About flying with knitting

I found this “tip of the week” on the Lion Brand weekly email:
"When traveling by airplane, I carry a printed copy of the rules that say that you’re allowed to carry knitting needles in my carry-on. I have used it to get my knitting on board many an airplane! You can get this information from www.tsa.gov.
I wonder how well it works because I have often read it depends on the airport and the specific TSA person’s feelings about it. Still could be a good thing to have!

Because it is dependent on the screeners, I haven’t done and am too chicken to try. Can you imagine bringing a WIP getting to the screeners and have them tell you that you cannot bring it? I shudder…

But, lots of people on these boards have said they have taken knitting without a problem.

I flew from Atlanta, GA to LA, California in April and I did not have a problem. I was told that wooden or plastic needles (esp. circular) are less likely to be confiscated. I took little clips instead of scissors.


I have been flying with my knitting for several years now. Only take circular needles and keep the plastic plugs on the end going through customs. I also take a small pair of kindergarten scissors (round tips). I don’t carry large pieces of work so I can keep it all in a small quilted bag about the size of a medium sized handbag. I think when they see the bag and the other ball of yarn, etc. they know that it is really about knitting. I had a stewardess tell me that the airlines know that it keeps us calm to be knitting and therefore the staff like us to have our knitting! Hope this little email doesn’t change my luck!:thumbsup:

The worst you’d lose is your needles - at risk of losing my whole project I’d whip that needle out in a quick second. And I’d have had the forethought to toss in a life line before getting to the airport in case that would happen.

I did fly last summer w/socks on 2 circs w/no problem. As to knitting on the plane, I was sandwiched between a football player and another plus size woman so knitting on the plane was not even an option. I sure was glad I had it, though, for the hour plus wait in the terminal before boarding.

I would not, however, bring the printed list w/me with the intent of arguing with a screener. I expect that would only inflame them, keeping my knitting (and possible me too) from ever getting on the plane!

I haven’t done it yet. But I have discussed it with people who have. They got on just fine. Others I heard of (did not talk to) had the needles taken.

The lifeline I would do, too.

I don’t know if I will do it. I sure miss my knitting when I am banned to my seat. But bringing it?
I have thought of making a knotting project or something to keep me busy. Or crochet something with a thick crochet hook. That should be no more dangerous than a ball pen, anyways.

Well, the more I hear about people taking their stuff onboard, the more it helps me to dare.

But then again: the US-document might only help on national flights. And the person AT the check desk is in full charge and not liable. So arguing will not do you much good.

I agree with you, Mirl. The security staff don’t like you looking like you know more than they do.

Taking knitting needles on UK flights just isn’t considered, especially in Northern Ireland, but I did manage to take bamboo needles on somewhere once. I did feel queer, though, sitting knitting on the flight, as I hadn’t done that for years.


What happens to the items the confiscate?

items that customs conficates get destroyed / thrown out.
Knitting needles will be no exception. In most countries anyways the customs officers would get in bad trouble if they did not follow that (stealing of valuable goods has happend - taking them instead of throwing them out).

They would keep stuff for reasons of evidence if they needed to. But knitting needles are not going to bring down a plane or anything, so probably not.

So: Trash can.

But some officers are nice and let you pack your things into an envelope that you can address to yourself. Then you pay shipping for your own goods, but you do not lose them.

It depends on the cost of item and cost of shipping if that is worth it.

If they want to confiscate, it is worth asking if you can mail it. If they do not let you, I don’t think you should argue. That’s never a good idea at customs.

I would recommend to take an envelope with you that is big enough and that you can address to yourself in case. maybe even carry stamps in the right amount so that you can put them on.

But really: you can also buy cheap needles and be better of (well, not if they let you work with them and you hiss and curse!)

My sister and I flew to England last year with no problems, but coming back the [U]only[/U] thing the screener took from me was a jar of honey I bought at Anne Hathaway’s cottage because it was more than 3-1/2 ounces. Bet she had honey and biscuits for breakfast the next day!!!

Only if you get there early enough to leave the security line and go back out to the “public” area where there may or may not be a post office/mail box. I know there is a place to mail things in the Atlanta airport, but it’s a good bit before security. Once you’ve waited for a while in the security line, you may not want to wait again! I don’t fly that much, but I’ve never heard of a mailbox right in the security line! :slight_smile:

I’ve never seen any of these, the plugs. Where do you get them?

I’m not sure what she means by “plugs”, but I use the caps that come with my Options. I can’t find a photo of just the caps, but they are in this picture. You take the needles off and just screw them on.

I flew from Chicago to Heathrow 3 weeks ago with metal knitting needles, 3" pointed scissors, a bunch of straight pins, safety pins, and embroidery needles for my smocking project, with no problems whatsoever. From Heathrow I then flew to Stuttgart, Germany (where I am currently visiting), again with the same hand baggage; again, no problems. I read and copied (and carried with me) the information on Heathrow’s web site just to be on the safe side. I will do the same thing when I return to the U.S. next month. [The Heathrow site specifically states that materials for knitting and needlework projects are permissible.]