Flight

Today I’m flying.  All the way from one side of the continent to the other, and as always it will take from about 7am – when I walk out the door at Sock Summit International World Headquarters (that’s Tina’s house) until about 11pm, when I’ll walk in the door at home.  I find it trying, and I struggle to understand why humanity isn’t working harder on teleportation and feel sure that if we just make the people responsible for looking into it do the Portland-Vancouver-Toronto trip with the right degree of frequency, then they would begin to feel a certain sense of urgency with the work. 

As always (if I am not writing a book, and I am not writing a book, because I sent it in to my publisher and dudes-it feels pretty good) I think of flying as primo knitting time. 

I’m hoping to finish the second sock of one pair and the first of a second and maybe even start a third, which would put me merely very far behind schedule instead of ridiculously far behind schedule, which is where I am now.  The flight is five hours, so its not going to happen, but I have to believe it is. 

Let us pause now for a moment and I will preemptively answer the questions I know are coming in the comments. 

1. Yes, I knit on planes.

2. Yup. All the time. Openly.

3. No, I don’t have special needles or wooden ones or only circulars or anything like that.  Most of the time they are my signature needles (the green ones above) but they are almost always metal. 

4. Nope.  I don’t do anything special to get them by security.

5. What would that be?

6. Yup.  Always fine. All North America, all fine, all the time, every flight, never had them taken away.  They are allowed.  It is fine.  It is not a problem. Nobody at security has ever said anything at all about the needles, with the exception of "What are you making?" Which is because it is fine.  My technique is to put them in my bag, and then go through security like everyone else.  If I am getting specially screened and they ask me if there is anything sharp in my bag, I say "I have knitting needles, so mind those don’t poke you".  They say "Thanks"  This is because it is allowed.

7. Yes.  In the United States.  All the time. No problem.

8. Yes.  In Canada. All the time. Pas de problème. Multiple pairs even.

9. Yes, to London and back, in and out of Heathrow.  I was flying Air Canada though, so who knows what worked for me there.  One person on two flights is too statistically small for me to say anything, except I did it and it was fine.

10.  Yes.  I’m sure.  I’m really sure I knit on planes.  I’m really sure it’s fine. It’s allowed.  Allowed by the  TSA (see here) and allowed by CATSA (see here.)

Please note that another Canadian document detailing items acceptable for carry-on also notes that knitting needles are allowed "in the presence of wool"
Which I suppose technically means that you may have problems if you’ve brought  acrylic or cotton yarn, which makes me think that I really got away with something earlier this year when I flew with needles, but only in the presence of silk. 

I knit on planes, I don’t do anything special to do that, and I’m going to do it today.  A lot.

275 thoughts on “Flight

  1. I once flew cross country and had to prove to the TSA agent that I really knew how to knit. Maybe because I’m really tall and he felt threatened? Lots of luck on the socks, I’m two hats and three pairs of socks behind.

  2. The TSA operative was so taken with the silk yarn that he/she could’t uphold the ‘presence of wool’ regulation. That silk is . . . silky ya’ know!

  3. I’ve never had issues with flying with my needles either, and I usually have multiple projects with me. I flew to France with them as well, and didn’t have any issues.

  4. I have not had any problems with needles in the States, but my needles were confiscated when I was flying home from Mexico. We had a tug of war over the yarn though…

  5. I have never been hassled by TSA about my knitting needles, but I have had a fellow passenger say very loudly, “I can’t believe they let you on the plane with those SHARP things!!” Of course, that made everyone in the vicinity turn around and look at me like I was going to stab them. I admit I thought about at least giving her an “accidental” poke. You don’t want me on any plane on which I can’t knit! I will lose my mind.

  6. wow, i absolutely love that expression “in the presence of wool”. i’m going to try to work that into at least one conversation a day. 🙂
    despite your preemptive strike, i bet someone will still ask with all sincerity whether it is ok to knit on a plane.

  7. I’ve flown multiple times to Europe (including the part where I’m posting this from Copenhagen having flown yesterday and made it through the super-craziness of this year’s security) and have never been even questioned. Electric toothbrush yes, knitting no. So you can add my … I dunno, at least last 5 trans-atlantic trips on Lufthansa, SAS, United, US Airways etc. to your statistic =D

  8. The only place I’ve EVER been stopped is when I attempted to go on a tour of the US Capitol building in Washington DC…it’s POSTED on a big board – “No KNITTING NEEDLES”. Whatever. I left that line, let me tell you – no way was I taking those socks off the needles. The Capitol can wait till next time, thank you very much!

  9. Best of luck on the socks! I’m not direly behind if I think about number of days but considering how much actual knitting time I will actually have–the danger signals are starting to flash.
    Hope you’re socks and flying go smoothly
    (I went to Egypt and back through France with no problem and also fly around the states without any issues.)

  10. I was just worrying that I wouldn’t be able to fly with my knitting since I haven’t flown in so long and have a flight planned in the near future. This post is like you read my mind to ease my fears. Thank you!

  11. Good Luck on your travels, i hope all the flights arrive/depart on time ( unless you need that little delay to finish turning a heel or something along those lines)
    The only time I’ve heard of knitting needles being confiscated is when flying to/from Australia. I forget which one it is but I remember hearing that Australia is doesn’t allow knitting needles. I think it is mostly if you are flying coach for 15+ hours a lot more things become weapons.

  12. I am neurotic enough that no matter how many times I successfully fly with my knitting (and I recently flew from San Francisco to London and then from Frankfurt to San Francisco with multiple projects and sets of needles) and no matter how many times you post photographic evidence of your successful in-flight knitting, I still have to check the TSA guidelines every time I fly. I suppose I figure that the risk to my knitting is just too high to mess around. Or maybe I’m just that nuts. Maybe both?

  13. I flew domestic (USA) last week and didn’t even put my knitting away for take off or landing! The flight attendant looked at me one time like – Oh, you’re knitting – and walked away. Go figure!

  14. I too fly and knit with no problem. Ever. Anywhere. I will say, when the guard at Disney World checked my husband’s bag each day, he said (and it was a different one each day) “you need all this yarn?” (it was one sock!) and my husband would roll his eyes and say, it’s my wife’s. The guard would nod and pass him thru. So . . . you can take needles on the plane AND thru Disney World security!

  15. Just wanted to chime in that I have flown from the US to Cancun and back with a travel sock in progress and had no problems (of course now that I say that I’m bound to be screwed this year!). My Christmas knitting is beginning to look dire also, I’m especially thwarted by having to schedule using a friend’s washing machine for felting (only a coin machine in my apartment building).

  16. You might have problems flying in and out of Germany, especially with metal needles. Their security guards take their jobs VERY seriously (you should have seen how carefully they inspected the tiny metal figurines my then 8 year old son had in his backback). They also opened my husband’s expensive camera (at least they didn’t expose the film — okay, this was about 6 years ago), but they did insist on removing the battery. I didn’t have my knitting with me, or I’m sure I would have lost it.
    My sister-in-law flew a few weeks after 9/11 (USA domestic). She had her very expensive pen confiscated as well as some hair clips she had purchased for her daughters.
    When US airport security was especially nutty, Lily Chin would wear circular needles as a necklace and got through every time.

  17. I knit on planes all the time too. I have never had a problem flying to Europe or in the US. Last February I took a trip to India, checked the TSA website to ensure that I could carry my knitting things on the airplane. When reading the TSA guidelines I found out that my very small embroidery scissors were acceptable too. These scissors are some of my favorite scissors. They are patterned to look like a small golden bird. They are expensive, a small present to myself. I had no problem flying to India. It was a totally different story getting on the plane in India to come home. My little sock project bag, which was inside my purse, caused the attendant to pull my purse out of the scanner and empty the purse. The project bag was then emptied, my scissors were confiscated and after a long discussion I was allowed to keep my 2 Lace Adddi circular size 2.0MM needles. My carry on bag was also emptied. I was informed that the TSA site listed guidelines and each Airport Security could make the final decision about the safety of individual items. Needless to say as soon as I got home I went and bought the same scissors to replace my old ones. There are some things we just need to have!

  18. Ireland airport asked about my knitting needles, bu t then let me through after I showed them. Here in the US, I wouldn’t really have been able to do that. Much more laid back there…

  19. I knit on a flight in and out of Tibet and all that happened was that I made new friends, who only shared the language of wool, and finished a pair of socks in time to give to our wonderful tour guide before we left China.

  20. The only time it was ever questioned was a Qantas flight from Auckland to Christchurch. And since I was coming from the US their only advice was to leave the REALLY small ones US 2 or smaller in my checked luggage the next time. Maybe they figured the knitter who had spent the last 24 hours in transit needed a break by that point. Especially with another 6 hours in front of her. And after they had misplaced her only piece of checked luggage. Cranky tired knitter that day. Wouldn’t let my carry on out of my sight.

  21. I did have trouble flying out of (but not into) Heathrow with needles. The guard said sharp things had to be less than three inches long, so if my needles were that small, I’d be OK. Next time I’ll bring a sock on 10 of those little glove DPNs!

  22. Never had a problem on planes. Don’t try to take your needles into the Smithsonian or into a Washington Nationals game… they are apparently the front line in the fight against terrorism. (I did manage to talk them both into letting me take my knitting in, mainly by using the line, “They let me fly on PLANES with these things!!” but it was a near thing.)

  23. I’ve flown to Europe several times and have never had a problem. Once, while on a flight to Phoenix, I was knitting some pretty fingerless mitts. The flight attendant and I chatted about it, and then she showed me the sock SHE was knitting!

  24. I thought all yarn in Canada was called “wool”? Or is that Great Britain?
    And congratulations on the new book; I can’t wait to read it!

  25. I had an argument with a clerk at a local yarn shop about knitting on flights. She insisted that it wasn’t allowed. I thought maybe there was a recent change, but she’d thought needles were banned since 9/11. But no, I’ve flown many times in the US and internationally with my knitting. Metal straight or circular. Japan, Indonesia, Australia, many European cities, Maldives. I’ve only ever had two problems. Once going through Japan, my blunt tipped kindergartener scissors were confiscated because they were a 2 inch blade. The second time was coming back from Israel. The female security guard asked “are these knitting needles?” like she’d never seen knitting before! I said yes and that was it.

  26. Congrats on handing the book off – you must feel just awesome about that!
    Now, if you hear of any headway concerning that teleportation thingy … please let us know. 🙂

  27. I carried 3 knitting projects with me when we flew last summer.(Toronto – Regina and back!) It was fun to watch the addi circs go through the x-ray machine. Like you the only response was: So you knit all the time?…My answer: “I own a yarn shop so it’s mandatory? Then he asked for my Business card!

