Crochet and Knitting on an Airplane 2019

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Crochet and Knitting on an Airplane 2019

There’s something that sparks fear in the hearts of knitters all around the globe. One question. “Will my knitting needles get taken away at the airport?”

This is a very real fear, and while less likely, crocheters fear for their crochet needles as well. Luckily, there are ways to assure you won’t lose your favorite tools and can enjoy your hobby while in flight. If you’ve ever wondered “What can I take on a plane,” here’s the scoop.

What Can You Take on a Plane?

It’s important to note that guidelines for flying with knitting needles and crochet hooks vary all over the world. What’s allowed in one place may be prohibited in another. In order to avoid confiscation, it’s best to research the specific airport rules for each airport you’ll be flying in and out of.


Can I Bring My Knitting Needles on a Plane?

As a general guide, knitting needles and crochet hooks ARE ALLOWED in checked bags and carry on in the USA, UK and Canada (more on that below). There are of course stipulations to these rules. But can you bring scissors on a plane?

In the US, according to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) scissor blades must measure 4” or less to be considered safe TSA scissors. Blunt rounded scissors (think kindergarten style) are also allowed. For a full list of what items you can take on a plane, check out the TSA’s list of “What Can I Bring”

Things are a little different in Canada and the UK. Scissor blades must measure 6 cm (2.4 in) or less to be considered safe for airplane travel. Of course, this is up to the TSA screener’s discretion and they can decide anything is unsafe to bring on board. For the full list of what you can carry on your flight in Canada and the UK, check out the Canadian “What I Can Bring” list and the UK’s “Hand Luggage Restrictions” list. For all other countries, you’ll need to research their rules on a case by case basis.


Ideas for Flying with Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks

Some good alternative for flying with scissors or cutters would be TSA nail clippers or dental floss. Yes. Dental floss will be a game changer. Dental floss has a little blade inside that can be used to cut yarn. When my travel scissors didn’t arrive in time for my recent flight, I used this technique and it worked like a charm. Also, if your knitting needles are confiscated, the dental floss can be used to hold your stitches so you don’t lose your project.
Crochet and Knitting on an Airplane


Preferred Types of Knitting Needles to Take on a Plane

While knitting needles are allowed, the airports tend to prefer bamboo or plastic over metal. They also prefer circular knitting needles. These seem less threatening and are actually better for you and your neighbors on the plane. You see, circular needles take a smaller range of motion and tend to be smaller. The smaller your needles, the better chance of you passing airport security with them. They’re also more practical. Having circular needles means you can’t drop and lose a knitting needle like you could with straights.


Best Practice for Traveling with Knitting Needles, Crochet Hooks and Notions

It’s a good idea to wrap your needles or hooks up in a sheath or blanket to help prevent injury of TSA agents. They don’t want to be poked when they’re doing a safety check on your bag. Point protectors for circular knitting needles are also ideal to make sure your needle tips are protected. Wrapping your sharp objects up safely is a nice way to be considerate of the safety agents.

As far as notions go, it’s best to have a little notions kit for traveling. So everything is in one place. All your knitting tools such as stitch markers, yarn needles, tape measure etc can be kept in one convenient place. This means you don’t have to dig for it once you’re on the plane and having it all together is easier for the agents.  

Crochet and Knitting on an Airplane

Flying Home or To Different Countries

Also remember the country you’re flying home from as well. I was recently on a vacation to Mexico and while I knew there were no problems going through security in Canada, I did get stopped in security at the Cancun Airport. I told the security agent that I called my airline prior to the flights to make sure I could bring my knitting needles onto the plane. My beautiful circular knitting needles were taken to a security manager and they made inquiries with my airline. In the end, I got approval to take the knitting needles on the flight but it was a stressful situation nonetheless. Best advice – be prepared!

Tips for Traveling with Knitting and Crochet Projects

There are a few tips you can use to ensure you have an easy trip with your favorite hobby. One of the worst things you can do is overpack.

Be practical with yourself about how much time you’ll have to work on a project during your trip and pack accordingly. If you’re going to be spending time with a lot of other people, you won’t have time to work on big, challenging projects. Don’t pack 12 balls of yarn because frankly, you won’t use them. As a general rule of thumb when traveling, it’s best to pick small projects such as hats and socks. And bring the knitting supplies to match. (I.e. 2 balls of yarn, an extra pair of needles or hook, and your notions kit). It also helps to have a zip up bag for all your supplies.

