With the holidays looming ever closer, many of us are planning to travel. That can lead to tons of stress. You probably want to take a knitting or crochet project along with you so that you can unwind a little. Of course, the logistics of doing that can be even more nerve-wracking! But we have some tips for you, whether you’re traveling by air or land.
This is probably the most panic-inducing method of travel. Overzealous security agents, tiny seats, crowded airports, all of them add up to a lot of worry. But with a few tricks and some knowledge of the rules, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
- *Knitting needles and crochet hooks ARE ALLOWED by the TSA for flights within the US. They are also allowed on board in the UK. The rules are on your side here. That said, screening can be subjective, so experienced vary between airports and even individual agents.
- *To avoid hassle, leave your scissors, even small fold-up ones at home or in your checked bag. If you need to cut yarn there are ways to improvise (keys can be good for this).
- *Opt for wood or plastic needles and hooks that are less likely to appear weapon-like on a scanner, and keep circular knitting needles short. You may also want to put caps on the tips. This will both prevent your project from sliding off and be less likely to appear dangerous to security.
- *You may also want to put a lifeline in the last row of your work, so that if security confiscates your needles, at least you won’t lose progress. You can buy some cheap ones at your destination or when you get home.
- *If you have expensive needles or hooks, you could carry a self-addressed envelope with enough postage so you can mail them to your home instead of throwing them away in the (unlikely) event of a problem.
- *Or better yet, leave the expensive needles at home and use something you won’t miss if you lose it for any reason.
- *Opt for smaller projects, since space is limited once you are in your seat. Hats, cowls, and scarves are all good choices whether you knit or crochet, though make sure the ends of the scarf aren’t invading your neighbor’s seat.
- *For knitters, circular needles tend to be less intrusive, even if you’re not working in the round.
- *This is not the time to try out new skills. Keep it simple. If you want a more complex or larger project for your trip, put it in your checked luggage to work on at your destination.
Travel by Land
- *You may not have the security concerns, but on buses, trains, or any other public transportation, you will still have limited space. Keep your projects small and simple, and don’t elbow anyone.
- *In a car, you will have more space, but may also have the added distraction of being with friends or family. It’s alright to bring along slightly larger projects, but it’s still a good idea to keep things simple. Chatting can lead to distraction, which can spell doom for complicated stitch patterns.
- *If you are one of the unlucky ones (which I am) who gets sick when reading in the car, you will definitely want a very basic pattern. Think stockinette and garter stitch, or single crochet. That way, you can look up and out the windows more and hopefully stave off that headache. (Fun fact: this happens because your vision senses that you’re still while your inner ear senses that you’re moving, and that disagreement makes your body think it’s being poisoned).
- *Whatever method of travel you will be taking, one thing is for sure: keep your project in its own separate little bag. Keep that bag at the top of your carry-on or purse so you can get to it easily.
- *Make sure you have everything you need, including the pattern. Have an offline way to access the pattern. Print it or save it to your tablet or phone (screen shots are a great way to do this). You may not always have reliable WiFi in a hotel or at a remote location.
- *If you have little kids, you might have to keep your crafting limited to nap time. But if they’re older, they can join in on the fun.
- *Bring along a skein of some yarn in fun colors, like Vanna’s Choice® or Color Waves®, and some plastic needles or hooks in an appropriate (or slightly larger) size. Teach them a basic knit or crochet stitch. Before long they’ll probably have a headband or even a little scarf they made all by themselves.
- *Pack a backup project in your checked luggage. That way, if the one you’re working on doesn’t pan out, or if you finish it quicker than expected, you aren’t left with nothing to make.
Crafting when you travel can be a great way to pass the time and relax a little. You just need to keep a few things in mind and it will be a breeze.
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