  28. Maybe you could talk Tina into doing the headquarters Year about. Next year it could be from your home in Toronto. Hey maybe it could be held in Toronto so us natoive Kingstonians get a shot at attending. I’m trying to figure out how I can get a signed copy of your new book, since I think you’ve only had a book signing in Kingston once. Also I am travelling and living aboard a boat for the next few years (until I can’t) and it seems there is not much interest in knitting here in Palm Coast but I’d like to see your tour (crawl) schedule, perhaps I could catch a signing in a colder state. Alsi I pop home to K-town about 4 times a year and I knit on flights with no problem at all.

  29. I flew to England about a year after 9/11 and put bamboo needles and yarn in my checked bag as I expected to sleep on the way over. While I was there, though, I wanted to knit, as well as on the flight home. I was selected at every checkpoint to have my belongings dumped on tables and rummaged through, and not one person commented on the knitting. When I got on the plane, however, the flight attendent questioned me and only backed down when I told her that security had checked my bags. I’ve never had any airline person question me since then, although non-knitters are still shocked when they see me knitting (or planning to bring knitting) on the plane.

  30. That regulation against knitting needles at the Capitol was probably made after that one knitter made Obama hold her knitting! lol He doesn’t want it to happen again. 😉

  31. I only had problems flying from Heathrow to Edinburgh. The flight attendant came down the aisle with her supervisor who looked very stern. The attendant apologetically told me I’d have to give her my knitting until the end of the trip. I handed it to her and they walked away. A wonderful woman sitting by the window seat said (in her very Scottish brogue) “So dear, were you going to knit them or purl them?” Everyone in the seats around us broke out laughing.

  32. It’s funny how some people think knitting needles are so dangerous! But then, the whole security thing is kind of “funny”–remember when we weren’t allowed to take nail clippers on planes because they could be used as a weapon, but umbrellas were still allowed? OMG, step away from the nail clippers! (Maybe that was only in the US.)

  33. Last year, on my way out to Calgary for christmas, at check-in the woman at the air canada desk insisted that I couldn’t take my knitting on. Insisted. So I wondered if there had been an alert or something and packed them away. It was early. I didn’t argue, but I wasn’t happy either. When I got to security, they saw the balls of wool in my carry-on and no needles. AND THEY ASKED WHY I DIDN’T HAVE NEEDLES WITH ME. When I told them why a sikh man said “with christmas coming, that’s ridiculous.” All I could think was “this wouldn’t have happened on westjet.” At any rate when christmas morning rolled around hadn’t finised my sister’s sweater and I blamed air canada and she understood.
    I still haven’t finished that sweater, really need to get’er done now.

  34. Flying IS the best time to knit! I’ve even been known to secretly rejoice about flight delays when it means I can finish a project.
    To Jamie above — I flew in and out of Germany no problem a couple of years ago with a project on the needles and little, sharp scissors in my bag. Ditto Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The scissors go everywhere with me (I even steeked a vest on a flight once) and have never been questioned — totally allowed if they’re smaller than 4″.

  35. I have never had trouble flying with needles, but I have had trouble knitting with them. When I first had my Signature Arts needles my knitting slipped out of my hand. Operating on instinct rather than brainpower I quickly reached down to grab the sock in progress. I got the sock but I also got the needle. It had impaled my hand. It took me a couple months to get up my courage to knit with them again.

  36. I’ve always been allowed to KWA (Knit While Airborne), but my mother once had to check her spare knitting needles (I want to say that we were flying to the States from London, but I’m not sure – in any case, she’d bought a bunch of knitting needles), and I once had to talk my way into bringing my cable needle on board with me (tiny two-gate BC aeroport).

  37. I’ve never had a problem getting my needles through security, but I once had a heck of a time on a flight convincing the lady in the seat beside me that it was OK. She actually summoned the stewardess (whoops, flight attendant) over to insist that I’d smuggled dangerous objects onto the plane. She wanted me moved. She also wanted me to be met by the police at O’Hare.
    I knitted serenely away on my sock and the the flight attendant re-assure her… which took a good twenty minutes.

  38. I’ve been told by various English airlines that they don’t allow it, although the only test would be to take it through security, and I’m the sort of person that always looks guilty even at the best of times, so I’d almost certainly get stopped.
    It’s one of many, many reasons why I wish I’d been born in Canada!

  39. I just flew from london to chicago and then to toronto on wednesday. i had about… four sets of metal circs (with projects on) in my carry-on and purse combined, and a set of DPNs with no project cast on yet, also in my purse.
    i had no problems whatsoever. i even got complimented on my knitting on the plane! 🙂

  40. i have flown in/out without problems through:
    *heathrow
    *gatwick
    *stanstead
    *edinburgh
    *JFK
    *newark
    *la guardia
    *o’hare
    *prague
    *dublin
    *yerevan
    *athens
    *madison
    and probably a few other airports too.
    i get weirder looks/comments due to the fact i tend to usually have a blythe doll (& accessories) in my carry-on too!

  41. Happy Christmas, Stephanie and all the other commenters (okay – you lurkers, too)!
    Me too on the knitting stuff on planes in the US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, UK . . . sensing a theme?
    The only time I had needles taken away from me was at security in Florence, Italy and I’m still not convinced she didn’t just want my very cool short bamboo needles and stitch holders (yep, took those, too).
    In Paris that trip we got to CDG for departure with men holding machine guns (who weren’t there when we flew INTO Paris 2 weeks earlier) at the door. That time when the ticket agent asked if we had anything “dangerous” in our carry-ons I replied, “only if you consider knitting needles attached to a sock in progress dangerous” and the agent “suggested” I put them in my checked bag. So I did. Lovely French accent and all, how could I refuse? Plus, I’d been penalized in knitting gear enough that trip. 🙂

  42. I had my knitting taken away from me on a British Airways flight from London to Miami. I got throught security fine and I was even one of those random selections for extra searching and they had no problem with it. But the flight attendant came and told me she would have to take it as soon as I took it out of my bag. She was very pleasant and apologetic and brought it to me as soon as we landed but I hated her anyway. Other than that one time, I have had no problems.

  43. I knitted socks on a flight to Jordan…about a 12 hour flight…and my feet were cold so when I finished I just put the socks on my feet. Awesome!

  44. The only time I was asked to pull my needles was at the ticket counter of British Airways. At least they told you before you checked your luggage, so I wouldn’t lose the needles. But that was a lot of wasted knitting time.

  45. Knitting on planes is a Good Thing. It makes the time go by so quickly you don’t even have time to weird out that you’re in a metal canister shooting through the atmosphere.
    I’ve got my fingers crossed that knitting socks on the way home from a Sock Summit meeting means they’ll work up really fast!

  46. Last time I flew I printed out the TSA guidelines on knitting needles. I wasn’t taking any chances!
    On a holiday note, I think we shouldn’t rush for the I-need-this-to-you-on-this-date-because-someone-said-so and instead knit for the I-was-thinking-of-you-and-knit-this-so-here.-I-hope-you-enjoy-it.

  47. Yup, fly all the time with needles. Once I have had a flight attendant ask me to put my knitting away during take-off, but told me I could pull it right out again once we were up.
    And knitting while flying helps with sanity levels. really, wouldn’t you prefer to have someone calmly knitting through delays rather that loudly sighing and complaining??

  48. I was flying to back to the States from England via Toronto a few weeks ago and they almost tried to take my needles away from me going through the screener in Toronto. I had a bag with a whole bunch of KnitPicks options tips and some teensy sock needles that set off the alarms and required them to get rescreened. I like to think the reason they didn’t make a fuss after double checking them was because of the look I gave them, but I have a feeling it was because they knew I was because I was ready to unleash the knitters on them.
    Afterward they mentioned that you were only allowed to have needles with points up to 4 inches…? I didn’t get it, either.

  49. I have flown in and out of the following places, AFTER 9/11/01 with many types of knitting needles and no one has ever given me a hard time:
    SFO, O’Hare, JFK, Denver, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Dulles, Palm Springs, LAX, Amersterdam, Munich, Vienna, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Montreal, Columbus OH, Minneapolis, Honolulu, Seattle, Salt Lake City.
    I also knit on all of those flights without any problem or questions (other than “what are you making?”).

  50. I had a sock confiscated by four flight attendants (I guess one for each needle) on a Qantas flight about a year ago; but, they gave it back when we landed (on the other side of security). Now, I understand, even Qantas, allows inflight knitting.

  51. I’ve knit on many a plane as well. When I’m nervous about it (trying a new airline, new location, especially cranky TSA agents, whatnot), I just put them at the top of my bag so they are easily retrievable (accessibility is handy later when I want to knit anyway) and sometimes I toss them next to my purse in the bin through the scanner at security. I’ve never had so much as a question.

  52. flying no problem, other than New Zealand (where the sheep outnumber people). Was ok to fly internationally from Auckland, but not domestically. Odd.
    I was refused entry int a courthouse with my needles, I was attending a civil lawsuit and man was it boring without my knitting.

  53. It occured to me earlier this year that they probably have mastered teleportation but think of all the big industries that would squash the technology because it would make them redundant.
    Every year I drive 1300 miles to the family for Christmas (I have to take the dogs with me) and I spend those two days being bitter that I can’t knit or nap the whole time. I tried listening to knit podcasts one year but it was just torture.

  54. I’ve also taken my knitting needles on planes many, many times and never had an issue other than too-curious seatmates who mess up my counting with their questions 🙂
    I have heard from my boyfriend, who is Australian, that Qantas airlines doesn’t allow them, though.

  55. I flew with knitting needles and a fair amount of bulky weight yarn from New York to New Zealand and back last month with no problem whatsoever. Packed the back of the sweater and the extra yarn in a zippered pillow case and used it as a pillow on the flights.

  56. The idea that the world is large and takes a lot of time to traverse is a ploy by the airlines to make us spend multitudes of hours in the air, and relieve us (the flying public) of a lot of money – this is a thought I have had in my less charitable moments (e.g. frustration over a long haul from London to New Zealand – London to Los Angeles umpteen hours, Los Angeles to Auckland 13 hours, and you thought you had it bad from Toronto – Portland and back again).
    Love the blue/gray/pale colourway and the thick gray socks – what are they? brand and category?(sorry Stephanie, you knew it wouldn’t be a usual question from me, did you?)

  57. Stephanie, you’ve made my life so much easier because you use metal sock needles and you are, you know, a star. How many times I’ve been chastised by bamboo extremists or wood devotees or 2 circs or magic loop types — and I can point to you as a vote of confidence in favor of my clumsy, outdated technique. Whew! Fascinating to me how people can get worked up about this issue (which is, on a world scale, pretty [expletive deleted] minor), seeing only their preference as valid and denigrating mine. Some sort of metaphor there, I’m sure. Glad you’ll be home soon.

  58. Be careful about your knitting scissors. I had a small German pair that met TSA guidelines. I flew in the US and Europe with them in my knitting bag. No problem until I tried to leave Montreal in November. Canadian authorities informed me they have different requirements for scissors than US. They would not let me take them on board. So I lost them. The man behind me lost his small scissors too. So don’t assume that your sewing scissors will be allowed on Canadian flights. They might not even if you used them iin US flights.

