Friday, June 04, 2010

Can I take my knitting needles on an airplane?

It's Summertime - Can I take my knitting needles with me when I travel?

I'm getting ready to fly in a few days, and even though I've taken my knitting needles on airlines countless times since the TSA came about, I always panic and ask a few friends if it's still okay.
Knowing that I'll have more than 14 hours of flying time the thought of being without my sticks throws me in full panic mode.

So here it is, the official word from the TSA!

You CAN take knitting needles on an airplane!

"Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage."

"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 which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage."

But don't just take my word for it. Go to the TSA Website and print the ruling on Transporting Knitting Needles and Needlepoint for your records. I always print it out and carry it with my plane ticket. In case you get an uninformed agent and they try (oh, the horror) to take your knitting needles!

Get needles at GREAT PRICES for all your summer knitting projects - Knitting Needles at NobleKnits


  1. I went to France in Feb 2010, and was able to take my needles on the way over. But leaving France, they confiscated them.

  2. I talked to a lady in a yarn shop in San Francisco who just got back from France as well and the same thing happened to her. I think state side it is fine just not if you travel internationally.

  3. Anonymous6/09/2010

    I have always been able to take my knitting needles. But I do always have bamboo circular needles. Hours of sitting and knitting is a luxury!

  4. Anonymous6/17/2010

    I recommend taking a padded SASE with you to the airport. if the confiscate the needles, you can put them in the SASE and mail them home. Just remember to take waste yarn to stitch the project onto. I had the same thing happen. Detroit to Arizona was okay, then Arizona to Dallas was good---but the took them in Dallas. The customer service rep told me about the SASE, Good luck

  5. Anonymous6/25/2012

    I haven't had any trouble at all with knitting needles in the last couple of years. They took my small scissors in S Korea last fall even though they were within airline regulations. My "Knit Kit" has traveled everywhere OK. I also have a pair of nose hair scissors that no one ever complains about.

  6. I thought those circular cutters were designed to take on airplanes because they banned scissors!? Motto: take only yarn that can be broken by hand...

    1. I wonder if the y would confiscate those tipped needlework sharps. I can't think of the term but they are about three inches long and they have a needlethreader at the other end (or most do). They come with a cover and all you do is slide your thread or yarn along the u shaped side to cut.
      I love your site, I spend hours looking at yarn and projects!

  7. I flew to Switzerland and South Africa in January and was not allowed to bring knitting on the plane. We flew another airline home and they wouldn't allow them either. International flights have different rules.

  8. Anonymous6/25/2012

    I've flown all over the world and the only country that took my small self storing scissors was Costa Rica. Never have had a problem w/ the needles!

  9. Anonymous6/25/2012

    How about a pair of small nail clippers to clip your yarns ??? That may work but dont quote me. Do people find that circular needles are confiscated less than straights or woods and bamboos less than metal? just some thoughts.

  10. Anonymous6/25/2012

    I also carry a copy (or two) of TSA standards. I have been questioned by uninformed agents and just hand them closed. I do try to take bamboo or circulars so as not to get them too agitated. I think if you get copies of the standards from other countries or for international travel it would be helpful. Knitting needles are less of a problem, turns out, than my (very expensive) hand made pastels! They showed up on xray as small tubular metallic objects and astonished everyone.

  11. Anonymous6/26/2012

    Hi, I haven't tried knitting on the plane - economy class is just too cramped! Once lost a knitting needle - I bet it's in the 'large' guy's ribcage (he was overflowing from the seat next to mine!!!). But, last October I travelled from South Africa, to Frankfurt, London, Israel and back to South Africa, then this year from Johannesburg to Paris, Houston,TX, Amsterdam, back to Johannesburg. I took my crocheting with me, and they allowed the crochet hook (a steel one), and a very small scissors. The only problems I had were the second time in Frankfurt where the official said that as long as the scissor blades were smaller than 6cms, I could take it with. Then leaving Amsterdam last month, the official queried my crochet hook, but allowed me to take it on the plane! What a pleasure being able to do something constructive while confined to the plane for so long!!! However, I think it is just a matter of luck, and whether you get a sympathetic official.

  12. Anonymous6/26/2012

    I just had a strange experience flying to London on BA last month. Accidentally left my knitting bag under my seat, realized it when I was already on my connecting flight to Spain. Good news - the bag was turned in to Lost Property at Gatwick, so I went to pick it up when I flew back in to London. Bad news - for some reason, the 3 sets of circular needles I had put int here were GONE!! They left the yarn, and my kit with scissors, markers, etc. but took the darn needles! No note from Security either, so I'll never know if the person who found it just really like my needles, or if they were confiscated!! Lesson learned...

  13. Anonymous6/26/2012

    I took my knitting to China and back with no problems at all. I used bamboo circulars (not just because of flying, but because that's all I use anymore). I also had a circular yarn cutter, which I was wearing on a chain, and never got questioned about either one in either direction. I did however, get questioned on by a snot-nosed TSA agent in Spartanburg, SC (flying back to Orlando), and when I handed him a print-out of the TSA regs said "what's this for?" When I asked for his supervisor, he said, 'oh go ahead'. Another agent then told me that particular agent likes to 'throw his weight around'. . . . . . . .

  14. Anonymous6/27/2012

    You know we knitters are a dangerous bunch....we wield our dpn's , circ's and straights so well that we strike fear into the hearts of our fellow passengers, flight crew and TSA agents. I have never thought of my needles as weapons or that they would or could be used as such.