Flying with knitting needles update

Just got a phone call from my pissed off friend, who had flown from Chicago to Utah. She took her Boye Balene knitting needles in her carry on bag. She brought dpns and circulars, just in case they took one, she’d have the other-- she was knitting socks and likes both dpns and magic loop. They are cheap, so having them taken wouldn’t make her nuts, and they are slightly flexible, so not the more dangerous looking metal or solid wood. The socks were partially knit and she had the instructions with her. It was clear she was actually knitting socks. They wouldn’t let her take [U]any[/U] knitting needles in her carry on, they took both the circs and the dpns from her. P.S.: she is very calm and professional looking, is well educated and comes across that way-- there was nothing to make anyone suspicious.

She went to a her LYS’s knitting circle this morning and shared her story-- and another woman there said the same thing happened going from Boston to Philadelphia last week. These are not international flights. Flyers, beware: it sounds like the odds of getting your needles taken, no matter what kind or what your destination, is getting a lot higher.

In this part of the world - UK - taking knitting needles in your carry-on luggage is a definite no-no. Security, especially at the airports in Northern Ireland, where I live, is very strict. I did manage to take on bamboo needles on one flight as those don’t show up on x-ray.

Have you ever tried finger knitting? No need for any needles with that!

Gillian

Interesting because this is the offical word from the TSA.

I know, this is my point. No matter what the official word or what anyone tells you, they may take them.

I spoke with an acquaintance at TSA about this as we are planning on a trip at Spring Break and I was told that it depends on the ignorance of the TSA agent at the terminal and time you fly. She told me that there had been a dust up of sorts at the Philadelphia air port last year when a woman sat next to another woman on a flight who was knitting. The lady demanded, upon landing, on speaking to a TSA supervisor. She demanded they send her needles (no idea what kind, but they had to be nice) sent to her at the agent’s expense. She said she figured that way that agent would know the rules from now on and how to do her job.

I had to laugh when she told the story because it sounds like something my grandmother would have done.

Can you still pack your knitting in luggage you check? I understand carry on to a point, but still…

Ya know, I would print that page off of the TSA website and throw it in their faces (not literally because they’ve got a crappy job/are just trying to do their jobs which is to protect you while you are in a tin can 35K miles above the Earth/they’re human beings too) to prove to them that, although knitting is an addiction, it’s still harmless… relatively. Some of them probably do not receive the proper training and/or are excessively protective.
:slight_smile:

Indeed!!! I think printing off the TSA page is a great thing to do!!! I am a STUBBORN brat though :o)

Having your knitting in your checked luggage is no problem.

Regardless what is posted on TSA website, it is still up to the individual inspector whether to allow or not. I don’t think you’ll get to far beyond pissing them off if you try to point out to them knitting needles are allowed.

It really is hit or miss with TSA. I’ve never had a problem with my knitting…I usually just pull my bag out with a copy of the TSA webpage and say something like - I was so excited to read that knitting is allowed in my carryon again. Never been challenged.
I did however have 2 TSA agents get in a tiff about whether or not I was allowed to walk through the metal detector with a fracture boot on my ankle :roll:

[color="#330099"]It may be better to print and carry the DHS TSA Amendments to Interpretation. It is a list of prohibited and permissible items. http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/Interpretive_Rule_Lighters.pdf

This document list knitting and crochet needles as permitted toy or hobby items because they pose little risk. Section II.B(1) and blunt tipped scissors are permitted in Section II.A(17).

Plastic or blunt tipped metal scissors and knitting or crochet needles may be carried on one’s person or in one’s carry or as accessible property (carry-on luggage).

Of course one must not refuse screening, but one may communicate with the screening officer during screening.

:think:
Additional note:

Pillow fee: Instead of paying a fee to the airline for a pillow, one can take a gallon sized zip-lock bag in one’s carry-on and inflate for use as a pillow. I think this is also more sanitary.

Blanket fee: Try adding a bath towel to your carry-on. I actually keep two towels in my car for use as lap blankets during winter. Once your car warms up they can be easily removed without interfering with one’s driving so long as one’s eye/attention remain on the road.

