What Happens If You Bring Knitting Needles Through TSA Security?

There's something incredibly nerve-racking about packing for a trip, especially if you hope to get through airport security faster, avoid holding up the security line with your unpacking and repacking skills, and — most importantly — not get flagged by an already-intimidating TSA agent.

That said, most travelers will also agree that packing for a trip isn't just about avoiding security hassles — it's also about preparing for your journey and destination. Because whether you're bringing a good book, downloading movies to your tablet (the one thing you shouldn't forget to do the night before flying with kids), or packing your favorite hobby supplies, having something to keep you busy during your flight can make all the difference, especially if it's a long-haul journey.

So, what happens if you decide to bring something like your knitting needles along for the ride? Well, the truth is ... nothing, really. Per the official TSA website, knitting needles are permitted in both your carry-on and checked luggage — all you have to do is ensure they're wrapped or stored safely so as to not injure or alarm any inspectors. In fact, along with things like camping stoves and eggs, knitting needles are one of those odd, yet permissible objects that you're fine to pass through TSA with — and bring on the plane with you.

Traveling with knitting needles and beyond

Surprisingly, knitting needles aren't the only thing that the TSA allows through security. Sewing needles, for example, are also permitted — just make sure they're put away safely. Additionally, crochet hooks are also allowed. As for scissors, the TSA's website mentions that these are perfectly fine so long as they're smaller than 4 inches. However, it's worth noting that other sharp objects — like circular thread cutters — must be checked.

Additionally, other items like beads, thread, and simple hooks — like the ones used for bracelet and necklace making — are all allowed. Nonetheless, keep in mind that other tools you might need must meet additional safety requirements. For example, while non-flammable glue isn't restricted – as a general rule, flammable adhesives can't travel in your carry-on or checked luggage — it must still adhere to the TSA's 3-1-1 liquid rule. Lastly, other jewelry-making tools like pliers must be smaller than 7 inches.

Beyond knitting and jewelry-making supplies, other crafty items that the TSA doesn't outright prohibit include things like Play-Doh, air dry clay, and polymer clay. However, it's worth noting that, although these aren't necessarily on the TSA's list of prohibited items, the decision ultimately depends on your agent. This means that there's always a possibility your belongings might get taken away from you or require additional security screenings, per comments from previous travelers (via Reddit). Still unsure what can or can't pass through? Hop on X, formerly known as Twitter, and share a photo with the official @AskTSA account — they'll be happy to help!