  59. Somewhere there’s an air flight regulator with an acrylic hatred.
    I’ve flown with needles and alpaca, wool and wool blends and it’s never been an issue. I did get a couple re-screens and a funny look, but no one declared my knitting unsafe for flying.
    The biggest danger to knitters on planes are the weenies!

  60. I sometimes get questions from other passengers (though never from security) about my crochet hook. The most recent guy I sat next to seemed sure there must be something wrong with it, even after I reassuringly poked him in the arm to prove how dull it was.
    I really hate to fly, so I think of yarn as sanity in linear form.

  61. in France, I had a security screener pull me aside because he was suspicious of the needles. He called his supervisor over and she set him straight. Definitely allowed.

  62. I hate flying. Hate it. Kitting is one of the only things that keeps me from totally freaking out. So it’s a good thing no one’s ever tried to take my needles away. I might have to cry. Or poke them.

  63. You make me laugh 🙂 ……Life is just not as complicated as some people make it out to be…. Glad you are headed back home to family…. Merry Christmas

  64. I flew out of Frankfurt once and had some metal 8mm straights confiscated.
    Those Germans 😛

  65. I’ve had no problem with security, but with a flight attendant who had to check the “pointiness” and told me I couldn’t knit during take off or landing. The most important times!

  66. No probs knitting here either, even internationally to Miami and the Cayman Islands. Because I’m still paranoid though, I usually take the tips off my circs and put them in a pencil case (disguise!) and then reattach them once I’m through security.

  67. I knit on planes all the time. I just got back from a trip to NYC (back to Vancouver) and I knit the whole time. I have been asked to “respect” the seat belt sign on a flight (only knit when it’s off, just like using your electronic devices). I’ve also almost been stopped by an over-zealous security guy in a very small airport in northern BC, but he seemed satisfied with my explanation that there was nothing to fear because only happy people knit.
    I often carry a copy of the TSA or CATSA webpage stating that knitting needles are okay if I feel particularly organized or worried, but I’ve had very little trouble so far.
    Happy Holidays everyone!

  68. Singapore Airlines does not allow knitting needles. I take crochet. They tried to take away my crochet hook, as I sat with wooden satay skewers in front of me. I fought back and said they weren’t knitting needles. And I used it in prior flights.
    Now, if they had said “We have to take away the crochet hook, as the last time a customer used it, she dropped it into the business class chair and broke it” then I would have gone meekly.
    So when using your hooks, be careful, as it’s a long flight when you drop your hook into the machine under the chair in the first hour.

  69. I took needles from Boston to Dublin to Rome and then from Rome to Heathrow back to Boston and was never questioned. I think I am not a good flyer so the fact that I could distract myself by knitting saved my sanity and potentially the comfort of those around me. My last trip was from Manchester NH to Los Angeles- also brought my knitting, and out of the entire plane, I was lucky enough to be sitting next to a lovely gal who also pulled out her knitting! We became instant friends and chatted about knitting almost the entire time! Even the flight attendant was shocked that we ended up randomly sitting together. It was amazing and made the long flight go so much faster!:-)

  70. I used to fly every other week for work for two years, and never had an issue bringing my knitting with me.

  71. Flew from San Antonio, US to Logan Airport (Boston, US). Got to teach the San Antonio TSA guys what metal doublepoints were (OMG WHAT ARE THOSE?), but I’m pleased to report the Logan airport folks treated it all as nothing to be excited about.

  72. Until Christmas Day last year, you could not take knitting needles on a plane within (or leaving from) Australia. When I went home in June, I told the security people that when they questioned my needles and they said ‘Oh, okay’ – which amused me greatly.

  73. Love it, Glad to see you are back at it. (Pretty blue stripes. I’m making some in green very nice: Holidazed is the pattern. And a baby alpaca scarf in a pretty, complex cable pattern. All gifts…)

  74. I don’t fly so I don’t have any worries about needles but I am glad for all the knitters that do and have no trouble. Do knitted socks ever get boring ?? I think not as those are great. what yarn are the gray ones. Super! Safe journey.

  75. Rebecca at 5:32, Me too! I was really kind of disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to flash my printed out TSA regs with knitting needle inclusion highlighted.
    Smart people; they really don’t want me sighing and snarling and giving them the evil eye through the whole trip instead of peacefully knitting. And regarding delays as a bonus!

  76. Last summer, while going through security at Pearson airport on my way to Vancouver, I had no problems, but then I had only my cheap plastic dpns to show. However, the woman who was right behind me had a bag loaded with all sorts of craft stuff, including little scissors, and I know they confiscated the scissors for sure, and some of her other stuff as well. So you never know. I think sometimes it depends on whether the security person has had their morning coffee yet or not. I intend to stick with my Value Village dpns on future flights.

  77. In my last job, the company I worked for was in partnership with a Canadian company on a computer-based product, and I flew from Los Angeles area to Toronto many, many times. (Tragically, I was not a knitter, then.) I can confidently lay the blame for the lack of interest in teleportation for that flight squarely on the shoulders of the Torontonians (Torontoites? Torontoners?) Canadians.
    We poor Californians, travelling the wrong direction for our bodily clocks, arrived haggard, cranky, always underdressed for your weather, and spent the time there unable to sleep no matter how tired we were.
    In contrast, the Toronto crew bounded up the gangway at LAX, full of energy, shedding layers of clothing, claiming their golf bags and tennis rackets at baggage claim. They played their mornings away, arriving at the office after lunch, and went sadly home with healthy tans. What’s to complain about from their point of view? Teleport and miss the week at the hotel with tennis courts, pools, spas, and sunshine? Not hardly.

  78. Too funny! “in the presence of wool…” What is the yarn in the second pair of socks that you are knitting? Very pretty. 🙂

  79. I’ve flown tons of flights and no one has ever cared. The only time I’ve been forced to take them out and throw them away was Oaxaca, Mexico. They only made me toss the ones in the project — not the Options tips in my needle case. Sigh.
    Otherwise, no one cares. Knitters are loved.

  80. Um, stephanie, were you not gonna share that story of the time the creep next to you got the flight attendant to stop you from knitting cause it made him uncomfortable…..????
    rock on! (and yes, i knit NYC to Atlanta and back this month, if anyone is keeping statistics)

  81. I nearly lost a number of needles to security in New Zealand flying home from my honeymoon. Fortunately, since I looked like I was about to cry, the nice man who wouldn’t let them on the plane did at least let me go buy an envelope and a few stamps and mailed them back to me. I think all but one made it.
    That’s only one incident among and awful lot of flights, though, North American and international.

  82. Australian airlines are now supposed to allow knitting needles as we “the Knitters” petitioned to have it be allowed. Having said that it is up to the security agents to decide whether you can have them or not.
    I had my plastic 4″ crochet hook with me on the flight and was asked to put it away because it was “scaring” the other passengers. The man next to me laughed and asked which passengers it was scaring. There was no answer to that. Meanwhile a couple of ladies nearby were unpinning- yes unpinning (at least 5″ pins) their head gear. Those pins were huge! The stewardess didn’t ask them to put them away and say that they were scaring the passengers (me) as I pointed out the discrepancy. I was politely told that uncooperative passengers (WHAT THE….?) would be put off the plane.
    I signed the petition twice!!!!!

  83. I’ve flown domestically all over New Zealand and from here back and forth to Australia, the States and the Far East quite a bit over the last few years on Air NZ, Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai, Cathay and various others and I’ve never had a problem. On one flight the steward came over to ask about my knitting and I was concerned that they thought the needles might be dangerous. I offered them up for confiscation (2mm bamboo sock needles) and he laughed and said we were in more danger from the toothpicks on the trays.
    I generally keep my knitting in the bag until after take off and put it away during turbulence. But that’s because I’m a nervous flier and can hear my mother’s voice in my head squeaking “You’ll have someone’s eye out with that!”

  84. Last year I flew from Pittsburgh to Portland, via Atlanta. When I went through security in Pittsburgh they didn’t even blink at the knitting needles and excessive sock yarn, but they did make me remove a heavy silver bracelet and put it through the xray viewer, which I thought was amusing and odd. The bracelet is a reproduction of a Viking era piece. If I were going to pillage I would have much more luck with the knitting needles than I would with a bracelet made of very soft silver.

  85. I had PLASTIC knitting needles taken away from me in the airport in Istanbul. I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

  86. I flew with my daughter to China this summer to adopt and took my knitting with no problems in the US or in China or Japan. However, the USCIS offices (Washington, DC and Durham, NC) where we went for fingerprints, take away everything. After going through security about 4 times we finally went back to the car and left everything but our wallets and keys. They even objected to 3 cookies I had forgotten I had in a ziplock bag in my purse. Then we had to go in and sit for hours with nothing to do!

  87. I, too, have flown all over the US with knitting. However, I had my needles confiscated at the airport in Rome, while the guys with the Uzzis looked down from the upper deck. The woman kept saying, “In Rome, it is different.” when I argued and argued with her about flying into Italy with the damn needles, why couldn’t I fly out??? My husband was mortified. I also had to give up my needles in Peru. They kept them in a locked spot for me so I could claim them on my return trip. I kid you not. Crazy.

  88. I’ve knitted on dozens of flights within Canada and to the US, and once en route to Europe. I usually use bamboo needles, so if people ask obnoxious questions I ask them if they have any pencils/pens in their bag, and how my 2 or 3mm needles are more of a threat than their much-larger pencil. That usually shuts them up.
    As for cutting yarn, I’ve seen the varying rules about scissors, so I switched to using an old nail clipper to cut yarn. I only had a question once, and that was as to why I had 2 nail clippers – I think my reply referenced the gross-ness of using the same clippers on toenails and knitted gifts for a baby!

  89. I no longer fly due to my refusal to allow someone to feel me up without buying me dinner first. So flying with knitting needles is not an issue for me. When I need to travel, I take trains. I love it! Talk about primo knitting time! Last time I traveled, I took the train from Chicago to San Jose and had 3 lovely uninterrupted days of knitting. It was awesome.

  90. I had no problem taking my knitting on a flight from Boston to Dublin. However, on the way back from Shannon Airport to the US, knitting needles were on the list of prohibited items, along with handguns, knives, razor blades, saws, and hammers. It was a long flight back.

  91. I too knit on planes although usually not with metal needles but that is because I knit socks & prefer casein or bamboo. I have however also use the Kollage Square DPN’s & 40″ circs which are quite wicked looking what with their very sharp points & the super flexible cables. Maybe it is the magic Tom Bihn bag – which I also use. I love that very squishy looking tweedy gray yarn – what is it?

  92. Wow, are you allowed knitting needles on a plane? … ; )
    JK! I use the nail clipper method to cut yarn too. Also works a charm for cross stitch.