:thumbsup:
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You know, I’d love to see the thread about this on some woodcarver’s website-- we’re just carvers, why can’t we take a small knife in our carry on just so we can whittle during long flights, wood carving is an addiction, but harmless, those TSA agents are ignorant, not well trained and overly protective. . .
And then I’d love to see the reaction to anyone here on this thread, sitting next to the guy with the knife in his hand, carving away.

Of course no one here would do anything awful with knitting needles. But there are people who would. I just don’t get it when knitters get so irritated about not being able to knit on planes. I take long flights on a regular basis-- and I am the ultimate knitting addict. I know full well how boring it can be. So yes, I would love to be able to knit in the air. But: WE ARE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. OUR WISH TO KNIT ON AN AIRPLANE MAY NOT BE FULFILLED. A few weeks ago when hanging out at my LYS, one of the women was complaining about how she may not be able to take her knitting on a long flight to Europe. One of the other women snapped at her, “what, are you 5? You sound like my son when I say he can’t have his computer games. Get over it.” It was a very nasty comment, and I particularly hate that “get over it” thing in any context, but I must admit it struck a chord-- we are grown-ups. We may not get to do exactly what we want on an airplane.

And PS to the plastic or bamboo and the Xray thing that someone mentioned. Have you seen the screens on those machines? They pick up everything in your carry-on, not just metal. They will show the screener everything in your carry-on.

I am very happy to have my right to dying in a terrorist incident on an airplane taken away.

The difference, Sandy, is that you don’t mind having your rights taken away, I do.

Might I remind you that

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Oh but he’s not important…just Benjamin Franklin; [B]A founding father[/B].

[color="#330099"]Sandy57th, being ignorant isn’t insulting. It is simply a lack of knowledge. The TSA screener have a tremendously long list of items to remember, both prohibited and permitted. It should be no embarrassment to them nor to their supervisors to offer correct information.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TSA issued an Amendments to Interpertation on March 1, 2005. I provided a link to the pdf in my previous post.

DHS specifically listed knitting and crochet needles as permitted “hobby or other items posing little risk.” This list was first issued, Feb. 14, 2003 in the Federal Register. On March 3, 2003, TSA amended the list to prohibit all lighters as it was too difficult for screeners to determine the fuel type. Knitting and crochet needles have never been prohibited.

Also permitted are: Nail clippers, Nail files, and plastic or blunt metal scissors.

If you have ever seen a wood carvers hands, you would realize the absurdity of your comparison. I asked one if he had cut all three or four of the fingers he had bandaged, but he said it happens often enough that he tapes them before he starts to work. I don’t think any wood carver would try plying his or her craft in a moving vehicle.

I am very happy to have my right to dying in a terrorist incident on an airplane taken away.

Ignorance is treatable, read and discuss with knowledgeable adults in a open and non hostile way. You should try that.
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meow, I have a genuine question for you: Do you think people should be able to get on a flight with a box cutter? Without luggage? Seriously-- where’s the line? Are you the one who is going to draw it?

As for rights-- don’t be silly, of course I don’t want them taken away. But when, as someone else so elquently put it, you are a mile above ground in a tin can with 200 strangers, some things are going to work differently. Anytime you are dealing with other people, the term “rights” changes. I have the right to toss my newspaper on the ground when I’m through with it. But it interferes with other people’s rights, so I can’t do that. Does it harm them? No. Is it just asthetically unpleasing? Yes. Would you be comfortable sitting next to someone on a plane with a knife, even if that person wasn’t doing anything with it? Nope. Are you taking away their rights by agreeing to laws which prohibit that behavior even though it’s completely harmless? Yup. Is that okay? Yup, yup, yup.

