No, this is NOT the strangest carry-on question I’ve received, but in thinking about physicians traveling to locum tenens assignments and actually having a little free time to pursue other interests, it seemed like a good answer to share.
The good news is, knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage.
The not-as-definitive news is that TSA Security Officers have the authority to determine right there on the spot if an item could be used as a weapon. Therefore they may not allow your knitting needles to pass through security. So, if you do decide to carry on that scarf you are knitting for Aunt Sophie, TSA recommends the following:
- Circular knitting needles should be less than 31 inches in total length
- Bamboo or plastic (not metal) needles are preferred
- Scissors must have blunt points
- Carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your knitting back to yourself if a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security. Otherwise you will have to surrender them at the security check point
- Always carry a crochet hook with yarn in your knitting bag to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint
Ok, but what about needlepoint? TSA says that most needlepoint project tools are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage except circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.