  93. I have only had trouble with knitting needles and planes once. Going to New Zealand– not a problem. Coming back, however– had to check the needles. Security made me go back, get my checked luggage, and put my little US#1 wooden toothpick-like sock needles (with sock in progress attached) in that bag (but my ball point pen was evidently safer and I could keep that). (And every New Zealand/Australian knitter I have complained to about this has basically said, “duh– can’t take them on planes, you silly American.”
    And, dudes, that is a LONG flight without any knitting. I’m just sayin’.

  94. It’s interesting because I’ve been getting more questions lately from fellow passengers about how I got my needles past security. I’ve been flying weekly for several years and have never once had problems with knitting needles and TSA, only with baffled passengers.

  95. No problems with knitting needles. Now, my husband has gotten stopped for trying to board with a package of guitar strings…..go figure!

  96. for anyone wondering about Australia (noticed a comment above saying something about Aus) knitting needles are allowed on planes as of Christmas last year – so anyone who says they’re not has old information. I fly regularly domestically and have flown domestically in NZ as well without an issue. Have also knitted between the two countries on a plane no worries.
    In other words, if you are catching a plane anywhere in Aus, needles should be fine – stick to circulars and wooden needles if you’re really stressed – and I can’t definitively say about NZ, but it seems to be ok.

  97. careful what you wish for….flights can get delayed you know…= more socks knit in the end.

  98. The only problem I’ve ever really had with my knitting and flying was the death stares coming from the passive – aggressive older lady who sat two seats up. Apparently she was rather upset that I had had the gall to bring my knitting on board when she thought that she wasn’t allowed. Oh well.

  99. It is as if you were reading my mind. I have made 4 flights recently and I did not bring my kniting in my carry on bag. I just thought it wasn’t allowed. Now that I know better, I don’t have anymore flights in the near future.

  100. Unless this has changed since 2009 you CANNOT take knitting on board a United Flight from Heathrow and Air Canada made me put them in my checked bag too.

  101. This is a perfect example of why your book will be wonderful! May you always get away with whatever fiber suits your fancy!

  102. “in the presence of wool” – LOL!
    The only problem I’ve ever had was exceedingly minor. My stitch holder (one those giant, coil-less safety pins) looked unusual on the X-ray, so they did a screening by hand. I didn’t have to get rid of it, or anything else in my notions kit, but as the guy was reaching in to pull it out, he pulled out a sock-in-progress and I know I cringed as I watched the live stitches fall off the needles. He wasn’t doing it on purpose, just was someone who’d never touched knitting-in-progress so didn’t know to be careful. I nearly reached out to save it, but realized that would probably get me arrested. 😉
    I hope that all of your flights go well!!!

  103. Sadly not allowed in Australia, though it turns out that wooden needles carried in the corners of something rectangular tend to not set off any alarms and the flight attendants don’t actually care.

  104. I too fly frequently and have NEVER had a knitting needle issue, nor has anyone EVER asked what I was knitting…I feel betrayed and somehow unnoticed. I did once have a tiny eyeglass screwdriver confiscated at Charles de Gaulle Airport which I obviously could have used to do some serious torture on someone’s cuticules.

  105. Sorry, but this is a pet peeve of mine. I just wanted to point out that flying from BC to Toronto really isn’t flying from one side of the continent to the other. I live in Nova Scotia and we are 1700 kms east of Toronto on the Atlantic Ocean, which actually is the other side of the continent.

  106. I live in Kuwait and have travelled for many years here, there, and everywhere with my socks. I knit openly – even during take offs and landings. One time the captain came to see me knit – his grandmother in Syria used to knit and he remembered that fondly. By the time I got to Kuwait my pair of socks was done and the captain was delighted with the gift. Tears of joy and many lovely comparisons between me and the grandmother he missed so much. Knitting socks keeps me sane – keeps my mind off the fears of flying – keeps feet warm – and bring joy to many corners of the world. Stephanie – thank you so much for all you do to help keep knitting ‘normal’ and accepted. Happy holidays to you and your family from a devoted fan currently living and teaching in Kuwait.

  107. I couldn’t leave Mexico with a crochet hook last March. I had to check it and it went alone in a little box as my only checked luggage. I’m sure they wouldn’t like knitting needles each since there is only one expression for both them and crochet hooks (agujas para tejer). The supervisor showed me the rules. It honestly made me not want to return to Mexico.

  108. I knit on planes and the only comments I’ve ever had were from other passengers. I’ve had small sewing kit scissors confiscated (the kind that they sell in airports, on the other side of security) so now I carry dental floss in my knitting bag and use the “sharp edge thing” for cutting yarn.

  109. Love that Tofutsies colorway. I made a similar pair and they have been my favorite socks, year round, for years now.

  110. How many more things are legal in Canada when done “in the presence of wool”? This could be really important! I’ll just make it a habit to carry wool at all times. This, I think, won’t be that hard to pull off.
    And I’m still ridiculously behind in my knitting, so I’m calling shenanigans that you got airline knitting time and I got the flu. I’d call you a jerk, but you’re way too nice. So I’ll stamp my foot (in bed) and flounce (by rolling over).

  111. I just flew to and from Germany with my entire dpn and circular needle collections. I also knit on the planes. No problem. Flew through DC both ways.
    Lufthansa has a sentence on their website that specifically states that knitting needles are fine. United says that items such as knitting needles are fine, but are at the discretion of security.
    A security gentleman in Frankfurt did unpack my knitting carry-on and set the needles aside (saying “…für stricken…”) while he was checking for hiddens in the yarn.

  112. Thanks for the clarification. I’ve never had a problem either, but I don’t tell the agents to be careful, I figure they should be smart enough to look first and not be so grabby. Anyway, what’s a few knitting needles, when they said last night on the news that 70% of all illegal stuff, like handguns get through security all the time.

  113. On a flight from Tampico, Mexico to Houston, TX in May of 2007, I was asked to put my knitting needles in my checked baggage as they were not permitted on the flight in my hand luggage.
    It is the only time I’ve ever had a problem with knitting on an airplane.

  114. I’ve never had problems the few times I’ve knitted on flights domestically. When I flew to Kiev I didn’t try. I might this time; just run something through security both ways and see if it makes it… sort of a test case. 🙂
    The only reaction I got to knitting needles on a flight was a middle-aged Indian gentleman who had a mother who used to knit. He then proceeded to talk to me for two hours straight (the entire flight)–the horribly awkward part was that he had such a heavy accent I had a very hard time understanding him… even when I tried looking very absorbed in a book he wouldn’t take the hint…
    I avoid eye contact now on nearly all flights. Saves questions about my knitting and avoids the above situation.

  115. Thank you! I’m so sick of knitters asking if it’s ok to bring knitting needles on a plane that I could hurl!!!!! Yes! It’s fine! Shut up and knit!

  116. Heehee, Dude, I travel with research electronics. In my carry on. No, it’s not a bomb. Yep, people ask me too.

  117. A few years ago on a return trip home I got stopped by security and questioned for ages very rudely about my interchangable knitting needles that were all in a case with no scissors or anything else sharp. I finally told the guy that they were a gift from my husband and if they didn’t get on the plane neither would I. He finally let me take them with me. I would have been fine putting them in my other luggage had they asked. It was just how darn snotty the guy was about it that really got to me.
    I’ve had a few people on the planes question my knitting, but only one guy in a business suit was really rude about it. He even called the flight attendant and complained to her. She moved him away from me, then came back and apologized and brought me a drink and a snack for my trouble. hehe

  118. mary @ 4:54 I take my needles to Washington Nationals games all the time. I’ve been doing it every year since they’ve been a team and they even had a stitch ‘n’ pitch event this summer. Maybe you just had a weird security guard?
    I’ve also flown all over the US and Canada and to and from CDG Paris with no issues or even questions. The underwire in a particular bra of mine, however, seems to be some sort of deadly weapon that sets off magnetometers 50% of the time.

  119. Recently flew from London to Boston, asked at check in if I could knit and was told very firmly no. I have never been allowed to knit on any airline, coming home from Prague a few years ago my husband was allowed to carry on an umbrella that had a 6 inch spike but I was not allowed a circular needle and some kidsilk haze!

  120. Had to go through 4 TSA agents in Orlando once, but have always been able to board with my sock needles. Always circular, usually metal. And, fortunately, no one has ever complained about me knitting on the plane.

  121. It is ok to knit on planes, all over the world. Even with Stiletto Signature Needles. I love those needles, and wouldnt knit a sock without them. Nobody in an airport has ever uttered a peep (other than my co-passengers, who usually offer compliments).
    The flight attendants may have an issue with take-off and landing, but I think that today, that is all that remains of the issue. Thank goodness.

  122. I love the gray white and black self-striping yarn in the top picture. It is making perfect stripes for those socks. What a great deal!!!

  123. The other day, I flew from very snowy Iowa to San Francisco knitting an Encompass scarf! I have flown and knitted through all the 911 security-hype crap (knowing I could probably do as much damage with a ballpoint pen and not ruin or soil my needles), and like you, have only ever been asked what I am making — by multiple flight attendants! Going back tomorrow, socks already on the needles.

  124. I also knit on planes. I’ve never had a problem with TSA in the US and, thankfully, I’ve never had a problem with other passengers either.
    When I flew out of Dublin once the lady at the ticket counter said she didn’t think the Dublin security agency would let me pass with my needles. Rather than take that risk I shoved my knitting into my checked luggage before boarding a 12 ( TWELVE ) hour flight. TWELVE HOURS, PEOPLE. And it’s not just any 12 hours, is it. No, it’s 12 hours where I can’t work, I can’t do laundry or really any type of housework, I can’t go shopping, I can’t drive anybody anywhere and, God knows, I won’t be cleaning the pool.
    12 hours where nothing can interfere with knitting and yet … NO KNITTING.
    If that’s not cruel and unusual punishment, I don’t know what is.

  125. For Lisa at 7:55: Istanbul is the only place where I have had knitting taken away, too. Everyplace else so far has been fine (I just had a nice long knit on a flight from Hong Kong to Chicago.) Quite a few flight attendants have told me they knit–makes sense, it’s a good, portable habit and they must have a lot of sitting around time when they’re off duty but in transit.
    For some years I flew Washington-NYC and back every Thursday. I always took the last shuttle back from La Guardia and always got the same security screeners. Every week, they would say to me, “What’re you making this week?” or “Oh, I like that color” or “Where’s the red sweater–did you finish it already?”

  126. I hope you managed to get a fair bit of knitting done. It’s great that you’ve never had a problem, knitting needles are on the official “you must not take this through airport security” list in the UK so whilst I know of plenty of people who have done it (yourself included) I wouldn’t want to risk it…a shame as I’m sure being able to knit would ease my hatred of flying somewhat. Fortunately I don’t fly very often so it’s not a huge problem!

