Taking my knitting on the airplane

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Kay East wrote
on Aug 21, 2008 10:01 AM

Dear Sandi and all,


Am planning a trip with my son, daughter-in-law and family to Mexico.  I want to be able to knit on the plane or in the airport.  I have read the Security posts regarding bamboo circular needles which they say are allowed. No metal straight needles. The scary part is to bring a self-addressed stamped envelope  to send needles back to myself or crochet hook and extra yarn which I suppose is to take the work off your needles.  Can someone address this issue?  There must be lots of folks out there that fly and knit.



Kay in Virginia

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ElizabethM wrote
on Aug 21, 2008 12:23 PM

Although, I've heard that they let you, I'm am not willing to take that risk.  I had not thought about mailing it back to myself if not allowed.   


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LadyKRose wrote
on Aug 21, 2008 1:33 PM

I'm glad you read the security regs.  Last time I flew, the regs said no pointy objects over 7 inches.  Since my circular needles were not over 7 inches [at the tips], I had no problem taking my knitting [2 at once socks on 2 circulars] on the plane.   It helped tons in the airport and on a long flight.   

A lot depends on the particular security officer, but in general it's OK to take them in carry on items.  If in doubt, put your supplies in the checked baggage.  

Much has calmed down with such items since 9-11.   Take your knitting and enjoy.   The SASE is a good backup.  I'm betting you will not need it.


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JaniceDeC wrote
on Aug 21, 2008 2:30 PM

It does depend on the particular security person or even particular airport.  What drove me nuts is that on a recent round trip my crochet hook was allowed one direction, but not for the return trip.  At least since it was crochet it was easy to just hand over the offending hook, but I was very irritated.

I also like the SASE idea.  Maybe it will work like taking an umbrella when rain is predicted, then never needing it.



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MikeP wrote
on Aug 21, 2008 5:55 PM

I fly 3 out of 4 weeks in a month.  In the last two years I have had no problem with any knitting supplies taking them as carry-on (except scissors).  I use Denise Interchangeable Needles, plastic crochet hook, plastic tapestry needles.  I also carry a copy of the regulations in my bag and if they say anything I ask to speak to the supervisor, show him the regulations and proseed on. 

My only problem is comming back form Europe.  No knitting material is allowed at all plastic or otherwise.

Mike Petersen

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Posts 19
knitliesl wrote
on Sep 4, 2008 5:56 PM


may I ask where in Europe you were flying back from? I am planning to fly to Germany in November. I have not had any problems coming back on my last trip in 2006 (I even had metal ones), but now I am a little concerned. I would hate to have to give up my interchangeable bamboo needles I just spent a lot of money on. I will be flying from Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and from there back to the US.




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Georgina wrote
on Sep 5, 2008 12:52 PM

I know the question was about Germany.  But in case anyone is interested, I just took a trip to Korea.  Within the US I took Continental and over the Pacific I took Korean Air.  I did NOT experience any problems with my #7 24in (in the round) needles.

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Marimi wrote
on Sep 5, 2008 2:12 PM


 I flight a few month ago in europe, with some dpns (in bamboo) with some sock on it and i didn't have any issue.

Marimi (from France)


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LindaS@13 wrote
on Sep 5, 2008 2:13 PM

 Go to a toy store and buy a box of wooden pick-up sticks.  They are about a size 3 needle.  There are at least 50 per container.  I sharpened the points a bit more with my husband's belt sander (but sandpaper will do) and then oiled some of the sticks to make them smoother.

These are perfect for sock knitting, or other small project requiring double points.  Put all but the 4 needles you are using into your checked bags.  If anyone takes the 4 needles away, you can slide the project off the offending needles, and still have the checked bag needles to use when you arrive at your destination.  Only once have I been challenged, and when I snapped the working needle in two with the fingers of one hand, they let me go with the live stitches on the other 3.   Happy travels!

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zibu wrote
on Sep 5, 2008 7:25 PM

I flew from the US to East Africa in the fall of 07 with my US4 circs (addi turbos) - had no issues at the Boston airport (where I've found the security folks to be ridiculously uptight in general) or while going through security in Amsterdam. Nobody even asked what they were when they showed up on the xray machines.  I didn't even bring along a SASE or spare yarn to slip my almost-complete shawl onto!  I guess I was living on the edge.  ;-)

Good luck!

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Kimberlee wrote
on Sep 6, 2008 7:20 AM

My trip was to Denver and my passion is bead knitting with size 0000 metal needles. I debated up to the day of my trip whether to risk my work. I decided to try it, and mail it home if needed.

I took my work out of my carry on and placed it in the bin with my shoes, so that it was out and visible to see the needles and what was attached (instead of just having the needles show up on xray). I didn't have any problems.

I know the decision is with each screener, So good luck.

Kim in Utah


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msmc wrote
on Oct 13, 2008 5:31 PM

I travel to someplace in the U.S. about every week and need something to do on the plane other than read.  I started taking my crochet work on the plane about 2 years ago and the only complaint I had was recently another passenger was upset that I could bring my 12 inch size I afghan hook on board, but security had taken away his 3 inch pocket knife.  I gently reminded him that most people who knit or crochet are not the ones you need to worry about on a plane, it's those that don't like being confined for long periods of time or those that have a generally bad attitude before they even get to the airport.

I did ask about knitting, at least within the U.S., and was told by TSA that it would be fine to bring my knitting on board as long as the needles were in the open during the screening process.  I agree with what most are posting here that bamboo needles would be easier to pass through security with than metal, but both should be fine.  When I went to England, Canada and Australia, I checked my work in progress so as not to take the chance of having to give it up to a security guard.

Happy travels,


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LindyF wrote
on Oct 13, 2008 9:24 PM

I've had no problems traveling with my knitting for quite a few years now - circular needles would be even easier to get by with that straight needles.  I remember when they weren't allowed and the joke was that you couldn't take a crochet hook or knitting needles on the plane because they were afraid you'd knit up an Afghan.  Okay, it wasn't that funny back then either.   -Lindy in Alaska

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KarenW@52 wrote
on Mar 18, 2013 12:34 PM


I know your KAL trip was years ago, but...  The KAL website does list knitting needles and not allowed as carry on.  On your flight did you pull out your needles and knit with them where you might have been seen by a flight attendant?

Last year I took a flight with LAN.  I had no trouble getting the knitting needles on the plane, but my socks with metal DPN was taken from me by a flight attendant.  Another lady was knitting some real chunky Lopi like yarn with thick wooden needles and hers was taken too.  Both were returned just before we landed.  I hate when that happens on a long flight.  It makes me twitchy.

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