to Canada
    in September and would like to be able to knit on the way back to the
    US.

  • alpinestars gloves

    It was tragic. Thankfully, my projects were saved and needles are replaceable…but an 8-hour flight without knitting

  • http://www.alpinestarsjacketshop.com/ alpinestars jackets

    you pull the yarn through slits in the sides of the pendant). These
    cutters can’t hurt anyone or anything except what can be cut through the
    slits and I’ve never had a question from TSA or anyone else about them.

  • Pingback: Tava tea review

  • Sam

    I am leaving for India in less than two weeks and have called the airline twice about bringing plastic or metal hooks on the plane and was told it must go in my checked luggage. Is there a possibility I can ask if I can bring my hook on the plane once I arrive at the airport?

  • Dani

    Hello, the link to the current rules on knitting needles and crochet hooks is broken.

    • http://lionbrand.com Zoë

      Fixed! Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://lionbrand.com/ Danielle Holke
css.php