School's out and summer is kicking into high gear. And all this warm weather and sunshine has got me thinking about... well, knitting! I know, I know, it seems like serious knitting can happen only in front of a warm fireplace with the wind howling outside your window, but I actually look forward to kicking back on the deck with a tall, cold glass of iced tea and a summer knitting project. Maybe something in a nice lightweight cotton...
But summertime is also all about travel. Family vacations, college reunions and just-to-get-away getaways have all of us on the go these days. And for those of you taking off into the wild blue yonder, you may be wondering just what are the rules when it comes to knitting and flying these days? I mean the great thing about knitting is being able to take it anywhere, right?
So, here's the skinny: according to the transportation security administration's permitted and prohibited items list, knitting needles and crochet hooks ARE permissable as EITHER carry-on or checked items! This is FABULOUS news, I know, but if you're like me, you may still wonder whether that truly means that travel through the security checkpoint will be smooth sailing. The left hand doesn't always know what the right hand says you can fly with, if you know what I mean... So, here are a few ideas that may make things easier for everyone involved:
1.) Before you head to the airport, print out a copy of the TSA list, which can be found at: TSA prohibited items list . That way, you've got something more credible to back up your story than your own protests and statements like "no, really, it's ok... jimmy beans said so..."
2.) Be practical when deciding what to bring along. Although I, personally, have not had problems flying with metal needles (I scarcely know what to do without my Addi turbos...) you may opt for wooden needles instead of metal. Also, as you can see from the TSA's list, metal scissors with pointed tips are NOT permitted as carry-on items, so check those or leave them at home (the same goes for swords and spear guns, just so you know...). However, if you're really worried about trimming loose ends, I would point out that nail clippers now are allowed and easily double for scissors in a pinch.
3.) Bring along a pre-paid self-addressed mailer that, as a last resort, you can use to mail your needles home. It's easy to say that you could run it back out to the car, but let's face it, you're probably late already and don't have time to run back to the car (it's not like they let you park anywhere near the airport...), and anyway that's hardly an option if you're trying to get home. If you've got your envelope, you can be stuffing, sealing, mailing, glaring at the well-intentioned security officer, and on your way in no time.
The main thing to remember is that vacations are supposed to be relaxing, and although getting from point A to point B may not always be as painless as we hope, the better prepared and the more flexible we can be the happier we will be. So, Happy Travels!
PS... Post your project updates on myKnitting.com, or send a project update from your destination of choice to support@JimmyBeansWool.com!
This article has been used with permission from the Jimmy Beans Wool July 2005 newsletter.