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Travelling with your knitting needles – My almost horror story

Knitting is a great past-time activity when you are travelling. Unfortunately, you do hear terrible stories from knitters who have had their needles taken away or they had to show the security they actually could knit when going through the airport. When I visit my parents in the South of France, a two hour plane journey, I have been lucky to have not had any bad experience going on a plane with my knitting, until now. This is my – almost – horror story of the time I went travelling with my knitting and it didn’t go well.

It was the end of my holiday, I was saying goodbye to my family at the airport, my mum last minute giving me French cheese and olives, the olives were in a sealed bag so had no liquid. I went through security with no problems. But my bag didn’t come straight to me, it needed to be checked, and I thought they can’t take the cheese! This was my return flight and I didn’t have any problems leaving England with my knitting so I didn’t think it would be the problem this time.  The man starts to check my bag and asks me what I have in it that could be suspicious, I reply my knitting bag with the needles and he goes on to grab it. As he goes on to grab it the worst thing happened!

There, poking out of the bag slightly, were some 2.00 mm knitting needles and the man poked himself on his finger and said OUCH!
You can imagine my face at that moment it was similar to this

I apologised and started to speak really quickly saying this project is a present for my mum, which it was, and hoped he wouldn’t make me take the knitting off the needles.
Turns out he was fine, and found my analogue camera which can be the reason my bag needed to be checked. I was relieved and as I was saying bye to the man, grateful I still had my needles, cheese and olives, I saw him checking his finger out to see if it was ok. 

So for the next time anyone is going on a plane and is worried about their knitting, and don’t want to accidentally harm anyone, here are a few tips I learned.

  • Interchangeable needles: you can put two cable stoppers on the cable ends which will keep your knitting secured on the cable, and then place your needle tips in a pencil case, the needles won’t stand out and seem so much of a threat.
  • Point Protectors: make sure you get some that fit and won’t come off easily of the needle. But if you have started with fixed cable needle and don’t want to invest with interchangeable, point protectors are handy to keep fingers for accidentally poking the ends and they keep your knitting safely on the cable.

There is no surefire way to know if your knitting needles will be allowed through security. Airlines have their rules, airports have theirs but really it is down to the security person on the day. The only preparation you can do is to prepare your knitting, and yourself.

Have you got any handy tips with travelling with your knitting? Please let us know.

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer. Until next time… Happy knitting.