As a self-professed "list-maker", my vacation planning always begins with a
packing list. For my annual tropical getaway, the typical items of sunscreen and
swimsuit are always listed. But my knitting gear tops the list. It simply isn't
a perfect vacation for me without circular needles in my hands and sunscreen on my
nose. Will I run out of yarn before completing my poncho? Did I remember the
Knit-Chek? As I was planning my trip to Antigua a few years ago, it occurred to me
that perhaps my knitting needles wouldn't even make it to the airport gate.
With increased security in air travel, it is important to familiarize yourself with
carry-on baggage restrictions. In-transit knitting is half the fun of traveling and you
don't want to donate your needles to the local airport authority. According to the
Transportation Security Administration, prohibited items include those that are seemingly
harmless but may be used as weapons. While knitting needles are allowed in carry-on or
checked baggage, it is at the discretion of the TSA screener. If the needles are
determined to be a possible weapon, the screener will not permit them through security.
So there is a chance your knitting needles may not make it to the gate with you.
To increase your odds, the Transportation Security Administration provides these
recommendations for bringing knitting needles on an airplane:
Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
Scissors must have blunt points
In case the screener does not allow your knitting tools through security
it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail
your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check
As a precautionary measure it is recommended that you carry a crochet hook
with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are
surrendered at the checkpoint.
By following these recommendations you can ensure your trip will not be a vacation
from knitting. Even so, I always pack a back-up set of needles in my checked baggage.
And I must admit I have a habit of visiting local yarn shops where an ample supply of
knitting needles is waiting for me. Now how can I make sure my new needles get home
For more information, you can visit the Transportation Security Administration at www.tsa.gov