Up in the air

Dear Person who saw me this morning with my knitting in the airport, and said that thing.

flighttime 2015-06-11

I’d like to take a moment to apologize to you for the way I looked at you when you said what you did, like you were stunned as a bat.  I know it was probably a moment of weaker reasoning on your part, but really, I’d like you to think through what the H-E-double hockey sticks came out of your mouth.  You looked right at my knitting, waved an incredulous hand at it,  and then you said “Did they let you through security with that?”

I know, I know. That’s the moment that I stared at you that way, and it really wasn’t super polite, but I was busy shoving down what I wanted to say to you, and it was really taking quite a lot of concentration to do it. Now that we’re not face to face though? Let’s unpack it.

Did they let me through security with that? Did they? Let’s think about that.  You’ve asked a polar question. One with only two answers. Yes, and no,  and since I am sitting there, with knitting needles, after security, we can presume, can we not, that the answer was affirmative? That yes, the ladies and gentlemen with the full body scanner, the X-rays, the trace detectors, the bomb dogs… the same people who made me take off my shoes and little cardigan, and then had me lift up my feet so they could check the soles of my feet and patted over the bodies of about a million people so far today, let’s assume that those people did not overlook my knitting. They made the guy in front of me take of his fitbit and then take another run through the body scanner, and they ripped up the bag of another lady in line because she had a tiny bottle of hand lotion in it that she’d forgotten, so yeah. Let’s assume these super vigilant people who are responsible for the safety of a whole lot of people didn’t just take a look at my knitting on the X-ray and think “What the hell. I just don’t care.” Let’s actually assume that they have a policy, which they do, and that they are careful, which they are, and that they allow knitting, which CLEARLY, since I re-iterate, I am past security and still have my knitting (which cannot be said of the hand lotion)  they do, and it’s YES. I was allowed through security with THAT.

Furthermore, let’s discuss the other choice, shall we? The other possibility – the one that you seem to be leaning towards, with your arching eyebrow and judgmental tone, is that I have somehow run a very fancy scam on Airline security, and NO – I was not allowed past security with my knitting, but I have somehow managed to do it anyway.

What would that look like? Instead of coming through security just like everyone else in this airport, I had to come up with an extremely complicated plan. This morning, before I left home, I positioned the needles on my person and then when I passed through the x-ray machine I told them it was a steel plate I have from the war. When they looked suspicious and snapped their latex gloves, I ran. I bolted past the desk, deliberately abandoning my things in the search machine (having strategically removed all identifying materials ahead of time), and streaked through the airport, hiding briefly in a Starbucks to elude them. When I saw them pass, I used the door codes I’d stolen from a pilot I shagged last week to open the gates, and slunk through the back corridors of the airport, stepping in every puddle I could find to avoid leaving a scent for the tracking dogs. I backtracked, made only left turns, and briefly rappelled until I made it all the way back to my original gate where I used a counterfeit German passport to sneak through the locked door. Now, I’m sitting here, knitting, and celebrating the fact that, even though I have certainly secured myself at least fifteen years in federal prison, if not a violent shooting death any freakin’ minute – I have at long last met my goal of sneaking needles past security so that I can at long last knit in an airport and NO. THEY DID NOT LET ME PAST SECURITY WITH THAT.

Seriously. Now that you’re thinking, do you see my point?

Cheers, and sorry for the staring



361 thoughts on “Up in the air

  1. Seriously? How did they think you got through??

    Mind you I’m sitting here feeling low because I fly from Sweden to the UK tomorrow and really, really want to knit my two socks on my Hiya Hiya metal circ….but have decided I’m too chicken and have opted for a shawl on wooden interchangeables instead…even though I really, really want to knit the socks as it’s my first time knitting two on one needle and I haz the enthusiasms!

    Hope you get a saner seat buddy on the return flight!

    • I am even more chicken…as I would never risk losing a set of interchangeable tips. I would use an inexpensive bamboo circular.

      • I had a beautiful Addi circular needle taken by airport security in Mexico (on my way back to the US) at 4;30 AM! After trying to explain to the officer that knitting WAS allowed (after all, I had gotten it there), my husband pulled me away, sure I was going to end up in a Mexican jail. Since then, I haven’t chanced it, and I pack my knitting and spend the flights catching up on my reading.

        • Me too. On the way back from Mexico to the U.S., security confiscated my Addi Turbo needles and the flight attendant tried to retrieve them for me which was super sweet but they would not surrender my needles. I’ve kept the empty package as a reminder.

        • Knitting actually isn’t allowed on flights originating from Mexico. You were able to get it there because security is based on the originating country rather than the destination.
          The knitting issue is actually the main reason I don’t ever want to go to Mexico.

  2. How rude!!! (Of the person that referred to your knitting as “That”).
    I commend you on your restraint. It must have been so hard for you to stay cool, calm and collected.
    They need to worry more about the real problem people they see walk thru.
    Have you ever thought of writing spy novels. I think you’d be more brilliant, a writer, than you already are. 🙂

    Cheers, Steph. I hope you had a drink and a knit to calm that anger that was bubbling up inside you.
    God help them if they’d tried to take your beautiful blanket.

    • And also, seeing that you are so famous, I think you need an entourage that can whisk you thru security without a blink of an eye.

      Ooooo, the human verification test is telling me to touch the man. My pleasure!!

      • Ok, so I misunderstood. Too early over here.
        I thought it was security that said it. Now I see that it was a fellow (possibly jealous, knitter) passenger.
        I would not have let them get away with it. I would have politely said how I would be knitting the whole flight and get so much done. Then watch as their green eyes burned thru my skull.

  3. Your show of restraint is awesome. Also, thank you for the laugh. I once had to spend 5 minutes trying to pantomime the purpose of my knitting to security agents while going through airport security in Hong Kong. There were quite a few – this lady is crazy- looks aimed my way.

  4. I, too, would have had to swallow hard, and with a raised eyebrow, say, “Apparently, yes.”

    Have you seen the new Paddington movie? If not, you should, if only to see that bear stare down the bad guy.

  5. agreed. Maybe we should ask the same about Bic pens? the cords that go to the ear-thingies on your MP3 player?
    Several years ago I had to stuff a sock on wooden needles into about-to-be checked luggage–flying from England; they were nice enough to warn me in time to do so. Rules vary with time and place, but I’ve never had a problem in the US.

    • also, there was a rule in my family: ask a silly [aka stupid] question, get a silly answer. Don’t know that I’d have been so restrained. “with what? I don’t see anything odd. Needles? what needles?”

    • I know! I wasn’t allowed to take my wooden needle circs with me on board or metal circs-i checked. But get this- I could take over 100 yards of worsted yarn (some knit-i had thrown on a lifeline just in case). So once I settled in my seat, I pulled out my blue Bic Stic ballpoint and my black Bic Stic ballpoint-both a perfect US 8 and kept knitting.

  6. You fly pretty often. How? I envy of you. You fly almost every month. Where did the hell you got money? Sorry if I sound like rude but I was shocked that you are flying pretty a lot. I was like how did you started to fly a lot.

    For me, I keep my knitting at home for safety also it eats my time if I’m in plane. I love to see outside of window in a plane. I fly once in 15 years.

    • I think you have your questions backwards. Given that flying is *how* she gets her money, “where did you get the money” would apply if she stopped flying. (Still be rude, but it would at least be applicable.)

    • For those of us (like Stephanie) that fly as part of our living, I cannot tell you how annoying “that” question is. Flying for work is airport-hotel-event-hotel-airport repeat until you want to throw up. #notcool

    • OOOOOOOOH, please, please, Stephanie, answer this one question. The next time you come to NYC I will be your slave.

    • Whoa whoa… Slow down you guys… I love about her is knitting. I love knitting. You love knitting. I mean that I wish I could have her job knitting related travel. I’m sure you will love it too. I’m just wondering how did she got this job. She’s lucky. I just can’t help by noticed that she fly each month. I know this is exhausted for her. That’s all I’m saying.

      • She’s “lucky” to have this job? I would venture to suggest that “luck” was not in the equation and diminishes everything Stephanie has accomplished. Simply maintaining a blog for years on end (let alone one as entertaining as this one) is hard work. Throw in writing a significant number of books while tending to a family and I’d say hard frickin’ work has led Stephanie to where she is today.

    • I think your comments are beyond rude! Stephanie makes her living by teaching workshops, giving talks, along with writing books. Her work requires travel by plane. What business is it of yours where/how she gets her money.! Stay home with your knitting! Sheesh!

      • Joan- relax. You gave me an answer of it. Like a book tour. So she got this by became an author. I’m still learning. no big deal of being upset about rude. No argue here please. Don’t judge too quickly by cover of book. 🙂

  7. Um… Stephanie? Not that I don’t love a good rant, but maybe they were asking because they did not know knitting needles were allowed and had left theirs at home?
    Just a thought. The blanket looks like it is coming along nicely.

    • Without a doubt, that is the kindest possible interpretation of this boor’s behaviour.

      Stephanie, your next career is in tabloid “journalism”. Woot!

    • Generally when I’m asked about getting knitting past security and it’s someone who is jealous they didn’t know they could bring knitting on a plane, it is like: “I didn’t know knitting was allowed.” So totally different approach.

      I’m passive/aggressive and snarky so I would have been inclined to ask how they got the various pens/pencils on their person through security. Of course I would have only come up with this answer 2 hours later.

    • Yes. All it really means is that the person was surprised that knitting needles were allowed. Not every comment is meant to be taken literally.
      But when you’ve heard the same comment many times over, I can understand being less than entirely charitable about it.

