New Colors Added for Summer. Shop Clearance Now!

9 Travel Tips for Knitters and Crocheters

The holidays are here and that means that it's travelling season! For some of us, packing knitting or crochet for a trip can be as important as bringing clothes! Travelling can provide some of the best opportunities for uninterrupted knitting or crocheting time. But these crafts involve a little bit of planning to take the show on the road. Here are some tips for travelling with your knitting or crochet!

knit crochet travel tips
1. Consider Your Project
While over the river and through the woods may give you enough time to stitch up a whole sweater, it may not be practical to work on complicated colorwork or bulky blankets when you're packing light. Projects that are worked in pieces like granny square afghans or single skein projects such as socks are great for travelling because they don't take up a lot of room in your luggage.

2. Keep it Simple...or Not!
When deciding on the complexity of your project, each trip is different. Ask yourself a few questions about your travels: Will you be able to devote your attention to intricate cables or should you stick to a stockinette stitch project? Will you be bored working on a simple scarf or will it allow you to chat with family and friends? Do you want to bring two projects so you're prepared for different situations?

3. Know What You Need
Now that you've picked your project, it's time to prep. Do a gauge swatch in advance so you bring the right needles or hooks. Take time to ensure that you've got everything you need for your project because you won't able to pop into a craft store if you're boarding a trans-continental flight! Read over your pattern so that you understand all of the techniques involved. Be sure to pack all of the yarns and notions required to complete your work.

4. Leave the Good Stuff at Home
Even if you're careful, things happen! Losing something you've worked hard on can be heartbreaking but it's even worse if your favorite set of needles or antique scissors go astray as well. Your time and effort is irreplaceable but those handmade crochet hooks cost a pretty penny. Plan for the worst: Bring less expensive supplies and yarns, just in case you become separated.

5. Make a Travel-Sized Notions Case
Use an empty tin (like the ones those famously strong mints come in) to store notions. Fill it with a tape measure, tapestry needle, stitch markers, and whatever else your pattern calls for. This kit is a great size to fit in a small project bag or even your purse and everything is together in one place.

6. Dental Floss is the Traveler's Best Friend!
A travel-sized dental floss can be incredibly handy on the go. The blade can be used to cut yarn and the floss can become an improvised stitch holder or even a stitch marker in a pinch!

7. Carry Extras
Back ups are key! It's always a good idea to pack away an extra crochet hook or set of knitting needles just in case one goes on its own adventure. You won't regret printing out a second copy of your pattern, either! If you like to keep your patterns on your smartphone or another electronic device, bring a printed version in case you run out of battery!

8. Knitters, Use Circular Knitting Needles
Circular knitting needles may not be your favorites but their flexibility makes them perfect for packing. You can use them the same way you'd knit with straight needles but you won't bump your seatmate's elbows. For projects knit in the round, the magic loop method can save you from bringing double pointed needles on your trip. Those double pointed sock needles love to run away!

9. Locate Your Nearest Local Yarn Shop
While you may not need to make an emergency trip to the yarn store, it's always fun to pop into the local shop when you're traveling. For a list of stores where Lion Brand is carried, search here. If you're somewhere unfamiliar, a local shop can give you a feel for the scene and the regulars are sure to have recommendations for places to visit in the area. Besides, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, you can always connect with a knitter or crocheter at the yarn shop!

What are your favorite patterns to make on the road? What tips do you recommend to make travelling easier?

Tagged In:
  • Teddi Taylor

    Disappointed not to see any recommendations for wooden needles and to make sure you leave your scissors at home if you're flying. That's a sure way to lose your supplies!

  • Michael

    Just got back from a short domestic plane trip. I took wooden knitting needles and a couple of small balls of yarn. Stuffed them in my pocket, I didn't even take a carry-on bag (good reason for that, Spirit Airlines) Worked on a fairly simple scarf for which I made up the pattern anyway. Easy, no hassle and if everything was lost or confiscated, it's no big loss.

