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Can You Bring Knitting Needles on Planes?

By Oscar Brumelis


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Knitting needles generally aren’t considered dangerous by airport security. They’re small and have blunt ends, which means they can’t be used as a weapon. 

TSA allows travelers to pack them in hand and checked baggage without any extra restrictions. They only mention that if packed in checked baggage, the sharp ends should be secured. This is to keep the TSA inspectors from injuring themselves while performing inspections.

Although very rarely, some passengers have reported difficulties with knitting needles in hand baggage at the security checkpoints. Each security officer always has the final say of whether an item is allowed, based on their own judgment. And if they think that knitting needles could be used as a weapon, they have the right to deny them onboard.

That’s why it’s handy to have a printout from the TSA’s website or save their rules as a screenshot on your phone. If you experience difficulties, you can ask for their supervisor and show them their own guidelines.

Bringing Knitting Needles on International Flights

  • United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia: Knitting needles are allowed in hand and checked baggage
  • New Zealand: Knitting needles are allowed in checked bags without restrictions. In hand luggage, they’re only allowed if you’re also bringing yarn.
  • Europe, India, China: Not mentioned but generally allowed.

Generally, knitting needles are allowed on planes in hand and checked baggage all across the world. Especially in countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where airline regulators have specifically mentioned that knitting needles are allowed.

But in the EU and other countries, the rules are a bit more vague. Knitting needles are generally allowed, but it depends on each security officer’s judgment. Also, some airports and airlines might have extra restrictions.

When traveling internationally, the best option is to use bamboo or plastic knitting needles. If using metal knitting needles, opt for shorter ones with blunt ends. It’s also advised to use circular knitting needles instead of many smaller ones.

You should also be prepared that your knitting needles might be confiscated. So if you’ve started a project, add a lifeline and stitch markers. Or you could also use needles with removable tips so that you can just remove the sharp ends and keep the project from becoming ruined.

How to Pack Knitting Needles in Your Luggage

If packing knitting needles in hand luggage, only pack needles that you will need to use during the flight. Keep the rest in your checked bag and also bring spare ones in case the ones from hand baggage get confiscated.

The best option is to pack your project, yarn, and needles in a single project bag. You can then throw it in your carry-on or personal item and don’t worry about making a mess.

If packing in checked baggage, make sure that your needles aren’t pointing out of your suitcase. You can put them in a dedicated pouch or use needle point protector caps. Having a hardside suitcase is beneficial because you don’t have to worry about this.

You’re Allowed to Knit During the Flight

We haven’t found any specific rules that would prohibit passengers from knitting during the flight. But obviously, you shouldn’t do it during takeoff, landing, and turbulence to keep you and other passengers safe.

If you’re planning to knit during the flight, it’s a good idea to only stick to easy projects – hats, gloves, or socks. Also, keep in mind that you might be seated in the middle seat and not have much room for your elbows.

Rules for Other Knitting Tools

  • Scissors and thread cutters: Allowed, but only with non-pointy tips and with a blade shorter than 4 inches (10 cm). An even better idea is to bring children’s scissors with rounded ends or to use regular nail clippers.
  • Sewing needles: Generally also allowed in hand baggage, but less often than knitting needles due to their sharpness.
  • Crocheting hooks: Same rules as knitting needles – allowed in hand and checked bags.

Summing Up – Traveling With Knitting Needles

Packing knitting needles in your baggage shouldn’t cause any issues because they aren’t sharp and generally are considered safe. But you might experience difficulties every now and then because the final say is always up to each security officer. This happens rarely though, even when traveling internationally.

If you want to stay on the safer side, it might be worth it to invest in bamboo or plastic knitting needles. You shouldn’t experience any problems with these.

About Oscar Brumelis

Oscar is a freelance writer who loves traveling and hiking. He's been to over 30 different countries and hiked over 2000+ miles throughout his life.

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