      • I remember talking with friends about knitting socks on the plane on a recent trip, and my friend Joe the Cop turned white as a sheet — the blood just rushed out of his face. “They let you take those (sock pins) on the plane?” Now Joe’s experience with sharp objects and harmless-looking people is completely different from mine, so I put his alarm down to his professional training and professional history, not to any scorn or confusion.

    • She’s been getting this question with depressing-shading-into-irritating frequency for over ten years. They’ve never been forbidden. I, for one, think she’s a saint not to have poked one through an eye socket yet.

    • Thank you!! It was a stupid question as phrased, but it’s kind of obvious what the real meaning was. And it certainly didn’t call for a rude answer. People ask stupid questions all the time; it calls for a little kindness.

  8. I always wear a belt or a long scarf so that if my plane is hijacked, I have something to fight back with. Probably should actually wear one of those little bolo ties…they would make a better garrotte, no?

    Knitting retains its image issue; the powers that be see us as elderly pacifists that need to be defended. They don’t see us as a threat to security.

  9. Me, I’d address what they were actually saying (rather than the words they used.) Less sarcasm involved, but still points out that they’re being stupid.

  10. There is that and then those who discuss among themselves
    how they can’t believe you got through security with “those things” just loud enough that you can hear them.

  11. I have this little pen knife that used to be on my key ring. In the urban area where I work, I have to leave it in my car when I go to the courthouse as it is perceived as a “knife” and therefore, “a dangerous weapon”.
    In the rural area where I live, when I pointed out, the deputy just looked at me incredulously and said “Honey, what do you think you are going to do with that?” and let me through security.

    • I lost my tweezers to the TSA once. All I got was a glare when I asked, “What? D’you think I’m going to pluck someone?” I didn’t have knitting needles in my carry on which was good as they’d for sure have stayed behind. Those were some harsh people.

        • That’s not exactly true. Although, in the US, they are usually allowed, it is up to the discretion on the TSA agent. Some people have had their needles confiscated.

          Also, DO NOT carry a copy of the allowed items and try to argue with the agent. They have the last word and challenging their decision WILL land you in hot water!

          • Technically allowed, but PHL hasn’t agreed. Don’t even try – unless you have a pre-addressed stamped envelope to mail needles back to yourself before proceeding through initial checkpoint.

      • I never understood the ban on “nail” clippers??

        I mean… Can you picture this scene…

        Stage setting… Somewhere on the airplane….. Passenger gets up, puts hand in pocket… Digs in pocket… (No, that’s a mint), looks some more… Opens overhead baggage and digs in backpack pocket and finally finds what he is looking for..

        “He/She” otherwise known as owner of the most dangerous weapon known to flying… “Nail clippers!”

        Says… “Could you please stand still while I TRY to pinch your skin with my nail clippers?”

        Darn, you moved… That’s it.. Stand very still. Did you feel that pinch? Never mind, I dropped them.

        • @Jennie, it wasn’t the nail clippers per se, it was the little file that is generally found on clippers. The powers-that-be decided it was too pointy and therefore a danger to one and all. This was back in the dark, early days of the currently-not-very-much-evolved TSA.

          A year or so ago, I was flying back home from India with a pair of little nail clippers that happen to have the little file extension. The Indian security spotted the clippers and wanted to confiscate them. I said ‘Really? Why, the USA allows them.” He pointed to the file to which I then commented, can’t you break it off. Which he promptly did and then handed the clippers back to me. Sheesh.

          Not really sure what kind of damage a 1.5 inch long file that rotates on a hinge can do. It’s hard enough to keep it stabile when trying to use it for it’s original purpose much less poke someone with it.

  12. Oh my! I wonder if they would ask the steward/ess for another seat if you ended up sitting next to each other on the plane?!

  13. Well, I had my Addi Turbo seized at the Budapest airport a few years ago, ( I didn’t think about it, since I had no problem with the security in Montreal…). So, if she had a previous similar experience, maybe she was just envious that they actually let you go through the security with that 🙂

    • I only know one person who had to leave expensive Addi circulars behind in the Cancun Mexico airport. I have taken knitting for years (since 9/11) in US and abroad. Steph, your reaction is hilarious

      • I had to leave Addis behind in Lima, Peru. So odd – when I passed through the airport on the outbound leg, the needles were allowed. When I returned a week later, the Peruvian TSA confiscated them. Inside the U.S., never a problem. Once, I had a flight attendant ask me to put them away for take-off.

        • I have been asked to put them away for take off and landing several times as well. Which always amuses me, because the needles are attached to yarn that is still in my bag under the seat. They aren’t going to fly very far. As opposed to the unattached and free-range pen or pencil of the passenger next to me that is allowed to remain out.

        • I had the same problem in Lima years ago. They kept my needles from and I claimed them when I returned.

  14. Well, since your starting point is Canada, no explanation should be necessary. In the US its just been revealed that our security theater agency is failing 94% of tests (94% of the time an undercover agent has tried to get something through, including mock bombs and firearms, they have succeeded), so maybe you were dealing with an American?

  15. Last week I spent my flight to Minneapolis from Chicago (60 minute flight) winding a skein of wool. The very nice woman I was sitting next to didn’t even blink, just asked what I was knitting and later if she could borrow a pen. May your future row companions also be so nice!

  16. I just belly laughed so hard there were tears. I appreciate your sarcasm, sass and smarta$$-edness on such a deep level. (I know that last one wasn’t a word you would find in the dictionary, but that does not make it any less accurate)

  17. This happened to me on a return flight from Mexico. I was knitting socks on two circs. The person in question was reading a big thick hardbound book that would have caused more damage to a head than my little 16″ bamboo circs. Sheesh!

    • Depending on where you go through security in Mexico a lot can get through. We brought cans of pop back in the plane a couple years ago.

  18. I’ve been lurking around here for a while now and finally managed to get up to date having just read through all the archives, it’s been great seeing the ladies age 10 years in the last few weeks! moved to comment today by your airport experience; last year I emailed easyjet as to whether I could bring my bamboo crochet hook on the plane; many emails later they were adamant that any hook was a dangerous weapon and there was no way of crocheting on the plane. I politely declined to comment on their opinion, packed my shawl in my carry on, and happily crocheted through the flight, with interested comments from the cabin crew! clearly their policy hadn’t filtered down to the staff in the air! Reading your blog has inspired me to have a go at sock knitting; I’m now wondering whether to risk my lovely new Knit pro carbonz circular on our flight to Italy in a few weeks! thanks for all the great reading as I’ve gone through the last 11 years worth, I’ve laughed, cried, and bought the first two bookbookbooks. The rest will follow as I feel ready to divert the yarn budget!

    • Just travelled with the same brand of sock needles in full view. TSA was very concerned about my laptop, but nothing else. Seems to be completely at the agent’s discretion. Fortunately I haven’t had to endure public comments about sock knitting!

      • It’s definitely different in the UK as to Canada and the USA. We seem to be much stricter, which does surprise me. let’s hope it goes well!

        • They are really strict in the UK, my husband works at an airport and he is searched everyday and cannot take any liquids in, including soup for his lunch. For the last ten years I have just admitted defeat and read on planes instead.

        • Yes! Especially Heathrow, in my experience. After a very thorough pat down, they inspected each piece of my “tool kit” and were going to confiscate a few things (tape measure, small scissors, darning needles) but they let me on with them in the end (maybe they liked how I looked disappointed but didn’t argue? I don’t know!) They seemed more concerned with those things than with my actual knitting!

        • They seem to have chilled out more recently. I’ve taken knitting in my carry on through security at Heathrow and Manchester airport in the last couple of years.

  19. I have traveled throughout the world for work & have always carried knitting with me. The only problem I’ve ever had was from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Bangkok. I had a sock on bamboo dpns & they confiscated it. I was quietly outraged. Fortunately, they gave it back to me in Bangkok.

    That said, I only carry projects that are on small dpns or circulars. I’d be afraid to take something on long metal needles. (Secret fear that a terrorist would take it from me & poke somebody in the eye or something. LOL)

  20. I had an elderly lady glance over at me mid-flight, pausing from her word search, and scorningly tell me I shouldn’t have been allowed on with ‘those’ they are dangerous. I gave her a bone chilling “No more dangerous than your pen”.

    • That is my reply! If they knew how much we pay for Addi Turbos, or Signature needles, they would know that we would not be the least bit tempted to impale anyone and risk losing a needle!

    • That is the response I had ready if anyone tried to take my knitting away from me. Fortunately nothing was said about the yarn, knitting needles which were bamboo circulars, and a tiny pair of scissors. The tiny pocket knife that I had forgotten in my project bag was confiscated however. I decided to let it go rather than argue and possibly lose the scissors also.

    • I’m SO with you on this one…one of my fav T-shirts says “I knit so I do not kill people”…I do NOT wear it onto airplanes, though, out of respect for Security’s extreme lack of sense of humour…

  21. I think it’s appropriate that the icon I have to touch today for commenting is the Airplane….

    You showed far more restraint than I. I would have likely responded with an incredulous “Why wouldn’t they?” and see if they could formulate a response. LIkely, and hopefully, it would be one that is stupid (such as “those are pointy sticks that could cause injury”) so that I could respond with something that could cause them to fear for their lives (such as “I’m sure someone could strip down a ballpoint pen and cause just as much injury” or “Yes, they could and if you keep asking stupid questions, you might find out how, although that would be counterproductive since I don’t want to lose a needle nor do I want your blood on my knitting.” or something really informative as “Knitting needles were never banned after 9-11. How many knitting needle related plane hijackings have *you* heard of?”