  127. Interesting! I live in London and I flew to Berlin about a year ago. I was really worried about getting my knitting confiscated (I’d only been knitting for about a year, and my sole project was a neverending scarf – which, incidentally, I have since frogged) so I emailed British Airways to check. They came back and told me that knitting needles weren’t allowed. I was gutted. Now, I’m feeling tempted to just take them with me anyway next time I fly!

  128. Are you aware that Air Canada now has a direct flight between Portland and Toronto? I LOVE it, no more dealing with customs during your stopover and you arrive fit to do something other than snore and drool!

  129. Since January 2010, Australia has permitted knitting on domestic flights. We were not 100% sure if it was going to be okay on an international flight that my parents recently took – via Japan – but it was indeed permitted, both outgoing and returning to Australia flights, no problems. She ran a lifeline (lace knitting – with *beads*, that was the insane bit!) and was using bamboo circs that wouldn’t have killed her to lose, but it was all no worries at all.

  130. Yep, I’ve knit when I’ve flown too, though I haven’t done anywhere near the flying that you have. I’ve also taken my drop spindle and spindled on the plane and at the terminal. I didn’t have a problem getting through security or with any of the the flight attendants. As a matter of fact, several of the flight attendant were knitters too, so we had a great time talking about our latest knitting projects. Passengers were a slightly different story. I sat next to one smartly dressed gentleman who made a comment about my pointy knitting needles being let aboard the plane. I asked him if he had a Cross pen or something similar, and if so could he show it to me. He said “Of course I have a pen.” and took out of his jacket pocket a very slim and very, very, pointy metal pen. Well, his pen was much more pointy, slender, and dangerous looking than my wooden knitting needles so I told him that I couldn’t believe that he was able to get on the plane with that!!! He said he had never thought about it that way and was much nicer after that. The only place I’ve ever had a problem with taking my knitting along was when my husband and I went to an outdoor Bob Dylan concert. The security people searched all the bags and were very suspicious of my knitting until I started to explain it. Then they realized that they would have to talk to me about knitting and let me through LOL! Good luck on your sock mission. I finally finished the big present I was making and now I can give a work in progress for the other person! Hurray!!!

  131. Never had a problem with security but did have a flight attendant walk by, then stop and say “Those are dangerous weapons” which caused everyone around me to look. My seatmate laughed and said “Obviously not a knitter!”.

  132. Skimming through the comments, I find it ironic that three major wool producing/processing countries–England, Australia, and New Zealand–have the toughest restrictions. You’d think their airlines would be giving needles away as premiums!

  133. i knit on planes, openly. last time through security the x-ray guy didn’t know what he was looking at, and so the baggage guy opened my knitting bag up and said, “oh, she’s just knitting socks… lots of socks!”
    when i looked at him in surprise (for i was indeed knitting socks, but they were in the early stages and only another knitter would recognize them as such), he coughed and said, “my WIFE… she knits.”

  134. I knit on planes too and I always tell people to take their knitting. I’m surprised at how many people are shy about it. Heck, last I checked you could take a pair of scissors with up to 4inch blades on board. Heck, my knitting gets into my bag before what others would consider real travel essentials.

  135. LOVE those Signature Needles for socks…I have also flown with them. I have the stilleto tips and was worried about their pointi-ness. But I used one of those handy dandy little $2.25 contraptions with plastic/rubber caps held together by an elastic to hold the needles so that the stitches don’t slip off…so the stiletto tips were not noticeable. But I probably wouldn’t have been questioned. However, on our way back from Disneyworld/Universal (aka new Harry Potter theme park) in October, my bag got pulled and re-scanned, with three official-like TSA folks scrutinizing the image. Then they looked up and said, “Ma’am, do you have a wand in your bag?” Me: “Why, yes, yes, I do have a wand in my bag.”

  136. I flew from germany to austria this year and i checked the guidelines, they said knitting needles weren’t allowed on european flights. I was too afraid of loosing them to just try it…
    best wishes for the success of your book! It will be great can’t imagine anything else.

  137. As a few others have said, knitting needles and crochet hooks have been allowed on Australian flights since 25 December 2009.
    I flew Sydney to Rome, via KL in May and took my crochet hooks with me. I also took a printed copy of the new rule stating it’s ok, but I had no problems with security.
    Nice socks and congrats on finishing the book! 🙂

  138. The only time I had a problem with knitting and flying was a month after the 911 attacks. My husband and I were going to Hong Kong and China, and I had some suspicians about what was allowed on the planes at that point. So I called the airlines and asked about knitting. There was a pregnant pause on the other end of the line, and then this incredulous voice said, “You really want to take sharp pointy things on a plane? Right now? REally? bwa-ha-ha-ha” and away she went, laughing like a banshee. So I called the Minneapolis airport, just to check–and because the combination of flights to Hong Kong was going to take us 22 hours! Again, a pause. “Pointy things? Really?” More chuckling, incredulous again. There must have been a memo labelled “pointy things”… I packed them in the luggage with a sigh. We got to board, and people could not take carry-ons, had to give away their canes for the duration, and I think the only things I saw carried on were newpapers, magazines, and books. I have to say, it was the easiest boarding I have ever been part of (no one hit me in the head with oversized “carry-ons” and there were no laptops the size of Baltimore, either). Now, of course, I take them on every time. Most people say, “That looks really hard” and when I tell them it is just making a lot of knots with sticks, they look dubious and shake their heads and tell me some story about a friend of a friend who tried to knit, and gave up in despair.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, Stephanie. Thanks for brightening my days. My husband usually figures that I am reading you when I sit with the laptop and snort. No one else makes me laugh out loud when I am all alone with the computer! (OK, except for funny students and their lack of care with spell check who hand in papers talking about Old Testament profits for a Bible as Literature course I teach. I am a dork. Gets me every time.)

  139. The only time I had my knitting questioned, I had packed in such a state of sleep deprivation that I had no idea, until TSA in Detroit unpacked my carry-on for further inspection, that I had brought SIX projects on the needles. But all they wanted was to riffle through the 200 page hardcover knitting book that I had packed because I was apparently incapable of scanning two pages of sock pattern.
    Italy officially bans knitting needles on all flights, but my experiences in Rome (2 to 3 times a year for the past several years) lead me to believe that it’s just one of those Italian regulations that are made to be ignored. Like it’s forbidden to import lace and bonnets, apparently because it competes with the Italian hand lacemaking industry of previous centuries. Next time I should try knitting a lace bonnet and see how that goes.
    Merry Christmas to all!

  140. Hmm, the last flight I was on I had knitting and they gave me beer because the tv thing was broken. A win/win situation.
    Good to see that you are heading home Stephanie..there is more snow coming and you don’t want to be stuck in transit. Nice knitting btw, you’re already farther ahead than years past.
    My knitting is done here..don’t hate me, toss me a pair of socks to finish..LOL

  141. Never had a problem knitting on a plane. On some flights the attendants made me put it away during take off and landing. Had the pleasure of meeting the twisted sisters on their way back from rienbeck one year. Most of the time I’m the only one knitting, and no one says anything to me about it.
    Stephanie, can’t wait for the new book!

  142. I’m almost done with Christmas socks, mainly because I only committed to two pairs. Everyone else is out of luck.

  143. The TSA may allow it, but certain flight attendants get twitchy about regulations sometimes, and tell me to put them away during takeoff and landing. Because they’re pointy. And I might hurt myself on them … somehow … if landing is rough.
    I usually promptly take out a pencil and start writing something. The irony is they have no problem with that.

  144. You can fly into Mexico with knitting needles but man they don’t like it when you try to fly out – they get rather nasty!!

  145. I can’t believe we still have to have these conversations with people who seem convinced you can’t knit on planes. And no matter what evidence (either anecdotal or documentary) you present them with, they still won’t believe you, because they’ve found something unofficial and out of date somewhere that says you can’t.
    I was stopped from knitting on takeoff once, but that’s the only time I’ve ever had an issue and fair enough, I suppose – the airline was a bit OTT about safety and even took people’s blankets away for takeoff.

  146. I love that Lily Chin wore the circulars as a necklace! Just goes to show that knitters are an inventive bunch!
    I’ve never had a problem with bringing my needles, but little tiny clippers they will take in a heartbeat.

  147. I knit on planes all the time, in the US, to and from Germany and to and from Peru with no problem in the last several years. TSA is never a problem, I do get the crazy passengers like others who have commented. My usual response is “The pen or pencil you have in your bag to do crossword puzzles with is just as threatening, should I ask the attendant to take it from you” That logic usually shuts them up and I knit happily on in peace.

  148. Everyone should bear in mind that every country has their own regulations and – within those regulations – every airline is allowed stricter ones. So even if you say ‘well, the government says I can’ they’re within their rights to say ‘that’s nice and all, but we’re saying you can’t’.

  149. The TSA agent probably wouldn’t know silk if it came up and bit him/her in the rear-end, and assumed you were carrying wool. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

  150. Flew into Dublin in May, with knitting. Tried to fly OUT of Dublin 2 weeks later, had my Knitpicks needles confiscated. Even after the agent checked a list and with her supervisor. Maybe they were knitters and loved my needles????

  151. I knit on planes all the time. I got a tip from the security guy. Keep your knitting in a clear plastic bag and pull it out and put it in the plastic bin at security, just like you do your liquid and gel bag. Then they don’t have to wonder what it is when your carry-on goes through the X-ray. Sure speeds up security when they don’t have to pull everything out of your bag.

  152. I think TSA has a special bulletin detailing how a knitter with no needles will self destruct and harm others if contained in a small space with nothing but the airline crossword and some stale pretzels.

  153. I fly in the US nearly every week for business and knit all the time. Only once has anyone had a problem with it; a fellow traveler who said something about my needles potentially being used as a weapon. I helpfully pointed out that I could more easily stab him to death with a pencil as with a size 1 sock needle and he kept quiet the rest of the trip.

  154. I just flew from Philadelphia, PA, USA, to Dubai, UAE, and had zero, count ’em, zero, problems getting through security with 2 sets of metal needles and one set of wood. They were cranky about the water bottle until they realized the darn thing was empty, but that was in France, not the US. I had a printout from TSA’s webpage just in case, but I didn’t need it.
    Honestly, I would have been more dangerous if I hadn’t had my knitting, given how long the flight was!

  155. I have not had any problems on domestic or international flights either. And I fly about 2 times a month, which is a lot of potential wasted time. I have however had my needles confiscated during the voir dire phase of a jury trial (ie: sitting around for three days) which is way, way much worse than a six hour layover in Houston. I did point out that my wooden #8 dpn’s were pretty much the same as a pen on the danger spectrum and that there were plenty of those around, but it didn’t get me anywhere.
    I was dismissed anyhow, not because of my textile inclinations, but because I worked at the D.A.’s office and couldn’t sit on a criminal trail AT ALL, a fact I alerted the bailiff to on day one. That guy owes me at least two sleeves and a sock.

