Can You Bring Sewing Needles on a Plane? (You will be Amazed)

Knitting needles may be pointy and sharp, but they don’t have the same connotation as knives or scissors. Even if you were told that knitting needles are not allowed on a plane, you could politely ask the attendant to check with her supervisor. If she says no, then smile, thank her for checking and put your knitting away.

In most cases, though, knitting needles will be allowed in carry-on bags and checked bags. As long as they are not longer than 7 inches or wider than 0.5 inches (measured from the outer edge of one needle to the other) and not made out of metal or other easily broken material, they should be allowed through security and airport checkpoints with no hassle.

It’s best to keep your knitting needles in their original packaging, which will have information about where they were manufactured so you can show it to the TSA if asked. The TSA has a list of objects that can be used as weapons when combined with other items—knitting needles are not on that list because they are considered inanimate objects when they are separated from any sort of yarn material.

A knitting project would provide something to do while waiting for a delayed flight or even during a long flight to help pass the time.

This post looks at the rules on taking knitting needles on an airplane either in your carry-on or checked baggage.

TSA Rules on Knitting Needles

The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for flight security in the United States. They are the officers who examine your bag at the security checkpoint and the people who scan and potentially inspect your checked baggage behind the scenes.

Let’s see what they say about knitting needles:

Are Knitting Needles Allowed in Hand Luggage?

Yes, you can bring knitting needles through the TSA security checkpoint. You should probably wrap your needles so that anyone inspecting your bag doesn’t get pricked. In theory, you can bring all types of knitting needles through the TSA security checkpoint.

the TSA gave more details on another page:

” needles knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage. This includes and is not limited to circular, bamboo, wood, aluminum, metal and plastic knitting needles, double pointed knitting needles, knitting hooks, knitting stitch holders, sewing kits, sewing needles, sewing pins sewing and sewing scissors (blades less than 4 in.), however, circular cutters or any cutter with a blade must be packed in your checked baggage. »

Bob Burns TSA Social Media Team

Additionally, you can knit with these knitting needles on the plane. This is a great way to keep occupied and pass your time!

So go ahead and pack your knitting needles in your carry-on luggage! You can even take them out and knit during the flight! Just make sure to be aware of other people around you so that you will not accidentally hit anyone with your knitting needle!

Can You Bring Knitting Needles in Checked Baggage?

Like many knitters, I love packing my knitting project when I go on a trip. However, I often wonder whether it is permissible to bring knitting needles in checked baggage.

The answer is yes. In fact, the Transportation Security Administration’s website suggests that “knitting needles may be packed in your carry-on or checked baggage.” You can read the TSA’s full list of prohibited items here, but as long as the needles are sheathed, they should be fine.

I usually keep mine sheathed in a case that looks like a small hardcover book–one that is designed to hold sewing and knitting supplies. I have also traveled with them sheathed in their original cardboard packaging if I didn’t have time to put them in the case before my flight.

Keep in mind that checked baggage goes missing from time to time, and if you pack your knitting project in checked baggage, there’s always a small chance you’ll never see it again.

Although these are the TSA rules on knitting needles, keep in mind that the final decision is always made by the TSA security officer on the ground. They have the right to refuse your knitting needles if they consider them a Threat.

What About Knitting Accessories?

What about knitting accessories?  Are they allowed?    First off, let’s discuss what’s not allowed.    

  • Circular wire cutters are not permitted on board aircraft in carry-on baggage. It’s because of the blade they have in them.  
  • Large scissors are not allowed, but craft scissors with small blades are fine.  
  • Knitting needles are permitted as long as they are less than 7 inches (18 cm) in length when fully assembled or properly stored in a case.    
  • Crochet hooks are permitted as long as they are less than 7 inches (18 cm).

Are Knitting Needles Allowed on International Flights?

If you’re departing from the US, you’ll be able to take your knit through TSA security, but what about the return trip?

Canada

According to a security bulletin from CATSA, knitting needles and crochet hooks are permitted on any domestic or international flight operated by Air Canada. The document states that “knitting needles and crochet hooks of any size and type of material (e.g., plastic, aluminum, bamboo) are permitted in the baggage of cabin and checked baggage.”

In the USA :

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), straight, double-pointed, circular, wooden, bamboo, metal, or plastic knitting needles are permitted in the cabin and checked baggage on domestic flights.

Nowadays, there is even a TSA-approved locking case for carrying your knitting needles in your checked bag.

On the other hand, in Europe, it’s less clear. According to Europ Assistance (a European Union service), knitting needles and crochet hooks are prohibited in the cabin because they are considered pointed and sharp objects and must be placed in checked baggage.

No matter where you travel and no matter the regulations in force, it is the person who inspects your hand luggage who has the last word!

Can You Take Knitting Needles on a Plane in Europe?

I checked what some European airlines said about knitting needles:

Lufthansa

Lufthansa admits that it is not their decision and the airport security officers decide. They recommend that you pack them in checked baggage.,

Air France

From Air France says “knitting needles are forbidden in the cabin” or “knitting needles are forbidden in the cabin”.

In France, it is the tripperty.com service which is located (for the moment) at Marseille airport which takes care of transporting your confiscated items for 15 €. There is talk of extending the service to Nice and Paris airports.

KLM

Dutch airline KLM doesn’t want to bring your knitting needle on board.

Iberia

Iberia Spain says they cannot guarantee that knitting needles will be allowed in the cabin because “de seguridad permitan aquello en maleta de cabina” or “security decides the cabin”.

There is no TSA equivalent covering all of Europe. Each country defines its own aviation security rules.

Can You Fly with Knitting Needles in the Uk?

In the UK, knitting needles are allowed in hand luggage and checked baggage. In fact, Britain has a thriving knitting tradition, so it’s not uncommon for people to travel with knitting.

In the UK, knitting is a national pastime. It’s not uncommon to see people knitting on public transportation or in coffee shops, on the bus, or in the park. Because of this, people often travel with their knitting supplies—it makes sense that they’d want to take their hobby on vacation!

Is it really necessary to treat a set of knitting needles as a weapon?

Can’t they be used to threaten anyone? They have been around for centuries without causing any major problems! So what’s going on here?

The rules vary considerably from one airline to another. Some don’t allow them at all. Many allow them only in checked bags and not in carry-on luggage. There is no consistency across countries and with different airlines even within the same country

The verdict

Knitters, rejoice! You can bring knitting needles in your carry-on luggage. The only stipulation is that they must fit inside a clear plastic, quart-sized baggie to be placed in your carry-on.

TSA’s reasoning behind this rule is that needles, which are pointed objects, could be used as weapons if they were to be taken out of their packaging and rearranged on the plane.

Despite this, security officers will still allow you to put them in your checked luggage. They don’t have an issue with you taking them off the plane–their concern is having them in the air.

Knitting needles must also be shorter than 4 inches and cannot have any sharp tips or sharpeners attached to them. This doesn’t mean the points have to be blunt–they just can’t come to a point in any way.

This means that circular knitting needles are permitted on planes under these rules, as long as the individual stitches aren’t sharp enough to puncture your bags or someone else’s skin.

In Europe, the rules are much less clear. We advise you not to fly with metal needles, bamboo needles are much less threatening and are more likely to be allowed on the plane.

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