Are you traveling this spring and summer? As we’re gearing up for warm weather and fun getaways, at the top of our to-do lists is planning which knitting and crochet projects to bring on the trip! Waiting around in airports plus time spent flying make for lots of crafting opportunities. And since you don’t want to worry about which tools and supplies you can bring on the plane, we’re sharing the latest TSA rules for US domestic travel and answering some common questions.
Please note that the regulations vary internationally. So, if you live outside of the US or are traveling abroad, do some research! Check with the countries’ and airlines’ security agencies to make sure you can bring your tools on their flights.
And even if your tools ARE allowed according to the regulations, whether in the US or abroad, keep in mind that security agents can decide whether to prohibit an item through the checkpoint at their discretion. So perhaps don’t bring your most expensive (or irreplaceable) hooks and needles on the plane.
Yes. The TSA even has pages dedicated to knitting needles and crochet hooks, stating that they are allowed in carry-on bags as well as checked luggage. The TSA also addressed this common question on their AskTSA blog
Yes. As long as the blades are less than 4 inches from the pivot point, scissors are allowed in your carry-on. All size scissors are allowed in checked bags.
Note that circular thread cutters (or any thread cutters with a blade) are NOT allowed in carry-on luggage.
Just in case your needles do get confiscated by security officers, here are a few strategies for making sure your project doesn’t unravel. (Crocheters have it easier on this front, with just one active stitch to worry about!) Prepare for this possibility in advance by putting a lifeline in the last row of your work-in-progress, or if you’re working with circular needles with removable tips, your knitting is already safe on the cable. Pack an extra set of needles in your checked luggage and you’ll be ready to resume your knitting once you arrive at your destination.
Travel can be stressful, and crafting can help us relax and pass the time. But let’s make sure we’re not adding stress to the experiences of the people around us! We recommend bringing a smaller project so you’re not wrangling, say, a giant blanket and jostling your seatmates. Working on quieter needles is also considerate (instead of those giant size 50 metal needles, perhaps consider bringing bamboo, wood, or plastic needles). Speaking of needles, keep in mind that circular needles can be easier to handle than double-pointed or straight needles while traveling. You’re less likely to drop a needle and have it roll down the cabin mid-flight!
For more, check out travel tips for crocheters and knitters from Moogly:
And here’s a pattern to knit your own travel pillow!