  22. Idiotic question, yes. But what bothers me more is that she referred to your gorgeous, intricately knit blanket as “THAT” !!

  23. I’ve narrowed my choices to these two responses:

    1. Feigning utter shock, gasping “OMGOMGOMG — they DID!!!!” , and then laughing maniacally; or
    2. Printing off your post and having it ready to hand to any doofus asking such a dumb question.

  24. I got searched once in Denver only because they were training a new person. The lady pulled my sock-in-progress on metal dpns out of my carry-on, said “Oh is this a sock?” and asked if she could show it to the new guy as an example of what knitting looks like, after he’d seen it on the screen.

  25. I have gotten through security with both my small scissors and the circular cutter that is on my keychain. Last summer I even had some lotion in my rolly carryon.

    I have never had any TSA personnel question my needles.

    • I’ve had a steward confiscate a circular cutter- you know, the ones that say “airplane approved” on the package- after it passed TSA screening. “there’s a razor blade inside”. yes….but it’s welded in there, how on earth would I get it out to do any damage? He stuck it in a locker and gave it back about halfway through the flight, saying another attendant had told him I wasn’t likely to do any more damage with it than I would by hitting someone with the large pendant I was wearing.

  26. See, that’s when you get to have some fun and say “Shhhhhhh” while winking at them. Hahahaha… let them digest that for a while.

  27. Spot on and hilarious. I’ll have to remember the door codes, huddling in Starbucks, stepping in puddles to hide my scent (love that one, the visual, just precious). I can imagine a short film on IFC channel on that last paragraph.

  28. I recently had some one (an older man) tell me that he hates to see people “like me” (with knitting) on airplanes. We were at my granddaughter’s first birthday party. I told him it was perfectly legal and moved away. Far away.

  29. LOL! Feel any better? Really, I don’t see the need to curb your views with idiots in airports. Apparently they didn’t see the need to be respectful of you….. I always fly with my knitting (forcing myself on a plane tomorrow to join you in PL. I am ecstatic to join you, I just hate flying). The only problem I encountered was a security guy in Istanbul who made me tuck the knitting away in my soon-to-be-checked bag. In the States, no one has given me any trouble. See you soon!

  30. Oh my goodness! Great post! I actually did the snort-laugh while reading this at work (at the pilot shagging part of course!)

  31. Dogs can pick up your scent even if you run/walk through water, so you might want to re-think that portion of your secret “get through security with knitting needles” plan.

    BTW, this past Christmas, I hand-carried an entire set of ChiaGoo needles, which means they went through the x-ray machine. The item that caused security the most concern? A cluster of small black balls, which turned out to be my Rosary, NOT the numerous sharp metal objects all lined up neatly like knives. I, too, am amazed that we get to carry our needles onto planes.

    • What was their reaction upon seeing that the dangerous object was a rosary? (And thank you for the laugh. That’s hilarious!)

  32. I just came back from a trip to Las Vegas and took 10, count ’em, 10 dpn through security so I could knit at my conference. More fuss over my work laptop than the 10 pointy things.

    Couldn’t knit on the plane – center seat and it was a charted pattern. I leave on another trip tomorrow to Puerto Rico and I’m knitting on that flight for sure.

  33. “Did they let you through security with THAT?” –yes, because i’m the head of security. now quit looking down your nose at my knitting. *wags hand in general direction* and away with you.

  34. AND! You flaunted your victory by openly, I say openly!, knitting. With those needles and, my stars, that dangerous wool. Right there in full view of the whole dang place.

  35. I just say TSA figured out that knitters are more dangerous if they are not allowed to bring their pointy sticks on the airplanes.

  36. Last time I flew, when they were searching my bag, she asked as she put her hand in if there was anything sharp. I said “just some knitting needles but they have point protectors on them”. TSA lady just said “Thank you”.
    to the question asker, I like to just look up say “yes” and then go back to knitting. let them do the mental work from there!

  37. Next time, because there will be one, look up innocently and say, “yes, isn’t it great they now let us bring blankets with us on our flights?”

  38. well, in all fairness, you could have had a bit more fun…. apparently the US airports just had a 95% FAILURE RATE when it comes to identifying and detaining threats to national security…

    I’d have probably looked over and said “SHHH! they aren’t’ supposed to know they just failed a test!” but then again, I’m in a good mood so my sarcasm is flying high 🙂

    or you could have taken a page from Bill Engvall’s book.. “Nope, i had an elaborate scheme complete with blue prints and my own super high tech team of computer nerds to help me get past security with this here knitting… Here’s your sign” 🙂

  39. I used to print out the appropriate TSA ruling and carry it in my purse, to show security if necessary, but I stopped because nobody in security has ever questioned my knitting – the size of my shampoo bottle, once, but never the knitting.

    • In my experience, the security personnel seem familiar with the rules but I do make a habit of keeping that information printed out to show to obnoxious passengers who insist on asking questions.

  40. Clearly, you’ve never left from Belfast, where they have the sign at Security, just before you ditch your bottle of water, that shows all the things that are NOT ALLOWED: the little ball of yarn, with 2 knitting needles in it, and a big cross through it, right next to symbols of the aerosol container, the hand grenade, the pool cue (?), the knife, and the scissors. They all have X’s through them. You’re a smart woman — just spare a thought for where he might have been used to flying. Europe, maybe? (It’s a problem I run into whenever I fly in the EU.) And as the nice lady at the BA check-in counter always says, “It all depends on who you run into at Security — it’s not the airlines’ policy, it’s a security issue.”
    In South Africa, for instance, you don’t even have to have your little zip-lock bag of liquids and gels to show them. (They don’t care.) So every airport / continent just might be different.
    To answer his question if I’d been in Ireland: “No way would I have even tried.” What I’m saying is that it’s all different, all over the world, when you fly these days. So no, he wasn’t asking a stupid question. Not if you fly in Europe, he wasn’t.

    • I flew to San Francisco and was knitting quietly when after about two hours of silence the guy next to me said “I must ask you, WHAT are you doing? It looks like a bunch of knots and a ton of work and WHY would you do that?” I have to say I was a little shocked, and I’m not easily shocked. I just firmly told him I liked it and found it relaxing. I wished that I had something a little snappier to say back.

    • Six years ago I flew on Aer Lingus from New York to Dublin with my knitting. A week later the same airline wouldn’t let me take my knitting on a flight from Dublin to London. Very confusing!

    • Yup, only two places I’ve ever been questioned about my knitting was Dublin (c. 2003) and Munich (this past February). Guy in Munich was like “next time maybe you should check that?” and I think I responded “well, then what would I do on the plane?” but he let me go (possibly because I had a 6 month old strapped to me and was also herding a toddler through the security line… I so wasn’t going to be knitting on the flight but it had been living in the bag I was using as a carry-on so that’s where it stayed)

    • Not Europe, Belfast. I have never had a problem anywhere in Europe. I haven’t flown out of Belfast since I have been a knitter…

      • I fly out from Dublin fairly regularly and never have any hassle with bringing my knitting thru the airport…

  41. I work in an airport, and bring my knitting with me every day. If anything, it keeps me from being a danger to others, hehe.

  42. Either you’re a 007 agent in disguise (and it’s a good one!) or you should be writing spy novels…maybe really, really sarcastic spy novels.

  43. All I could think while reading that, was the following response:
    “Are you honestly afraid that I’m holding a deadly weapon and might hurt someone? Do you normally walk up to such people and annoy them? How did you survive this long?”

    • I was thinking the same thing! This person has few self preservation skills if he/she risks asking a potential assaulter if they have a weapon! lol…the answers we could come up.

  44. I wish I could have seen the repelling. That must have been awesome! I think if someone called my knitting “THAT” I would have had a thing or two to say. What to do when so many responses crowd into the mouth, how to pick which to spit out?

  45. And YET, last summer I flew from Aberdeen to Heathrow with my knitting in my carry-on. Whereupon, I was subjected to additional screening, WITHIN the secure area, and they took my knitting needles, saying, “They are sharp.” I asked for a supervisor, to no avail. I still miss those needles, and yes, I am resentful, because I had many, many hours in planes and airports from that point on that day and knitting with coffee stir sticks is not fun.

  46. Nice knitting, it will be very pretty.

    Whatever about the person…there is no dumb question, I try and find the grace and misunderstanding in people. Maybe it was her way to open a bridge for conversation.

    Flying does suck though.

  47. Ooooohhhhhhh. (Slow simmer)
    My Mom had the best look for people like that-the raised eyebrow with what us kids called “the sheriff stare”- direct and steely. It translated to: do you know just how incredibly stupid you sound right now -all the way up to-spill your guts and you might be spared.
    I opt for the cheery ‘Oh yes! Did they let YOU through security?’
    Sheesh. Some people’s children!

  48. I made it through security with bamboo needles going into Mexico several years ago, but the Mexico side decided they were dangerous and took them on the way back. After searching my bag. In a busy line. Then there was a small earthquake so I do believe the knitting gods were showing their anger.

    = )

  49. I was knitting on one flight, and the attendant was really interested in what I was doing, as she was a knitter as well. Another time, I sat in the back with a whack of off-duty pilots, who were teasing me about my knitting. Between laughs, I managed to tell them, “if you have a knitter on your flight, they’re on YOUR side.”

  50. The one time I had to leave my knitting behind I was told to do so by a hard-faced woman who I swear just wanted my Addi turbo circular for herself.