Here’s something I have said before and will say again. I will guarantee that no one who is concerned about their rights being taken away when they sit down in the above mentioned tin can with 200 strangers, about to rise up thousands of feet in the air, knew anyone, or knew anyone who knew anyone who died on 9/11, or lived in lower Manhattan at the time. I will guarantee that no one on this site who argues that everyone should be able to take their knitting needles on an airplane knew anyone, or knew anyone who knew anyone who died on 9/11, or lived in lower Manhattan at the time. An experience like that will change your mind real quick.

I am not a paranoid person, I take the nightly “are you at risk?” news stories with a grain of salt, I think anyone who doesn’t vaccinate their child should be arrested, I am not particularly worried about milk past its end date as long as it tastes okay, and I think getting pulled over for going 8 miles over the speed limit is a way for police departments to increase revenue. But there are some people in the world who look at a plane and see a missile with “we’re going to get you” written on it, and I for one, would like to keep their little terrorist games out of my airspace. A vigilant TSA agent is in my corner on that one, and I am happy to do whatever they ask.

Offjumpsjack, interesting that you interpret my comment as hostility. I will blame the well-known limitations of Internet communication on that. Absolutely no hostilitly about it. I meant it exactly as I said it: I am very happy to have my right to dying in a terrorist event on an airplane taken away. I assume most people would agree with that. Now, “absurdity of your comparison”?. . .THAT sounds hostile.

[color="#330099"]
Marilyn,

It would seem the DHS document I linked removed any interpretation for the items listed in it. The trouble is they still have not provided any procedure for addressing misidentification or misclassification of permitted items as prohibited.

If the screener says it is prohibited you have little option. If you politely acknowledge that he or she has a tremendous responsibility made more difficult by a long list of prohibited and nearly as long a list of permitted items.

The real trouble is they apparently have the power to search, seize, and even detain you without warrant or probable cause even though that is contrary to our Fourth Amendment Rights.

It isn’t a matter of safety.

[B]Edited to add:[/B]
:think:
Sandy, My comment about absurdity wasn’t hostile but merely to remove ignorance.

Additionally it is incorrect to compare a knitting needle to a knife or even a screwdriver. Knives and screwdrivers have always been prohibited by the DHS TSA rules and regulations (except screwdrivers in eyeglass repair kits.) Every cub scout (boys from age 8 to 12) who earns a whittling chip (a card showing they know and understand the risk and safety issues of using a knife) knows that a knife is a dangerous tool to be treated with care and respect for its danger.

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I will guarantee that no one who is concerned about their rights being taken away when they sit down in the above mentioned tin can with 200 strangers, about to rise up thousands of feet in the air, knew anyone, or knew anyone who knew anyone who died on 9/11.

[color="#330099"]
Well now you have met your first. I knew several people who worked in the the towers and several more who survived those lost. :sad: [/COLOR]

[QUOTE]meow, I have a genuine question for you: Do you think people should be able to get on a flight with a box cutter? Without luggage? Seriously-- where’s the line? Are you the one who is going to draw it?
[/QUOTE]See,Sandy, this is where you allow your personal paranoia to cloud your judgment.As someone already mentioned for you, the whittling is an invalid argument as the TSA does specify you are not to bring knives aboard.I guess since you weren’t able to come to this not so brilliant conclusion on your own,I’ll try to break it down a little for you:

Knitters will be knitting on board.Box cutters will not be cutting boxes on board.That is where the suspicion should kick in.What is this person going to do?Unpack boxes from his move mid-flight?Is he going to be laying out carpet on the plane?Then where is the logic in carrying what could be seen as dangerous in carry on, not baggage?Certainly, the person had a use or they wouldn’t go through the trouble right?This is where it should become obvious what he/she is using the box cutter for.The line isn’t that complicated.Just think real hard, Sandy :)I’m sure you’ll get it if you try hard enough :slight_smile:

As for rights-- don’t be silly, of course I don’t want them taken away.

Well, then…your argument on the issue should stop right here.A right [I]is[/I] being taken away.When you think of knitting on a plane, naturally you go over to knitting forums and naturally the TSA comes up and naturally you find their site and naturally you get the pdf Jack put up specifying that you may bring needles aboard and naturally you bring them to the airport and are then naturally confused when an institution contradicts the very rules they specified to begin with :slight_smile: There is a right being taken away; the right to follow the rules and expect to be appropriately treated when you do so.

