To All Knitters & Crocheters: Read This Before Flying!

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To All Knitters & Crocheters: Read This Before Flying!

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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.

The Qs About Airline Travel

Crafting Tools

Q – Can You Bring Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks in Carry-On Luggage?

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

Q – Can You Bring Scissors in your Carry-On?

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.

Q – What Do You Do If Your Knitting Needles Are Confiscated?

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.  

Tips for Being a Good Neighbor on the Plane

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!

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  • Thank you so much for the up to date info. I always brought brought small projects with me on flights and enjoyed it so much. I can’t sleep on planes, so I turned on a movie and crocheted. I was most worried about scissors. Nail clippers will work too. Some countries don’t allow anything. Hooks are good and yes, bring cheaper ones. I had my whole set of good hooks stolen whole I took a nap.

  • I traveled by plane years ago and took my tatting. It is small, I used a plastic shuttle not a metal one, and it doesn’t take a lot of movement to do. I got many comments from people walking past me on the flight. And I could pack my ball of crochet thread in my suitcase in case I needed a refill on the flight back. I doubt a non-crafter would ever think a shuttle was a weapon.
    Tatted edging is the easiest as it can be one or two shuttles and made in yards rather than small pieces.
    My advice is to plan on small projects like squares or hats rather than full afghans or scarves or sweaters. Even Vanna White had a ball of yarn roll down the aisle of the plane once.

  • The Clover necklace yarn cutter gets me every time. Really? Like can I easily take it apart to shank someone? Growing up in the hoods of NYC you know anything can be made into a weapon. I would imagine an actual knitting needle would be way more dangerous than that pendant.

  • I am so surprised that the clover brand yarn cutter is not allowed. A pair of scissors seems much more dangerous. I’ve gone through security with the pendant yarn cutter many times, including yesterday! Of course that’s not a guarantee for another occasion.

  • I printed a copy of the TSA page that states knitting is allowed on domestic flights and carry it in my yarn bag in my carry on luggage. I was disappointed that international flights did not allow any knitting in the cabin but I did pack it in my checked luggage.

  • I also have flown domestically with a clover necklace yarn cutter around my neck. I have not flown in the last two years, so maybe this is a newer regulation. I do remember the TSA agent said she thought it was a wonderful idea at the Detroit Metropolitan airport. She felt it was harmless.

  • I carry a small dental floss sample. It has a cutter.

  • I always use circular needles and small projects, and my yarn stays in my bag so it never rolls down the isle while I’m working.

  • dental flass cutter works great to cut yarn…safe to take!

  • In Panama, they do not allow ANY scissors, and they also would not let a friend of mine on the plane with her circular knitting needle and project.
    I think they are the stickiest with regulations of all the Central American countries I have been to.

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