  • rc2121

    Ziploc bag dedicated to each project (assuming it fits). Zip it up with whatever hook or needle plus that altoid tin. You can carry the whole thing in your project bag (plus other ziploc with other projects), and things stay nice and organized. Plus, it's waterproof, dirt proof, and the zip makes it so you don't have to worry about stuff falling out. I use gallon size ones. I bring metal hooks and child safety scissors and never had an issue on a flight

  • Becky Bridges Martin

    At one airport, an over zealous TSA agent confiscated my inch long scissors claiming that I could take over the plane (really?). Since then I pack an empty dental floss container because the blade works well or small fingernail clippers.

  • bleuiris

    Avoid the "tin". The metal will trigger the machine The suggestion for zip top bags is perfect because if they search your belongings they can see exactly what is in there. Circular needles are less threatening, if they even realize what they are. After flying numerous times, includes a trip through Boston's Logan Airport shortly after 9/11, my conclusion is it all boils down to whomever is sitting at the xray machine as your bag goes through....luck of the draw. Happy and safe travels all!

  • tabbykitten13

    I always pack nail clippers in with my travel projects. The clippers have never been a problem with security, they're less likely to poke through the bag, they're super cheap and easy to replace if I loose them and they're handy for a quick fix on any nail snags I might have. I've even started dropping a pair in with any needlepoint project I do because they're so convenient, and can clip thread ends close without risking damage to the rest of the work

  • S

    I have a small makeup bag that "lives" with my project bag - it has lots of little compartments for my notions and looks innocuous to the TSA. I've flow with projects of all kinds and have not had a problem in years. My favorites? Socks (onlookers are amazed people knit socks), hats in the round (quick to complete with minimal finishing). If you really want to freak people out - rip a project on an airplane! (I had a hand-dyed yarn that just didn't want to be the scarf I had on my needles - my seatmates were almost crying over my lost work! "As you knit, so shall you rip!")

  • Tracey Smith

    Was actually hoping to see info on travel restrictions and what types of crochet hooks, and etc were allowed on planes.

  • piebald111

    A dome-lidded cold drink cup is a handy yarn holder that fits in the cup holder of the car.

  • bigbird

    What good advice, i failed to read my pattern fully before packing and failed to notice a change in needle size! Very fustrating!

  • Suzanne Emery Andrews

    I've never had trouble with scissors, needles, or hooks on domestic flights, and my scissors are pointy!

  • Just JJ

    If you are like me you have a 2nd set of everything. Mail the needed size hooks,needles, scissors to your hotel or wherever you are staying and mail them back home. Take the yarn & pattern with you in your suitcase...

  • Marcia Brinkley

    I had to to to the security office on a cruise ship once to explain why I had tiny (less than 3 in) craft scissors in my checked suitcase. I was allowed to take them to my cabin when I pointed out the yarn and bamboo needles that were also in my bag. I took the same scissors on two more cruises, same cruise line, without any questions.

  • Carolyn W-L

    I'm always on the go - with bamboo circular needles - never lose a needle that way - and the bamboo sails right through the checkpoints - and yes, dental floss can work in a pinch :)

  • Susan Mf Davis

    If you travel internationally-no scissors, no crochet hooks (am not a knitter)--I had both confiscated in New Zealand. Their response (because the scissors were very small and it was a 00 hook) was-neither are "ever allowed in NZ or AU." So there you go!

  • Donna Vitt

    Wish I had seen this before I went on a cruise. Lost a pricey crochet hook. My favourite one of course.

  • http://yahoo.com Tracy Nickels

    I don't travel, If I did I'd bring a book! Leave my knitting and crochet projects home!

  • Bev Moon

    You've never flown on Lufthansa then. They allow NO-NONE-NADA needles or hooks of any kind on their planes-doesn't matter if they are wooden or plastic. I'm flying to Prague in July-still trying to figure out what I'm going to do if I can't knit on the long overseas flight