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 Knitting Needles and Security
 Traveling with small gauge DPNs
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BastetG4
Chatty Knitter

USA
200 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  12:58:58 PM  Show Profile Send BastetG4 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Thanks!

--
I'm getting comfortable with ripping.

Sticks and String
Permanent Resident

USA
1113 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  1:39:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sticks and String's Homepage Send Sticks and String a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always travel with socks on the sticks. I use anything from a size 0 to a size 2.5, always wood or bamboo and I've never had an issue. I have found Southwest to be very easy to travel with and the flight attendants are usually more interested in what I'm making than what I'm making WITH (aside from the usual "those are so small!"). I have two children now living in Orlando so it's a frequent flight for me alhtough I'm traveling from NH not PA.

Just be aware that it isn't really the airline you are trying to get along with, it's TSA and they are notoriously unpredictable. Tuck the knitting in your carry-on, be friendly and accomodating while going thru the security checks, don't make any kind of spectacle of yourself and have a stamped and addressed padded envelope in case you have to mail your needles back to yourself.

Happy travels!


Jo
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  1:48:29 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I took my 0 or 1 bamboo 5" DPNs on the plane to Florida from Minnesota and had no issues. I had half a foot knitted, as I always do I wrapped the sock around the needles in a little roll and left it in the bottom of by bag. (Kind of hidden but not suspiciously hidden) They scanned my bag, looked in it and didn't say a thing.
I also had my daughter dressed in a sweater I had made her and the lady asked me about that and if I made it so that might have made a difference.

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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2594 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  4:03:02 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always carry a sock project on (domestic) flights - on size 0-1 KnitPicks sock needles - very sharp metal needles. No problem. Ever.

(Your results may vary.)

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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Bethany
Permanent Resident

USA
1546 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  4:18:52 PM  Show Profile Send Bethany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also always carry a sock on size 0-1 metal Knitpicks circulars every time I fly domestically, and I fly a fair bit. Not as much as Yarn Harlot or anything (I gather she's never had a problem, either) but there have been some years I travel more months than I don't.

No one has ever even looked at the knitting, let alone objected.

I think the odds of someone complaining about small bamboo needles at a US airport are minuscule, particularly at fairly busy airports. (I gather on the rare occasions people do have problems, it's generally at very small airports where the agents aren't kept to busy with the non-allowed items to start complaining about the allowed ones.)

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BastetG4
Chatty Knitter

USA
200 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2008 :  4:20:12 PM  Show Profile Send BastetG4 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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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Punctuatedknitter
Seriously Hooked

819 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2008 :  6:38:37 PM  Show Profile Send Punctuatedknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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jonmul@eircom.net
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2008 :  05:38:50 AM  Show Profile Send jonmul@eircom.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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".
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  10:36:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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
http://knitsonthebus.blogspot.com
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lemons
Permanent Resident

1692 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  2:31:59 PM  Show Profile Send lemons a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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
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sooterl@msn.com
Warming Up

63 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2009 :  10:15:18 PM  Show Profile Send sooterl@msn.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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Ruthsbestfriend
New Pal

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2009 :  3:22:46 PM  Show Profile Send Ruthsbestfriend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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! ;)
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Mammie
New Pal

United Kingdom
3 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  01:54:57 AM  Show Profile Send Mammie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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!
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1729 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  08:58:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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!

Ceil

Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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lemons
Permanent Resident

1692 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2009 :  1:58:28 PM  Show Profile Send lemons a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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
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Cecioboe
Seriously Hooked

USA
824 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  07:33:54 AM  Show Profile Send Cecioboe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Ceci

Aw, gee, c'mon and see: http://knittinreed.blogspot.com

Cecioboe on Ravelry
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2356 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2009 :  09:24:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?

Shelia
www.letstalkstash.blogspot.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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Rwats2
Chatty Knitter

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2010 :  5:05:41 PM  Show Profile Send Rwats2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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"
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cathy moore
New Pal

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2010 :  08:13:09 AM  Show Profile Send cathy moore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?
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mathiemom
Chatty Knitter

USA
242 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2010 :  11:00:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit mathiemom's Homepage Send mathiemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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!

Wendy
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noallatin
Chatty Knitter

277 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2010 :  2:11:27 PM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
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.
Wendy



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.
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