  51. Ack…I just ran into Stephanie in Churchmouse on Bainbridge Island….hope I didn’t embarrass myself; she was very very nice. love all the above comments- I would have been dumbstruck and fumed silently to myself while thinking of great things to say later. But how incredibly rude….what’s that quote about opening one’s mouth and proving you are a fool as opposed to keeping it shut…..

  52. When the answer to the question is so patently obvious, my response is YES, with no followup. Hope you didn’t end up as seat mates. It would have been a long trip no matter how short the distance. The TSA here in the lower 48 is taking a drubbing for leaky protocols and inconsistent security checks. The needle-or-no-needle decision is ultimately made by the folks checking you through. The airline may have a printed policy available on-line to the potential customer, but the reality is that it is only as good as the folks enforcing it. Some airlines are knitter-friendly and others are not. I fly rarely, and then they are short hops of an hour or less. I avoid the problem altogether and put my knitting in check-through, especially after reading anecdotal customer airline reviews of being hassled despite stated written policy. Sadly, these days I much prefer my car to the friendly skies. It never used to be so.

  53. Aack! What a clod. You had me giggling with your knitting needle scammer scenario, though. Thanks for the laugh.

  54. my favorite response to that question which i get oh-too-often is to smile in a creepy say and ask “why? do i frighten you?”

  55. Loved it!

    But wasn’t it an Albanian passport?

    (and, no, I have no idea why I picked that nationality but it just sounded kinda thriller movie-ish….)

  56. Hi. When I get that question I smile and say, “Usually long pointed needles gives me assurance that whomever sits next to me is well behaved for the duration of the flight”. Then I smile again and put my earbuds in.

  57. The thing is, Yarn Harlot, if you had to do all of that totally impossible stuff, including shagging the pilot, to get your knitting through security, I’m not entirely sure that you wouldn’t.

  58. Lol!! I’m going to print this totally entertaining “rant” and just hand it to the person(s) that say similar things when I fly!!

  59. This is the funniest possible way to cope with this kind of stoopid situation…I had plenty of this sort of thing when I travelled with my knitting (a lot) before I had twins. I thought I had heard it all. You made me laugh about it….but

    I was so wrong. It is amazing how many people have truly inane comments to make about twins when I have to travel with them. Our relatives all live in the U.S., we live in Canada, and there are two flights to get us there. Comments about the double stroller, about whether we have our hands full, double-trouble…all that nonsense. What takes the cake is when I am struggling to get both boys onto the plane while my husband wrestles the stroller into its case and the people in first class look at me like I am annoying them….
    I have gotten exceedingly good at the glassy eyed stare. Oh, and when they stare at me first, sometimes I talk back now! I ask what they are looking at?…and would you like to give us a hand?
    I long for the long gone travel with knitting days!!

    • I would so love to give a hand. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do, tho–and my own hands are full. Travel with small kids must be the hardest job going.

      • Thank you! Thank you! Just saying you want to help is kind. 🙂
        I think it is great when (safe looking!) people ask if they can help…usually while I am guiding two toddlers down the plane aisle, holding a purse, a diaper bag and a couple of kid backpacks, I appreciate any offers. Thank you for even saying you were thinking about it…it means a lot!

  60. My response to ignorant comments like that is to raise an eyebrow and say “Fly much, dear?”

    That usually ends the conversation right there (thank gawd). In flight US flight attendants almost always stop to admire and inspect what I am working on…, which educates everyone within earshot anyway.

  61. I will print this on little cards and hand it to people at the airport tomorrow if they even look at me crosswise. It is guaranteed that I’ll get asked the same question; I always do. And I’m never as restrained as you were. Way to go.

  62. Getting ready to fly to London and Paris…..just assumed my knitting would go thru security—yes I know NEVER assume—am off to check airline website…..but thanks for the laughs in the meantime.

  63. Eight years ago, when 5 months pregnant, my knitting was allowed through security, only to be confiscated ON THE PLANE by a steward. It was a short domestic flight in Australia. I told her I was glad the world was a safer place because my baby blanket had been confiscated. At least she let me finish the row.

  64. Dear Stephanie; Thank you for saying what i have felt over the years. I fly a lot since we moved across the country from our family several years ago. Never had any issues until a couple of weeks ago when told to stow my knitting during takeoff by a flight attendant and surprised myself with the irritation i felt over that request.

  65. Flew to Brazil on TAM airline with knitting coming and going – no issues either direction. I have flown ‘locally’ (coast to coast USA) and haven’t had any issues. The most interest I received was a Japanese woman next to me who didn’t speak English (I don’t speak Japanese) who was trying to help me knit, maybe correct my continental ways??? Memorable to say the least…

  66. Oh that happend to me once. I, also, gave the questioner a baleful look and then asked her if sercurity let her in with her belt or pencil or headset cord so she could stab and garrot someone! Oh the stupidity of some people.

  67. I see I’m way against the grain here but I would have thought, with your sense of humor, you’d kinda laugh that off. I get asked the same thing frequently and generally say, “yeah, can you believe it??”. Beer time, eh?
    But all in all, still love reading everything you write.

  68. Sounds like two people didn’t get enough sleep. It made one slightly stupid and the other one slightly grumpy and sarcastic. Hope they both have a better night tonight.

    • ….. and possibly even a third one, who turned up a tad judgmental and condescending?? Sleep well.

  69. The best anecdata I’m aware of on this issue is on the Travelry forum on Ravelry.
    My own experience is that Southwest and American (both US), Volaris (Chicago to Mexico) and Aer Lingus (into/out of Heathrow and Belfast) are knitting friendly. I’ve knitted socks on all of those airlines from 2010 forward.
    OTOH, i cannot take any knitting needles or crochet hooks into our City-County Building, which houses civil and criminal courts,
    city and county offices, etc. Mercifully, I’ve not been called for jury duty . . .

  70. My experience at security checkpoints flying numerous times: Canada and US, no problems ever with any kind of needles. Travelling in Europe, I take no chances of losing my project (horrible thought)…no problem ever with either plastic or bamboo 6″ dpns. I knit socks. Added pleasure is that they end up being a lovely souvenir of that particular trip.

  71. I think you’re over-reacting a bit. I wasn’t allowed to enter a courtroom with needles, and I would expect that there was a time when no one could board a plane with needles, either, until the TSA decided terrorists hadn’t caught on to them yet. So many real things to get upset about in the world; this person’s remark isn’t one of them. It’s possible she had to dump something quite innocuous while you made it through with something that, if we’re honest with ourselves, could be turned into a weapon.

  72. Do you think that person is reading your blog? If not, why rant here? There are all sorts of professions, mine among them, where the professionals get asked the same questions over and over again. Of course the questioner, has probably only asked that particular question once in their entire life. They don’t realize (nor should they have to) that the professional has been asked it thousands of times: to the questioner, it is the first time that question has been asked. And a professional would realize this and just answer the question. No need for spleen; least said soonest forgotten.

    • … This is what is known as Satire. You might have heard of it. If you cannot see the humor in the idea of Stephanie rappelling into an airport terminal just to get her knitting through security, you need more sleep.

        • Nor I. But you’ve summed it up perfectly. Thanks. The hautiness, the sanctimony exhibited here is amazing, can’t recognize humor/satire when it slaps them in the face.

      • satire or sarcasm, they both use ridicule. why encourage that? makes no sense to me when there’s so many other ways to use humor.

        • You might want to try a different blog then. One more suitable for your humor preferences. I think Craftsy has one that’s completely devoid of any humor at all. That might work out better for you.

    • Well, if she is reading this blog, consider that she made her comment to Stephanie alone, whereas Stephanie (bless your heart, dear), “outed” this women to the hundreds here who have commented in nasty tones about what a stupid B**** she is. Makes me scared to be in a group of knitters, now. I agree with someone above who suggested a beer and a cool down. Not the finest moment for a lot of people here.

      • People – it’s called entertainment and no one “outted” anyone as this person had no idea who YH was and is unlikely to read this blog. Chill out – life is better lived with ones tongue firmly in cheek. Just sayin’

      • Not stupid, just really needing sleep. And I mean that. When people are tired we get cranky, we become more literal-minded, and because we take things more literally we miss the silliness of making only left-hand turns for what it is. I say this as an insomniac who is typing this at 2:30 am. Sleep, people, sleep.

      • Thank you for the clear example of how to use a pseudo-‘blessing’ and ‘endearment’ as a condescending put-down.

    • I’m with you, Mary. I’ve actually done little flying, but often get asked in public many repetitive (and what could be interpreted as ‘annoying’) questions about knitting and spinning. Why be snarky about something you love to do? It would take the joy out of it for me.
      Beer-thirty – a good motto.

      • Well bless your heart, aren’t you just the font of all that is right in the world. Heaven’s to Betsy, my goodness, I feel so ashamed of myself for laughing at Stephanies inner dialogue. Please forgive me as I too have experienced the spirit of l’esprit d’escalier and come up with a snarky response before, I believe I may even have said this phrase out loud to someone before “I might be chubby, but you’re stupid and I can lose weight” How I wish I were able to suppress my emotions. Is the valium working out well for you? Have a super day dear.

    • Because this is Stephanie’s blog? Because she pays for the server space and can publish whatever she pleases? Because she has repeatedly said that The Blog is(are?) her friends, and when you are tired and frustrated and had a bad day you vent to your friends? It’s not like she posted a picture and the personal details of this woman. We all know how lovely Ms. Pearl-McPhee is in person, and however much internal eye-rolling there was she wasn’t actually rude to the woman in question.