  156. Love your blog, always, and also today. Back in the days after 9/11 when knitting needles were verboten, I couldn’t tolerate a flight without knitting. (Especially since they’ve done weird things on the tv screens and show old Carol Burnett episodes which I didn’t even enjoy the first time I saw them when I was young and less jaded!) I sharpened 2 HB pencils and took some string (also known as cotton) and knit a toque enroute. The stewardesses were impressed and one asked for the pattern which I later mailed to her. But now I take my metal needles.
    Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!
    Marlyce

  157. The only thing I tell people when they question my knitting on a plane is: “You wouldn’t want to see me without my knitting.”
    And I have never been questioned about my knitting by TSA. The Capitol police allowed me to take my knitting into the capitol, but when we went to the House Gallery, I had to leave it, and everything else in their security room. You can’t take ANYTHING into the Capitol galleries.

  158. I also knit on planes – all the time. No issues. I took my signature dps with me last week and there were no issues at all. The only place I can’t take my knitting is jury duty, which is really frustrating. Keep it up! And good luck on the Christmas knitting.

  159. Only problem I ever had on a plane is when I dropped a metal straight during ascending, ie the plane was tilted, and the darn thing immediately rolled far back to some unsuspecting foot way behind me. Never saw it again.

  160. Only once have I had an issue. It was 3 years ago, I was leaving the international airport in Florence. My addi turbos were ripped, with relish and flourish from the lace they were knitting during screening. He also smugly removed the crochet hook sticking out of the ball, and held it up to me to show how I had wronged. Both hook and needles were confiscated. I don’t think I did anything to provoke the situation – I think he was a a yarn hater.
    I have only traveled with bamboo circulars under 32″since though and always put in a lifeline.

  161. Just flew yesterday from Indianapolis to Long Beach. Finished a Pretty thing on the way. And I just finished the cast off of it and worked the ends in on it and the other last Christmas gift! I AM DONE!! (sorry but I’m happy!! LOL)

  162. While you and I know that metal knitting needles are allowed on planes (along with plastic and wooden ones), the girl working at the Mazatlán airport last weekend does not . . . she took away a set of size 7 metal dpns and size 5 circular needle from me (ones that belonged to my grandmother and although I inherited all of my grandmother’s knitting needles and have at this point lost some on my own even, it still made me tear up). She nearly wanted to take away my wooden size 1 needles and even my rectangular needle gauge, but the main guy told her that she shouldn’t. Thank goodness that I decided I wouldn’t have time to work on the fair isle gloves I was making for my mom for Christmas because I had my grandma’s size 1 addi circular in that project–it would have been a real pain to try to keep those stitches from getting messed up. I was not pleased–not pleased at all–surprisingly this girl did not take away my drawing pencils or my pen (they would have been able to do the same or more amount of damage as my blunt size 7 dpns).

  163. I had my knitting tools confiscated (the needles I was using plus ALL of my stitch holders, crochet hooks, etc.) when on an internal flight in Turkey, from one Turkish city to another. Otherwise never had a problem. Wish I spoke Turkish so I could have argued with them! They were not nice…

  164. The new guy in Schipol (Amsterdam) asked his supervisor about my needles, delaying the line. His supervisor got really snippy with him and waved me through. That was the ONLY time it has ever even blipped on the radar while I flew.
    I *do* check the TSA/CATSA websites prior to flying, just in case.

  165. I, too, always, always knit on planes. And I flew over 50,000 miles in 2010. To me, plane time is time-out-of-time, unaccountable to anyone but myself, and I use it to knit, read and do crossword puzzles. And drink a bit, especially if I am lucky enough to be upgraded!
    I do a lot of lace knitting, because you get a lot of knitting for a small ball of yarn, and I have never been questioned or hassled. Even sitting in an exit row, knitting during take-off and landing ( have to turn off my Kindle!). I find that flight attendants are often knitters, and alway interested in my knitting.
    Looking forward to the new book!

  166. I also know that knitting needles are allowed on flights through Greece, Turkey, and Germany. I triple checked before leaving the states and brought a print out the list of allowed items just in case but no one even blinked at them.

  167. I get that all the time. I had to assure my sister in law that she could while away the 5-hour flight from California to Hawaii knitting, and no one would bother her. She was delighted. Women in my knitting circle have been advised by flight attendants that their knitting needles will be the first line of defense in case of terrorists on the plane. I try and imagine the lovely women in my knitting circle trying to disarm a gunman with dpns.

  168. Here in Australia they changed the rules at the start of the year – you are now allowed knitting needles on planes again (yay!).
    Good thing too, as I am a “white-knuckle flyer” & need my knitting to keep me sane. I believe I am a much safer passenger with my knitting than without it.
    (giggle) My daughter says she has visions of me flying to attack anyone who tries to take it off me!

  169. I knit on planes too, going back and forth to college. XD They really don’t care. When I was passing through the french airport was the only security person who ever didn’t like them and the look I gave him when he said they weren’t allowed must have enacted pity him. Plus, how would you kill someone with wooden needles? o.O

  170. here in indianapolis, knitting needles are not allowed through security at the city-county building. god help them all if i ever get jury duty!!!!

  171. Glad you were able to knit – I knit going into Calgary from the US but coming home from Calgary they wouldn’t let me take the needles on the plane in my carryon – no sock knitting for me coming home – how boring!

  172. i knit on a plane, today, in fact. no one said anything when going through security. they even let scissors through (so long as the blade is less than 4 inches, they can even be really pointy). but don’t try to take hair gel…

  173. I’m relieved to hear that knitting
    needles are generally allowed. I work in a yarn shop, and many of my customers have asked that very question. I had heard that bamboo needles were acceptable, but not aluminum, and that each airline had their own protocol. At any rate, I would personally need to rethink my mode of travel if knitting was prohibited!

  174. Love the patterns the yarn colors make in those blue socks, I hope the name of the yarn is somewhere public.

  175. Wool has many magical qualities. The ability to make knitting needles acceptable in carry-on was not one of those qualities I’d been aware of previously. Thanks for the tip. I’ll add it to my list.
    I knit on planes all the time, too.

  176. To add to the multiple of multiple comments on flying and knitting: Only place I’ve ever had problems, and I fly every week, is Paris. They didn’t like them, made me go back and check my bag. Everyone else wants tme to finish what I’m doing and pass it along to them. So I didn’t go through Paris again! That’ll teach them! They don’t get to see my pretty knitting! LOL Seriously, not an issue.

  177. Only problem I’ve ever had knitting on a plane was when my ball of yarn got away from me… I don’t think the person behind me was expecting to be asked, “Excuse me, is there a ball of yarn under your seat?” LOL.

  178. Hot tip: Instead of trying to smuggle scissors, I use the tiny cutter on a package of dental floss to cut my yarn on the plane. Works like magic and no one has ever hassled me.

  179. Yep, my wife and I are getting up at 3:30 in the morning to do the U.S. equivalent. Thanks for the reassurance that there “probably” won’t be any major hang ups before my first cup of coffee.

  180. I’ve never had a problem flying with knitting needles. They don’t even blink at security when I go through. However, I took a aluminum water bottle (empty) through and they had to handcheck my purse because of it. From now on, I’ll remove that from my bag and put it in the bin so it’s not so suspicious!

  181. I check the regulations when I fly, because it is infrequent. But I go to the official website for the US for that. It’s hasn’t been an issue for me either, so I certainly am not going to exhibit surprise that you got to knit on a plane!

  182. Things I’ve learned from flying and knitting:
    a) Most times its not a problem, but look it up first.
    b)USA and Canada have never been an issue or an eyebrow raised
    c) In other countries, where I know its ok, I either travel with the rules saying so printed out, or ask the Security person to check with a supervisor (nicely). there are a lot of rules and sometimes they forget one. This worked in the UK when they first allowed knitting needles after banning them for a period.
    d) Coming back from Mexico is the only time I’ve had things confiscated. I had a 400+ stitch mobius 3/4 of the way done on the tiny metal circulars and they wouldn’t let me fly with the needles and either I had to leave the whole thing there or rip the needles off the mobius. I was in tears. Fortunately, a supervisor came by and suggested cutting the needles off the cable and tying the cables so I wouldn’t lose any stitches. This worked well given what could have happened.
    e) some places don’t allow importing certain yarns. NZ doesn’t let wool in since it competes with one of their main sources of income. They will confiscate all wool yarn (if its knit into something its ok). So check and only fly with non-wool yarns like silk (such a hardship!!).

  183. I live in Norway, where they teach all children to knit in school. Knitting on planes here is common, and I haven’t had any problems flying to and from the UK with knitting needles, either. My daughter has flown with her knitting from San Francisco through Amsterdam to here and back with no problem. I just add this since no one else has posted about Scandinavia so far.
    I snort and giggle at the computer when reading your blog, too, Stephanie!

  184. I had more problems with my face serum than knitting. It had a tiny spring in the top and they must have run that bag back and forth four or five times. They pulled out the bottle and I wondered if they were going to disassemble my way too expensive container.
    I did have a lovely pair of Ginger pocket scissors taken from me in Tokyo. The rule there was 4cm at the time and the US was 2 inches. Yet another reason we all need to go metric. The blade measured 4.5cm. I begged the screener to take them home with her as they are quite expensive, but I’m sure they went to a landfill. It still makes me sad as I worked really hard to follow all the rules and not lose my mind on a trip from Florida to Taiwan.

  185. one more data point: detroit to barcelona & back with needles and rather a lot of wool, no problem. loving the yarn on the green needles.

  186. I remember when (right after 9/11) this subject was banned by the listmoms on the KnitList–tempers ran too high on both sides. I’m glad we can actually discuss it now.

  187. Love this. I always get worried flying home from college for breaks so I decided to push the limits this year. Coming home for winter break, I put in my “personal item” carry-on: 3 cakes of yarn, a pair of socks on 2 US2 circs, the rest of my circulars (both metal and bamboo) and the rest of my dpns (also both metal and bamboo), my ENTIRE set of Options, AND my notions box complete with children’s scissors and crazy cable needles.
    I. Was. Fine.

  188. I discovered the hard way that I could fly TO Mexico with my knitting, but I couldn’t fly FROM Mexico. They made me check my knitting bag. 🙁

  189. We flew home and back from my fathers farm in rural Bedford, PA..went thru security in Pittsburgh and Chicago with a large, folding pocketknife in my back pocket! Had been slicing pears off the tree before we left, must have shoved it in the pocket.. didn’t realize it until we go home and it fell out while I was changing. On both those flights at least one person said they couldn’t believe knitting needles were allowed and how dangerous they are, lol. I should have shown them the knife i was allowed..

