One of the great things about knitting is that it’s a very portable craft. You only need a ball of yarn, your needles, and you can take your knitting project anywhere.
A knitting project would provide something to do while waiting for a delayed flight or even during a long flight to help pass the time.
But wait! Knitting needles are sort of sharp and pointy and perhaps could be dangerous…
So can you bring knitting needles on a plane where dangerous items are not permitted? And will the flight attendant allow you to actually do some knitting during the flight?
This post looks are the rules on taking knitting needles on a plane either in your carry-on luggage or checked luggage.
TSA Knitting Needles Rules
The transportation security administration is responsible for flight security in the united states. These are the officers who screen your bag at the security checkpoint and the people who scan and potentially inspect your checked luggage behind the scenes.
Let’s see what they say about knitting needles:
Are knitting needles allowed in carry-on luggage?
Yes, you can bring knitting needles in your hand luggage. You should make sure you wrap up your needles so that anyone inspecting your bag won’t get jabbed. In theory, you can bring all types of knitting needles through a TSA security checkpoint.
The TSA gave more details on another page:
” … knitting needles […] are allowed in your carry-on bags. This includes and is not limited to circular knitting needles, bamboo, wooden, aluminum, metal, and plastic knitting needles, double pointed knitting needles, knitting hooks, knitting stitch holders, sewing kits, sewing needles, sewing pins, and sewing scissors (blades shorter than 4 in). However, circular thread cutters, or any thread cutter with a blade must be packed in your checked baggage.”Bob Burns TSA Social Media Team
So not only can you pack knitting needles in your carry on bag you can get them out and knit during the flight too!
Alisha on Twitter wonders why people hate flying. For her it’s a great opportunity to get some knitting or reading done when she flies with American Airlines:
And United Airlines are happy for Jan to work on her knitting project on the flight@
It seems that all the US major airlines like American, Delta, JetBlue, Frontier, Southwest, and United are all fine with knitting on planes.
Just remember to be respectful to your neighbor and fellow passengers, this One Direction fan was elbowed 10 times by an in-flight knitter:
Can you bring knitting needles in checked baggage?
Yes, if you just want to bring your knitting project on vacation with you and don’t intend to knit on the plane you can pack your knitting needles in checked luggage.
It would be better if they are sheathed so that any baggage handlers rummaging through your smalls don’t injure themselves accidently.
Keep in mind that checked luggage does occasionally go missing and if you do pack your knitting project in hold luggage there is always that little chance that you might never see it again.
While these are the TSA knitting needles rules keep in mind that the final decision is always made by the TSA security screen officer on the ground. They do have the right to refuse your knitting needles if they deem them a threat.
What About Knitting Accessories?
Circular thread cutters are not allowed on planes in carry on luggage. This is because of the blade that they have inside them.
Large scissors are not permitted, but craft scissors with small blades are fine.
Are Knitting Needles Allowed On International Flights?
If departing from the US you will be able to take your knitting through the TSA security, but what about the return trip?
This video from George has many great tips about flying with knitting needles. Although note he is mistaken about circular thread cutters:
George has flown all around the world while knitting so it is possible.
Can you take knitting needles on a plane in Europe?
I checked what some of the European airlines were saying about knitting needles:
Lufthansa admit that it’s not their decision and the airport security officers decide. They do recommend that you pack them in checked luggage.
Air France say “des aiguilles à tricoter est interdit en cabine” or “knitting needles are prohibited in the cabin”.
Dutch airline KLM don’t want you to bring knitting needle on board.
Spain’s Iberia say they can’t guarantee knitting needles will be allowed in the cabin because “de seguridad permitan aquello en maleta de cabina” or “security decides what is permitted in the cabin”.
There is no TSA equivalent that covers all of Europe. Each individual country sets their own aviation security rules.
The European Union does set some rules about banned items and knitting needles are not one of the banned items.
Can you fly with knitting needles in the UK?
In the UK knitting needles are permitted in both hand luggage and hold luggage. As a colder climate, the British are keen knitters and it’s not unusual for people to travel with knitting.
If you are flying domestically in the US you should have no problems bringing your knitting on to a plane and even doing some in-flight knitting to pass the time.
In Europe the rules are much less clear. We would advise not flying with metal needles, bamboo needles are much less threatening and are more likely to be allowed on the plane.
Also don’t take any knitting needles with you that you are not prepared to lose. There is no sense missing your flight because your knitting needles were not permitted to board!
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