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 Traveling with small gauge DPNs

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BastetG4 Posted - 12/16/2008 : 12:58:58 PM
Yes, I know knitting needles are allowed. I've taken my plastic circs and my Inox circs on the plane before. However, this time I want to take a sock project on size 0 bamboo DPNs.

Per the TSA's website,"Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage...However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of our Security Officers. Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security."

Since it is at their discretion, I was wondering if anyone else has recently traveled successfully with the smaller pointy sticks? I'll be traveling from Philly to Orlando on Southwest and the last thing I want to have to do is mail my sock back to myself and have nothing to do on the plane.


I'm getting comfortable with ripping.
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mrssuem Posted - 05/26/2010 : 5:56:05 PM
Someone once suggested that if you have dp bamboo needles and are questioned about them, just say they are chopsticks. I don't know if that will work, but it might.
Bethany Posted - 05/26/2010 : 10:09:59 AM
I fly with multiple pairs of nail clippers every time I fly -- the one in my knitting project in addition to the one I always carry, for nail clipping purposes, in my purse. I have never, ever had any problems. Nail clippers are allowed items on domestic US flights. They're what I'd recommend carrying for yarn- or thread- clipping purposes over scissors, which even though they're now allowed people still seem to occasionally have problems with.

Although I know many people fly with them without difficulty (presumably because they don't look threatening in the X-ray) remember that the circular pendant cutters are explicitly NOT allowed by the TSA.
Shelia Posted - 05/26/2010 : 08:09:13 AM
Actually, even pointy scissors are now okay as long as the blades are under a certain length, I think it's 2". I routinely take nail scissors on board with no problems, even on most international flights (Stockholm, Amsterdam as examples).

ravelry name - sheliaknits
Chayah Posted - 05/25/2010 : 2:52:13 PM
The only thing I have ever lost is a pair of sewing scissors. I didn't have time to go out and mail them to myself.No trouble with needles or hooks.

"Each breath really is a new beginning of the rest of our lives." Jon Kabat-Zinn
noallatin Posted - 05/25/2010 : 2:11:27 PM
Originally posted by mathiemom

. . . small-size bamboo DPNs. What harm could you possibly do with it, even if you wanted to? Those things are pretty fragile; they'd break before they would damage anything else.

I don't know about that. DS took a rather annoying fellow student up on a dare. The "victim" told my son that he bet that sock needles weren't sharp enough to do damage. My son poked him with one and proved that they were. The needle poked through a sweatshirt and poked a small hole in the kid. The needle broke. DS isn't allowed to take knitting back to school.
mathiemom Posted - 05/25/2010 : 11:00:15 AM
I've flown dozens of times with sock needles, usually metal but sometimes bamboo. Even though there's the line about TSA having discretion to remove anything they think could be a weapon, I honestly cannot imagine that happening with small-size bamboo DPNs. What harm could you possibly do with it, even if you wanted to? Those things are pretty fragile; they'd break before they would damage anything else. Fly happy, take your socks, and don't worry!

cathy moore Posted - 05/20/2010 : 08:13:09 AM
Please let us know how it works out. I'll be flying soon and refuse to give up any of my important stuff to be thrown into a trash can. Why won't they give us an opportunity to mail it home?
Rwats2 Posted - 05/19/2010 : 5:05:41 PM
In some of the post that I have read in the last couple of days about flying with needles. I am flying to Ft Lauderdale on Saturday from New Orleans on SWA. I am planning to take a couple of Christmas ornaments, and some dish cloth patterns to work on in the airport in N.O. I am hoping to work on the plane but, I am not holding my breath. I would love to be able to tat maybe on the plane but, I know that may not happen because I need a to have a pair of nail clippers. I was hoping that I could find a pair for an infant. That way I can place a size 8 16" bamboo cir in a plastic bag, purposfully placed between two really thick magazines.

Rebecca + Amelia(aka Stinkerpaws)

"Never try to discuss marriage with a musician".

