Traveling with Your Knitting Pt. 2/3 – By Plane

By plane, by car, by boat, by train – let’s talk about traveling with your knitting. 

Today we’re going to talk about traveling with your knitting projects by plane.


Bear with me the next couple weeks – I have a back injury slowing me down.  But I promise some very exciting news next weekend!

There’s a lot of downtime at airports – waiting in lines, waiting at the gate, waiting for the plane to take off, waiting for the plane to open. . .You get the idea.  When I travel for work, its usually by plane.  I knit in transit and in the hotel room in the evenings.  Its nice to be able to unwind even away from home.

So you’re packed up and ready to go.  Get your boarding pass and lets talk knitting needles and security.

Traveling by Air

  • Can I take my knitting needles on the plane as a carry-on? Based on Ravelry threads, this is a pretty hot topic. Per the TSA website, you CAN take your knitting needles through security BUT the TSA has the right to perform additional screening or disallow the item.  I have NEVER had this happen.  Literally, 99% of the time they don’t even look in my carry-on.  You can check out the TSA’s website here to see their discussion of knitting needles.
  • Now let’s be smart about taking knitting needles on the plane.  It’s probably not the greatest place to take your 14 inch straight metal needles. The seats on the plane are tiny.  I usually have with my metal circular needles and metal double points.  Some people have suggested bamboo might be less threatening than metal.
  • Scissors – per the TSA website, you can take scissors with blades less than 4 inches.  Mine look like this (and they fold up) and again, have never been questioned.


  • NOTE: the above applies to flying out of US airports.  I have heard from friends that knitting needles may be disallowed in your carry on when you fly out of international airports, even if you are flying to the US. Check that airports website before you go to see what is allowed.
  • Hint #1 – I keep two projects under the seat in front of me or in the pocket to knit on during the flight.  Since you can’t have your tray table down part of the trip I wedge my pattern page in between the locked tray table and the back of the seat in front of me to hold it up.  Just don’t forget it!
  • Hint #2 – if you’re flying an airline without assigned seats (like Southwest), it’s really fun to spit splice while people are boarding.  Trust me, if there’s going to be an empty middle seat, it will be by you.  Unless there’s another knitter boarding.


Those are all my little tips and tricks.  Do you have any others? Have you had any problems at security with your knitting?

Next week we’ll talk about traveling with your knitting by car.  Do you have any questions?



Filed under Knitting, Tutorials

2 responses to “Traveling with Your Knitting Pt. 2/3 – By Plane

  1. akwildcherry

    I’m so sorry to hear about your back injury, they can be a total hell. I’ve been out of work for over a year now due to 1 herniated disc and a bulging disc and subsequent surgery with another one tentatively scheduled for January. I hope your injury is much quicker to heal. I’ve heard all the hype and scares about flying with knitting but have never had a problem. I’ve flown back and forth to Europe multiple times as well. I do tend to stick with bamboo needles and use fingernail clippers for scissors. I like your reminder for not forgetting your pattern in the tray. I did that on my way to Germany and couldn’t work on the project the entire time I was there. Thankfully I had brought 2 projects. Now, I try to find a project with an easy pattern to remember or I will have the pattern saved to my phone. I also find the easier patterns better for knitting anywhere in public so that when other people feel the need to ask me what I’m doing, my response will not mess me up. Loving your blog and look forward to reading more.

    She Knits in Pearls

    • Thank you for your comment! My easy project right now is the Spectra scarf – pattern is memorized and no rows to count. With my back, I start PT this week. The doc didn’t seem optimistic it would help but insurance is apparently requiring the PT before authorizing a MRI, which is what the doc really wants.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s