You've packed your yarn and
your non-metal needles. You have your plane
tickets, and you're ready to go. Right?
Not just yet. To maximize
space and minimize security problems, consider
creating a travel-sized tool kit.
Photocopying patterns without
prior permission from the copyright holder is
a big copyright violation, with one exception.
Most copyright owners will accept that, as the
purchaser of a pattern, you may make one photocopy
for your personal use only while you're working
on the project, as long as the copy is not shared
or given away at any time, and the copy is destroyed
when it is no longer needed. Working from a
copy makes it easier to take notes or highlight
numbers without marking up the original. I especially
like to make an enlargement of any charts, as
the lighting on evening flights can be dim.
But mostly, toting around one piece of paper
is much easier than carrying an entire magazine
Although it might be tempting to give the copy
to your friend when you're finished, this would
be a violation of copyright law. Remember, it's
for your use only.
Most cutting tools are still banned on all flights
in all countries. While some carriers allow
blunt scissors, don't risk confiscation of your
good Fiskars. Instead, consider buying an inexpensive
Clover Thread Cutter Pendant has generated
a lot of interest in the knitting community.
Billed as a "safe for flying" cutting
tool, the pendant has a secured inner blade
that is accessible only through small notches
in the metal casing. The original Thread Cutter
Pendant was designed primarily for sewing thread,
but it works equally well for DK and worsted
weight yarns. Clover has also released a Yarn
Cutter Pendant, designed more for heavier weight
yarns. Although both pendants work well for
lighter yarns, you might have to separate plies
on yarns heavier than Aran weight.
While Clover advertises that the pendant is
allowed by security, some readers have reported
problems in the past. You should be fine, but
beware that if airport security questions the
item, you may have to give it up, check it,
or ship it home. [See my
previous article for advice on how to handle
such sticky situations.]
Expect to spend between $5 - $10US for the Clover
pendant. Some yarn stores are selling the pendant
as an actual necklace with a beaded cord, for
which you'll pay more.
Some readers have also suggested carrying a
box of dental floss simply for cutting purposes.
The little tab that cuts floss also cuts yarn!
Nail clippers are another good suggestion, but
be sure to check the rules for the specific
countries on your itinerary. In some places,
nail clippers are still prohibited in carry-on
bags. When all else fails, separate the plies
and tug. It won't be a clean break, but you
can use your scissors back home for cleaning
up the ends.
Metal and sharp notions like stitch holders
and metal darning needles may also cause a problem.
Make your knitting kit safer by packing only
plastic darning needles. I recommend carrying
1-2 foot lengths of strong yarn for use as stitch
holders. It's lighter and more flexible than
conventional holders, and yarn won't stretch
your knitting out of shape!
Measuring tapes should be
fine. I like a good retractable plastic tape,
as it takes up less room and is easier to use
in a small space. Don't forget a few empty ziplock
bags of various sizes. They're great for organizing
yarn and holding work in progress.
I'm leaving for Boise this
afternoon, and I'm travelling with two projects:
a shawl in Koigu, and a raglan pullover in Rowanspun
DK. I'm taking the photocopied patterns (with
notes), a darning needle, a pen, and a Clover
Thread Cutter and enough yarn to allow me to
work uninterrupted. That's it. I'm early enough
in the project to be fine without a measuring
tape or any finishing notions. Each project
is zipped in its own clear acrylic bag, the
kind that comes with pillow shams. The tools
are in a small ziplock. I'm all ready
What tips do you have for
the knitter on the go? E-mail
Amy. with your tips