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waggn

Knitting needles on airplanes

Waggn
17 years ago

On a recent trip I noticed a woman knitting in the departure lounge of the airport. She had already cleared security so I was surprised that she was able to take her knitting needles through. My daughter wanted to knit on the trip home but I just kept thinking that if they found the needles they would force her to abandon the needles leaving her with a dangling project.

Has anyone taken knitting through airport security? BTW my daughter's needles were wooden so I figured there might be a chance she could get them through but not a chance worth taking.

Comments (32)

  • lindac
    17 years ago

    Never tried....but sure would like to! I can't imagine letting knitting needles through if they take nail clippers....but then we all travel with ball point pens....
    Linda C

  • socks
    17 years ago

    I'm not sure about the needles, but if you have any scissors with the knitting supplies, they will be taken.

  • hannah_ma
    17 years ago

    Check with the airports and airlines. I think most have eased up on this.

  • vanJ
    17 years ago

    Hello:
    I just returned fom a trip leaving Burbank, Ca to Seattle then on to Eugene, OR. via Alaksa and Horizon Air. I did call in advance to inquire if I could bring my knitting needles on the plane and was told that it depended on the level of security at the time of my flight, but to expect not to be able to take my knitting on board. When I checked in I was told it was OK and all needles (wooden), small scissors (forgot they were in my bag) and crochet hooks went through. On the return leg my daughter had inherited some old metal needles from her Grandma and had no problem with taking them on the plane. One of the security people did tell her that people are evaluated on an individual basis as to whether they are a security risk. So I guess you just have to see how it goes when you get to the airport. BTW knitting sure helps pass the time when waiting for late planes and it sure opens the doors of conversation with strangers!

  • socks
    17 years ago

    vanJ I wonder if you were on the same flight with my sister Monday morning just after 10. That flight was late and she missed her connecting Horizon flight to Lewiston. She had circular needles with her but not enough yarn to amuse her while she waited for the next Horizon flight. Let that be a lesson--always carry plenty of yarn! I suggested she go in one of the shops and buy a sweater to unravel to get some yarn (just kidding, but having needles and no yarn is really torture!). I guess her circular needles did not get confiscated.

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    17 years ago

    I have traveled with crochet and knitting needles. I pack my scissors and check them through. But I carry with me a Clover brand thread/floss cutting disc that works just fine till I get to my scissors. I wear the disc on a ribbon around my neck for easy use. It has thin slots in the disc, and deep inside the slots is the edge of a razor, which you cannot even see. There is no way this disc could become a weapon.

  • tami_ohio
    17 years ago

    You can always carry an envelope, self-addressed, large enough to hold the project you are working on with you and if they want to confiscate your knitting/needles, mail it to yourself! That way, there is no loss, either in dropped stitches or in the price of needles. So far, anyone I have talked to who has flown and knits, has had no problem with bamboo needles.

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    17 years ago

    Well, I have considered this. But if you end up having to mail to yourself, you would have to leave the airport and find a mailbox, which means you will have to have the proper postage available too and plenty of time before your plane leaves because you will then have to get back in line all over again!!!

  • lindac
    17 years ago

    Stamp the envelop before hand...then go into one of those magazing, book and postcard stors inside security gates and mail it...
    May do that the next time I fly....but don't know how to convince security that I really won't try to stash them on the plane and use a plastic needle to hijack a jet liner!
    Linda C

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    17 years ago

    Our airports in California have the little shops only INSIDE security.

  • deSha
    17 years ago

    I was watching a show called "Airline" and there was a gentleman who had a lighter he had had for 15 years with him. They wouldn't let him keep it, so he asked about ways that he could have it returned to him. They wouldn't hold it. He asked about mailing it back to himself and was told that airports no longer have mailboxes so that is no longer an option. They have also removed all the lockers from the airports too. So mailing your knitting back to yourself might not be an option. I was at my airport on Monday and noticed that they don't have mailboxes. So I guess I would suggest you check on that before you bring an envelope to mail it back. P.S. I too have seen people knitting in the airport.

  • Garden_trolip
    17 years ago

    I always take my Crochet on the plane..can't stand to sit still ;) I know Crochet needles are a little different, not quite the weapon a knitting needle would be LOL...hmmmmm, I think I have threatened the DH with them tho....

  • MattyH
    17 years ago

    I've personally never had a problem with knitting needles on airplanes, even flying out of Newark (my home airport) right after 9/11. If you ask ahead of time, of course they're going to say no, that's their job(ditto answering the question "do you have anything that could be used as a weapon"). I don't bring scissors at all, I pre-roll a couple small balls I can leave hanging. I've heard that dp's and long metals are problematic, but that's true in narrow airline seats anyway. Stick to circulars or short bamboo, and you shouldn't have a problem. A friend of mine took 2 pencils, a sharpener, and a machine washable yarn she could get the pencil marks out of.

  • socks
    17 years ago

    You mean she knitted with pencils? That's hilarious!

  • MattyH
    17 years ago

    Yep, that's just what she did - sharpened the pencils then broke off most of the point, knitted with the wooden part. I asked her what gauge she used, and all I got was the eyeball rooooollll.

  • lindac
    17 years ago

    LOL! I'll bet ball point pens would work better....
    I will never throw out an empty ball point again!
    Linda C

  • debbeeanne
    17 years ago

    I just traveled to Nicaragua in December, and my friend and I took knitting needles. I had been told you could bring wooden or plastic, but not metal. My friend got on with her metal ones. They didn't say anything.