  190. I travel quite a bit for work in the continental U.S., and have never had a problem either. Carry on multiple projects, and many needles of various types. Never a problem. No passengers have even said anything to me, other than, “That’s lovely.” or “What are you making?” I just throw them in my bag with everything else, and walk right through. Never even thought twice about it.
    On the other hand, I do seem to be one of those people who is commonly tagged for extra pat-downs. About 80 percent of the time for some reason. I think it’s because I’m very nice to security, and sometimes they just want someone to be friendly to them…

  191. The only time I had any trouble was when the TSA relaxed the restrictions on knitting needles after 9/11. The woman who was sitting next to me told me that my knitting needles made her very nervous and insisted that I put them away. I told her to call the flight attendant and get reseated because I fully intended to knit through the entire flight. She called the flight attendant and complained and the flight attendant told her that I was well within my rights to knit away (and then every time she went past checked on my progress-hee hee). I don’t fly as much as Steph, but have not had a single problem on domestic or international flights. I usually carry bamboo instead of metal. Fly on, knitters!

  192. Mostly to Lisa, above, who had her plastic needles taken by airport security in Istanbul: one of my knitting students just had this happen to her a few weeks ago! She said they were going to take her whole project, too, until she got pushy and made them hand everything back to her so she could just take off the metal tips and leave her project safely on the cable. She came home very forlorn!
    I haven’t flown in more than a dozen years, but it’s always good to hear that this sort of thing is rare. I’m not likely to go to Istanbul! (But what’s up with seatmates made nervous by knitting needles? Do they mean the knitter is making them nervous or the idea that a terrorist is going to jump up and hijack the knitter’s needles and put them to violent use? It’s a mystery to me.)

  193. Ditto with the knitting on planes, as I have done so throughout the US and Europe (UK, Germany, Italy, Amsterdam) etc. I always wondered if my tangled cords of my circulars would target me for a TSA search but so far so good. Knit on !

  194. They made me throw my Addi turbos away in Amsterdam but only the set I was actually using. The other two pair in their packages were ok to walk through their airport on the way to my connecting flight. The guy who insisted I throw them away wouldn’t even let me to talk to him about. I just had to rip out my shawl (crying the whole time because it was a really awful flight, I was really tired and it was difficult to get that damned shawl started in the first place) and throw them in the garbage while he watched.

  195. Me too!
    But one time I was chicken and threw my needles (metal circulars) and yarn (bamboo) into the outside pocket of my suitcase just in case so I wouldn’t have to haggle with TSA over them…
    … and they were stolen from my suitcase en route to Bolivia.

  196. I don’t know if someone else has mentioned it, but the way I get around scanners in Australia with my needles to use bamboo dpns and put them in a pencil case with other pens and pencils. Works a treat. And yes, the flight attendants really don’t care when you pull them out before take off.

  197. I’ve never NOT flown with knitting needles and never had a problem. And on my last trip I brought big, size 15 metal ones. And I bring little afety scissors, too!

  198. Me too. I think they would not appreciate me at all if I couldn’t self medicate by knitting on the plane. 🙂 Glad you made it home safely and Have a wonderful holiday.

  199. Sounds like 200+ of us are flying all over the world, and knitting.
    My story: I was asked to stop knitting during take-off and landing on a Norwegian flight. I guess they thought I wasn’t paying attention. Usually no questions are asked.

  200. The idea of banning knitting needles defies common sense! Any damage I could do with one I could do with a ball-point pen. (Sheesh, they even do emergency tracheotomies with those.) A friend suggested that the circs I use when travelling could be used to strangle someone — hey, wouldn’t a shoelace work just as well? Or a belt? Won’t go into details of why I fly with circs, but it has to do with a needle escaping and rolling under the seat in front of me containing a sleeping man….
    Carol in MA

  201. Hi Stephanie and everyone – I realize this comment is probably going to be buried so deep in the list no one will see it, but I’m nothing if not hopeful. Here goes:
    I’m a quilter going for a year of training away from home and I can’t bring my sewing machine with me. I want to take up knitting (blankets in particular – you can take the quilter away from the blanket-machine but etc etc). I won’t have anyone to teach me where I’m going, so what I’m after is a recommendation for a great book or two that teach the fundamentals to a completely inexperienced knitter like me. Who has aspirations of making fabulous knitted blankets.
    Any ideas would be much appreciated. 🙂

  202. I’m sure no one is reading this far, but I just wanted to say that while I’ve flown many times with no problems, I did have a pair of Bryspuns (which are plastic) taken away from me at Charles de Gaulle airport in France. I had to pull them out of the stitches of a lace shawl, and I was pretty much in tears.
    I even demonstrated to the agents that they are PLASTIC and BENDY by repeatedly stabbing myself with the tip as hard as I could. They watched the needles bend and flex and they watched me holding back sobs as I took the stitches off the needle, and they didn’t care.
    Bastards.
    But I guess my point is, there’s no logic to it. You’ll probably be fine 99% of the time. I’m just still recovering from the 1% and I’ve been very hesitant to take my knitting on the plane since then.

  203. Ok, got it. Knittng on plane = fine. Now for the really important stuff: details of yarn and patterns please. And what about the needles? Do the Signatures really make that rubbing noise? Enquiring minds need to know!

  204. id like to know where do they send all those confiscated kniting needles…..and can i have them?

  205. Yes! I have also knitted on planes, to Egypt, Peru, England, the US and China! So, I’m right up there with ya! No problems for me, either!

  206. To Heather above: I flew into Ireland Ok but they wouldn’t let me out of the country with my Addis. The agent was very friendly and he even consulted with another agent on my behalf but ultimately they were taken after removing my socks off the needles.
    I’ve flown domestically, and to several places in Europe, but Ireland was the only place I lost them. They may be officially approved but it’s left up to the discretion of the individual agents. So beware, anyone can lose them at any time.

  207. They are very definitely on the “prohibited” list at my local airport (Durham Tees Valley). I daren’t risk it 🙁

  208. I knit in Europe, Heathrow to Switzerland, with no problems. I do use bamboo needles though, makes it easier for security to say yes 🙂 Stephanie, I look at your knitting bag and see a neatly folded sock in it, and it still seems a mystery why seeing the finished socks and fabric is so pleasing. Do we love to fight the entropy and bring order out of yarn, which is always trying to be a bit of chaos? Have a lovely Christmas.

  209. It seems to depend on the mood of the security person on duty. Generally, I’ve had few problems carrying knitting on board. However, I was brought to tears in Paris last spring when security ripped the hardly-bigger-than-toothpick sized needles from the sock I was hoping to finish. To add insult to injury, I had not properly recharged my Kindle & so was forced to watch 3 really awful movies back to back!

  210. I flew from Heathrow to Dulles (Virginia) this year on United and I WAS allowed to have knitting. I always pack spare needles in my checked through bags, just in case. I’ll surrender the needles, and then pick up the stitches on arrival if needed. You can’t have my yarn!

  211. I try to use cheap needles just in case. Though I’ve never had issues flying with my knitting.
    I think you plane knitting plans are totally doable. 😉

  212. In 1987 I flew from Ontario to Nova Scotia for a funeral. My knitting was confiscated at the airport on the way there, and I had to “find” it when I returned 5 days later. Meaning, airport officials had no idea where it was.

  213. If you ever go to Mexico, beware. Flying into Mexico, no problem. Flying OUT of Mexico, different story. They wouldn’t let me take my straight, circular, OR crochet hooks on the plane. I asked how the crochet hook was more dangerous than, say, a pen… they didn’t want to hear it. I had to wait in a very long line to check my bag. Funny thing though- when I got in the US, I picked up my bag, caught my connecting flight and then knit no problem.
    So Mexico… not a fan of the knitting on the plane.

  214. Hi, Stephanie, you apparently haven’t been traveling enough with your spinning wheel through the Vancouver airport: this summer security there had me unpack my Victoria and about a million afghan squares that were cushioning it – I guess they thought it might be a crossbow, which, however, it is totally legitimate to carry on to an airplane, if you check the literature. Spinning wheels are the next frontier for desensitization, as I see it.

  215. I haven’t had any problems getting through security or with the crews on planes. I usually switch to bamboo needles for travel just to minimize the chances, but that’s a surplus of caution. I have, however, had a few fellow passengers make “joking” remarks about how knitting needles could be allowed, and clearly not really be joking.
    What I wonder about a lot is whether the security staff takes it in stride when X-rating a carry-on spinning wheel!

  216. I haven’t had any experience with the flying thing, but could not take my needles upstairs in the courthouse to cast my absentee ballot for the November elections. I suppose they thought I might hurt someone while standing in the line. I am not looking forward to jury duty with that mentality.

  217. I can understand the representatives and senators not wanting knitting needles in close proximity. Or rotten tomatoes. I’m surprised they let people wear shoes into the chambers.

  218. @ Elizabeth who said: “….if you are flying coach for 15+ hours a lot more things become weapons.” That would make a good book title. A chapter title at least. I’m still smiling at it!!!

  219. I noticed that in NCIS and Human Target (love the Mark Valley), onboard murders were accomplished with knitting needles. But both times, if memory serves, they were the colored acrylic ones. Reckon they got advertising dollars from Boye?

  220. The only place in North America I’ve had “challenges” with knitting needles is Vancouver in the International but only to the US terminal.
    If you don’t pull your knitting out and put it in the tray it will result in the 20 minutes of swiping for explosives (generally only my temper is explosive at 5am) and bag searching…

  221. I’ve never been stopped at the airport, but I was once stopped at a hospital. They actually wouldn’t let me bring in the knitting needles. My boyfriend that has Graves’ disease had an attack to the point of being completely paralyzed when brought in. I was completely freaking out. They wouldn’t tell me anything and all I wanted to do was knit while I waited so I wouldn’t loose my mind. 🙁 Thankfully we knew someone an EMT that brought me my knitting while I was waiting in the ER with him. I was so thankful.

  222. I wanted to share this story with you Stephanie and I guess the people that read all these comments. I hope you are amused.
    I came home yesterday after being gone for the weekend and my boyfriend comes up to me and he is playing with a piece of yarn I’d left laying around. He asks, ” So do you think you could make me a sweater out of this color yarn?”
    And I’ve lived by the boyfriend rule that you don’t knit your boyfriend a sweater because it will ruin the relationship.
    So I say, ” I will as soon as I have the ring on my finger” His response is to pull a small black box out of his pocket and say, ” Well then will you marry me?” To which of course my reply was, “Yes!”.
    I thought you who are knitters or craftspeople in general would appreciate this story and perhaps understand it better than non knitters so I had to share!
    I also think it says something to the power and influence of a handknit sweater has, especially in winter right?
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

  223. I flew to Shannon Ireland with my knitting this fall. Nothing like knitting by a peat fire. This goes to show TSA understands they would have some ‘hard to handle’ people on board if we couldn’t knit.