Lucy-- "Peanuts"
Shelia Posted - 02/21/2009 : 09:24:46 AM
Mammie, I've flow in the UK (Manchester and Heathrow) a number of times in the past couple of years, carrying both DPNs and circulars (metal and plastic) with no problems. The last time was September of last year. Has something changed since then?

ravelry name - sheliaknits
Cecioboe Posted - 02/21/2009 : 07:33:54 AM
I always fly domestic with my DPNS - no issues. But coming home from Mexico - NO. The TSA agent looked absolutely horrified when I asked if they were okay.


Aw, gee, c'mon and see:

Cecioboe on Ravelry
lemons Posted - 02/20/2009 : 1:58:28 PM
Bamboo #1s through security in many many US airports, plus Frankfurt, Nice, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona, Santiago (Chile), and Buenos Aires. Noproblems. But in Nice, they began going through my bag. Turned out they were looking at a brooch that was a sunburst with curved "beams" coming out from it. They thought it was one of those knife-star things. "Oui," I laughed in my awful French, "Ninja, c'est moi." He nearly fell over laughing at the middle-aged American lady claiming to be a ninja.

lemons of missouri
Ceil Posted - 02/20/2009 : 08:58:11 AM
Seems to me if you could strangle someone with a circ and they let you through security with that, then dpns should be absolutely fine!


Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Mammie Posted - 02/20/2009 : 01:54:57 AM
dpns would be taken off you if you tried to take them on a plane here in the uk. They are very strick and last time I flew they took hat pins off a sweet little old lady!
Ruthsbestfriend Posted - 01/05/2009 : 3:22:46 PM
I've never had a problem with security about needles small or large, but I've also always had the project on the needles (and enough of it done for a non-knitter to recognise! At least within the US, you're probably safe! ;) Posted - 01/04/2009 : 10:15:18 PM
I often ask a TSA official if it is acceptable to carry my knitting needles prior to checking my bags. They have always been very nice about it and see appreciative that I ask for permission first. I also believe it helps to have the project on the needles rather than having loose needles.

Although I don't have personal experience in European airports, I have a student who had to take her almost completed circular shawl off her needles and surrender them in a european airport. She had over 1000 stitches on those needles.
lemons Posted - 01/03/2009 : 2:31:59 PM
I've never, ever had a problem either in the US or in Europe. However, that said, I do pack a second pair of bamboo DPNs in my suitcase just in case I would have to rip it off the needles and leave them at security. I'm sure if I ever left them, I'd end up with a problem!

lemons of missouri
Marg in Mirror Posted - 01/03/2009 : 10:36:33 AM
Thanks for this reassurance about bamboo dpns. I am travelling to Fort Lauderdale in a couple of weeks and have been wondering if I should risk putting a sock project in my carry-on. Now I'm willing to give it a try.

Marg in Mirror, Alberta

TLWKOTB Posted - 12/21/2008 : 05:38:50 AM
The answer on the main forum page should read "Yes...if within North America." In Europe, where I travel extensively, I have spent a lot of time in front of check-in desks or lined up for Security checks where the "Items not allowed" signs are posted. In Belfast, for just one example, the sign includes an illustration of a ball of yarn & needles stuck in it -- right next to the illustration of the dynamite, the pool cue, the scissors and the knife...
I've asked Air France, BA, and Ryanair -- all say no. Others say "not specified -- all depends on who you get at Security". So it's not an unequivocal "yes".
Punctuatedknitter Posted - 12/18/2008 : 6:38:37 PM
I have flown with bamboo sock needles many times with no trouble. They're my needle of choice for flights as being the smallest, least threatening looking thing possible.
BastetG4 Posted - 12/16/2008 : 4:20:12 PM
Cool. Thanks for the responses! I'm far less concerned about Southwest than about some over-eager TSA guy at the Philly airport. They confiscated a small pair of round-tipped scissors from me a few years ago because they weren't "rounded enough" according to the agent. I even asked for a second opinion from his supervisor. They were small, cheap, pink plastic-handled school scissors from CVS, but they were a dangerous weapon!

Actually, on that trip I was doing Magic Loop with a pair of Inox--I thought it ironic that they weren't concerned about the narrower point on the nickel-plated needles or the potential for strangling afforded by the 40" cord, but those safety scissors had to go!

I'm getting comfortable with ripping.

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