This comes to you from the Vancouver airport, waiting for my flight to Toronto.  On the way here I sat beside a gentleman who was impeccably turned out in business attire and flying with three other gentlemen.

As we were flying (very short flight – 30 minutes) he closed the portfolio he was reading, and turned to me and my knitting, and he said "Don’t you have any concerns about that?", gesturing to my sock in progress.

Now, I really wasn’t sure what he meant.  I pondered the possibilities.

1. He thinks I should be concerned about my gauge.  Frankly, sock gauge is deeply personal and he disagrees with how tightly I was knitting and would like me to consider a 2.5mm needle.

2. He’s a conservative type, and he sees that I’m wearing a plain shirt and jeans myself, and that makes him concerned that the colourway is a bit bright for my personal taste and I won’t be happy with it in the end.

3. He, as I, thinks a lot about flap vs short row heels and struggles with the choices that surround them.  Secretly, he feels that flap heels are superior and he knows that I lean that way too, and he’s worried that if I continue on the short row path that in the end I’ll be dissatisfied, and he just wants to get ahead of that because  that’s what happened the last time he knit socks, and it was really painful.

4. He’s concerned that the slipped stitch pattern I’m using isn’t a pattern but a series of mistakes, and he’d like to open the door to teaching me how to fix it, but he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings if I’m not struggling or I like it this way.

5. Some bizarre security thing where once again another traveller is surprised that the TSA, one of the most vigilant and paranoid agencies on earth, has made a bad safety call that they themselves should question on a flight because they would know way, way better than the people who spend billion of dollars a year on airline security and are experts trained to reduce our risk to as low a level as they possibly can without having us fly naked….

Actually… nix that last one.  That can’t be it.  Too far fetched.  In any case, no matter what way I considered his statement, I couldn’t think of a way I was concerned – so I told him, ever so sweetly and with a smile,  No.  I have no concerns about "this".  He looked appalled, opened and closed his mouth once and went back to his papers. 
I knit.

I can never stop flying.  It’s too entertaining.

182 thoughts on “Fodder

  1. i wonder if there’s an official term in the journals of psychiatric health for “fear of knitting”??? or maybe it’s just “fear of knitting during air travel”? i would like to suggest “hylophobic disambiguation” (according to what i can google, hylophobia is the fear of wooden sticks and disambiguation is the fear of flying!)

  2. Oh I would have so gone into a “discussion” about colour choice. 😉
    Love and peace

  3. Just boggling. I get odd looks – but so far no one brave enough to comment… they should think about how much peril they would be in from me if they make me stop.. *sigh*

  4. I would have gone through all concerns with him then sigh and say no I have no conerns! I’m sure it will be perfect and watched him look at me lke I was totally insane! Love those looks!

  5. He’s knitted socks, is knowledgeable enough to know the difference between flap and short-row heels, but doesn’t recognize a slipped-stitch pattern or the fact that you’re an expert knitter? Of course, a patronizing man like this obviously couldn’t be troubled to recognize you as one of the most well-known knitters in the last few years. I think this tops the woman who insisted that what you were doing was crocheting, not knitting.
    Stephanie, you are too nice. I know, it’s a Canadian thing.

  6. Oh my! You should’ve just said, “oh… you mean my guage?!” I’m not sure if he would know how to respond.

  7. Don’t you lo-o-o-ove freaking out the muggles? One gets so little fun out of life…

  8. ah, oops. Clearly I mis-read the whole post. I’m going to go shove US000 needles under my fingernails.

  9. Now only if he were worried about ‘that’, the world might be a better place …

  10. Surely if that guy’s worst fears had been realised, and you had intended to use your sticks for evil, he should have been the one with concerns!!

  11. Good girl. I had no problems with my size 6 Addi Lace circulars. Seriously pointy and the center section would double as quite the garrote. Oh, and they didn’t blink at the spindle.

  12. Oh brother. I am so curious about what he might have said had he decided to continue to enlighten you about the concerns you should have! But nah, your possibilities are much more entertaining than anything he might have said.

  13. Gosh, I am curious to know what exactly he thought you should be concerned about. I’m likely to spend ridiculous amounts of time wondering!

  14. Knitter: 1 Muggle: Lost, as always.
    Way to go, Stephanie. Always leave them wondering.

  15. Number 6. His concern is that you won’t have the socks finished for him by the end of the flight. And while he has been known to have flights of fancy into the realms of gray and taupe for casual attire, he thinks the colourway you have chosen will really clash with his wardrobe.
    His grandmother used to knit, he knows a thing or two about it.

