An Anecdote and Some Advice on Flying with Your Knitting

It’s always with a little trepidation that I pack knitting for a plane trip.

nobody puts my knitting in a corner

It’s because I really, really want to knit on the long flight ahead. It feels like dead time, wasted time, if I’m not working on a WIP or my increasingly long ‘to knit’ list. And knitting, right, how harmless?

But one look at my long pointed needles and I’m filled with constricting fear that airport security will look at me as Threat Level Midnight and take away the project I’ve spent hours on and I’d be left with a) nothing to do and b) no project I’d spent hours on.

the-office-threat-level-midnight

And I mean, they do look like weapons. Even friends, who know me as a harmless knitter with zero guts to confront the meanies in the office, say in hushed voices they’re surprised I was allowed past security with my Crafty Bamboo Weapons of Death.

They especially look like weapons when they're fashioned to look like light sabers. PRO: Can kill anyone who mocks your knitting. CON: Have to get them out of your knitting to do so. PRO: Light up your knitting so you can see what you're doing! CON: Blinds you while doing so. It's a mixed bag really.
They especially look like weapons when they’re fashioned to look like light sabers. PRO: Can kill anyone who mocks your knitting. CON: Have to get them out of your knitting to do so. PRO: Light up your knitting so you can see what you’re doing! CON: Blinds you while doing so. It’s a mixed bag really.

So last week I was sent to Cape Town for a day. In and out. That’s a lot of hours travelling to the airport (on public transport), waiting in the airport, and flying on the plane. In other words, that’s a loooot of knitting time I could be missing out on if I left my needles, safely, at home!

I think this. A LOT.
I think this. A LOT.

 

Another problem, aside from the Crafty Bamboo Weapons of Death, is being able to cut the yarn when done or when changing colours. Needless to say, you can’t bring scissors on a plane! So after much research and with a lust for the awesome gadgety stuff, I decided to buy a nifty little thread cutter pendant instead of nail clippers, dental floss box, or kid’s plastic scissors (all other plane-safe options).

http://instagram.com/mcsteelio
http://instagram.com/mcsteelio

 

After a successful flight, here’s my advice:

  1. Use circular needles. They’re less intimidating than the long pokey ones!
  2. You can always detach the needles and put them with some pencils in a pencil case to make them look even less threatening.
  3. Always use bamboo or wood. It won’t set off the metal detectors, and bamboo has a blunter end which is less menacing.
  4. Speak nicely! If the security guard is nervous about your needles, yelling won’t make him feel like you’re NOT a threat.
  5. Don’t point it out. Like, seriously. Why would you?
  6. Keep the project small-ish. Firstly, who wants to lose a long-term project (which miiiiiiiight happen)? Secondly, it’s easier to knit something small that doesn’t require a lot of elbow work on those teeeeny tiiiiny airplane seats.
  7. Bring a Plan B to keep you busy! Like a book or something.
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