On the road again! Travel tribulations.

It seems summer is actually going arrive later this week. We can shake out our rain jackets and begin to dry out. Hallelujah!!

With warmer weather in the forecast, many of us are looking forward to travel plans. I suspect most knitters share some similarities where travel is concerned. For instance, do you pack your knitting before your clothes? Take more yarn/projects than you can possibly complete during the allotted vacation timeframe? Do you delight in the dream that you can finally relax and knit in some lovely destination?  If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, we are members of the same tribe! 

Travel can be stressful, however.

Do you ever arrive at the airport with a nagging fear that the TSA or foreign security will confiscate your needles, knitting, or scissors? In a panic, do you offer up your most prized possession or a fellow traveler's child, as an alternative to losing your favorite needles? Do you dissolve into tears and assume a fetal position in order to inspire sympathy for your plight? It happens. All joking aside, no one wants to loose their needles prior to boarding a long flight. Here's a little practical advice, for what it's worth.

Most TSA agents are helpful and know the rules, but occasionally, it's beneficial to have a screenshot of the particular page from the TSA website as you go through security. I've included the TSA rules and website link.

Both Knitting needles and Crochet hooks are allowed. There is no distinction between wood or metal. This information is on page 1 of the Sharp Objects Rules.

Double point needles are not addressed separately on the website.

Scissors: must be less than 4 inches from the pivot point. Page 3 of the Sharp Objects Rules.

Also on page 3 - no swords or throwing stars. Seriously?


PLEASE NOTE: These rules only apply to TSA in the US. For foreign travel, please be prepared to adapt to different rules. 

My suggestions for less stress: 

If you have them, take interchangeable needles with blocks for the cable and the needle tips packed separately in your carryon. Be sure to carry spare tips in your checked luggage.

If you use fixed circulars, take a stitch holder to transfer your knitting to and pack a spare replacement needle in your checked luggage, in case the needles are confiscated. It's the next best option to losing your stitches!

Happy knitting and safe travels!




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  • Diane Ruschke on

    I will definately keep a screen shot of these TSA rules and the stitch holder is a great idea! Just 2 weeks ago at the Paris airport an agent tried to confiscate my needles, but after much pleading on my part, she finally relented. I would have been really bummed as I did not have a stitch holder!!!

  • Sue Fleming on

    Thanks, Kayelynn, critical information for me!

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