  16. How about, “Why no, since this is one of the activities proven to improve brain function and stave off dementia, I’m not concerned at all! What do YOU do to keep your brain plastic?”

  17. I knit with size 13US or 16US needles, so I can see why another passenger would see them as a weapon. You might have asked him if had concerns about his pen/pencil/writing implement.

  18. Maybe he wasn’t worried about the safety of needles on the plane. Maybe he thought you should be worried about TSA people getting all crazy and confiscatorial. (OK, that might not be a word.) …sort of, “Aren’t you afraid someone will take that away from you?”

  19. Why, it’s clear that he is worried that your yarn looked as if it’s merino. I’m sure he’s concerned about the number of vanishing ovine breeds and how this trend might lead to a weakening of genetic strength overall. What a shame that he did not feel comfortable to expound on this theme.

  20. Last week I flew from Sacramento to San Diego wearing an ankle brace. It led to my being patted down, wanded, pulled aside to have my hands and ankle brace swabbed with explosive detecting something or another.
    However, they said nothing about the cross stitch or knitting in my bag, including needles.

  21. I think he was worried that the cabin crew or some other security-conscious folks might confiscate your knitting. He probably has vivid flashbacks to the time some now-deceased person confiscated his wife’s Addy Turbos, and wants to avoid being present at a similar incident.

  22. I think I would have sweetly replied, “Why should I be concerned? I’m the one with the pointy sticks.”

  23. No doubt he was concerned that you would drop one of the dpns and be unable to find it, and thus you would have no ability to knit on your next, and longer, flight.

  24. LOL! I think this should be posted in every airline cabin in the world–or maybe substituted for those laminated emergency procedures cards.
    Thank you!

  25. Traveled from Los Angeles to Madison WI this week…no comments but very close scrutiny of the carry on. Love giving them something to look at…

  26. I tend to get more comments about the dangers of knitting while flying from fellow passengers than from actual airline security personnel. Which annoys me because if the people paid to be concerned about dangers while flying are not, then neither should anyone else. Besides, I guarantee I would rather work on a sweater than wast a perfectly good needle by using it as a weapon.

  27. I love it …… perfect. The only way it could be better is if you could have kinneared him so we could all see his face.

  28. You need to write an article for Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine recounting your “flying with needles” escapades. They need a little humour on board.

  29. Of course… he was worried if the airplane had to make a sudden stop (never know when another plane might cut you off!) you would risk piercing your lungs with a needle. Betcha that was it, but we will be left in suspense, rats.
    Although, thinking about it, maybe he was in a previous flight that had a lot of turbulence … that could be a legitimate worry … With a sudden unexpected drop in altitude you could end up with a needle stabbing …. hmmm…don’t want to go there. Sorry. Of course, with Addis you’d be in no danger. Blunt tips and all. 🙂

  30. Too funny! You didn’t ask him if he were concerned about the status of his pen? And, you’ve totally disappointed my husband (who does, indeed, read your blog, although he will deny it vociferously should anyone ask or tell) by suggesting that everyone flying naked isn’t in his future.

  31. Of course, had you engaged him in conversation about which element worried him, you wouldn’t have had time to knit on your sock, and this way he was stunned speechless, so it’s all good.

  32. Perhaps he was concerned something might happen to it during the course of the flight….

  33. Clearly the man was referring not to you knitting but your braless state. Poor man-you were distracting him! 🙂

  34. Too funny! I will never get the fear of “knitting needles being used as deadly weapons”. It just makes me giggle to think of it!

  35. I still hold that the best weapon is a knitting needle- cylinder which doesn’t collapse easily, with a point on the end…. Yeah, we’re totally a threat to international travel. Let’s not forget my kiddie scissors with the rounded tips.
    And we certainly won’t discuss the contraband can of soda I flew with from Barcelona to Madrid to New York. Stuck it in the outside pocket of my pack, and promptly forgot about it. US Customs picked it up, but not as a liquid/gel, mind you, but as contraband. Go figure.

  36. You would think, that with the millions of knitters in the world, and the percentage of them that probably fly at any given point and knit on planes, that by this point people would stop being surprised about this needles-on-the-plane thing. Maybe you should have asked if he was ok about his pen (or whatever sharp implements that could be hazardous he was using).

  37. I just saw, this very night, an episode of “Bones”, where a body was found baked inside a convection oven in an airplane galley (why a convection oven when all we get are pretzels and peanuts?!) and a passenger handed the investigators her knitting needle to use as a “probe” on the dead body. Seriously. Those needles may come in handy for more than knitting socks on an airplane someday – yuck.

