Thursday, January 3, 2013

TSA Knitting Needle Rules Unraveled

You know the drill: you're getting ready for that well-deserved vacation, or maybe it's a business trip, and you have a long flight ahead of you. What better way to pass time on the flight than to work on your knitting, maybe, or cross stitch, right? Right. Except that you have to get your needles through TSA and you're unsure of what you can or cannot take. Well, the Atlanta Institute of Stitches & Crafts is here to help!

According to the Transportation Safety Administration:
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.
There it is. The official rule. And just in case someone at TSA wants to take your knitting needles away from you, we suggest that you print out the rules straight from their website and present them to the person trying to ruin your hours of knitting fun. Find the rules HERE.

But wait, crafty peeps! There's more good news! You might need some sort of cutting implement for your work and you can bring a pair of scissors with you, as long as the blade is less than 4 inches. So your embroidery scissors are perfectly fine to bring along. Information on what sort of scissors you can bring is available HERE.

Now, here comes the bad news: flying internationally is an entirely different story. It seems that many countries have their own rules for what is or isn't allowed. For example, London's Heathrow Airport does not allow knitting needles onboard, but we've read various unconfirmed reports that you can take needles onto planes from Italy's Malpensa Airport. So, all this is to say that if you are traveling internationally, you should check with each country or airport you'll be flying through to make sure you can bring your hand work on the plane.

So, there it is - the truth about flying and working on your projects. Go ahead and pack those knitting or embroidery needles in your carry on, and get settled on a plane!


  1. Air Berlin specifically states on their website that you can't carry on knitting needles or scissors - including nail scissors. Sigh.