Cleared For Knitting

Cleared For Knitting

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 checkpoint.
  • As a precautionary measure, you should 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 backup set of needles in my checked baggage. And I must admit I have a habit of visiting local yarn shops with ample knitting needles waiting for me. Now how can I make sure my new needles get home with me?

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