  38. I once had a lovely lady tell me that by knitting in public I was singlehandedly setting feminism back by fifty years. I was very pleased to be considered so important that I could completely ruin feminism all by myself.

  39. my come back….
    ‘yes, if I make the same mistake again I very well may poke out my eyeballs with the dpns…so what’s it to you!’
    there are a bazzillion kagillion responses to that one eh….compliate a book of cartoons doing that one. We’ll all buy it!

  40. Hmmm….
    I’m interested in why you didn’t ask him what he meant rather than trying to guess…
    It may have been quite something different than you imagined.
    It’s a thought.

  41. You are a horrible, horrible woman! How can you leave us with such a cliffhanger – wondering what in the hell he could possibly have meant?!?
    You damn tease you! Your questions will haunt my dreams for weeks to come!

  42. I always love your traveling posts. Hilarious. You fly way more often than I do, but I’ve never had a passenger blink an eye at my knitting, unless it’s to talk to me about it.
    But… maybe that dude has been watching too much NCIS. Anyone seen the episode where the assassin stabs the air marshal with the knitting needle of a passenger who fell asleep? Right through the neck. And in the airplane bathroom, no less.

  43. Clearly, he was worried that someone else on the plane with evil intent would rip your needle out of your hands and terrorize the entire plane with it.
    Oh, wait.
    The idea of someone trying to terrorize a planeload of people with a knitting needle would probably provoke bursts of uncontrollable giggles from all directions.

  44. Oops! Sent post before I meant to.
    Right after the NCIS agents discover the air marshal’s dead body, one expresses surprise that a knitting needle can be used to kill someone, at which point the other replies, “I once used a credit card.”

  45. By far the best response to that question so far. I was also concerned with the NCIS episode mentioned in the comments, we don’t need more paranoid (and horribly uninformed) muggles questioning knitting on planes.

  46. Oh my dear, thanks for the badly needed chuckle. I love the way you look at this nutty world. I’m already looking forward to your next posting!!

  47. Could he have been concerned about a possible wool allergy? Perhaps if you had told him it was a bamboo blend…

  48. You might have smiled sweetly and said, “Let’s see… You have two eyes. I have two needles. No, I’m not worried at all. Are you?”
    Bet you were tempted…

  49. I think the TSA likes to put knitters in boxes, and thinks because we are working on tuning our fine motor skills, we are meek and mild and not capable of violence. which really, i am pretty sure we are only capable of violence if someone tries to take the last skein of cashmere from us in our lys…

  50. You mean, you sat next to Mr. Weenie again? What were the chances…? Maybe he remembered the picture you took of his feet and backed off.

  51. A couple years ago I was knitting a sock in the window seat next to a somewhat elderly couple. The lady was watching me intently, and I smiled, expecting the customary “it’s so nice to see young people knitting!” when she scowled and said “I can’t believe they let you on the plane with that!”. When I informed her they’d been allowing knitting on-board since a few months post-September 11, she huffed to her husband about it the rest of the flight.
    Weirdos are everywhere!

  52. Got a good laugh both from you, Stephanie, and also from the many comments. I have to say, though, that I am horrified by the experience of Amy R (at 10:20) — here I was under the assumption that the idea of feminism was to give women the choice to be whatever sort of woman they want to be!

  53. Well, if you’d just stabbed yourself in the leg with a dpn and were gushing blood all over the departure lounge, the the proper response would have been “yes, i am concerned, but why are you asking me??? go get some help, you (*&&^!!#”

  54. You know, I flown a couple of times with knitting and so far the only people who approach me about it are other knitters.
    To be honest, the TSA might have slipped up a bit when they allowed circular needles. Mine just seem like the perfect garrote–it even comes with handles!

  55. I don’t think I could have resisted the urge to say, “Oh…. I thought guys liked it tighter…. Maybe that’s not true with you?” Personally, I’d get into a huge discussion about tension with him from there. I think that would be a great way to meet someone new right?

  56. I always do a double take when someone expresses disdain about knitting in public, whether it’s on a plane or wherever. A while back on Franklin’s blog, he recounted the story of some woman with a mentality straight from the Bronze Age who gave him grief for knitting on a piece of beautiful lace while he was traveling by train – the implication being that “men shouldn’t knit”. And here some anal retentive corporate slave was giving you a hard time as your flying fingers were turning out a sock with tiny needles and fine wool. I’ve come to the conclusion that the more intricate the work, the more it bugs people who already feel inadequate when beholding the deftness and legerdemain of the experienced knitter.

  57. You knit your socks on dpns, don’t you? I don’t know how anyone can think dpns are remotely dangerous!

  58. I agree with Rabbi David, ask me how I know. The last 2 hours on a transatlantic seemed more like four. Couldn’t even find it after touch down!