But when, as someone else so elquently put it, you are a mile above ground in a tin can with 200 strangers, some things are going to work differently. Anytime you are dealing with other people, the term “rights” changes. I have the right to toss my newspaper on the ground when I’m through with it. But it interferes with other people’s rights, so I can’t do that. Does it harm them? No. Is it just asthetically unpleasing? Yes. Would you be comfortable sitting next to someone on a plane with a knife, even if that person wasn’t doing anything with it? Nope. Are you taking away their rights by agreeing to laws which prohibit that behavior even though it’s completely harmless? Yup. Is that okay? Yup, yup, yup.

Actually, Sandy, this is something called littering.It does infringe my rights to walk around and not trip and fall because someone was too lazy to walk over to the designated trash can.Have you ever lived with roommates?Rules on trash come up pretty quickly as your mess would interfere with my right to expect to have access to the stove, bathroom, couch and so on.I am not taking rights away when I prohibit a knife on a plane because those rules were already agreed upon and the person simply chose to disobey.Now if you were to go up to me on the streets and tell me that I am not allowed to own the small knife I wear as a hair clip, I would kindly insist that you shove certain things in certain places and tell you to educate yourself on the standards that have been set in place and then show you how painfully within those standards my knife is.If a crew of S.W.A.T. then came in and tackled me to the ground, put me in prison and confiscated my knife, you’d bet your back side I would have every group who’s business it is to defend my rights making those people blush.That would be absurdity.Requesting that you follow the rules would not be.

Here’s something I have said before and will say again. I will guarantee that no one who is concerned about their rights being taken away when they sit down in the above mentioned tin can with 200 strangers, about to rise up thousands of feet in the air, knew anyone, or knew anyone who knew anyone who died on 9/11, or lived in lower Manhattan at the time. I will guarantee that no one on this site who argues that everyone should be able to take their knitting needles on an airplane knew anyone, or knew anyone who knew anyone who died on 9/11, or lived in lower Manhattan at the time. An experience like that will change your mind real quick.

Am I supposed to feel left out for not having someone dear to me killed in 9/11?If I were you, I’d be at least a little ashamed of twisting someone’s unfortunate death to my own advantage because of failure to prove my point without emotional manipulation :confused:

I am not a paranoid person, I take the nightly “are you at risk?” news stories with a grain of salt, I think anyone who doesn’t vaccinate their child should be arrested, I am not particularly worried about milk past its end date as long as it tastes okay, and I think getting pulled over for going 8 miles over the speed limit is a way for police departments to increase revenue. But there are some people in the world who look at a plane and see a missile with “we’re going to get you” written on it, and I for one, would like to keep their little terrorist games out of my airspace. A vigilant TSA agent is in my corner on that one, and I am happy to do whatever they ask.

Actually, Sandy.Going 8 miles over the speed limit is illegal.This is why they call it a speed limit and not a speed suggestion.I don’t speed.I don’t even go a mile over the speed limit; I tend to go 1 under just in case.It is not my right to speed.It is my right to drive and go the appropriate speed and expect to not be pulled over and given a fine for doing so.I truly hope you learn to respect the right of other people to expect that when they go out on the road, the other drivers obey the law.You would not have to worry about the popo “stealing” your money if you went the speed limit.This is why I drive worry free knowing I will never be fined.

By the way, you’re doing a horrid job at keeping terrorist games out of your airspace with this whole paranoiac passion in favor of those who abuse their powers as TSA officers.The paranoia surrounding flights is a result of the tragic 9/11 incidents, and I for one refuse to give into the fear.When we have people here in the US who think it’s perfectly fine to freak out and not allow anything on board whether or not it is in within regulation simply because we’re a little scared that we can’t defend ourselves [B]the terrorists have already won[/B].

If we have learned anything from history it is that power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.What do we have left to lose when we smile and even THANK those who choose to abuse their meager power as TSA officers?