Airport Crochet

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 17 Comments

Travel has been on my mind lately as it’s the summer up here in the Northern hemisphere and I have personally had occasion to board a flight or two recently. For me it is second nature to take crochet virtually everywhere I go, but I think it’s worth it to outline a few basic points about airport crochet. Crochet is an ideal craft to take with you while traveling by air. Nowadays it is pretty easy to pack and get the basic tools through security. While traveling in the airport and on the plane, crochet provides a welcome sense of relaxation while productively passing the time.

Whether you are a nervous traveler or a seasoned pro, crochet is a great thing to take with you on your next trip. When I go on a basic 4-5 day vacation, I simply pack the following items in order to make sure I have crochet options while in the airport and also on the plane. For hooks, I like to bring my set of Clover hooks, which comes in a really cute holder that looks like a wallet. In fact, I never leave home without them! Inside of the hook wallet there is a place for a small ruler, yarn needle, and small scissors. While TSA allows for small scissors to come on board airplanes nowadays, I don’t chance it. I’ve found that nail clippers do the same work and I’ve never had a pair taken by the powers that be.

Next I’ll just choose a ball or two of yarn that strikes my fancy. This is a lot of fun because I can be creative and just randomly choose any yarn I’ve been meaning to try, or a few coordinating skeins of some yarns that could be combined in various ways. Since I have a variety of hooks in my case, I don’t have to worry about matching yarn and hook before I leave. Finally, I’ll take a pattern. These days with tablets and smartphones it’s pretty easy to access the internet, our Ravelry queues, or even Crochet Spot! But remember that since you may want to make progress while you’re up in the air, you might like to download the pattern PDFs to your device. Don’t forget that good ol’ paper still works! If you are treating yourself to a magazine for the journey, why not make it a crochet magazine? Personally, PDF patterns on my tablet has been working great!

Once you have your items selected, just stash them in your carry-on or personal item. I always put my crochet hook wallet in a tray and let it go through the machine at TSA because I don’t want to have to wait longer and have them search my bags. I have encountered that while traveling internationally around 2008 and it’s just a time suck. That is time you could be spending crocheting! 😀

Once you’re through security and on the plane, your project provides a focal point for relaxation and being productive. If there are flight delays, at least you’ve got your crochet. Yes, I know that people have smartphones, but crochet never runs out of batteries! While on the plane, crochet is fantastic because you’ll minimize the chance of bumping into your neighbors as you’ll only be working the hook with one arm. Another nice thing is something we all run into: crochet is a great conversation starter. It’s fun to make friends while traveling and it may only take seeing you engaged in your project to break the ice. All in all, it’s the perfect in-air companion.

So what about you? Have you ever tried airport crochet? Do you have any travel tips for your fellow Crochet Spotters? Please feel free to leave questions, comments, and tips in the space provided below!

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  1. Bailey says:

    I haven’t flown in ages, but I love traveling with my crochet. It is just a great way to relax.

  2. ellen says:

    I plan on flying out the end of next week for the first time. I was actually wondering about this. I came across your site at just the right time! thank you!

  3. Anissa says:

    I flew South last year. I took my crochet supplies minus the scissors, and yarn. The flight was about 2 hours, but the time “flew” by! 🙂

  4. Michael says:

    Especially if you’re flying internationally, it’s good to be aware that different countries have different policies regarding crochet hooks. Last summer, I took some of my hooks through security in airports in the US, Amsterdam, and Paris. In the US, they didn’t blink an eye, but in Amsterdam, I had to explain/demonstrate a lighted hook (it was the battery that set them off), and in Paris, the security agent spent so much time looking at my (polymer-clay-handled, aluminum and steel) hooks that I seriously thought he might confiscate them. (He didn’t. Phew!)

    Short version: We might not want to risk bringing our favorite or more expensive hook(s), because even if the “rules” say crochet hooks are ok, if we end up dealing with a security agent who thinks they seem like a risk (however silly it seems to us), they can still be confiscated. Just something to keep in mind…

  5. Pam roach says:

    I totally agree! I’ve traveled with knitting sticks and crochet hooks. I make prayer shawls for cancer patients here in Grand Rapids mi. I have even had other passengers send me shawls as a result of crocheting in the plane and in the airport!!! Thank you for the great post!! Pam

    • Janis says:

      I’m in Waterford, mi north of Detroit and I wondered about knitting needles, so they do accept those at the airport? And on the crochet hooks, do they have to be plastic?