  59. Okay, so I have jury duty today in Baltimore, MD and both the recording and the website tell you very emphatically that you are not allowed to bring either knitting needles or crochet hooks into the courthouse for security reasons. Really?! And all day with nothing to do but knit and listen to a book on Audible and I can’t knit? I think I may have to sue for cruel and unusual punishment—or maybe just stupidity.

  60. The last flight I was on, I dropped one of my circs in the aisle. The man sitting behind me promptly gave it to me with a smile on his face. I bet he knits too.

  61. I was knitting a mitten and a young Dutch man sat down next to me on the plane.
    “Those look dangerous!” These were my wooden dpns. I guess they are sharp, sort of like a toothpick. I just kept knitting and said “Oh yeah, everyone knows that knitters are dangerous. We are actually planning to take over the world.” He laughed and then proceded to tell me about how he had learned to knit as a child in school but his mom had to help him finish his projects. By the time the mitten was finished, he was saying that he should take up knitting again. See? We ARE taking over the world!

  62. Perhaps it is the combination of the DPNs and how blazingly fast you knit that freaks people out on planes.
    My knitting on one or two circs, and at human (rather than superhuman) speed, has never freaked out anyone on any flight – and I fly fairly frequently.
    Could it be that your multiple DPNs with all those pointy needles flapping around are scaring the muggles? As if it is some kind of handmade ninja star?
    Whatever the case, please keep it up, as it (and you) are highly entertaining.

  63. Don’t laugh too hard at Option 6. Knitting needles and crochet hooks were only removed from the prohibited items list for flights to/from/within Australia last Christmas. We’re still talking about it on Ravelry. Of course, Airport staff have not necessarily been informed of the change, so they can still get confiscated…

  64. You missed my thought, he was afraid you might lose a stitch with people interrupting you or air turbulence….I worry about dropping stitches all the time, even when I’m not on the plane. I’m sure that was it.

  65. oblique questions… hmmm perhaps “Why do you ask?” would lead to clarity. LOL!

  66. I definitely would have asked him if he had any concerns about anyone’s pens, pencils, and shoelaces. Ugh. I tend to get irate about this topic.

  67. Love your speculations! I especially love how you can find humor in just about anything. And, your reply to him was totally perfect!!

  68. I am continually astonished at the way you find these people. Last night in a restaurant I gave tips on finding good knitting videos to the server (she really liked my sock), and two weeks ago I loaned a DPN to a woman on the train who needed something sharp and pointy to turn off the strobe light on her bike because she’d broken off the little bit of the switch that extended out of the case. I’ve never had anyone question the safety!

  69. Even before I read your choices, I decided I would have sweetly replied “why yes, I can never decide between a flap heel and a short row heel, what do you think?” Further thought gave me, “No, but that (gesture to the portfolio he just closed) would be keeping me awake at night if I were you”.
    Please keep meeting these people, you do know we live vicariously through you, don’t you?

  70. His concern was that the speed of your knitting and your ability to knit without looking at the product might cause you to make an unnoticed error by accident. Other than that, I’ll go with #5.
    I must admit I’ve always thought my addi turbo lace fixed circs were rather garrote(garrotte, garotte-the dictionary lists all 3 spellings)like in appearance, especially the 100 cm. variety and I wouldn’t really be surprised if I were told I couldn’t fly with them in my hot little hands.

  71. Being a total news bag, I would have had to ask, what the SAMHILL he was talking about!!

  72. Please don’t ever stop flying. Your posts about your adventures are great. This one got me to smile for the first time today! (Hasn’t been a great day – yet – but I have hope for it)

  73. My favorite flying companion was the one who listened to me tell the sterwardess I was knitting a hat and then:
    1) apologized in advance for what was surely a foolish question.
    2) went on to have a discussion about the architecture of taking a knitted tube and somehow closing it to make a hat.
    He clearly had a very good grasp of spacial geometry and ways to construct a hat. He didn’t understand knitting but it was only because he hadn’t been exposed to it before.

  74. I found this story vastly entertaining! 🙂
    I took crocheting with me the last time I flew because I wasn’t sure everyone would be ok with my tiny shiny sharpish sock needles…..perhaps next time, I’ll try my luck and take knitting! 🙂

  75. How lovely that you found it quirky and bizarre- people shpuld always amaze us- even when they’re knitless

  76. We had drama and mechanical issues on my flight home from Seattle. We were pulled off the plane, then put back on again. I’d been joking with the flight attendant about the other flight attendant getting the phone number of the guy in front of me. After a few drinks, I pulled out my knitting. The flight attendant was astounded that I knit. She said I was too funny to knit. Huh? I wanted to reply that she should meet the Yarn Harlot, but then remembered the air marshall sitting back a few rows.

