04 November 2009

Travelling with crafts.

I find it increasingly funny the lengths one has to go to these days to ensure admission onto a plane. You'd think, really, when it all boils down to it, that the aeroplane people should literally be strewing petals at our feet as we board, as, essentially, we're stepping into a huge, metal tube with bits out the sides, filled to the brim with highly flammable liquid which they then intend to set alight and fling us into the sky, against the express wishes of gravity.

Really, that we should be willing to pay for this is one of life's great mysteries.

Couple that with the fact that, of all the ethnic groups in the world (and yes, I do class knitters and crocheters as ethnic groups...) we crafters are the least likely to cause drama while being flung half way across the world, it comes as even more of a surprise that we have to resort to crazy plots and schemes to ensure our busy fingers need not be forced to rest.

I have flown often with crochet hooks, even getting a few steel and aluminium ones past the guards, and so I have compiled a list of all the ways that have worked for me (but maybe I'm just sneaky). This isn't an inexhaustable list, and indeed, if you have found other ways, please let me know!

1. The Long Hair Sneaky Bun:
Take a few crochet hooks, the ones most likely to be used in-flight, and make a messy bun with your long hair. The longer the hair and messier the bun the better, to hide any likely glints of metal. If stopped, just explain it's your hair clip.

2. The Make-Up Bag Stowaway:
Popping a few hooks into your make-up bag, along with a few make-up brushes will ensure they get past with ease.

3. Wooden Wonders:
Knit Pro (bless 'em) do a gorgeous range of wooden hooks, the smallest of which is a 3mm. I'd suggest grabbing a few of these for flights as they'll never set off the metal detector, and look harmless wherever you put them. The 3mm does seem a bit flimsy to me, though, so I tend only to use the 3.5mm and upwards.

4. Medication:
Are you lucky enough to require medication? Anything requiring a letter for your doctor to carry needles, etc on board a plane? I'm diabetic, and I have never had trouble when my steel hooks were in with my insulin.

5. Cry?
Well, I've never used this one, but if in doubt, turn on the waterworks...


  1. Ooooh, putting it in your hair is a good idea. I've flown often with both crochet hooks and knitting needles, though, and I've never been stopped. I guess it also depends on what airline you use!

  2. True, indeed. But I find, with my limited travel, that flights into, and out of the US are the most likely to swipe your lovely craft impliments from you. So I use all and every stealth method available to ensure I remain crafty onboard. : )

  3. Some good strategies there. I think I may have to grow my hair in order to sneak hooks on to planes.

  4. Laura, it really works.
    Really, I swear, if crafters ever wanted to take up plane hijacking, we'd have had years of sneaky training at this stage...

  5. Read a suggestion a couple years ago about using interchangeable needles when knitting, put on the cable's end caps and put the needles in a pencil case with other pens and pencils. Same idea for crochet hooks in a pencil case. (wood or bamboo work best for this) Has worked well for me so far in European travel and US to Europe travel. Although, last week my friend had her favorite bamboo DPN's taken at an Irish airport on a flight to London, but they weren't in a pencil case.



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