Crochet Hooks, Knitting Needles and Air Travel

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Unfortunately, alot has changed regarding carry-on items for airline travel since 9/11. The days of bringing along your crafting, crocheting, knitting, quilting and cross stitch without worrying about what's in your tote bag are gone. But, all is not lost. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hasn't completely left us dreaming about our needles and hooks in our checked luggage and has been steadily adding crafting items to the permitted list as the years have passed.

How do I prepare for takeoff?

There are restrictions on what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. All of your baggage will be screened and possibly hand-searched as part of the new security measures. This inspection may include emptying most or all of the articles in your bag so pack smart! Use clear, ziploc bags to contain smaller items so that a screener can quickly check your bag contents should you be lucky enough to be selected for a search.

Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases...or your tote bag stuffed with yarn or fabric!

What items are allowed in carry-on luggage?

The following items are allowed in carry-on, however, this list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Additionally, an item that is included in this list may be deemed to be dangerous by a transportation safety officer when you are passing through a security check point and may be confiscated. That means there is no guarantee that these items will definitely be allowed on-board, so please use common sense and keep your size 19, 14" straight needles at home or put them in your checked luggage.

  • Knitting Needles
  • Crochet Hooks
  • Sewing Needles
  • Quilting Needles
  • Pins
  • Thread Cutters
  • Scissors - plastic or metal with blunt tips
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail Files
  • Tweezers

What items are prohibited in carry-on luggage?

  • Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades longer than 4" in length
  • Knives
  • Razor-Type Blades
  • Whatever else is determined to be dangerous by a transportation safety officer

When in doubt, check it so you don't lose it!

Can we put those prohibited items in our checked luggage?

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of the Security Officers. The Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow the item to pass through security. The following is recommend when bring knitting needles on an airplane:

  • Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length.
  • Needles should be made of bamboo or plastic. (Not Metal)
  • Scissors must have blunt points.
  • In case a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
  • As a precautionary measure it is recommend that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint.

Most of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.

Some items can be included in checked luggage and some cannot. Generally, scissors, knives and razor blades that are not allowed in carry-ons are allowed to be checked. The Transportation Safety Administration maintains a list of Permitted and Prohibited Items.

More information can be found at the Transportation Security Administration website.

The information provided pertains to U.S. air travel only. It is important to note that international air travel restrictions vary from country to country.