Know your pattern and have a backup of it. You might not have wifi. So, if your pattern is online, screenshot it, download the pdf or print out a physical copy to take with you. This will make sure you have the instructions you need to leisurely work on your project while away. It’s also best to have a few rows of your project started by the time you reach the airport. They are less likely to throw out your needles if they see you’re clearly working on something and aren’t just harboring sharp objects.

Be a Prepared Traveller

Finally, the two most important things to remember: Don’t bring anything you’re afraid to lose and bring an envelope with your address and stamp on it in case.

The fact is, no matter what the guidelines say about what can I carry on a plane, they can take anything from me if they see fit. So, it’s best to only bring stuff you don’t mind losing. Don’t bring your favorite pair of needles or favorite set of hooks. It’s not worth it.

If you feel strongly that you don’t want to lose any of your tools (me), it’s a good idea to bring a pre-addressed, ready to mail off envelope big enough to fit all your tools. If they do refuse to let you fly with them, you can put them in the envelope and mail it back home to yourself.

At the end of the day, you can’t control what they’ll let you fly with. But with these travel tips and tricks, you have a pretty good chance of enjoying a flight full of crafting and relaxing. Safe Travels!

Looking for some quick and easy crochet patterns to take on your next flight? Check out these Dabbles and Babbles patterns including the Girl’s Boho Crop Top, the Lily Cowl Crochet Pattern and the Simple Shells Light Crochet Wrap Pattern.


6 Comments on Crochet and Knitting on an Airplane 2019

  1. Mary
    January 24, 2019 at 1:16 PM (2 years ago)

    My last flight I barely had room to breathe, let alone get my crocheting out. Hopefully next time will be better! I like your ideas, especially about keeping sharp points covered to protect TSA agents.

  2. Betty Capps
    January 24, 2019 at 3:17 PM (2 years ago)

    I have traveled to Europe many times and recently, on many various airlines. I had a nightmarish event happen on my last flight to NorwY. I was not allowed to have my carryon with wheels in the overhead. They reached their limit and had to go with the luggage. It had EVERYTHING in that carryon: my purse, medications, iPad, laptop computer, and a change of clothes. All I had with me was my passport, money, tickets and my crocheting. I was able to crochet on the plane, a 6 hour layover in Chicago, a 12 hour layover in Stockholm, and the same coming home. Bergen, Norway, Copenhagen and home. I have NEVER, EVER been hastened over my crochet equipment by any TSA or airline or country. I’ve been to 10 European countries since 9-11. I’ve never been told to store them in the overhead.

  3. Millie Gresh
    January 26, 2019 at 5:11 AM (2 years ago)

    Hi. I just wanted to say that I
    have never had a problem taking my crochet stuff on a plane. I put
    all my accessories in a pencil
    case and a few balls of yarn and
    put them in a backback which also
    serves as my free personal carryon
    in which I also put my purse
    And water bottle and snacks. The
    water and snacks I purchase after
    I get through security. I enjoy crocheting while flying because
    before I know it I’m at my
    destination and have sometimes
    completed my project. And you are
    right by saying only do small
    projects due to space. Thanks for
    your great patterns. I purchased
    the 40 some patterns and am
    excited to get started on some. I
    made a few snowman wine bottle
    covers for Christmas and actually
    used one as my water bottle holder for work. Got lots of compliments on
    it. Thanks again.

  4. Tori
    January 29, 2019 at 10:07 PM (2 years ago)

    Very good info! I’ve always wondered about this. I’ve never heard of sending mail from the airport! How do you even do that? The dental floss idea is brilliant! I’ll be putting a package of that in with my travel hooks straight-away!

    • Jamey
      August 10, 2019 at 12:56 PM (2 years ago)

      Yes, I now keep dental floss in my purse with me at all times. You never know when you’ll have yarn to cut!


    October 6, 2019 at 7:07 PM (2 years ago)

    I use a seam ripper to cut the yarn instead of scissors. I croshet every time going from USA to Mexico I have never been stopped.


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