Traveling with Crochet Hooks & Knitting Needles…it’s doable

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….

Traveling crochet pouch
Traveling crochet 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:

Aluminum circular needles size 8
Aluminum circular needles size 8

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!

IMG_2882Of 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!

Brilliant!

How do you travel with your needles and hooks? Leave a comment. :)
Would love to hear more ideas and suggestions. :)

Buttons, buttons, buttons! Which one???

I blocked a second capelet recently and when it came time to choose a button for it…I just couldn’t.

Too many options! :)

I whittled it down to three potentials…and then I realized that due to the variegation in the wool, the background colours changed depending on which end I folded over.

So…rather than spend time staring blankly at my dress form and holding up button after button…I give you my capelet button collage!

From top to bottom, Row A and B have different yarn backgrounds as the top layer has been flipped.
From left to right, there are three buttons with each one set on top of each background.

Help!  Which one do you like?

Capelet Button Options

Hardest Part of Crocheting a Victorian Capelet? Nope, not the crocheting…

I have recently been quite inspired by the various knit and crochet projects coming from the fans of the new “Outlander” show.

I read the first few books long ago, and I admit I have yet to watch the show, but the patterns and the photos are incredibly inspiring!

What’s more, the costume designer purchase many of the knit pieces on Etsy!  You just never know who is going to be buying your items! ….But I digress.

There are some groups on Facebook dedicated to recreating the pieces on the show, but they also share similarly inspired pieces and patterns.  Amazing resources for those of us fibrefreaks who can’t get collect enough patterns!

I recently decided to experiment with a new yarn and crochet a capelet.  I was thinking it may look traditional, perhaps a little victorian…..
It started as a simple plan…crochet a smallish rectangle and add a button or two.

…but it became much bigger than that!

 

One of many ways to wear this piece
One of many ways to wear this piece

 

The colours in my experimental just-want-to-see-if-this-pattern-idea-will-work yarn turned out to be quite lovely and they deserved….nay, they demanded more than a simple button.

In the end, they required lace crocheted borders, ribbon/netting lace edging, three of my favourite metal spiral buttons and a removable bow.

For the first time in a long time, I had to pull out my sewing machine!  And it felt amazing!

You may think that crocheting this piece was the hardest part of this project.

Nope.

The yarn was quite bulky and the rectangular body crocheted up in a couple of hours tops.

The hard parts were

1) Choosing the lace to use for the edging….

Lace 'splosion!

 

I hadn’t opened my lace drawer in many many months.  At first, it wouldn’t open, but when forced

Lace ‘Splosion!!!

I had no idea I had SO MANY different types of lace in that wee little drawer!  And to make it even more difficult, I only needed two small pieces so even the remnants of lace gone-by were candidates for this project.

One after the other, I held a lace up to the piece to gauge whether it would work.  I considered, I experimented, I asked friends….finally settling on, wouldn’t you know it, one of the first pieces I pulled out!

variegated cowl close up ribbon
So, lace work done, I moved on to….*sob*

2) Choosing the buttons!

Buttons here, buttons there, buttons freakin' everywhere!

I started by gathering the buttons I thought I had.

And I kept finding more.

And more.

In bags.

In boxes.

In purses.

There is no reason for *any* item of clothing in our house to require a button!

Because I apparently have buttons for all occasions!

Pretty awesome, yet to decide on one set of buttons….shall I just say there was some swearing involved.  As well as some “set down the buttons and come back later!” moments.

Which ones.  How many.

I think this part was harder than the darn lace!

But eventually….finally…I chose a set of three buttons that I purchased over a year ago and that have been waiting patiently in a shoebox all this time for a perfect project to come around.

Spiral Buttons

 

The final addition was a bow of lace that I sewed up and added with a pin so it could be removed.

Feeling pretty satisfied with myself at the end of it all.  This lovely piece is now up for sale on my Etsy shop and I’m already thinking about making another.

Although I really wish I could find more of those awesome spiral buttons!!!

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