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Mitch3880 Posted - 11/04/2008 : 08:00:08 AM
Hi! everyone,
Best to place your knitting needles and crochet hooks in your checked-in luggage. It happened to me twice, while going thru the USA en route to South America. They were confiscated even though my needles were made of plastic.
Good knitting!
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jldotson39 Posted - 03/08/2010 : 10:34:19 AM
Just got back from a Portland, OR to Dallas/Fort Worth to London Heathrow and back the same way. Heathrow doesn't really want to know, so don't ask. The web advice on the TSA site was to ask your airline carrier about knitting, both in the US and Europe--so I did. American Airlines said they didn't care (in essence) so I copied the email response and was ready to show it. Drat! Didn't even need it. I travel this route often and have learned to not make lots of comments, or be a smarty pants. Most custom officials just don't seem to have much of a sense of humor on the job. Maybe it is in their job description.

Safe flying and happy knitting!
dms-r1951 Posted - 01/22/2010 : 09:36:18 AM
I flew to South Africa a few days before Christmas and flew back in mid-January and neither way did I have a problem with my knitting needles (DPs, socks, along with circs and a baby sweater--long flight, you know!). But I didn't take my beloved needles just in case! No one said boo about me knitting on the plane, either, though by the end of the very, very long flights, I was totally brain dead and couldn't even knit or anything else except hope that the torture would soon be over!! And it was a non-eventful flight! Now if I could just be happy to be home from the most glorious place I've ever seen!

Bethany Posted - 01/07/2010 : 6:28:30 PM
There have been no official changes in the allowed items, and most things I'm reading report that few people have encountered any difference, at least on domestic flights.

That was certainly my experience flying earlier this week. No one made us stay seated during the last hour of the flight or made us take blankets off our laps or anything else. It seems like people actually realized that the stupid rules were stupid for a change!
Ceil Posted - 01/07/2010 : 3:57:08 PM
Originally posted by ninbp

With the latest incident on Christmas Day, does anyone know of any changes to the security approval list? I just received a beautiful set of Signature (metal) DPN for CHristmas and would HATE to have this pricey gift taken away.

The best thing I can suggest is to take along a small shipping envelope. I had some tools on me once (for one of my musical instruments), and TSA let me go to the airport post office to mail them home, giving me preferential treatment in the line so I wouldn't have to start all over on waiting.


Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
ninbp Posted - 01/07/2010 : 06:29:46 AM
With the latest incident on Christmas Day, does anyone know of any changes to the security approval list? I just received a beautiful set of Signature (metal) DPN for CHristmas and would HATE to have this pricey gift taken away.
Bethany Posted - 12/14/2009 : 11:33:22 AM
I don't know that this is necessarily a case of inconsistently applied rules, though they certainly CAN be inconsistently applied. (The post above about the circular pendant cutter is case in point. I have no doubt they often are allowed to pass through because screeners don't recognize them as containing a blade... but they ARE specifically mentioned on the TSA website as an item that it NOT allowed.)

The thing is, every country has its own rules about what is and isn't allowed. Generally the rules applied are the rules of the country of the originating flight. So the rules applied to the St. Louis to Paris leg of the flight are US rules, in which all knitting needles are allowed. The rules applied to the Paris to US leg are French rules... I have no idea what those are. (Mind, my one experience with French airport security was a screener threatening to call the cops when I asked if I could have some film hand-inspected...) I'm also not surprised to learn that plastic needles may sometimes be passed through even though they may not technically be allowed -- as with the Clover pendant above, it may not show up as anything in particular on the x-ray.

The TSA does specifically say that whether something is allowed is at the discretion of the screener -- and thus even allowed items may not be allowed if the screener is suspicious and/or having a bad day. However, I have never heard anyone say they were NOT able to carry their knitting though a TSA checkpoint in the years since they were re-allowed. (They were disallowed right after Sept 11 and people did have knitting taken away then.)

The TSA does suggest bringing a yarn needle and some yarn to string your live stitches on, to save the project in case the screener wants to take the needles. This is good advice. But the risk of a project being randomly not allowed on flights within the US or Canada is very, very small. (Note that Yarn Harlot has never had a problem with her knitting on itty bitty pointy DPNs, and you know how much SHE flies.)

On flight in other countries, other rules apply.

One thing I've decided.... it's better to ask pardon than permission. :-) If you ask pre-bag-check whether you can carry something on, it seems like it's pretty reflexive to say, "No," especially if you're asking the people at the check-in counter, who may not actually know the rules. I figure if they don't want me to carry it on, they'll let me know when the time comes. :-)
bagel in France Posted - 12/13/2009 : 03:59:37 AM
I travel a lot through Europe and the US and have found very inconsistently applied rules. One security agent in Paris specifically asked me in the security questioning whether I had knitting needles. When I said yes, he told me I had to check them through even thought they were small plastic short circular needles. BTW the question was a random one as there was nothing to indicate that I was a knitter. A flight from St Louis to Paris, I was allowed to bring the same knitting project. A flight from Marseilles to Rome, I was allowed, but the stewardess asked how I was able to bring my knitting as she thought it was still not allowed. Thus a warning...if you bring it, do not bring a precious project as it may be disallowed randomly and if your bags are already checked through...tough luck!!

: )
KylaGWolf Posted - 12/04/2009 : 10:52:32 PM
Originally posted by LadyLiberty

Originally posted by Bethany

If it's a domestic flight, or an international fight on a US carrier originating in the US, they'll do exactly the same thing they'll do if you carry on tiny, ultra-pointy steel sock needles.

