August blog on travel tips
I thought I would write a list of airlines allow you to take knitting needles and their preferences, but as this is changing all the time, I recommend you contact the airline before you pack and receive the up to date rules. You can always pack needles in the hold luggage, and miss out on all that time on the plane to work on a project, but many in our knit and natter group like to read anyway.
The gear to take:
• Scissors: blades less than 4 inches are often allowed but for knitting how about using nail clippers?
• Project bag: I use my bags that come free from cosmetics or zip bags for food and these are transparent so the airport like them and you can often pick these up at the airport.
• Needles: I travelled to the US 2 years ago and by accident I travelled with some tooth picks in my hand luggage and no-one said anything; so this year I was a bit braver and took some bamboo circular needles, and they were allowed on American Airlines and on British Airways.
• Stitch markers: Loom bands are great for throwaway stitch markers and stitch markers area great keepsake from a yarn shop visit.
• Pattern holders: A see through page holder from your files is fine, but there are some really expensive versions or good home produced versions which have an elastic band to highlight the line you are on, cardboard in the page holder and a velcro coin buy here(with its loop section still attached). Take off the loop and use the hooks to stick to the seat in front. Sorted.
• Note book and pen/pencil – phone, but this depends on whether you can use the roaming cheaply. There are good things to say about the old fashioned paper and pencil. The first is that you don’t have to remember to charge up the book each night and secondly it will be unlikely an attractive item for theft – unless, of course, you know differently!
• Row counters: Really you only need your notebook and pencil.
• Scarves: shawls and scarves are very portable and can be cool yarns such as linen, silk or cotton and even 4 ply wool is not too hot in the hand.
The current fashion for layering scarves is perfect to use up small scraps to make a sequence scarf.
• Dishcloths: These are quick useful for last minute gifts for surprise dinner invites and can use up scraps. They are small so you can use children’s plastic needles which are cheap and you won’t mind so much if an airline official suddenly changes the rules and removes them from your hand luggage. Plastic is a more acceptable material than metal so you may get through even the toughest security.
• Stuffed hexagons: A baby blanket of 100 hexagons can be made from 150g of yarn – wow just think of the space to buy yarns on your travels! Pattern and yarn at the shop.
• Swatches: This is a bit of a lateral thinking idea, but one I use a lot. If you have ideas for projects but don’t want to carry around a large sweater, then this idea uses scraps and can be endlessly amusing. Collect all those patterns which you want to knit, especially ones with an interesting stitch and store them on the ‘stash to go’ app on your phone. Make a list of the projects and likely yarns and make a small section or swatch. This is where your notebook comes in very handy. Make notes of the needle size you used and whether the pattern was easy or not. You will probably be somewhere where the weather is warm, so a quick dunk in water and spread the project out will sort out blocking.