Us yarn lovers always have this weird itch to stitch anywhere we go. It's one the strangest little quirks we have and it's probably because of how easily accessible our hobby is in various locations.
Project bags are absolutely crucial when traveling by car or even by air. However, if you want to crochet or knit while traveling, then you want to make sure you plan accordingly so you don't overpack or find out you picked something too complex for travel.
My husband and I have traveled A LOT and those modes of travel have included road trips in our personal cars and even as far as international airline travel. Not only that, but my husband is a commercial airline pilot and I'm quite the Princess Traveler. So I think we have a solid foundation of ideas and tips that can be helpful in your trip plans.
So let's get right into some of the travel tips for both car and airline travel. You can find all my favorite travel items through our Amazon Store Front under "Travel Must Haves".
5 Tips for Traveling with Crochet or Knit Projects
1. Pick the Right Pattern for Your Trip
This should be the first step to planning what to bring with you on your trip (big or small). A rookie mistake that many crocheters and knitters make is bring a project that is too complex for their planned travel.
If you're doing some errands and you're the passenger, then I'd recommend picking something simple to pick up and put down. This could be something like a scarf, kitchen towels, etc. If you're going on a road trip and/or airline travel, think about how much space you have available for the yarn required for your project. You don't want to find that you can't fit your project with you.
The other thing you want to keep in mind is that you want to find a pattern that doesn't require a lot of color changing and/or high level of attention for counting. Ideally, you want a pattern that has repetitive stitches that you can do seamlessly and it can feel more like you are stitching at a subconscious level of attention. I would call this a "mindless pattern". As for color changing...if you bring a ton of skeins with you then you may find you're lugging around an extra skein that you will hardly use on your trip. It's all about SAVING SPACE and packing EFFICIENTLY.
2. Pack Efficiently for Your Mode of Travel
After you pick your pattern, the next thing is figuring out HOW to pack it. I hands down recommend packing cubes. Packing cubes are an investment for travel. My favorite brand is eBags and you can find them on Amazon or go to the eBags website. I use these for my yarn and I use them to separate out clothes between our family members when we share luggage space. I probably have over 30 of these bags in our home since we travel a lot, but this 6 Piece Packing Cube Set by eBags is a perfect starter for anyone!
The beauty of these cubes is that they're extremely compact. Meaning, they can be rolled up, squished, and have pressure on them while you have the ability to organize your space.
Keep in mind, these cubes aren't strictly for airline travel. They're perfect for project bags and backpacks too! They keep your yarn tamed and not loosely hanging around at the risk of being snagged and tangled.
3. Use the Right Travel Bag and Tools
There are tons of project bags available. You can use a tote, a dedicated crochet/knit bag, etc. for your travel arrangements.
One of my favorite bags out there is the Travel Knit/Crochet Bag that has a USB Charging Port. This bag is perfect because it keeps items contained in compartments, hooks strapped away with stretchy loops and holders, and side pockets for water. There is great space for the yarn and project to be stored nicely away, especially if you snag one of those packing cubes.
Speaking of tools you may need, think thoroughly of what you may need. Typically, you'll need your hook or knitting needles, scissors, and yarn needles. However, make sure you bring things you may be willing to lose. You never know what can happen while traveling, especially when you fly by air (which is discussed in tip number 5). As much as I love our handmade resin crochet hooks, I always bring my Clover Amours for these types of arrangements.
4. Traveling by Car Requires Comfort and Ease
Some of you may remember that our family went on a three week road trip across the United States on an off-roading adventure that required camping in the back of my husband's truck. I know, it sounds crazy. However, I learned a lot from this trip as a crocheter.
I purchased this Car Cup Tray holder with the intent to provide my husband a "table" for him to set his snacks/meals while on the road. However, he didn't really use it and so I decided to make it my personal tray for my yarn, hook, and scissors. I even posted an Instagram Reel to showcase it and I was surprised at how many people have asked me for the link to this gadget. Even my mother-in-law purchased one for herself because she loved how it didn't rob space from anyone.
I also purchased a Seat Organizer for each our cars. What I love about these organizers is that I can actually use the console space to place my project bag in place without it slipping and sliding around. I also thoroughly enjoy that my bag doesn't have to sit on the floor with all the dirt or even rain/snow water. My husband actually loves having this in our cars and I would totally recommend this even if it wasn't for the crochet projects.
5. Be Prepared for Airline Restrictions and Limitations
I've been on a lot of forums, Facebook pages, and more with individuals fully unaware of what they can bring on an airplane. I've also seen some bad advise with lack of resources to back it up. Again, my husband and I travel a lot and he is also a commercial airline pilot, so this is something I feel I can confidently speak on.
The first thing you need to look into is if your flight is a "domestic" flight or an "international" flight.
- A "domestic flight" is a form of commercial flight within civil aviation where the departure and the arrival take place in the same country. For example, if you are from the United States, then taking off out of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and landing in Las Vegas (LAS) is considered a domestic flight.
- An "international" flight is a form of commercial flight within civil aviation where the departure and the arrival take place in different countries. For example, if you are from the United States, then taking off out of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and landing in Incheon, South Korea (ICN) is considered an international flight.
Next, you need to look into the regulator guidance for your specific travel arrangements. If you fly domestic in the USA, then research into what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulates what can go on board the aircraft. I love that they now have a mobile app available too and it's called MyTSA that can be downloaded on your app store.
Three common questions I hear are:
- Can I bring scissors on my flight? Yes, but with restrictions. At the time of posting this blog, TSA authorizes scissors on both your carry-on and checked luggage. If you plan to place scissors in your carry-on, then they must be less than 4 inches from the pivot point. Any sharp objects in checked bags should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors. So scissors like these embroidery scissors with a leather cover is perfect! If you don't have this, then that's fine. Just make sure you have your scissors stowed away and secured in a bag properly.
- Can I bring my crochet hooks or knitting needles on my flight? Yes! At the time of posting this blog, TSA authorizes crochet hooks and knitting needles on both your carry-on and checked luggage. Once
- Can I bring my sewing needles on my flight? Yup! Again, at the time of posting this blog, TSA authorizes sewing needles.
However, with all of this said, you always have to keep in mind that the final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.
If you are flying internationally, you may get approval from one agency (TSA, etc.) and may get denied by another in a different country. This is the exact reason why I would suggest you bring something you are willing to lose. I've heard horror stories of people losing their luxury crochet hooks and knitting needles.
Now that you have all the travel tips...enjoy your adventure with your yarn!
I'm sure we could talk all day on details of what to do and bring on your trip; however, I think these five tips are pretty straight forward and provide some realistic insight of what to expect for your logistical needs and planning arrangements.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and if this works out well for any of you!