      • Charisma says:

        I’ve never had a problem taking knitting needles on a plane, even after Sept 11th. I used to take all sizes on as well! lol. But these days if I’m gonna take knitting needles on I go for circular ones (even when I’m working a straight pattern. They are much less intimidating looking and easier to maneuver in small spaces.

        I think I’ve even brought the small kindergarten safety scissors on a plane or two with me, but yes, nail clippers are just as effective!

        If in doubt you can always check the airlines website under security or call (that’s how I found out I could bring knitting needles on the plane after 9/11).

  6. Donna says:

    I’ve never flown in an airplane, but whenever someone else is doing the driving I always take my crochet with me! When I am doing the driving I take my project bag with me so I can crochet while waiting for medical and dental appts., etc. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in just a short time. I went to a horse show recently and had my crochet with me there too!

  7. Kat says:

    I always take a cheap plastic hook I can afford to lose in my carryon. As for scissors, a dental floss pack makes an excellent replacement to saw through yarn

  8. Kendal says:

    I travel about every other year across country by plane and I always take my crocheting with me. I use cheap plastic hooks and carry the dental floss, as my cutter. I make preemie hats and chemo hats, so the simple patterns are in my head. The only time I had problems was at the Indiapolis Airport, I had a carryon full of I Love this Cotton by Hobby Lobby, and the TSA guys took all of the yarn out searched it and put it back and then took it out again. They never explained why but the guy behind me kept saying..”ooh yarn, that is a dangerous weapon”. I also carry a copy of items allowed by the TSA with me. My crochet supplies and yarn are more important than snacks.

  9. Julia says:

    Several years ago, an unexpected weather delay caused me to wait for a connecting plane in a large airport for eight hours. Fortunately I had my hook and yarn with me, which kept me calm and occupied. I don’t what I crocheted, but I was calm and relaxed. I agree with your advice! Warmly,
    Julia in NY

  10. Katy M says:

    I often travel on AMTRAK and always take at least 1 crochet project with me. I have a set of cards called, “Crochet blocks in a box,” with 50 different crochet blocks to learn that’s designed for travel that I save for this. It’s simple to tuck in a card or 2 along with my hooks and yarn, etc. and go.

  11. Rose Dyer says:

    Thank you so much for this information, I wish I had had it back in June when my daughter and
    son-in-law and I flew to Ireland for 9 days. I tried and tried to figure out how I could take my crochet
    with me but in the end I had to leave it behind and let me tell you that is a long time to go without
    crocheting.Now thanks to you I will know how to take it next time we fly somewhere. Love your blog.


  12. Peggy says:

    Some years back I worked on a shawl for my Grandmother while returning by air from a business meeting. Had a lovely conversation with the flight attendant about the project. I’m becoming more encouraged about bringing a project along for a future flight.

    I have taken driving trips where I brought along yarn to make afghan squares. Hid my extra money in the bag where I kept my project. Used the same interesting 8″ square pattern with many different combinations of colors (3 per square). A friend was getting married at the end of the summer; this project took an entire summer to complete but was well worth it. (Darn, but I lost the pattern for that square during a move. The principle I’ve used in many other projects.)

  13. Amy Wagner says:

    I had a friend fly to Hawaii, and they wouldn’t let her bring the crochet needles on the plane! They did let some one else have knitting needles??

  14. Varsha says:

    I love to crochet during travel. Yes, in india too in air travel very often the security is erratic as some one allows hooks but others do not so I pack my stuff in the luggage. I also sheets of patterns as often it’s easier to work from a paper alongside the pool, in the lobby etc.
    In fact when on a holiday I make smaller stuff like bags, scarves, caps and at the moment am working on a smart scarflette to match my black outfits.

  15. Marcia G says:

    Great idea. I haven’t flown in awhile but always take my crocheting on train trips. Taking a trip later in Oct & did not think I would take my crocheting b/c I don’t relax well flying; but may try to see if I can get thru security with a hook & yarn. It would take my mind off the flying.

    Amy, surprised that knitting needles were allowed & not crochet hooks. Would think the needles more of an issue than the hooks … go figure! (grin)

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