  77. I hope you can make a visit over to Aust one day, but I fear that the (believe it or not) continued ban on knitting needles on planes might be enough to put you off. I have just wasted 5 hours of potential knitting time coming back from Singapore, while the half-done lace stockings languished in the hold.

  78. I once boarded a plane with my mother and my one-year old daughter on our way to a family funeral. As we struggled to put the stroller in the overhead bin the gentleman in the row behind objected. “I am afraid that if we crash that will fall down and hurt someone.” My mother snapped, “If the plane crashes we will all be dead so it won’t matter how.”

  79. LOL! That’s awesome. It made my day actually!
    Last time I flew I sat next to a very sweet older Canadian gentleman (I must say I’m American.. not to be crazy or patriotic or patronizing, but it has to be said to work with this story.) who after discussing our residency and country of origin (hence why I know he is Canadian and he knows I am American) and where we are going and why.
    He looks over at my knitting and says “I didn’t know Americans still did that.”

  80. I would have been so tempted to say that I was less of a security risk with my knitting than without it, but I do not want to be put on the no-fly list.

  81. This is so funny..I usually get the story about Auntie Tilly and her knitting!!Bet she never worried about her needles!!

  82. Dear Stephanie, one of us knitters (I like “us knitters”) mentioned spindles. Perhaps, on a plane, we all need to be careful that the pilot doesn’t prick her finger and fall asleep for a hundred years? Spinners, please take care, for all our sakes.

  83. Maybe he was related to the lady on the bus that tried to explain to you that your knitting was actually crochet. Maybe his concern was that you still didn’t know the difference.

  84. I fly a couple of times a year, and I always have knitting with me, and the only people who have ever said boo about it are fellow passengers. Security doesn’t care, the flight attendants don’t care (unless they see fit to compliment me on it), but passengers? You’d think I was carrying explosives. “They let you bring THOSE NEEDLES on the PLANE?” (eyeroll)

  85. I knit in public all the time and no one ever asks about my knitting. Except last week in Atlantic City, New Jersey a woman asked about my fingerles mitts. She’s been looking for a pattern so I gave her mine. I have knit it enough times that I have it memorized. I also told her about Ravelry, where I had gotten the free pattern.

  86. You are so much wiser and nonconfrontive than I. I would have stared at his breast pocket of pens and said, “No, are you?”

  87. I think that’s the perfect time for the line “I knit so I don’t kill people”. No, not concerned, just be concerned when I put this sock down…

  88. This is why you need to carry around signed copies of your books. You could have said “No, I’m not concerned, and neither is the TSA. Light reading?” and handed him a copy of Knitting Rules! You would have had to make sure, though, that he saw that you wrote the book. Obviously.

  89. I think the only thing I would have said to him is an ungraceful, “What?” His question totally baffles me.

  90. Right you are! Never stop flying.
    Because whenever you fly, you go somewhere where you teach us important knitting stuff, entertain us with various encounters, invent new words…

  91. This happens to me WAY too frequently and next time I am going to be ready with two pencils. I am going to yank them out, insert them into my knitting and keep going. Although better would be to ask sweetly if he had a pen and do the substitution with his own utensil. That and the poke-in-the-eye-with-the-sharp-stick attendants both. But your way is better. It is just sometimes I wish people would thing BEFORE they speak.

  92. You are a Road Warrior!
    For some guys, it’s an activity that should never be seen in public. A bit like breast-feeding…………… and certainly not something to sit close tolowers the tone don’t ya know. I mean what kind of person would be seen dead knitting these days.:)

  93. I wonder what he would have said to the lady that was quilting on one of the flights I took. He probably would have freaked out to see me knitting and then a quilter a row behind me.

  94. I just returned from a domestic round-trip flight. No problems with knitting needles or small scissors, met nice people who shared my interest in knitting. One older lady was surprised that knitting was allowed on the plane and dismayed that her knitting was in her stowed luggage, poor dear. I am thankful that no one in TSA has thought of the circular needle garrotte yet. Thank you for a most humorous post, Harlot.

  95. “Do I have concerns? YES! This is only the first sock of a pair that was supposed to be a birthday present, but between looking after family members, various uncooperative appliances, a blog, classes, and speaking engagements, I’ve only gotten THIS far and I just know that a thrity-minute flight is nowhere near enough time to finish, which really sucks because the intended recipient is picking me up and her birthday was yesterday!!”
    *manic grin, random scratching*

  96. One wonders if these people ever, in the course of relating conversations with you to family or friends, come across someone who points them to the relevant blog post. Pilloried for all the world to see…if you know where to look.