      Also, I highly doubt the woman in question was aware of who our dear Harlot is, and therefore wasn’t questioning her in a professional capacity.

  73. I am always surprised when people think my knitting needles are weapons but their very pointy pens are not.

    I got a very nice email from your friend Ken showing some of his exploits on the Aids Life Cycle ride (I think he sent it to all of us who donated). Kudos to him for doing multiple fundraising rides within a short period of time.

  74. I travel 2-3 weeks a month. I have never had the needles questioned in the U.S. I did have them questioned once in Toronto (sorry, Steph), but they let me through. I just went down to Costa Rica. I had read that it might be an issue coming back, so instead of my addi’s I switched to knitters pride wood. I took two pairs of tips. I also switched out my metal crochet hook and needles to plastic, and left my scissors at home. I had the cutter on my dental floss if necessary. Before going through security I took the tips off the project. And I placed the two sets in two different places in my carry on…one set with pens and pencils. It is a long flight home, I was darned if I was doing it without knitting. Happy to say I made it through. And yes, the person next to me said, “they let you through security with those things”. If traveling abroad, do your research first. Don’t risk losing your needles.

  75. Restraint is a good thing. Good for you. I think if more travelers practiced restraint travel would be so much more pleasant. I get tired of people saying, Oh how nice, you knit, I wish I could, or I tried it once, as if I can fix it for them. So I say nothing. Conversation is not required with rude strangers, eh?

  76. Yes? And what happened next? Come on, don’t leave us hanging here! I feel an amazing fight scene coming on– maybe a cool court scene, too. Do you seduce the judge?

  77. I always respond that I am a much greater danger to everyone without my knitting. This Sunday was proof. I was flying home from Orlando and the airport shuttle service insisted I be at the airport 2 hours 45 minutes before my scheduled flight. So I had to schedule an 8:55 am pick up for a 12:35 pm flight. The trip to the airport was short and uneventful. I curbside checked my bag and was randomly chosen for TSA Pre Check. So I was through security and at my gate well before 10:00 am. Can you imagine sitting in the airport for over 2 hours with no knitting???? There would have been some kind of incident!

  78. I’ve gone through security in Seattle and Austin with a full set of every size bamboo DPNs and my Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables. Glad they weren’t confiscated. I also carry small scissors. Will see about Dallas in a few months.
    Sorry I won’t be seeing you in PL. Hope you enjoy the great weather we’re having.

  79. 🙂 Knitting needles were forbidden on Australian airlines for quite a time before the policy was revised. I once had a crochet hook confiscated and never did figure out whether this was because I had read the policy wrongly and they were also banned or because the cabin attendant who demanded to know whether I was really KNITTING!! simply did not accept that I was crocheting and knitting is the one where there are two pointy sticks. I think she believed she had removed my knitting needle. Sigh.

  80. The woman sitting next to me on a plane once asked me the very same question and I had the same response. Really?? I’m sitting here, in an aisle seat, knitting. The flight attendants can see me. What do you think I’m going to do to you, lady? You’d be more frightened of me without my knitting, believe me.

    • I get asked this ALL THE TIME by seatmates…maybe every second or third one. I used to be stunned into the same silence and minimal response paired with an internal dialogue that sounds pretty similar (I like your style!), but now I just say, “No, I had to run around…” and leave them to think about that. It’s pretty entertaining to see where they go with it, and to watch them working their way through the implications =)

  81. Oh man, I had a guy pull that same attitude with me once at T5 at JFK. He was clearly Not From New York; New Yorkers know better than to actually expect interaction with other people in any transit situation.

    (I looked at him with my best librarian stare, and just said, “Yes. Obviously.” And when he didn’t move I asked him to step aside because he was blocking my view to the television on the wall. Not that I wanted to watch CNN but after he saw me knitting a sock without looking he walked away. Jerk. The lady sitting near me who was watching the whole thing cracked up, so it was worth the annoyance.)

    Anyway, Steph, I feel you. If it weren’t so aggravating, the way people expect you to take their inane comments seriously could be almost hilarious.

  82. Too funny! Just got back from a trip where the first flight put me through the wringer. One of my children is type 1 diabetic. I somehow ended up with his backpack (says on it juvenile diabetes) and since he had juice in there (allowed as it’s for low blood sugar and the flight had no snacks available for him, purchases only) they had to hand inspect all of my personal belongings (and the full body search as well). My bag of course had my current knitting (cardigan with three circulars in it), my future knitting (socks with 5 dpns), darning needle, and small scissors. My purse also had the luxury of my wallet in which one pocket had a used syringe and a open infusion set in it. Had to have the body search while trying to warm the other 2 officers to watch out for all of the various sharp objects. Not once did anyone say anything about the knitting except it was pretty, LOL!

  83. When we were flying to Japan to visit our son, no one looked twice at my sock on double points or the shawl on Addi Turbos. The New Orleans TSA did, however feel that the “Pecan Pie in a Jar” was an obvious threat to the safety of the plane and had to be confiscated.

  84. That’s almost as stupid a remark as the one made by the woman on my cruise who said upon watching me knit, “Oh look at you! That’s so cool that you knit. It’s such a DEAD art, you know.” I didn’t think quickly enough to show her how many members of Ravelry also participate in the same “dead art”!!!

    • Lordy. I had someone tell me on Facebook that sewing was also a dying art that “no one” did anymore. (Tell that to the quilters, I dare you.) I informed him that it was actually a $2 billion with a B industry in a medium growth phase. So not exactly dying. People are idiots.

      • To be fair, perhaps he meant sewing meticulously tailored and detailed clothing sets that don’t look like costumes? That one doesn’t get a lot of press although quilting and ‘Quick 2-HR dresses!’ do. I’m chosing to believe he meant ‘how cool that you have a skill that others don’t.’

  85. My question to you would have been: You are going to knit w h i t e while traveling?

    But thank you for the entertaining note on the stupidity of some questions. I also like the one “Are you awake?”, clearly the only possible answer is “No.”

  86. Oh, I can see myself asking that rethorical question in order to start a converstaion (my next step would be to tell you that I don’t fly with knitting because in Portgual knitting needles are forbidden in hand luggage and I’ve had to slide my stitches into yarn and ship my needles home by mail). People say silly things while discoursing. Of course I wasn’t there to judge the tone. And you wouldn’t be able to write such a funny post if it was just an opening line. 🙂

  87. While this is good news, knitting is still not completely in the clear. They confiscated knitting needles at jury duty; this does not bode well for a defendant, should this knitter be called to actually serve. I never get that far…my smoldering glare at being without knitting has managed to safely excuse me from actually being selected to sit on a jury.

  88. Hahaha! Thanks to you Steph (and an old post about this same topic) I always bring my knitting on flights. What exactly is it about knitting that makes people feel like they always have to comment about it?

  89. And how about that pen you’re carrying, the shoe-lace garrote and myriad other things you happen to be wearing that could potentially cause harm?

  90. Last time someone asked me that I told them I was a federal air marshall and it was part of my disguise and I’d also been trained to use my needles as deadly weapons. So she should feel especially safe when she sees a knitter aboard any airplane she is on.

  91. Last November I took some knitting with me on a flight … got through 2 Canadian and 2 American airports without anyone in security even blinking at me. On the way home I got stopped in Toronto (which I’d gone through on the way to the US) as I was running late for a flight and they confiscated my circular tips. I was livid (and not very polite to the security agent).

  92. I think the second answer will always be fine to use. Kind of like when you are on crutches and the door is so heavy you almost break your other leg trying to open it and someone asks if they can hold the door for you.

  93. You have obviously given this a lot of consideration if, in case sometime in the future, airport authorities do make a policy of limiting knitting on airplanes. Good for you.

  94. Reminds me of the time my cousin was to meet us at my mother’s house and when she arrived asked where my mother was. I told her she had had a heart attack and was in the hospital and my cousin said “You’re kidding!”


  95. I flew Halifax-Toronto-Hong Kong-Saigon to visit my brother last year and then Saigon-Tokyo-Toronto-Halifax on the way back. Knitted socks on a pair of short wooden circulars the entire way in all airports and on all flights. Only concern came from a very apologetic security agent in Hong Kong who confiscated my small metal folding scissors.

  96. In the movie The Crazies someone gets stabbed with knitting needles. And there was another one where they find a dead body in the airplane toilet stabbed to death this a knitting needle. I always thought that circulars would make a dandy garotte. And despite these things, they still let me fly with my knitting.

  97. They stole my Addi Turbos in Mexico. Little did they know I’m far more dangerous without my knitting that with it.

  98. When I’m in a good & generous mood, my response to questions of this ilk is to treat them as absolutely genuine enquiries, and respond in kind. When I’m not…well, I tend to revert to sarcasm, such as replying to this one, “Nope, they didn’t. I’m actually a figment of your imagination sitting here”. Or, feigning deafness.

    But really, the rules do vary…I’ve had no problems taking knitting or embroidery projects/tools onto flights, and that includes my traditional little bird scissors. However, I have learned to buy for my purse only the nail-clippers that do not have a swing-out nail file – those have been confiscated every single time. I choose not to point out the inconsistency, because I love my little scissors, but yeesh – they’re sharp and pointy, and in my Neeson/Statham/Damon-inspired action-flick daydreams, could do way more damage than a blunt little nail file.

