Knitting at work?

I just recently started working at a tech support call center, so my hours are long and somewhat… odd. The first part of my shift is incredibly dead, and then we have a whole lot of activity somewhere in the middle of it (I guess people are turning on their computers after dinner to do whatever they need to do…) and then as people go to bed it gets quiet again. Saturdays are especially quiet (I guess people have better things to do on the weekends… must be nice).

Thing is, my shift is 13 hours long. (Except Wednesdays, which are half days.) I’m required to take an hour long lunch but my lunch is late enough that there’s not much open so I’m limited to the breakroom or my car. This is Florida. The cost of gas is too high to sit and knit for an hour in my car with the a/c running. But the last time I tried to bring in my needles, I was told to take them back to my car or they’d be confiscated when they showed up in my bag on the x-ray detector. (Security at this place is beyond paranoid.)

Well, I guess what I’m getting at… my needles are aluminum straight needles. The security guard told me they could be used as a weapon, even though I have a project on them, because it only sits on one needle at a time, and they’re pointy and could therefore cause injury.

I’m not nearly as savvy as my job title of phone technician implies… Would a pair of bamboo needles show in my bag when put through the x-ray? It’s the same sort of machine they use at the airports… I don’t think it’s any more or less advanced than that. I need something to keep my hands busy between phone calls and during “lunch”.

Could you ask the guards what would be acceptable - ie. would plastic or bamboo needles be okay? Everything shows up in an x-ray machine, the bamboo or plastic would make it through a metal detector with no problems. Hopefully they’ll say plastic or bamboo will be okay.

It is odd that they won’t let you bring them in considering that you can bring them on an airplane.

well if i understand you correctly their issue is the needle that DOESN’T have work on it? Maybe circular needles will be more to their liking then? (btw…did you mention to them that the TSA allows the needles on airplanes now?)

I would think bamboo needles would show up looking like really long pencils but not really sure.

maybe some interchangables that you can take the points off when going through the machine and then put them back on when you are ready to work with them?

Geez, I’d say! You can take the same “dangerous” objects on a plane, yet not into work? :rollseyes:

Just reassure them that as long as you have your needles with you, there wouldn’t be a threat of needing to use them inappropriately. :wink: :lol:

That just seems so silly to me. You could injure someone just as much with a set of car keys as you could with knitting needles.

Buy a circular needle, like a Clover. The larger sizes (11s and up) have very blunt tips and they are wooden. You can use them just like straight needles.

You could print a picture of the needles and take it to the security office to get them cleared (in a non-confrontational manner) before you try to bring them in. The xray machine will show them to the guard at the door. Another thought is to have the FAA regulations for taking needles on airplanes printed out in order to back up your request.

Good luck!

Well, just bring them to work and see if the detector picks it up. Then you will know.


If they say no to bamboo or circular bamboos, find something you want to make on size 11 US needles. That’s the size regular pencils are :wink:

I think I would be tempted to find a whole range of pen and pencil sizes and knit away just to make my “point”

Mama Bear

what about a denise interchangeable set could they see through the case… or would they see just the case… :?? prolly could? I’d ask about bamboo too cause they are not metal… maybe you could stash needles in a pocket till you are inside then start your project there and just keep it there? You would think they would allow them…

Maybe the guard had a bad experience with a girlfriend who knit all the time and he took out on you :rofling:

I read a top tip for taking Denise on a plane.

Put the end stoppers on the work in progress, take it in a zip lock bag. In your hand bag with your pens, keep the tips.

It sounds somewhat like you have a pedantic security guy - what honestly do they think we are likely to do with knitting needles? I mean ok aluminium ones I can probably see where they are coming from but ya know, if they really wanted to be picky about it why don’t they say something really stupid like “those plastic needles could be made of plastic explosive for all we know!”

It really sounds like you have an over zealous security guy there - I know some places here you put a uniform on someone and tell them they are security and they become power control freaks. Unless you are working for the government, I can’t see the need to ban knitting needles (and even working for the government I’d be seriously questioning the banning of knitting needles).

You could ask them if they would allow bamboo needles in (and tell them how blunt the ends are) or just try the trick with the interchangeables :wink:

My work is totally the opposite… you can slip on the ice and not one of the guards will ask you if you are ok or if you are hurt…unless you are cute and have big boobs…I have carried in a big knitting bag no problems but then a new mom bringing in her newborn to show off to the coworkers has to “check” her carseat or stroller… granted we don’t have an xray machine, but large bags and boxes going in and out of the building rarely if ever get checked… babies on the otherhand are dangerous vessels of destruction
our security guys are idiots… :rollseyes:
and i work in a call center too…

:rofling: at a call center i use to work at back about 100 years ago :rollseyes: the guards all had pepper spray pouch thingies on their belts…most of them had those little cheese and cracker snack packs in them! :rofling:

the pencil idea is genius and could also be brought up to make a point; you use pens and pencils every day at work. knitting needles are about as dangerous as a pen or pencil.

let us know how it goes. im curious about this.

i feel for you! ive worked jobs with loads of free time before and would have been very happy about it if i were a knitter at the time. i hope you get to start knitting there!

If you have hair long enough to put up you could use the bamboo needles to hold up your hair and no one would think anything of it.

Ooooh. I like that one. That is a good one!

that might look a little silly with an afghan hanging off of it though. :angelgrin:

Afghan? What afghan? Oh… the big hair scrunchie?

lol GINORMOUS 1990’s style hair scrunchie!

Where I work it is almost the opposite. They have encouraged us to bring knitting, crochet , tatting, any hand work. I work in a call center, and they have learned that depriving some of us of that is not healthy for our customers & / or managers. It is funny when one of our top managers ask for advice on what color wool would look best with her new coat. She doesn’t knit and pays anyone to knit for her. My heart goes out to you… I can’t imagine not being able to knit… when all the weird customers call. It really is relaxing and believe me a lot of stitches get stitched after bad calls… really helps to ease the tension :XX: [color=blue][/color]

I work in a call center too. Tech support.

At first I was really self concious about knitting at work, and a few people made joking comments about me not paying attention to my work, but they know better now. :lol:

I’ve been pondering circs in larger sizes for the last week or so too, so it’s kind of nice to hear so many people offering the same idea up for suggestion… Affirmations like that are somewhat of a comfort.

I tell you, though… after today, I could maybe see their point about that empty needle being threatening. The next moron who tried to tell me that his system worked fine a few hours ago and he hadn’t done anything to it to change that was SO going to get stabbed through the ear. (Funny, jerk, if that’s true, why does a system restore fix the problem? Is downloading porn REALLY that embarrassing?!) To everyone’s benefit, though, you can’t squeeze them through the phone wires! :rofling:

I think the next time I can get to the craft store this “weekend” (oh how I wish I wish I had a LYS) I’ll check out the clover circs. They were talking to me last time I was there anyway.

I’ll keep y’all posted. Thanks for the advice!