  224. I’ve never had problems in North America, but I did have my knitting ‘confiscated’ in Singapore flying back to the U.S–they made me give up the knitting (and a pair of scissors) but put it into a padded envelope that would be stashed with the checked bags to be claimed at my destination.
    Given that it was about 16 hours into my day at the time, was this close >< to finishing the project, and I still had a 12 hour flight facing me, I had a mini-meltdown…but on the other hand, they /failed/ to confiscate the other two projects I had in my carry-ons. 😛

  225. I have already had my Christmas date with IT. no time no energy stc. I have decided that after open heart surgery the gift I am giving is the fact that I am here to celebrate!!!! I would never accomplish everything I want too, so relaxing and enjoying the season is top on my list. Hope you have a safe and healthy 2011

  226. So… you’re headed to Newfoundland? 😉
    “All the way from one side of the continent to the other…”
    You know us Maritimers, always sticklers about geography.
    Have a great flight – I hope you get lots of knitting done. I was recently on a flight that never left the ground due to mechanical issues. We sat there for 2 hours before they took us off the plane. It was lovely knitting time without any turbulence to make me queasy.

  227. I flew USAir into Heathrow from Philadelphia and back with needles and had no trouble with the needles. The security jerkwads at Heathrow decided to make me their special friend upon arrival in London but it had nothing to do with knitting and everything to do with a very short man resenting my being taller than him. It’s worth mentioning I’m only 5’5″. This male creature must have beef with a lot of people.

  228. Funnily enough, I was in an airport yesterday; I was leaving Baltimore-Washington International to come back to Albany, and my parents were there at the same time on their way to San Diego. I got no flak for the three knitting projects I had with me, but security stopped my mother because of the farmer’s cheese she had in her carry-on. They made her take it out and show it to them, and then they examined both my parents’ hands for traces of explosives!

  229. I had my (bamboo) circular needles cut off the cord on a WIP in Mexico. Luckily I had another pair of Adi’s in my bag they did not see.

  230. Best wishes with your travels . . . and with your knitting.
    I don’t know what I’d do these days if I couldn’t knit on a plane. Knitting at airports and during the flight makes the whole trip so worthwhile!

  231. Except coming out of Guatemala. They won’t let you take knitting needles OUT of Guatemala. Go figure. I nearly came to fisticuffs with the agent last time. I ended up checking my carry-on, there was NO WAY she was going to confiscate the baby blanket I had already worked on for a month. Grrr.

  232. If you go to the TSA’s website (and I did this before I tried to bring my knitting on the plane with me), knitting and needlework supplies are specifically listed as being allowed. BUT, don’t even think about bringing a pair of pointy-ended scissors, nope, they have to be rounded. So, you can bring on two 14′ metal pointy things, but no sharp scissors. It is an awesome way to pass the time and I think it stops annoying people from chatting with you aimlessly.

  233. Shortly after 9/11/01, my needles were taken away from me on a US flight. Security asked me if I had “anything sharp or metal” in my carry-on. I said, “No. Well, just my knitting needles.” They were sz 1 silvertone (i think that is what that stuff is called) Person takes knitting out, eyes it suspiciously, calls co-workers over to confer, calls supervisor, who decides they are indeed both sharp AND metal. I protested that “they are not very sharp and not really metal” It was no use, they pulled the set of 4 dpns right out of the work! I gasped as though they had stabbed me in the chest! My feeble protest of “what am I supposed to DO on this fligh?t” was met with eye rolls, some one may have even said “we don’t care” It was the longest flight of my life!! How do non-knitters get through the day??

  234. As the mother of a five-year old some of my best knitting is travelling by myself cross-country with circular metal needles…and I agree-just mostly asked what I am making…..
    In Philadelphia going through the security TENT at Independence Hall they got much scrutiny and in the end was told I could carry them in but to “absolutely not take them out.” Egads. Telling a knitter not to knit while sitting on a bench in cold weather. At least not confiscated. I don’t know what Ben Franklin would say about it.

  235. Wow. People really still ask about that? Honestly, a lunatic wouldn’t get very far with knitting needles. Even the aluminum ones would probably bend before they would break skin. Come on, people.

  236. I have never had any problems with my knitting on planes either. I knit with needles and knitting looms. With the looms I use a pick/ hook to move the stitches. People just ask me what I am doing or do that creepy stare thing. Not sure what the big deal is anyway. I know how to kill a person with a ballpoint pen (via US Army training) and those aren’t banned. Why would I waste perfectly good knitting needles? Lol!

  237. Thank you for the links to the TSA site I am saving it on my phone to ward off over zealous TSA agents. I have never had a problem with my knitting supplies on planes, but one never knows.

  238. i knit on the planes, i knit in a car, on a bus, at lunch, i’ve been known to walk at lunch knitting on something small, sock- or hat.
    i went to florida last week and knit a baby sweater on the way down and because of circumstances beyond my control (you know that whole pesky family vacation thing where you actually do things with your family) i didnt knit on same sweater again and finished on said trip and was bored the rest of the way cuz i didnt have anything else to knit.
    i however did make good use of my line waiting time in Disney and hopefully we can start a craze… i have lost a lot of wait this last year and the pair of jeans i was wearing were a little big… i looked all over disney no belt (i spose in hindsight i could have bought a new pair of pants, but what kinda knitter would i be if i had done that?
    so i used some of the ribbon yarn i had brought with no particular thing to be, and i pulled out my sz 8’s and i started knitting. in 2 days i had a belt. i knit on the monorail, i knit in line for every single ride we rode, during every show we saw.
    while waiting in line to get our pictures taken with Mickey and Minnie and Goofy and well lets just say people started remembering me.
    And they would ask how the progress was going or how they never thought to bring their own knitting. Good use of time etc… i hate waiting in lines. totally hate standing still and waiting – hate it….
    Anyway belt finished risk of losing pants low.
    But yeah Ive never had a problem with taking knitting needles with me on any flights,
    Jackie

  239. All the knitters I know online take their needles on trips. I haven’t flown for awhile but we’ll be flying in January and my only IRL knitting friend refuses to believe I can knit on the plane. I think she believes I’ll be marched right out of the airport when they see my pointy sock needles.

  240. When I was returning home from Costa Rica last year, they took away my knitting needles at security. I had flown TO Costa Rica with them, but, for some unknown reason I could not get back on the very same returning flight with them. I think that I may have been on American airlines. They were circulars.
    I suspect it was more of an airport security issue rather than an issue aboard the aircraft.
    One passenger on flight was doing nalbinding with a needle that looked like a sharpened pencil. What is the difference?
    I was not about to argue with authorities in a foreign country.
    So, I don’t trust that you will not encounter some security agent who acts contrary to what is written. I certainly did.

  241. Interestingly, Australia, one of the wool capitals of the world, only made it OK to bring knitting needles on airplanes about a year ago. When we went there in October, I was sure to check on their security regulations, because I sure wasn’t flying 14 hours from Sydney to Los Angeles without my knitting. They did open my bag and look at my metal cable needle, but when the security screener saw my monkey-themed safety scissors, she broke down laughing and decided I was not a threat to Australian aviation.

  242. Really freaked the security guy out at the Manchester UK airport with my 10 mm circular needles. Me: “Those are knitting needles.” Him: “Oh no, they’re not!” Maybe it was because the wool was co-mingled with soy. In an effort not to wig out the security gal at the Dublin airport, I preemptively told her that I had knitting needles, and thus incurred my husband’s mild annoyance. Him: “You don’t TELL them that!” Later, after overhearing another passenger say that she’d got the full contact pat down when they discovered her double pointed needles, he apologized.

  243. I flew Qantas from SFO to Perth, Australia. One of the items specifically not allowed on carry-on was knitting needles. I was quite sad. (Knitting needles were also not allowed on Qantas going from Perth to SFO.)

  244. Took my knitting in my carry on to Mexico.(no problem with US TSA) On the return trip Mexican TSA took my Addi circular needles,(had to take my project off) crochet hooks, 6″ bamboo dpns & my stitch holder. I was pretty bummed out. They said they were afraid I would stab someone with my blunt end crochet hook. The stitch holder must have looked pretty dangerous too.

  245. Well, all I can tell you is that here in the UK we are still in a bit of a grey area. I just checked BAA regulations for carry-on (BAA being the body that runs UK airports and oversees security) and they do now say knitting needles are allowed, also scissors with blades shorter than 6cm! (this is Good. It was not the case the last time I checked.) Heathrow website now does not mention needles on the banned list, but nor does it say they’re ok (a seach for ‘knitting needles’ comes up blank). Gatwick, on the other hand, has clear rules on their site that ban knitting needles and any scissors. They are run by BAA, same as Heathrow! Could be that someone just hasn’t updated the info? And as ever, there is the rider that individual airlines may use their right to ban further items. It really is ass-hattedness.
    Anyway, after several refusals at check-in, I am now too nervous about losing my nice Clover bamboos or Knitpicks to chance flying out of the UK with knitting. This is a shame, because I live here and can’t really get around that. 😉 Still, just gave birth to my second, so knitting on flights is merely a nice fantasy for the foreseeable future!

  246. I am in complete agreement about never having a problem with knitting and flying until today. We just flew from puerta villarta to Denver. The security in Mexico would not let my needles through. Both my husband and I explained that I fly all the time with them but their reply was that I couldn’t fly out of that “zone” with them. I had to run them back to the ticket counter and thankfully the guy from United found me a small box. He taped my projects in then placed them in a bag and checked it all at no charge! I then steamed for over 3 hours with nothing to do (I am very sensitive to motion sickness and not a comfortable flier but knitting keeps me relaxed)!!! I will still fly with my knitting but will not be going back to the puerta villarta airport.

  247. I feel like the only person ever who was asked to remove my knitting needles. I was working on this original designed Bamboo lace shawl, with bamboo needles, and tried to take it on the plane at the Dublin airport. The security guy check my bag, because I had accidentally left a pair of pinking shears in there, and told me I couldn’t have my needles. I asked him to point out where in the regulations it banned knitting needles – and circular bamboo ones at that – and he couldn’t produce it, but still wouldn’t let me pass until I’d removed the needles. He even had the gall to ask if I would kindly remove the yarn from the needles so he could confiscate them. But, rather than give up my knitting, I spent 30 euro checking that bag real quick and getting on with my flight. Worst flight ever.

  248. i flew with knitting into Mexico but had to scramble, return to baggage check in and check my knitting bag + circular Addi needles when leaving Mexico. Security in Cancun said they weren’t allowed.

  249. I KOP (knit on planes) all the time. Everywhere. Round the world last year. This Christmas, from Canada through Germany to the Middle East. Circulars, but that’s because I like circulars, usually metal. I’ve never been questioned about them. It seems to me that as far as security scanners go, knitting needles are seen as less threatening than underwire bras!

  250. They will definitely take your needles in Latin America. I have now had four sets confiscated….

  251. I’ve never had a problem, domestic & international were both fine. Though, if it’s lace, then I do make sure I’ve put a lifeline in just in case. Maybe the powers that be have figured it’s just safer for everyone concerned to let the knitters have their knitting.

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