    And I have a track record of ALWAYS getting pulled over in security – I think it’s an equity thing – then they can say to anyone expressing concern re profiling , “look, we searched that short, dumpy, middle-aged English-speaking white woman…”. Seriously – the last few years it’s been everywhere – Heathrow, Miami, Newark, Montreal, Toronto. The last time I didn’t get pulled into security was in Seoul.

  99. I never comment here. I don’t know why. But I love reading your blog.
    I think you left out one very obnoxious response: “No, they don’t let you through with knitting! Are you crazy? No, you have to buy the needles and fiber in the newsstand where you get your coffee. I got here extra early to wait for my plane so I could knit.”

  100. Oh this is hilarious! I love a good rant! Frankly, I’m more offended by someone referring to a labour of love as “that” than by them deeming you a security risk! Crafting is the ONLY way to make a flight bearable, imho – it’s a human rights issue allowing knitting on planes. xx

  101. Oh Snarky, how I love thee! This was so awesome!!! You can’t fix stupid, but you CAN entertain the rest of us when you encounter stupid! Bravo!

  102. Well….I’ve had my knitting needles taken away by security in airports many times. I’ve determined that they will take away aluminum needles, but not bamboo or carbon fiber needles. I’ve also had a plastic yarn needles, metal stitch markers that look like safety pins, metal crochet hooks and a metal gauge gizmo absconded. It’s totally random.

  103. I just tell them that it is a lot more dangerous for a knitter to fly (or sit in airports) WITHOUT her/his knitting than it is to allow them to have it.
    Sit with that for a moment………

    P.S. From someone who was just patted down at her local cow pasture airport….for NO PARTICULAR REASON. (Sorry mam it is just a random check. Sheesh!)

    P.S. 2 Even money that the questioner kept his “small electronics” on wifi instead of “airplane” mode.

  104. Anyone else ever bring a sturdy self addressed stamped envelope in case security wont allow the needles on the plane? Were you allowed to mail yr needles home?

  105. I like your alternate scenario … very entertaining. A few years ago, I had to get special permission from security, before checking luggage, to take my hooks on an international flight. Ridiculous, we all know knitters are the dangerous ones. (You know I’m kidding, right?)

  106. When I would travel for work, people would ask me the same question. I had two responses:

    “They let you through with a pen, didn’t they?”


    “They had to. Trust me, I’m more dangerous without it.”

    It usually shut them up quickly.

  107. I have a co-worker who has brought knitting on all of her many airline flights – even immediately post- 9/11 – and never had a problem. At one point a guard told her that the TSA had decided that peri-menopausal women without their knitting were more dangerous than their needles.
    Stay calm and carry yarn!

  108. Basically how I feel every single time….

    This just happened to me last month while waiting around during jury duty. Some woman came up to me saying that she couldn’t believe they let me in there with my needles. Are you sure you’re allowed to have them?

    When I told her that I went through security and nobody stopped me, she seemed to have a real problem with it. What weirdos!

    • wow…jury duty is the one place I was not allowed to bring my knitting. At security they told me no and I had to walk back to my car and put everything away. Thankfully I was NOT selected for the jury!!

      • The first time I was called for jury duty I went to the courthouse ahead of time to ask if I would be allowed to knit while waiting to be called, and they said “sure!” Thank heavens. Waiting to be called could get really, really old without knitting.

  109. Very funny post. It sounds like that person didn’t have a filter on his mouth — something to be kept to oneself.

    I agree with all of the pen comments. We saw a movie the other day where someone was killed with a pencil in the eyeball — nasty. I’ve also thought about how dangerous keys could be. Put them between your fingers like brass knuckles and you have a good weapon. It they really want to make the plane 100% safe we wouldn’t be able to carry anything on.

    One possible bright spot for the future. Since the report of the US TSA flunking 94% of the time, I heard that there is a recommendation to eliminate the xray, body scans, etc. and use dogs. They can detect weapons, explosives, drugs, etc. I wouldn’t mind having a dog sniff my bags — or me for that matter.

  110. Why didn’t you tell him you were a witch and just “accio knitting” after you got through security? Then he’d have just as stunned a look as you did.

  111. Back in the dark days while they still had National Guard troops in the airports with machine guns aka pre TSA, I managed to take a pair of socks on bamboo needles through the screens and was quietly waiting universal response from the flight attendants was “Good for you.”

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that every time a bully makes you change your behavior to accommodate them, you have let the bully win. Not saying that airport security didn’t need to improve only that current extremes and pervasive fear as demonstrated by this question has let the bad guys win anyway.

  112. just saw Joe in Jann Arden clip
    she appears to be recording in his studio!

    how awesome would it be to meet Jann Arden!

  113. I can’t help answering something completely weird in this kind of cases. Like saying out loud what you summarized, or telling “well, they took away my gun, knife and plastic, that was my trick to have knitting needles going through…”
    I always ashame people traveling with me but it seems I just can’t grow up…;0°

  114. My experience with security involved a TSA agent before 9/11. The young man looked at all the yarn I had packed in my carry on and said, “You can’t take that. You could strangle someone.” Luckily my sister was with me and quickly pointed out that I didn’t need that much yarn to strangle someone. LOL A supervisor let me on the plane, yarn intact.

  115. Gee, I don’t know which is worse, the questioner’s comment or something like, “Oh, is that knitting? I just don’t have time for things like that.”

    • That’s usually when I remind them of all the time they sit in front of the boob tube, on public transportation, standing in line, in waiting rooms, etc… Still occasionally get odd looks, but eh.

  116. I recently had an awkward moment when airport security started re-screening my backpack and I volunteered that I had knitting needles in there, so they asked me to show them, and after I pointed out the first set on a sweater, a second and third set not in use, and by now somewhat incredulous, they asked if I had still more, and I produced a hat out of a side pocket…. ‪I didn’t volunteer that they’d ‎missed the ones in my purse‬ (I might have looked a little nuts by that point, but I’m not *that* nuts.) After they’d seen them, they sent me on my way. That trip had 9 flights in 18 days, 7 of which were outside the US, and that was the only time anyone even noticed.

  117. Unfortunately, living in the UK, I’ve never been able to take knitting needles on a plane. But for the last 3 years or so I have had a rather revolting purple feather yarn scarf on two HB pencils, which was reserved for plane knitting. I finished it this spring in the USA and gave it away to a friend with a feeling of relief … but at least it allowed me to knit! Nobody ever commented. Worst experience ever was showing my knitting to a museum security guard in London — he promptly pulled the whole thing off the needles, and then gave it back to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I was told by the checkin agent at Birmingham Airport, UK that I couldn’t take needles through security. I said “yes, I can” and checked my bags. When I got to security, they checked the computer and when I asked them to look for the black phone that was lost in the bag, they muttered and sent me through. Found the small cell phone when I got home, 3 checkpoints later.

  118. 1. Loved the number of responses you post received!
    2. Loved the colorful way you described your proposed exploit.
    3. And finally, love what you are knitting!! (That’s what really caught my eye. Had I seen you in the airport, I’d have said “can I have the pattern?”


  119. I have flown with knitting needles in the US and Canada for years, and apparently, have sneaked a large darning needle past security (which I keep forgetting to take out of my purse) on numerous flights as well. This week, while in the Toronto airport, I found myself having my purse re-x-rayed and hand-searched repeatedly. The conversion between the security agents led me to realize one had seen a shawl pin (hammered silver circle and straight pin) in my bag – also forgotten. I waited for them to produce it and practiced my “surprised” face, but I was finally let go. The stick part was 1/2 the size of my circular tips that passed (all 3 pairs) but I didn’t want to risk losing it. Sheesh!

  120. I go through this argument with my Dad every time I fly to see them. He is beyond incredulous that I am allowed to fly with knitting needles. He is convinced that I will either use the cable as a garrotte or put someone’s eyes out with the needles. Because knitting needles are a weapon! Be afraid!

  121. I go through this argument with my Dad every single time I fly to see my parents. He is just incredulous that I am allowed to fly with knitting needles. The cable could be used as a garrotte or the needle themselves will be used to put someone’s eye out. The plane could hit turbulence causing the needles to fly out of my hand and murder someone! Knitting needles are a weapon people!

  122. i too have been asked that exact question on two separate occasions. However in the less busy airports I have found that the security guards have been interested in my knitting and enjoy the fact that I do it.

  123. I’m afraid my answer would have been: “Yes, they did let me through with these weapons”– as I stab the person in the eye with the needle!!! Oh wait, your yarn is white so I might have reconsidered!!

  124. People are weird. The woman who saw me crocheting in a psychiatrists’s waiting room and said ‘Why are you doing that?’ Why, so I don’t try to shove your entire person into the vending machine slot to see what it will give me in return? Or the woman whose dog had just bitten mine: ‘She never bites anyone!’ Well, my dog is bleeding and you have functioning eyes, so… (dog was fine and didn’t bleed on my shawl, all good).

  125. Well, I must say, the second option does sound a lot more thrilling. Maybe it could be incorporated in a scene for the next installment of the Bond franchise? I’m sure Blomfeld would have had an ulterior motive involving knitting needles. But what clever name would the villainess have had?

    Still, some people just are not that good at starting conversations.

  126. I am glad that I have always been allowed to take my knitting on planes. And I have been doing so since the day after 9/11.

    But have any of you seen the NCIS episode (S. 7 E. 13) where someone is killed with US#8 straight knitting needles on a commercial airline flight? It made my family members look at me a little differently since now they see me as always armed.

  127. Bravo!
    I always hate having to explain to incredulous people that “yes, I’m allowed to bring knitting on the plane. No, I don’t think anyone is very worried that I’m going to use the needles as a weapon. Why spend all this time to knit something only to pull the needles out to stab someone?”

