Flying without needles... :(

I looked up the regs on what can be carried on my Qantas flight to Australia… knitting needles of all types are strictly forbidden! Which means that I not only have the international flight without needles, I also have to fly from home to LA and have all those layovers without needles (about 23 hours, not my longest flight time ever but last time I had knitting)! :waah: I was so looking forward to all that knitting time!
I have to have something to do because I can’t sleep while flying. Between in flight movies (assuming I don’t have to pay for the video player), reading, and sudoku/word searches, I figure I can keep myself happily busy for about half that time.
Given 10 hours of no knitting, no TV, no phone, no friends, and limited luggage… What do you do to fill the time?

Bring pencils and smile sweetly if the FAs ask you to put them away, and agree nicely, as long as everyone else’s writing implements are also put away.

Pencils are slightly bigger than a 10.5 US needle. Sharpened and rubbed with wax paper, they substitute okay for needles. Put some hair elastics on the ends to keep the stitches on.

Use laceweight yarn and knit a garter stitch scarf. The loops are so big, it looks like lace! And it is needles that are banned, not yarn, right?

Or download knitting podcasts to your iPod and catch up.


That’s brilliant Emily, simply brilliant!! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

That would drive me insane! Have you actually called the airline? I have never flown Quantas, but my daughter is actually in the air as I write winging her way to Japan and she brought her douple pointed needles and yarn.
I would bring a cheapo pair of needles and yarn, just in case…to me it would be worth it to possibly have them take it away!! I have flown about 5 times this year and it has never been a problem…I’d check again.

Good Luck!

I’ve used bic pens before. I just broke the ink tub out of them :slight_smile:

If you bring resin needles, I doubt they would notice as long as you keep your knitting in your lap

Interesting. When you go through airport security, it’s not specific to the airline but federal regulations. I guess that’s Australia’s rules then?


No idea whose reg the no needles rule is. I know that most airlines DO allow knitting needles going to Japan, Europe, Ecuador, and domestic), so I don’t know what’s up with Qantas. Maybe it is Australia’s rule. Here it is:
Governments have directed that for security reasons, all knives, sharp objects or cutting implements of any kind and any length, whether of metal or other material, and some sporting goods, must be packed in your checked baggage. They cannot be carried in your cabin baggage or on your person.
Sharp objects or cutting implements include but are not limited to: any knife, including paper knives, carpet knives, box cutters, letter openers, scissors of any kind, tradesman’s tools, screwdrivers, corkscrews, darts and knitting needles.
‘Sporting goods’ include but are not limited to: sporting bats, billiard/snooker/pool cues, catapults.
(Dangit, I can’t take my catapult, either…)
I LOVE the pencils idea. Obviously if I plan to do crosswords, I should have a couple on hand… Why should I be allowed to write but not knit with the same items…
How do you keep the graphite from breaking off, and how do you keep the graphite from getting all over the yarn? Do mechanical pencils work? I don’t have any at the moment that don’t have grips at the base.
Garter stitch just won’t do, though…
Off to find a good pattern.

Bring a learn to crochet book and teach yourself to crochet on the trip. I noticed that they aren’t included in your list of sharp items.

Treat yourself to a few new knitting magazines! Some crossword puzzles or sudoku? I hope the US doesn’t get the same idea that knitting needles are dangerous. Knitting is what keeps me sane on long flights (or even short flights).

I’ve used chopsticks before.
How about pick-up sticks?

Yep, that’s what I was going to say!

Don’t forget those chopstick like sticks that are worn as hair accessories.

That’s just odd. hehe. I flew a few months ago and my knitting needles were not a problem, so I guess maybe it’s just the airline or the country. A lady at my LYS told me to cast on before I went to the airport, so they’d see I was working on something and wasn’t just trying to bring sharp (haha) objects on the plane. Maybe you could get some cheap plastic ones and try, and then if they make you throw them out you’re not out a whole lot.

I actually learned to crochet this summer, it just isn’t as much fun as knitting.
I’ll have to look into alternative knitting tools. Still wondering about pencils, because those are something anyone should have. I’d CO with a pair to see right now but I have lots of Christmas knitting to finish!

I don’t know if I’d risk trying to sneak something on. I’ve heard a horror story from another girl who said she flew to France from the US. While going through security in France to board another airline, a security woman made her take out the “sharp, pointy items” in her bag. When she did, the security woman took it and pulled all of the knitting off the sticks and handed the sticks to another agent saying the sticks were forbidden on their airline. However, once the security woman saw the look of shock on my friend’s face, she secretly handed her knitting back to her. I think she didn’t realize what she had done until she did it.

Yeah I’m not into the idea of sneaking things on an airplane. I’m afraid of being stopped going through security and spending too much time getting searched and missing my flight. I had a classmate get stopped as we got on our flight home from Ecuador, so they could search his camera bag AGAIN. As in, they’d already searched it twice. He wasn’t kept too long, but my luck, I would be!

not too keen on garter stitch?

this scarf calls for worsted weight on 10.5s

Ooh, that’s unique! thanks!

You could always try finger knitting, maybe? No idea what the page is, but someone came up with a way to use the fingers of your left hand like a loom, letting you make scarves and suarish things without needles. Does anyone have that address hidden away?

I guess maybe it’s just my experience, but airlines tend to be a bit more relaxed than they seem to be on paper. I’ve brought scissors on planes recently (and not just little ones) and no one seemed to care. I would try contacting the airline and see what they say