  97. I knit every time I’m on a plane (down here in the states) and either I’m oblivious or no one ever looks at me funny. Probably oblivious. However — I flew with the Kindle when it was new, and the ipad when it was new (my husband’s a tech guy) and I had people giving me looks and commenting left, right and center.
    I’d rather have my knitting — it doesn’t come with an off switch & I’ve never been asked to stowe it for landing. 🙂

  98. I love your humor. I love the wickedly funny comments. (Particulary StellaMM’s.) Thanks for my end-of-the-work-week lift.

  99. Literally laughed out loud. I tried to help out a poor girl yesterday who was under the misapprehension that she couldn’t fly from New York to North Carolina with metal needles…

  100. Ride ’em cowboy, er-girl. They will never learn when speaking is inappropriate. That was a fundamental consideration when I chose my mate. At least everything he says comes out sounding cute, if not wrong – since he is Hungarian (from the old country). Now that is a spicy meat ball.

  101. Sounds reasonable to me. After a thorough review of the options, you found nothing to be concerned about.

  102. These posts always crack me up. Please don’t stop flying…it’s entertaining for the rest of us too.

  103. Wonder what would have happened if you said ” Wow, so glad you pointed that out to me. Would you mind holding this while we land???”

  104. Somehow, I think that answer was actaully rather snarky (though sweet). I would have requested clarification of the question, and then assured him once I knew the direction of his unspoken concern. That would correct the (his) problem of concern which future knitter flyers would benefit from.

  105. Seriously. Doesn’t he have any concerns about the surly-looking guy at the front desk who doesn’t like his seat and has four pens in his pocket? Or the person doing a crossword with a pencil? Scaaaary stuff.

  106. I almost NEVER get any comments from anyone when I fly and knit–and I do it at least 5 times a year. I can only assume, my dear Harlot, that you are attracting my share of all the airborne pinheads. Bless you, sweetie! Forever grateful–

  107. I once sat next to a young punk guy and across the aisle from a guy in a suit on my from Cleveland to Iowa.
    The guy in a suit freaked out when the sock needles came out- mentioned that they looked dangerous (no doubt even more so in the hands of a dark-skinned American like me, but I digress.) He was busy complaining and howling to all around him (literally making a scene.)
    I kept knitting, gritting my teeth and keeping my head down. Skater guy, who was reading a comic book next to me started watching intently and then asked me “Is that a sock?” I explained yes, and he watched intently and started asking questions- where do you get the needles, the yarn, how do you do that? He watched me turn the heel and was totally taken by it, and left the plane with notes on what yarn and needles to get and said to me shyly “I’m gonna have the most awesome socks on the half-pipe when I get this down.”
    Meanwhile guy in the suit grumbled and stormed off the plane as fast as he could once we disembarked and the flight attendant gave me a sympathetic smile…

  108. Apparently the Mexican Avaiation board isn’t as hep with knitting. Flying back to the USA from MX, I was forced to remove from a sock in progress, two addi circ’s – and hand them over to him. I told him he was making me cry. He even asked his supervisor, who – without even a glance at my stricken face – said NO -CAN’T FLY WITH THEM.
    When I went to my LYS to replace the addi’s, I was told that they’ve heard that before. They either take them, or cut the addi’s in half. (Like that would make them less pointy? Ohhh…I bet you could choke someone with it. But i could do that with the yarn too. Or a neck tie. I mean, WTHeck?)

  109. I have never really had an issue with knitting while flying until this week. I was asked to put away my knitting (US 7 circulars) during take off and landing so that I wouldn’t “hurt myself.” Then on the next flight the gentleman sitting next to me was shocked that I was allowed through security with my knitting. What is the world coming to?

  110. I love it!
    Weirdest thing that’s happened to me on a plane to date wasn’t knitting, but computer-related. I was playing a computer game and a flight attendant told me I’d have to put the wireless mouse away because they weren’t allowed.
    Turned out that airline DOESN’T allow them. But it’s the first time that’s ever happened to me and I usually see lots of people using wireless mice on flights. So I’m pretty sure if it were going to crash the plane, it would have happened already. 🙂
    (Also I note she asked me to put it AWAY, not turn it OFF. Just putting it away doesn’t stop it from transmitting.)

