Can You Bring Knitting Needles On a Plane?

Innocent craft tool, or dangerous weapon?
Come knit the friendly skies.
Come knit the friendly skies. / Guido Mieth/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Some people like to pass time on an airplane by napping. Others watch movies or hop online. But for knitters, it’s an ideal time to pursue a knitting or crocheting project.

The problem: Knitting needles are pointed objects that could be construed as a weapon. So can you bring them on a plane?

The short answer is yes. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), knitting needles are approved items for either carry-on or checked luggage. The TSA website stresses that the needles or any other sharp objects should be sheathed or otherwise wrapped up so they don’t poke baggage handlers or TSA inspectors. (Generally, a bladed object has to be in your checked baggage, with the exception of scissors.)

There are some caveats here: While the TSA does allow needles, the final word belongs to the TSA agents at the security checkpoint. If the needles are objectionable, then it’s best to have a back-up plan so they’re not discarded. You can bring a postage-paid envelope with you in the event you need to send them back to yourself.

Alternately, someone at a security checkpoint may ask to see the needles. If you’re using them to save your project, you should have a stitch holder.

Traveling with needles is one thing. Can you actually use them during the flight? In most cases, yes, though understand that any carrier or flight attendant can ask that you put them away, especially if the flight is experiencing any turbulence.

Most importantly: If you’re going to bring knitting needles, it’s best to have yarn, too. Otherwise it might seem a little suspicious. And if your needles are confiscated, trust us: It wouldn’t be nearly as weird as some of the bizarre stuff the TSA has found in luggage.

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