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Knitting on a Plane: Tips and Tricks

By: Laura Zander from Jimmy Beans Wool

Are you planning on flying to be with family this holiday season?  If you're anything like me, chances are you're still not done knitting up those last-minute gifts, which means knitting on a plane is a must.  Keeping up with the latest TSA regulations can be a headache, so it's nice to have someone lay it all out for you.  Thanks to Laura Zander from Jimmy Beans Wool, us knitters-on-the-go will get some thrifty tips and tricks from this article.  Read on for Laura's great ideas, and some additional ideas from our Editors!

Knitting on a Plane

Traveling season is upon us and I’ve just spent some time reviewing the TSA regulations before I hop on the plane! We knitters are a creative bunch, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips for working around those regulations so that I can finish all my holiday projects on time!

  1. Forgot your point protector? Use the cork from last night's bottle of Merlot!
  2. Need a handy container for your DPNs? I like to use a traveling toothbrush holder! I find the ones with the smallest drainage hole, and you can find them for little money at most places (Just double check for length!).  You can toss the container in you knitting basket/bag when not in use and they come in many colors if you have multiple sets (like a lot of us have!)
  3. Last year I left home without my cable needle! Doh! I used a pen to hold the stitches and it worked great!

We hope you have safe and happy travels this holiday season.

Best wishes,


More Traveling Tips from our Editors

Laura has some great insider knitting tips on the particulars of traveling with your knitting, but there are some general things you should keep in mind when you travel.

  1. Always check the TSA guidelines.  As any frequent traveler will tell you, the TSA guidelines change almost as often as the seasons.  Staying up to date on the latest rules will ensure that your prized pair of scissors or yarn cutter won't have to be left with security
  2. Keep your knitting in separate project bags, if possible.  Yarn has a tendency to tangle if not properly cared for, and throwing all of your projects in one bag is just asking for a big mess.  Separating out your projects into multiple bags (you know you won't be leaving the house for an extended vacation without multiple projects) will help keep your suitcase nice and neat.  It also means that you can easily grab a particular project without having to unpack and repack your knitting bag.
  3. Keep your knitting tools in a separate case.  To help protect your yarn and make traveling just a bit easier, use an accessory bag to keep your knitting tools organized.  There are tons of bags available, or you can reuse an old make-up bag as a tool case in a pinch.

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Recently flew on South West Airlines..April 13 20, 2017 and had no trouble with bringing my knitting yarn, circular (bamboo-thin plastic cable) and the pendant 'safety cutter'...pendant. Accidentally left my 'snip' cutter in the bag...and the air lines left it alone. Bothing coming and going. Other silly things were confiscated, but not my knitting. )

Such helpful info! I'm more of a crocheter than knitter, but I'm glad to know it's an option. If you happen to travel on an airline that doesn't allow knitting needles, arm knitting would be a fun alternative activity.

Great tips! I need to print this for when I travel next week.

I know it can be difficult traveling to different countries, I was allowed to knit and sew Australia to Canada and return, but had a problem in Australia on one of my 2 flights home. If you are going to fly in Australia , check this government site first. http// == onal/onboard/prohibitedlist.aspx

If you are not sure about TSA requirements, pass a different color yarn through your last knitted row in case you can't take your needles on the plane with you. Also, bring a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope with you so you can take your project off the needles and mail the needles to where you are going. Then you can just put your project back on the needles when you and they arrive at your destination

very useful ideas ,thanks Laura

Some cute tricks, but not 100% accurate about the TSA. You can take knitting & crocheting supplies on board any USA-originating flight which is covered by the TSA, scissors included. I've taken my stork embroidery scissors on dozens of flights. However, I try to bring bamboo needles & hooks and the very smallest amount of accessories I can. Remember that flights originating outside the USA don't always subscribe to the same TSA rules and may be a lot more strict. I was scolded for trying to knit on a flight within Australia (when I'd knitted all the way there from the USA!) because "the TSA is just for you Yanks!""

Sorry....did I miss something? How did you get the knitting/crochet needles past TSA.....they seem to take everything! ! ! ! ! ! Love the Floss idea.

Hi, nice but you might want to check your facts - Sharp Objects Item Carry on Checked Box Cutters No Yes Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches Yes Yes -- however it is nice to be able to carry dental floss container to cut with I checked this information on Dec 14, 2011 on the TSA site (so this is for USA travel information only) Smiles D

Please tell me - how do you use dental floss to cut yarn?

Hi, nmatthews 0758749. I imagine that if you crossed the yarn and dental floss, grabbed the ends of the yarn in one hand and the end of the floss in the other, and pulled, that the floss would cut through the yarn. Try it and see! If you have further questions, I recommend contacting the author directly (specified in the byline). Hope this helps! --Editors of AllFreeKnitting

lol. I don't believe you would actually use the floss. I think what is meant is the floss container. It has the cutting tool to cut floss so I would use it to cut the yarn. I may be wrong, but that is what I would do.

Marvellous idea!!!!!!!!!! thanks


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