Absolutely nothing. They're allowed items.

On a flight (or any leg thereof) that originates internationally, what would happen depends on the country. In some countries knitting/crochet implements are allowed (e.g. Canada) in some totally forbidden (e.g. Australia) in many it seems like it's next to impossible to find out (e.g. Poland. Still don't know if my size 5 bamboo DPNs were allowed, but no one took them away from me.)

Circular pendant cutters are explicitly forbidden as carry-ons by the TSA. Like any other non-allowed item, whether they will actually find it and take it away is a crapshoot:

"Most of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage."


I generally carry on nail clippers, which are permitted, cut yarn nicely, and can also trim annoying hangnails.

wow. They know about those, eh? I thought they were rather obscure. There's no way they could hurt anyone, I don't think... Ok, i'll get some nail clippers. Sheesh, we have beome so paranoid!

Wow I just flew from South California to Ohio with one of those circular cutters and no one said a thing. I even took my knitting needles with me no problems. What they did take away though was my nail clippers. They didn't even blink at the other things in my knitting bag.

The best advice I can give is call the airline and ask them if an item is allowed or not. I have found each airline says what you can and cannot take can differ even from what TSA states is legal.

Wen Posted - 09/19/2009 : 9:57:35 PM
tweezers surprised me, the list is virtually identical to Australia's list. Basically anything with a point is banned.

Wen FO 2009
maidenengland Posted - 09/04/2009 : 03:16:22 AM
In Europe, well to and from the UK, all knitting needles must be in the hold baggage. Quote:
In addition to the list of dangerous items prohibited for carriage in baggage, the UK Department of Transport, Local Government and Regions (DTLR) has prohibited the following articles from being carried onboard as cabin baggage:

Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal), catapults, household cutlery, knives with blades of any length, paper knives, razor blades, tradesmenís tools, darts, scissors, tweezers, hypodermic syringes (unless a genuine medical need can be proven), knitting needles, sporting bats, billiard, snooker or pool cues.

This makes me very grumpy! They allow you to take duty free bottles on board, so anyone who wanted could just bash two bottles together and, bang, two instant weapons.

My nail clippers were taken off me on one flight, but they relented and only cut off the nail file extension, so I still have the working bit.


mokey Posted - 08/17/2009 : 1:48:02 PM
Within the past two weeks I've flown out of Toronto, Seattle and Edmonton. My bag full of circular needles was no problem but mu husband's manicure set was confiscated.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey

Laxmom4x Posted - 08/17/2009 : 03:15:13 AM
I just flew to and from FL with only carry-on, and brought my knitting. Even though I know TSA would allow needles I brought a duplicate wood circular, and some cheap yarn. I had heard it really depended on the whim of the person checking you through whether it would be okay or not. I had no problems. Neither did the woman across from me with size 10 metal needles. And yes, my nail clipper worked just fine for cutting.

"Change is inevitable except from a vending machine"
Wen Posted - 08/10/2009 : 8:13:36 PM
Originally posted by Mocha

Wen, my mom had her crochet hook confiscated and disposed by the 'ever helpful' Qantas staff. That was before 911.

The information I had was from a flight a friend took to NZ in 2008, she checked the law (in both countries before travelling) and was told a bamboo hook was fine as it did not have a point.

Wen FO 2009
Patti Jean Posted - 08/09/2009 : 6:49:53 PM
We just returned from a vacation out west in which we flew from Columbus, OH to Salt Lake City,UT and then flew from Denver international back to Columbus. I carried my knitpicks options w/ mot problem. We were on Northwest/Delta. Ironically, on one of the flights, my son got one of the snack packs they sell. One of the items was a little Tube of hummus. The instructions to open had a picure of a pair of scissors. I think someone did not think about that one.

lucienh Posted - 08/07/2009 : 11:33:00 AM
I've never had a problem with knitting needles on a plane, but last trip they confiscated two jars of my sister-in-law's incredible apricot jam. Afraid of glass? Afraid that I'd mix the apricot jam with the 3-oz tube of toothpaste and make a bomb? It's a sad world we live in.

New blog, not about knitting, but I bet it keeps sneaking in:
deedee57 Posted - 08/06/2009 : 11:25:13 AM
JetBlue and Delta allow knitting needles. On my last trip, two projects -- Denise's knitting needles.
Mocha Posted - 08/06/2009 : 02:19:31 AM
Wen, my mom had her crochet hook confiscated and disposed by the 'ever helpful' Qantas staff. That was before 911.
cranky hanako Posted - 08/05/2009 : 10:09:22 AM
I just took North West Air Line traveling within the US. I wanted to knit in the plane, so I asked a lady at the counter if I could do so. She said that there is no problem. So, I took a whole sets of needles and crochet into th e plane. I had a great time not worrying about if I was allowed to carry them in or not!
lavenderandpurl Posted - 07/26/2009 : 07:03:56 AM
It may also depend on the airlines. We've had a lot of differences in weight limits between domestic and international airlines, even on the same itinerary to the same destination. As with weight limits, you might have to check the security regulations for each airline you're using. I'm sorry that they took your needles away! How disappointing! Posted - 07/23/2009 : 06:20:46 AM
Hi everybody,
If someone is coming to Brazil DON'T carry your crochet hooks or knitting needles in your carry-on bags, they don't permit it.I had one crochet hook confiscated allready. If you are coming back to the same airport they keep it for you and you can get it back when you return, otherwise you loose your needles.

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