I asked this question at Arts & Craft, but it might be more relevant here.

Can I take knitting needles on an international flight?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Carry on crafting projects
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 4:11
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    This is difficult to answer unless you provide specifics like the airline or the route, as the policy differs. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 6:28
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    I went on flights where I had to surrender my nail file, but on others nobody cared about my swiss army knife. Best is to ask authorities of the starting airport for every flight.
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 9:17
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    This question has been discussed in the ravelry.com community and people wrote about very different experiences. The best idea there was to not carry on a dear, big project, but take something easy and fast with you and take needles you wouldn't care about loosing. Then if you are lucky you have a new project, if you are not you did not loose your favourite needles or unravel something important.
    – skymningen
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 10:18
  • A while back I was looking up the rules in the US, which has a 7" limit on 'tools', but in my case I was looking to travel with a 3/8" ratchet, so there could be different rules for art/craft oriented equipment. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 17:59

4 Answers 4


This tends to vary by country. For example, from Air New Zealand:

Can I take knitting needles and/or crochet hooks onboard?


You are able to take knitting needles and/or crochet hooks onboard if travelling domestically throughout New Zealand.

If you travel internationally you are able to take them onboard out of New Zealand but if you are transiting and flying through another country you will need to check with their security as this policy is country dependent.

So, you will have to check the security policy of both your origin and destination, as well as any stopovers.


My mother took knitting needles often as she traveled internationally, for something to do when sitting - even quite recently (last couple years). She mentioned that she has had less trouble, and was less often asked to dig them out of her bag and show them, when they were at the top of her bag and visible (and entangled in yarn), instead of packed down between things - probably because when they were packed away, they looked more "hidden". At least one pair surprised me when it went through, being about ten inches long and hollow metal - but in the context of the yarn and half-completed weave, I suppose it didn't seem threatening to the security who looked at it.

It would probably be wise to choose smaller knitting needles, and perhaps a pair that isn't too dear in case you do run into a security person who objects. You should check any lists to see if it's actually forbidden, as well - but it will often be up to the discretion of whoever is checking. You may have better luck with a half-completed project tangled into your needles than if your tools are stored separately, and it might be better if your needles are obviously plastic, on the smaller side, or a bit flimsy - although, as I said, it is possible to get through with big metal knitting needles if the security people are permissive.


I do it all the time! I find that people are less weird about it if you bring circular needles.

Just in case - find the flight regulations for your country of origin and your destination. Print them out so that if someone gives you trouble you can just hand them the regulations. I've heard this referred to as the "Flying Granny Clause" (lol I'm 29 and a flying granny).

There's some more information in this blog post.

  • Great advice, thank you! I stopped knitting on flights and took embroidery instead and found that I had no issues. I'm back knitting again as it's a lot easier especially when the light is bad. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 1:06

I just contacted Air New Zealand about taking knitting needles on International flights. According to them you can take knitting needles on board as long as they are no longer than 6 inches long. Perfect for Knit Pro needles!

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