I recently went on a European trip from Canada.
Before I went, many friends warned me that I would likely have my crochet hooks and knitting needles confiscated if I brought them. So initially, I started packing without any projects to work on.
But the more I thought about 6 hours on a plane with no yarn and no crochet, the more annoyed I got. :) I wasn’t willing to bring along my lovely wooden knitting needles as they are fantastic (and were expensive!). I also wasn’t willing to bring along my handmade ergonomic crochet hooks as I order those from the states and they too aren’t cheap.
So, I put together a small traveling crochet pouch with new bits and pieces as an experiment. Throughout the trip I went through four security checks in three different airports (Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario Canada, Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris France & Keflavik Airport in Iceland) and not once was I questioned or stopped.
Of course, every airline, airport and every security employee is different so there is no *one* way to ensure that you’ll never be asked about your hooks and needles, but I though I would share what I did because it seemed to work….in January 2015 at least ;)
First of all, I researched each airport for security regulations. Some were easy to find and others were a bit harder. I also asked my airline via Facebook what they allowed on their airplanes. I was told 2.5mm and smaller were acceptable which didn’t work for me as all my projects were on hooks and needles 5mm or larger.
So instead I created this pouch….
I went out and bought plastic hooks and plastic needles, as well as the smallest pair of scissors I could find. Initially I was looking for scissors for children as I figured they would be even less threatening but I came across these for quite cheap and figured I’d try them.
I also purchased a replacement set of circular knitting needles for a project I was working on. These are aluminum:
The key to all of this was that I made my purchases with the knowledge that they all could be taken away and I was okay with that. If I had lost my plastic hooks or scissors…they hadn’t been too expensive and I still had my preferred ones at home.
Prior to going through any security, I pulled a string through the stitches of my knitting project along the needles and tied it together. Every time.
I only had one knitting item with me….so if you have a few this could be annoying BUT you just KNOW that the one time you think “I haven’t had a problem so far, I’m sure it’ll be fine” is the time when someone will decide that your needles are not acceptable! :P So do it every time!
Of course, if they had decided to confiscate the needles, I may have lost the project as well…I have heard of that happening before….but this way, if I had been given the opportunity to keep the project, the needles could have been easily pulled out and all the stitches saved.
Lastly, each time I went through security, I purposely pulled out the crochet pouch and the project with the needles in it and put them in a tray to go through the scanner. That way they were clearly seen and could be checked easily.
Four security scans later, I wasn’t asked once about them.
So there you go! :) Hopefully this helps my fellow fibre freaks out there who also like to travel with their yarn art!
NOTE: One additional note….I was also working on a project with 15mm needles. Mine are plastic and I assume pretty non-threatening but I didn’t chance them due to their size and always put them in my checked luggage.
ANOTHER NOTE (Later…same day):
I had to add another note to share some of the awesome ideas that are being shared with me on social media!
One person suggested taking along small nail clippers for children instead of scissors and another person suggested floss…because floss packaging usually has a small sharp edge to cut floss…or yarn!
How do you travel with your needles and hooks? Leave a comment. :)
Would love to hear more ideas and suggestions. :)