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1. Look into regulations – Depending on your method of travel, certain security regulations may apply. The TSA allows crochet hooks, knitting needles, and small scissors (blades less than 4 inches) in your carry on luggage for airplanes, but that only applies to flights within the U.S. If you are traveling into or out of another country, make sure to check and see if they have restrictions on crochet hooks and knitting needles. You don’t want to have your favorite needles confiscated. Oddly, the TSA website says they do not allow thread cutting pendants in carry on luggage, but they’ve never taken mine before. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
2. Pick your project wisely – Will you have lots of quiet time to crochet or knit or is it likely to be in small spurts? Based on what your vacation time looks like, you may want to choose an easier pattern with a simple repeat over one that requires intense concentration. I pack more complex projects when traveling alone, but simpler ones when traveling with my two young children. If space is a concern, choose a project that squishes up well (a lace weight shawl) over a bulkier one that will take up more room (like a worsted weight scarf).
3.Prepare a travel notions case – You’ll need to take a small notions case with you for any project. It’ll likely include a stitch marker or two, yarn needle, tape measure, and small scissors. Throw in a needle gauge if you’ll be switching between sizes and the needles aren’t marked. Don’t forget a pencil or highlighter tape to help keep your place in the pattern. A small travel book light can also come in handy.
4. Keep it together – Any trip requires juggling a lot of bags. Make your life easier and assign your knitting or crochet project a specific home in your luggage. I use a cotton drawstring bag or a gallon size zip top bag. I keep my notions case inside the project bag so that everything is together.You don’t want to have to dig through an entire carryon just to find your crochet hook.
5. Put a luggage tag on your project bag – After any knit or crochet trade show, the ravelry forums generally contain a few posts about projects that were lost or found at various airports. Although some projects are reunited with their owners, others remain lost forever. Take a minute to attach a luggage tag to your project bag. This way, if you do misplace it, whoever finds it will have a way to contact you.
6. Double check to make sure you have the whole pattern – Nothing will kill your travel project enjoyment faster than realizing you left page 3 of the pattern at home. Make sure you have the entire pattern with you when you pack. If your project requires slightly new (to you) techniques consider taking a small knitting guide with notes on how to work those techniques.