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The Traveling Knitter

Dec 17, 2013

Happy winter, fellow knitters!

The holiday season is once again upon us. Are you going to be traveling in the next couple of weeks? Traveling can provide ample time to catch up on projects. Unfortunately, traveling knitters can sometimes have trouble with airport security when trying to bring their needles with them onto a flight. I've heard more than one story of someone having to give up their knitting needles during security checks. Since I’m traveling internationally for Christmas this year, I want to be prepared so I can knit happily on my flights and not fear that my needles will be confiscated.

According to TSA regulations, knitting needles are absolutely allowed with you in your carry-on bag. Try to avoid bringing any blades or thread cutters, but those items can be contained in your checked baggage. So, if you’re traveling nationally within the U.S. you should be a-okay to travel with your knitting. If you are going abroad, or leaving from a country outside of the U.S. it’s a good idea to check into the regulations of those particular countries.

If you can’t find exact specifications or the regulations seem a little vague (i.e., “knitting needles” are not mentioned specifically but would fit under a described category, like “sharp objects”), but you can’t stand the idea of leaving your knitting at home, you can try risking it with a few precautions. Knits editor Lisa Shroyer just took a trip to India and ended up having to mime knitting to three airport security agents in Dehli. That worked for her, so I’m adding that to my list of options as well. (Couldn’t hurt, right?)

One precautionary tip I found on this page is to bring an envelope that is self-addressed. If your needles are taken from you by a security agent, you can give them the envelope and they should mail them to your home. So they may not be available to you for the trip, but at least they are not gone forever.

Other tips for ease and comfort include:

-bring a small project
-put your project on circular needles (so you don’t lose one if you drop it)
-bring needles that aren't as sharp

I plan to take circular needles and a few skeins of yarn to make some hats for late gifts. Also, because I’m traveling to Mexico and Cuba next week, I made sure to educate myself on how to say “knitting” in Spanish (tejido de punto). In case I’m questioned about my needles, I have the vocabulary to provide an answer. I also plan to bring the thickest book I can find in case in-flight knitting doesn’t pan out how I’d like. It’d be bad to have my knitting tools taken away from me, but it’d be worse to have nothing to do during our flights and layover time in airports. 

Are you traveling for the holidays, or staying in the comfort of your own home? What kind of projects are you working on during your holiday time? For knitters both mobile and stationary, I hope you have a lovely end of 2013 and Happy New Year with whatever project makes you feel warm and happy.

Cheers!

 

Hannah


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