Needles in midflight

I am taking an international flight next week. Does anyone know if I can take my knitting on board with me, or will they make me dump it at the airport?


kylewilliam's picture

from what I know it depends on what airline you fly. I have NEVER had a problem (but I use bamboo AND always circulars!) - if you were flying domestic (in the USA) you wouldn't have a problem with bamboo and/or circs... (I also prefer circs because if you let go of one it doesn't fall to the ground)

SO... check with your airline and theyll let you know...

also, for what it's worth, make sure nothing metal finds its way in your knitting bag... no sissors, metal darning needles, etc. - I haven't had a problem with a metal tape measure before, but it could possibly be a problem too... so just keep it all as non metal and organic as possible and you should be just fine... :)

a last word of advice... if you are concerned, they won't take your knitting... so be prepared to take the needles out and toss them if they give you a problem -- bring a holder or use a piece of yarn or something... (or just be careful when you do it) -



Crafty Andy's picture

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Wooden needles are usually ok, but check the country you are coming from! From the US to other countries there is usually no problem, I would not take circular needles or anything that is expensive . Have your work in a lifeline just in case someone decides to take the needles away. go to the TSA.GOV and check just in case they have changed the rules, I have knitted and crochted in flights from here US to UK, from the UK here I really do nothing , maybe crochet.

daveballarat's picture

Good question. I'll be in the same position this Saturday going from Turkey to Sicily. I plan on having it in the handluggage but as I check in, I'll ask. Then if not okay, then I'll just ask them to open my luggage and I'll slip it in. I did that with some handlotion that a friend gave me as a parting gift at Christmas, the timing was dreadful... but the check-in staff are usually quiet helpful. So ask at the last minute.
Istanbul, Turkey


Kerry's picture

Qantas wont let you take needles on an international flight, and they can't be taken on flights within Australia.

MWK - Houston's picture

I have been traveling quite a bit this year in Latin America. I have had no problem with plastic circular needles. Plastic seems to be ok everywhere. Just remember no scizzors - they will take them away.

knit_knot_eat's picture

I flew once without a problem and this was the advice I was given
1 - don't use metal needles. Use plastic or bamboo
2 - don't use ones that are too small or too big. Try to be in the US 6, 7, 8 range
3 - have some decent work on it already
4 - I was told TO use circular. Reasons were that they are both in use and less weapon like
5 - have a lifeline in case you need to take it off the needles.
6 - if you want, take a self addressed envelope with you to mail it home if they won't let you through
7 - Go with an old lady and give them to her to carry, LOL

Even no. 7 won't get you past the security gorillas at London Stansted. There is a large see-through box at every entrance to the security check area and ALL KNITTING NEEDLES MUST BE PLACED HERE - along with numerous other items which could not be used to highjack the plane/construct bombs in the toilet.

potterdc's picture

Hi, I have often traveled here in the States with the Denise Needle Kit - never once been questioned about it. It even says on their website that their needles are "Airline safe and travel friendly." You could probably get good information from the airline you're traveling on.

Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

Think less, enjoy it more.

Nashrunner's picture

I flew from Nashville/Atlanta/London and back last summer with some project going on a set of wooden circular needles. I'd suggest set up like this. First off I think the safety people might be less suspicious of wooden or bamboo needles than they would of metal and secondly if you work on a circular, even if it's a back-and-forth something, there's not a needle to drop and have roll across the floor, down the aisle, etc., nothing to get lost. I have a German friend here, Marieka Sattler, (you can see some of her original designs at and ravelry) and she visits her family quite often, knits furiously on every plane trip and says she's never had any trouble. Of course, being female helps. Also my suggestion is to have something already started. A perspective terrorist would just have the needle(s) in his baggage, with no real intention of knitting. I think it will work out if you play by their rules. Good luck and enjoy the trip!

azathoth's picture

Seems like everyone has covered everything. The only thing I would add is that bring a package of dental floss. The little metal piece cuts yarn pretty clean versus my usual method of biting and pulling.

chipsir's picture

I went to Mexico with knitting on circular bamboo needles and had no problem. Also I have been told that it is not so much airlines as airport security who can allow or deny you to take knitting on board, I love my addi's so just put my knitting on bamboo for the flight and returned them to add's at the end of my journey (addi's beinging in my checked luggage). I agree though to be prepared to have the needles taken away.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Good points from everyone. I've flown with my knitting but haven't had too many hassles. Good thing to know about asking check-in staff, Dave. I'll keep that in mind for the future. I usually do socks as a travel projects as they seem less frightening. Still, even though security is the folks who let you on, I think having your carrier's policy to come back with is a good thing. Same with knowing the TSA guidelines. (I printed them out, just in case.) Still, I'd be prepared to send things home with your ride if they get adamant about it. That's why I wish we had better train service - I had no problems at all when I travelled crosscountry last October. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Mnjack's picture

I've never had a problem but do use plastic circular needles. I have even taken crochet along and they never took the metal crochet needle. The circular needles are great, since you won't be dropping a needle accidently. Also I have found my nail clipper works very well for scissors.

jinct's picture

Thanks for all your advice! I guess I have some planning to do before taking off.

VillageKnittiot's picture

In general, I find that flying within or out of the USA is not a problem. I am always on KnitPick's Options or Addi Turbos. Flying into the USA is usually the issue. Have had issue in Mexico, Australia and London. China and Japan have been okay.

ronhuber's picture

Although the airlines say on the websites that one can carry knitting needles, the people on security are the ones who say yes or no. One lady in Mexico who worked in security told that since men don't knit they must be going to use them for something else.

mrossnyc's picture

Just got back from a trip to Ecuador and Peru and left my knitting in my checked bag to avoid losing the needle. I knew I'd be going through 5 airports in those countries and didn't want to risk it. It was really crazy how some places had liquids policies and some didn't. I also saw revolvers and massive knives that had been confiscated in Lima.

However back on topic, in the US, I've never had any issue with metal or bamboo needles of any size. I've flown with about 6 different metal circs in my bag so I could do some swatching on the flight and the TSA staff didn't say a word. I also always fly with round-tipped scissors in my knitting bag (they are allowed as listed on the TSA site) and also never have a problem.

When flying back to the US though, I usually put my knitting in my checked luggage to avoid any problems.