Can I take my knitting on a flight?

This has got to be one of the most common questions we get asked by during the summer season and, often, the answer is yes! I know this sounds a bit surprising – but by following these few simple tricks, chances are you’ll be allowed to board with needles in hand.

1) Don’t take scissors

Bring yarns that you can snap using your fingers, or mini yarn cutters if you absolutely have to, but NO scissors!

 2) Get written consent

Speak to the airline before you travel and make sure it’s via email or by letter. Pack the printed response giving you permission in your hand luggage and, if you’re hassled by airport security, just show it to them. It should straighten things out.

3) For gawd sake, no metal!

Stick with plastic or bamboo circular or double-pointed needles with short tips. If you really can’t bear to use either of those, go for mini short straights instead. They’re far less offensive on the x-ray.

4) Keep an eye on the terror level

All too real these days, terror alert levels in different countries are always jumping up and down, which may cause baggage checkers to be particularly spirited at check-in. If it’s up high, you’re likely to encounter more scrutiny.

5) Have a backup ready

Put your knitting on a spare piece of yarn and pack the needles separately in your hand luggage, with a spare pair in your main suitcase. If they do decide to take your needles, at least you still have your knitting safely packed and beach needles in the hold.

6) Return to sender

The other thing you’ll need to bring with you is a self-addressed, pre-paid padded envelope. If they’re really not going to let you board with your project and you don’t have written permission, at least they can stick it in the post for you, so that it’s waiting on your doormat when you get home.

7) Be in for the long haul

If it’s a long flight, make sure you’ve packed enough yarn to keep you going. There’s nothing worse than running short mid-air.

Have a great trip, knitters! Coach and train travel will be absolutely fine – but if you’re on a long car journey, knitting in the front seat has been known to induce a little nausea, so do bear this in mind!