    Non-knitters, man. Non-knitters.

  128. Back when they weren’t letting knitting needles on planes, I started bringing a wooden crochet hook. I would leave my work in my bag (with a big unworked loop), and put the hook in my agenda with my pen. I was on the plane, working away, and a flight attendant said “How did you get that on the plane?” I said “Am I in trouble?” “No,” she replied “I want to bring mine too! I want to know how you did it.”

  129. There was one time a lady on the bus looked at my knitting and informed me “that” could become a flying projectile in an accident. I told her that’s not how physics worked.

    Her reply? “Oh, you’ve thought of that.”

    I almost fed laughing.

  130. When flying with knitting, I always print out the TSA page which tells me I can have knitting needles, just in case. But I learned that going through other countries airport security, you can’t have needles. Lost about 4 pairs of double pointed needles trying to fly home from Colombia after the rude lady ripped them out of my knitting.

  131. Just about a month ago I had a flight from Vienna to London, then got on a direct flight from London to San Diego. I took the precaution of putting bamboo tips on my interchangeable cable, then hiding them among my charger cables while going through security. It has worked every time, so far. No shagging pilots necessary.

    On the 2nd flight, the one from London to San Diego, I sat near a lovely Irish lady who’d had her bamboo tips/circular cable confiscated in Dublin, so maybe I was just lucky. I hope I didn’t make her too envious as I knit steadily while crossing the Atlantic.

    But in a few months I have to report for jury duty, and tragically, I will not be allowed to take my knitting. That just leads me to wonder how a person makes a weapon out of them. I COULD take a phone with its charging cable though, so they’re clearly not worried about the garrotting hazard. The tips themselves must be the concern. Maybe I could ingeniously construct a bow and MacGyver a makeshift arrow out of the tips?

    • I’ve gotten my needles confiscated going into a courthouse before — I was very put out until my husband pointed out how easily a sock needle could unlock handcuffs . . . :).

      • Good point (no pun intended). the list of prohibited materials says nothing about crochet hooks. Maybe this is the time for me to learn to crochet.

  132. Ok too funny! Thanks for the laugh. I’m a born and raised Jersey Girl who’s been living in FL for the past 19 years. Well you can take the girl out of NJ but not the NJ out of the girl. I would have gone what we call full on Jersey on the person (which is, sorry but we have NO filter) and looked the person straight in the eye and said, “The person who let me through with THAT, as you call it, was the same person who let YOU through with that big uncontrollable rude ass mouth of yours!” Then I would sweetly smile and look away.

    • PS: It amazes me how rude people are and that they feel the “need” to go up to bother others. I mean it’s knitting and a baby blanket for crying out loud and you were not bothering anyone, keeping to yourself. I do admire your restraint, because I would have never been able to keep quiet.

    • “…who let YOU through with that big uncontrollable rude ass mouth of yours!”

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! I would pay good money to see that interaction.

      • Hilarie,It’s embarrassing really,and I’m a bit ashamed to admit it because I don’t wish to be that way a lot of times I just have no filter whatsoever, especially with rude people. I just asked my hub what do you think I’d say if someone got in my face and invaded my space like that while I was knitting and keeping to myself quietly and he said I’d say something even worse than what I posted!

  133. A friend of mine has remarked that they allow CDs. If you have ever broken one of them, you know how sharp the end becomes. Waaaay more dangerous than my needles!

  134. I fly with knitting all the time. Only once did a steward ask me to put my knitting away during takeoff and landing. My husband got summoned to jury duty and the notice explicitly stated “no knitting allowed”. It’s a weird world…..

  135. One of the British grande dames of mysteries, think it was Ruth Rendell, has a story in which the murder weapon is a circular needle. So…..Don’t understand why needles are NOT prohibited if one is seriously worried about acts of violence.

    Sure you were totally pleasant in your ‘in the flesh’ contact with this woman. But you certainly let loose in the post! As only fiber people will read this, probaby safe to vent here!

  136. In June, Years ago, I was finally on the stateside portion of my international flight from my overseas job teaching the children of the U.S. Military.

    I had already flown all night and I was on my final leg of my flight. I was knitting away as I had been for most of the international flight. My seat mate arrived and settled in to the window seat next to me. He appeared to be a businessman (had a suit on in June) to me.

    I said, “Hi.” He looks over and glares at my dull pointed, size 5.0 mm bamboo circular knitting needles full of knitted stitches. Immediately, sneers at me in disbelief, “They let you go through security with THOSE THINGS?”

    Innocent me says… “Sure. I can’t sleep on planes. So, I always having knitting and something to read.” He said several more rude things about how was it possible for me to be allowed to bring something so dangerous on the plane. Etc. of course, what he is inferring is totally going right over my “jet-lagged” brain.

    I did say something about how it would be almost impossible to cause any type of injury… because the ends are so dull and that
    an ink pen could cause far more injury/etc.

    He got up and apparently went to TELL ON ME, about my dangerous knitting hobby, because a short time later…a flight attendant came and walked by… Noticed my knitting, asked what I was making, and told me that she had her knitting with her too. (I still didn’t realize at this point that he had told on me– but, it didn’t go the way, he had thought it would.)

    He actually left and went to sit elsewhere where his life as a 50 something year old wasn’t endangered by a 40 something knitting elementary school teacher.

    *I have had a few others… Make comments about being allowed to bring knitting on flights… I just want to say: “NOW, what do you think… iF I wasn’t allowed to bring the knitting through security or on the plane… That I would sit here knitting in PUBLIC??? Stupid thinking process that some of these people have.

    • What a jerk He went and told on you? Ok NOT swearing this time: I would have replied: Oh, I’m a knitting ninja and I’m licensed to carry them, I am here to protect you!

      • Yes, he went and told on me that I was knitting! I guess the fact that I never stopped even if an airline employee walked by me wasn’t good enough for him to believe that I really was allowed to knit on planes.

        The flight attendant told me later that he was all freaked out, indignant, etc. This was a usa flight. I was an American, he was an American… So no misunderstanding what had been said/etc.

  137. The only people who are envious of those who “get” to fly as part of their jobs are people who have never had to fly as part of their jobs. The whole airport, flying, taxis, hotels cycle sucks once you are past your second work trip.

  138. That was a dumb question you were asked, but I think you are over-reacting. I myself presumed for years after 9/11 that knitting needles weren’t allowed. I’ve been a knitter since I was 7 years old, off and on again, and missed many an opportunity to fill in boring times on planes with knitting. I was so glad several years ago, when I was on a plane to get to my mom’s deathbed, that I had figured out it was okay. But to be safe, I took small plastic, circular needles. Really helped sooth my mind.

    • I feel that tone is a big factor here. An innocent question asked with a *tone* can very definitely be rude. Shockingly rude. Sounds like it was more the way in which it was asked, and also being asked it again and again ad nauseum that finally got to Stephanie. Which is ok. It is a silly question. Obviously they let her take them.

  139. You tell ’em, Stephanie! It’s really difficult to keep my mouth shut – as you so bravely did – in the face of sheer stupidity. Add rudeness to the mix and No. Way. would I have been able to keep quiet. Also, thank you for making me laugh out loud with this epic rant. The last couple of days have been long and hard and, coupled with my glass of wine (how is it empty? Who stole my wine?!) this story might just rescue my good humor!

  140. I just had a similar experience on a flight from Nashville, TN yesterday. ‘They let you bring those on the plane?’, as I knit away with my Addi size 10 bamboo circs. ‘Why, yes, they did.’, as I stare at their pen being used for a crossword puzzle….

  141. I could see where there could be two ways this question could be asked:

    In an upbeat sort of voice: “Oh, wow! They let you take your knitting! Cool!”

    In a condescending, nosy sort of voice that lets you know they think you’ve somehow broken The Rules: “Oh, they let you take that?”

    I’m imagining the latter was the case. Some people feel the whole world is theirs to police. They’d have security over in a minute, confiscating your needles if they though they could get anywhere, and they’d feel they’d done their duty to society by not letting you get away with your shenanigans.

  142. After thinking about this, I’m remembering the one time I feel like I got it right. When someone said something like that to me, only they were not just rude but actually angry–and just utterly out of place.

    And my reaction was to burst out laughing, kind of shaking my head a little as I walked away. Their behavior was so unexpected that it was just plain funny, and by laughing cheerfully I denied them any possible sense of vindication–they couldn’t hold an angry reaction against me to further blame me with nor to justify themselves with. I totally won.

    If only I could be perfect all the time, right?

    If anyone anywhere is good at laughing and helping others laugh it’s our Stephanie. I know traveling gets old, but thank you for doing it; it’s the only way we get to see you.

  143. Hmmm. There’s a certain harmless joy in treating something like this as a normal request for information. First the long blank stare as if you hadn’t heard correctly, then the happy smile as you politely say “Of course!” and watch the person’s face change as they realize what a fatuous comment they made.

    But I loved the rappelling, the fake German passport, and the pilot-shagging. Wouldn’t have missed it.

  144. What has this morphed into??? Dec. 2001- we were on a flight to Bahamas- the flight attendant was helping a gentleman nearby fix his tray table as it had a loose screw. I offered my jackknife- and took it out of my handbag. Their mouths fell on the floor. No one stopped me- I must have been living under a rock and didn’t get the memo!!!! Part of the 94% I am flying to Europe soon- never had problems with bringing needles before and certainly don’t want to loose any- appreciate all the advise..