  111. I was flying home from the sock summit and one of my teachers was sitting in the row in front of me, knitting really complicated Estonian socks on four needles. The man across the aisle from my teacher stared with a dropped jaw beyond the point of rudeness, all because my teacher was a man. I was getting uncomfortable when lo and behold, one of the needles dropped in the aisle, right in front of Mr. McRude. My teacher smiled and asked “would you please hand me my knitting needle?” Rude guy snapped his jaw shut and handed over the needle —- I wanted to laugh!! I just leaned over and told my teacher how beautiful his socks were, and how much I enjoyed his class! Then I gave the rude guy the look that he deserved.

  112. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow this fellow, and folks like him, were to find their way to this blog, recognize their silliness, and *get it* ?
    That would be beyond coolness.
    Angel, I love your story about the skater-dude who was intrigued and off to learn how to knit his own socks for thrashing (I also happen to love that verb for “riding one’s skateboard recreationally”).

  113. I seriously can’t imagine what he meant. Did he know, himself?
    As a PS,the blog refuses to remember me. I refuse to believe that that is a statement about how boring I am!

  114. Love it all! Post and Comments! Thank you! Would, “So what are you working on (knitwise) right now?”have been appropriate? Or “I’ve shown you mine. Now you show me yours.”?
    By the way, I’m like Linda, no matter how often I ask, the blog never seems to remember me either.

  115. Love it all! Post and Comments! Thank you! Would, “So what are you working on (knitwise) right now?” have been appropriate? Or “I’ve shown you mine. Now you show me yours.”?
    By the way, I’m like Linda, no matter how often I ask, the blog never seems to remember me either.

  116. In good old fashioned Facebook fashion, instead of a “Like” button, you need a “LMAO” button! Too funny!

  117. Definitely #3….I also love the heel flap, even love the word flap…flap, flap, flap, flap. Lip-smacking word, it’s like using all your senses at once, but all the senses are around your mouth. Teeth, tounge, lips. Makes me want to flap my arms, true action word in every sense. Bet the gentleman just wanted you to say the word for a thrill but was trying to coax rather than be direct.

  118. This post was so funny that I almost laughed myself out of my desk chair! Totally brilliant!

  119. I flew a short hop from Warsaw to Kraków and the flight attendant, seemingly pleasantly surprised, said something like “Is that a sock?” and felt up the fabric before moving on with her duties. I met an MBA student from India, a couple unrelated English blokes, and an Egyptian? guy because I was knitting on the tube in London. There was also an older woman in Covent Garden who “hadn’t seen anyone do that in years!” She was so pleased and had a short chat with me. I’ve talked to women in Chile and Peru about knitting and I have yet to knit in public in Poland, but I’ll let you know how it goes when I do. Regardless of language barriers and cultural propensity for being reserved (as is the case in London), knitting has been the best way I know to meet people around the world. Either I meet someone who doesn’t know the craft and is curious or someone who does know the craft and wants to share the things they make.
    So, clearly, it wasn’t the last one. I’m thinking he’s a heel-flap guy and was concerned about the short-row.

  120. What if you had answered with, “I don’t have any mental energy to be concerned about my knitting what with worrying about the balloonful of cocaine I have stuffed up my bum.”?

  121. YEAH!
    What Marcy just said!!!
    AND what Rainyt said!!!
    And what Alyson said!!!
    And What Valerie said, in her sweetest voice…
    “I knit so I don’t freekin’ kill people!!!”
    And Yes, I am not ashamed to say it..I too live vicariously though you Stephanie Pearl McPhee.
    Drink up all you knitters it’s a boring/sad world without ALL of US!!!

  122. I don’t fly. It’s that simple, I just don’t do it. I have fears of falling to the earth at monumental speeds and squashing like a bug upon impact. Has NOTHING to do with security and all of that. Though I will admit I do ponder that if I were to fly at some point, what I would be told to do with my metal knitting needles. I’ve wondered if I should try to ensure that they are bamboo. Or just bring along something to crochet instead. After all, a person *could* take the needle and shove it in to another person. I mean, they are ever so pointy and the metal ones are made of METAL so that makes them DANGEROUS. I of coarse am full of sarcasm. My kids can bend my hollow aluminum needles just by playing swords with them, I am rather certain that if someone were able to get my needle from me (that is if they were even willing to approach me as surrounded by children (and wild ones at that) as I would be) they wouldn’t be able to do much damage with it at all. I guess it *could* poke an eye out, but that would have to be REALLY good aim!

  123. Maybe he was “one of those” who was concerned about all the work you were doing . . . when you can just buy a pair of socks at Wal-Mart for a buck or two. Augh!

  124. Well I would have just had to know what the hell he was thinking! If it had been me knitting a sock, I would have immediately thought he was concerned about the size of my feet vis a vis the size of the sock (have always been a little paranoid about my size 10’s).