  • socks
    17 years ago

    A standard yellow pencil is just slight smaller than a size 11 knitting needle.

  • donna_loomis
    17 years ago

    All this talk of pencils as knitting needles has given me an idea. I sometimes like to use my bamboo dpns when knitting a scarf because they don't take up much room. Well, until last year my hair was very long (hip length) and I loved wearing it up with beautiful hair sticks, wooden, acrylic, and metal. I cut it very short about 9 months ago, and just didn't have the heart to give all of the sticks away. What lovely knitting needles some of those would make. I think I'll size some of them tonight.

  • BryAnn
    17 years ago

    The TSA website allows knitting and crochet needles, both carry on and checked in. It didn't say whether metal or wooden; circular, long, double-pointed, etc.

    So I guess it's alright to take knitting. The issue I'm facing is whether I want to carry around all that yarn...

    BryAnn

  • rmturtle
    17 years ago

    Knitting and crochet needles are on the list of permitted items.

    I've travelled to Hawaii and back with knittng needles. I've also travelled to the midwest with knitting needles. In fact, I had a whole arsenal of knitting needles with me on my last trip... 6 pairs ranging from size 6 through 17.

    The only thing they didn't really like were my big stitch holders. But they let it through. It took about 20 minutes for them to find them, though, and tell me that they didn't like them.

    I hope this link will work...

    Here is a link that might be useful: TSA List of Permitted and Prohibited Items

  • Waggn
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Great! Thanks for that link.

  • budster
    17 years ago

    Well my knitting needles had to go into the plane's hold with the baggage. Then I am inside the departure lounge and a lady brings out her wool, a metal crochet hook and some yarn scissors.....man was I mad. I asked her why and how she got them through and her reply was a hook is not threatening...a needle is. She wasn't too thrilled when I went to the desk and asked the attendent...who called the lady over and said the stuff would have to go into the hold. I wasn't popular but one rule for everyone I figure.

  • BryAnn
    17 years ago

    Hi all,

    Just got back from Taiwan. I took my silver metal circular needles in my carry-on bag through several security checks with no problems. I went through security in Atlanta, Detroit, Osaka, Japan, and Taipei, Taiwan, and never had any problems.

    I took out my needles only onboard the planes. What else to do on the 14 hour flight? All three in-flight movies were awful, each way. How did they find 6 terrible movies? But anyway...

    As for the other people's experiences, I guess it just shows that security and rule enforcement is still uneven at the airports.

    BryAnn

  • socks
    17 years ago

    Thank you, Bryann, for sharing your experience. This is a good thread to keep going. None of us want to lose our needles, but some of those flights, like yours, are miserably long.

  • ctsuvgal
    17 years ago

    Last March I flew to Arizona, in Sept. to San Diego and New Years to Florida from CT. I took my knitting needles on all trips and had no problems. I too saw someone on my trip out to AZ so when returning, I called airport security and they told me I could take my needles on board. I again asked upon check in and was told I could take them on board.The only thing they told me was if I needed scissors to get the kids' rounded head scissors.Hope this helps.We flew American and Delta.

  • flyingkathy
    15 years ago

    I'm an airline pilot, but also an avid knitter and travel quite frequently. I have gone on board as a passenger recentely with size 15 14" metal needles and had no problem. I was also flying on 9/11, my needles were not questioned, but my tool kit was. I eventually had to leave my tool kit at home, but have never had a problem with my knitting needles (and I usually carry 2-3 projects in my carryons-because I get bored easily with just 1 project!) But definitely leave the scissors in your checked baggage.

  • ginaginagina
    15 years ago

    Here's the thing-- you are totally at the mercy of the whim of the security guards at your particular check-point. Someone decides metal is okay, another, no. Someone decides a circular could be used to strangle someone, it never dawns on the next. I saw an incident recently where they wouldn't let a woman take her knitting needles on board, wouldn't let her retreive her baggage because it had already been checked (you go through security AFTER you've checked your baggage), wouldn't hold them for her at the front of the plane, and told her (in the nicest way possible), that it was her problem. I didn't stick around to see what happened so I don't know the outcome. And remember, no one without a ticket can now come with you through security, so you can't give them to someone to take back home for you. Keep in mind-- you you need to check them at each airport you'll be using-- so that's at least 2, coming and going, and more if you're changing planes. So I would say, unless you're willing to lose the needles, possibly have to throw them away, maybe the best idea is (oh how it pains me to say this!!!) just not to knit for those few hours. The one suggestion I would make is that if you absolutely can't resist, print out the TSA list and take it with you in case you have a problem

  • kelona
    15 years ago

    Hi folks,

    I flew from Boston to St. Louis in May and had no problem whatsoever bringing needles on the planes. I did go out in advance and purchase a thread cutter rather than try to bring scissors. I made one premie baby cap on each flight.

  • jannie
    15 years ago

    When I got called for jury duty, I brought my knitting project with me. I was told by a security guard/court officer I couldn't bring the needles into court. It would have been a perfect way to pass the time while waiting for jury selection. They didn't take my needles away. I was allowed to bring my stuff back to my car. But I still had to wait on line.

  • sandra_ferguson
    15 years ago

    I was just surfing the net, looking for 'potential' Christmas presents, and visited the site for Denise interchangeable needles....and they say that the Denise are allowed on planes. Does anyone have a set of these? Do you like them?
    http://knitting.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=knitting&cdn=hobbies&tm=55&f=20&su=p445.92.150.ip_&tt=4&bt=0amp;bts=0amp;zu=http%3A//www.knitdenise.com/