  145. If you can manage it, I think the best response is a dazed look, and saying in a creepy voice, “My therapist recommends it.”

    I took crochet hooks to Hawaii in 1/2002, though I didn’t do any on the plane – no room to unclamp my elbows from my sides, let alone crochet. To be safe, I had the plastic hooks in my purse along with the pens. I took knitting to Europe on British Airways in 2009, and have carried it on several domestic flights with no problem. I use circulars for everything, so nothing too long and pointy.
    Finally last fall, a woman passenger in the waiting area in the Phoenix airport questioned my being allowed to take it on the plane. I assured her that I was, amd pointed out that my size 9 bamboo tips were less sharp than a ballpoint pen.

    I’ve taken knitting to jury duty calls here in Denver several times with no problems. Which is great, because there are usually too many distractions to read. I’ve had it in the jurors’ room while serving on a jury. Never took it into the courtroom; why push it, and it might distract others there.

    The one place where it was confiscated by the security guard was the waiting room at the emergency department at University Hospital. Though I’ve knit in multiple patient rooms in multiple hospitals, there it was considered a security risk. Good thing I had my tablet.

  146. I’ve flown to many parts of the world and the only time I’ve ever had trouble was in Vienna a couple of years ago. I love to knit in the round with two circular needles and I had two projects with me. They ran my carry on bag through the scanner three times and confiscated my two size 2 and two size 1 Addi Turbos and despite the language barrier, finally figured out that this 65 year old woman babbling “Give those to someone who knits! Don’t throw them away!” may not be dangerous after all. They let me keep the two size 0’s. I never travel with my knitting in my carry on after that.

  147. OH NO SHE DIDN’T!!!

    P.S. Remember the time your seat mate complained to the flight attendant that your needles were dangerous: turbulence would cause your needles to poke her eye out or some such thing? Honestly!

  148. OMG Stephanie, you are wasted on knitting. You need to be writing spy novels, or hosting the Stephen Colbert Report or something. I laughed out loud reading this. I am a past master at coming up with sarcastic/witty rejoinders after the fact. Since I reached the age of ‘a certain age’ I no longer experience the gap between the stupidity/insult/jerkness and the acid response, and furthermore, I bother less and less with tact, diplomacy, or in fact, politeness at all. One of the few perks of aging. I look forward to hearing bolder and even more pithy remarks coming out your actual mouth in the years and decades ahead. Thanks for sharing!

  149. After 9/11 I could no longer take straight needles so now i use circular. I hope at a different airport they do not make you leave the needles. I think since you usually knit on socks you have been lucky so far


  150. OMG Stephanie! You made me laugh out loud with that StephEthanTomZoolander scenario. And oh my, streaking?, that made me LOL again picturing you in a crowded Starbucks nekkid, trying to hide amongst the business suits and your cuppa joe. That biking has certainly built your endurance, LOL.
    Pretty astonishing they don’t allow onboard circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade, those would just create surface injury whereas a needle could be forcefully poked into a person’s eye, penetrating their brain and performing a lobotomy, let’s say, like on someone who asks dumb questions. Thank goodness you had your knitting to zen with afterwards.

  151. I spent a flight back from Hawaii (I know!) with a flight attendant who was a knitter – she spent every moment she could talking to me about knitting. And it was a 6 hour flight. Every other flight attendant on the plane, if they walked by my seat, asked, “Has Pat talked to you yet?” Yes, and she was marvelous. But I still put in a lifeline before I go through security, just in case. I’d rather loose my needles than what is sometimes HOURS of work.

  152. I want sat through an entire boarding while knitting my socks on size 0 wooden needles to have 2 guys next me who were talking about their jobs on an oil rig turn to me and asked me incredulously if they let me on the plane with those. I couldn’t help it. I laughed at him and said a you work on an oil rig and you’re afraid of my little toothpick knitting needles? They didn’t even look at me once during the entire rest of the flight.

  153. ….if it was TSA I am not surprised. They let testers with bombs, guns and other contraband thru 99% of the time but you and your knitting, which is allowed, are questioned.
    …if it was TSA I am not surprised…..at all.

    • I wonder whether one day this isn’t all going to result in that long-awaited yarn shop in the airport. Some genius TSA agent takes all the high quality needles they’ve confiscated, and sells them back to crafters exiting their destination airport (maybe even at second hand prices). They’d make a fortune!

  154. Just stumbled across your blog today, and I already know that I am going to enjoy it!

    It would have been so cool if you had looked left, then right, then looked at her slyly and said, “Shhhhhhh”

  155. Well, maybe the person was European? In Europe the needles are mostly not allowed and can be confiscated by security (I had them confiscated in Dublin a few years ago and more recently this happened to someone I know in Frankfurt). Also, I fly a lot around Europe and to be honest I can’t remember ever seeing anyone knitting/crocheting on planes or in waiting areas.

    So YMMW, but coming from Europe, I can totally imagine myself making (or at least thinking) a similar comment out of incredulity that it is actually possible to take the needles through security rather than having any bad intentions.

    • It is clearly very random. I’ve only flown in Europe & not had a problem (though generally take bamboo sock needles) and am always prepared mentally to take ’em out and save the knitting!

      I love the suggested response “shhhh don’t tell anyone” and am saving it for when I get asked – no-one has commented yet.

      Once, as well as my careful bamboo sock needles, I discovered days later that in spite of having been taken through the “random extra search” check I had actually also travelled with a very fine metal crochet hook in the lining of my bag. Oh well … I took it back home too without it being noticed!

  156. I fly quite a bit also, and often get a similar comment. I always answer truthfully (yes, knitting needles have been permitted since 2001), but I’m very tempted to say, “actually, I’m the US Marshall for this flight, and if we get into any trouble, I’m trained to use these needles and this yarn to take care of any perpetrators.”
    US and Canadian flight attendants and security never give trouble for knitting. EU security is no trouble, but I’ve had EU flight attendants get uncomfortable and ask me to put away the knitting during take-off/landing. South American security is iffy – some let you security with knitting, some without.

    All said, I’ve had way less trouble taking knitting on flights than producing/carrying breast milk! Now, that stuff is really suspicious.

  157. LMAO! I think I ran into that individual myself a while back. Nice to hear they are still asking the same dumb question….

  158. Perhaps he was asking, “Did they let you through security with that or did you buy it at one of these lovely duty-free store?”

    Personally I like to ask if they have a pen or pencil and then compare the points with my knitting needle…

  159. Aww, so many fearful people in the world! I just smile kindly and say, “Knitting doesn’t fit the terrorist profile. It’s what keeps us calm. Wanna learn how?”

    Once a flight attendant asked me to put my knitting away during take-off, which I found pretty understandable and totally in keeping with upright seat backs and closed tray tables.

  160. I haven’t read the comments – but did anyone else notice that Stephanie seems to have a very detailed plan for sneaking knitting needles into an airport? 🙂

  161. My husband, to the Ukraininan security guard who was confused to a standstill by my notions case: “Sir. She is far more dangerous if you take the knitting away from her.”

  162. I fly with my knitting in the US & Canada. I often have a knitter give me a surprised look and lament that she didn’t know she could, too. But, I never use needles that I couldn’t bear to lose and put a spare pair or two in my checked bag. TSA always has the right to confiscate the needles.

    Other countries have their own rules about a lot of seemingly innocuous things. C’est la vie.

  163. I clicked on the link that Stephanie provided to the TSA regs, and was chagrined to learn that “circular thread cutters” that contain a blade were not allowed. I’ve been carrying mine ever since my folding scissors were confiscated.

  164. This is a story that belongs in your next book! I laughed out loud while reading it because I am a person who always thinks of the snappy comeback about five seconds after the person who deserves it has walked away! Next time someone asks me something inane, I’m going to smile because I know Steph would know exactly what to say! 🙂

  165. Yes, I’ve always wanted to whisper conspiratorially to those people, “Actually, I’m a federal marshall. They’ve let me on with a lot more than knitting needles.” And then wink at them. Let them wonder every time they see a knitter on board a plane 😀

  166. I had that exact questioned asked yesterday at the airport in Baltimore, MD! I looked at her and said, “Well, yes they did. I’m sitting here knitting aren’t I?”
    Actually, I’ve flown all over the world with my knitting and have never had a problem with security anywhere. However, just in case, I never take my favorite and most expensive needles with me on trips. I also carry a self-addressed stamped envelope with me to mail any needles back to myself…just in case. I’ve never had to use it.

  167. I flew US domestically right after the TSA lifted the ban on knitting needles. I settled into my seat, pulled out my knitting and started in. The woman sitting next to me told me she was “uncomfortable” with me having knitting needles and they shouldn’t have let me onboard with them. I told her that they were once again allowed and that I would fidget through the entire flight otherwise. Then I sweetly suggested that she get herself reseated. She called the flight attendant over to complain and the flight attendant told her that the knitting was, indeed, allowed. The passenger pouted through the rest of the flight and the flight attendant commented positively on my knitting every time she walked by. Heehee.
    I put my knitting in my checked luggage from Mexico to the US. They don’t allow it. Just flew and knitted to and from the UK out of Vancouver, BC with nary a batted eyelash.

  168. Oh yes, on more than one occasion I have been asked: “how did you get that/those past security?”

    As though after hoodwinking the TSA on my top-secret mission, I would then blow it all by using my contraband in broad daylight….

    Thank god there are vigilant, amateur super-agents out there to catch us all before we strike again…. I guess that’s why SPECTRE is not calling me back.

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