  125. I once dropped a stitch holder on a flight, and the dead-heading pilot sitting across the aisle from me picked it up and handed it back, and then we had a long discussion about just this topic. He found it totally stupid, too! Although, once an overly diligent TSA woman in Toronto (who was obviously having a very bad day!) found 3 (!) pairs of scissors in my carry on and took them all! I had to use a toy pair I found in my purse for the rest of our trip to the Maritimes. Great post, Stephanie! Keep flying!

  126. Perhaps he thought a sudden drop/hit the brakes/whatever would result in you being skewered by a needle! Or worse (in his mind) you skewering him. I love knitting on trips, esp. socks; one time in an airport I became aware of gentle breathing over my shoulder and turned to find a woman absolutely riveted by my knitting. She was just learning and was doing rows of garter st. on HUGE needles; couldn’t believe the itsy tiny ones I was using. Another time, on a ferry in Puget Sound, three smallish children sat quietly entranced for half an hour watching me do a heel. Needless to say, their parents were immensely grateful. When we got the signal to return to our cars I put little teddy-bear holders on the needle ends, which got the children so excited I had to give them some. Knitting makes for a wonderful world.

  127. OMG, I am ROLLING at the guy next to you. I would have had a blast with him. Most asuredly, though, I would have asked more questions about his fear of brightly colored socks, and that perhaps he needed to branch out. I would ahve also asked him how much toe wiggle room he preferred, and perhaps his toes were too tightly bound with the tightness of his gauge, therefore the bloodflow restriced. Clearly, had he loosened the gauge and added some color he would be much happier. :p

  128. My boss once chastised me about knitting in the car whilst we were driving in Newfoundland. She was worried about what might happen to me if we were to, oh, I dunno, hit a moose or something like that. I told her that if we hit a moose, the least of my worries would be a tiny sock needle puncturing my person. Thankfully, she was in the back seat and soon drifted off to sleep.
    Perhaps your businessman was also concerned about what might happen with you needles in the event of an accident. Again, I think it would be the least of your worries.

  129. I love Amy’s comment – I once had a lovely lady tell me that by knitting in public I was singlehandedly setting feminism back by fifty years. I was very pleased to be considered so important that I could completely ruin feminism all by myself.
    I do lament that we will never know what in particular was the “that” which was his concern.

  130. I thought of you while I flew through the TO airport this wknd. I had no problems, until the last leg of the flight- when a very over-zealous TSA agent took out my needles and kept feeling the tips to assess if they were too sharp. When I started getting nervous and I said, “your website says knitting needles are allowed” she gave me the DIRTIEST look. But, she did put the needles down, and continued to look through my bag for “terror related items” such as my glasses, which got her worked up. (I have NO idea why.) She scanned them for bomb related materials TWICE??!!!
    Anyways- it turns out, the lady they were searching beside me (who had just been on the same flight as me) had a KNIFE in her purse. (Just for fruit…. but still…) I felt like shouting “SHE’S THE ONE YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT.” But I did not. I’m still in shock of my restraint.

  131. I can’t imagine using one of my needles as a weapon … first, I’d have to pick a bunch of stitches back up, and second, I might get blood on my yarn!

  132. What I want to know is… how long of a flight would it have to have been to make you ask him what the (bleep!) he was talking about? Won’t you wonder forever now? Heh heh

  133. I recently had the opportunity to fly to Kenya.(!) So I had many opportunities to have my knitting confiscated. The American TSA had no problems with my knitting (I was knitting a sock on bamboo needles as a precaution against being seen as a threat. Who can be threatened by #1 bamboo needles?); the British had no problem with my knitting either.
    Unfortunately, on the way home, the Kenyans did. They made me pull my knitting off the needles and confiscated them. Which would have been a great security measure if only they had caught the spare aluminum needles I had in my bag.
    As it was, I handed over the bamboo needles, got on the plane, and picked up all my stitches again. (The British stewardesses still had no problems with me knitting).
    Can we just get the airlines to agree on a knitting policy, maybe one posted prominently for the other passengers?

  134. I laughed so hard at this. I love to laugh hard at your writing, while I am at work. What a wonderful mid-day knitting break, and I’m not even holding yarn or needles.
    Thank you Stephanie!

  135. I was stuck in Newark for a few hours and had someone ask me how I managed to get my teeny, tiny Addi 8″ circulars, size US 1.5 through security. I was so surprised that
    1. needles that small are even visible to the eyes of non-knitters and
    2. that she recognized they were needles despite the fact they were completely consumed by the sock I was working on.

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