As it turns out

I am entering the New Year with one active project on the needles. (I am not counting that sock that I sort of started as a last-ditch gift effort because it only has two rows on it. That is not a WIP, it is a first draft.) This striped scarf is in two colours of Noro Silk Garden, after the ubiquitous inspiration of Brooklyn Tweed’s Jared Flood. I accomplished about half the scarf through subway and airplane knitting.

I’ve had half the yarn for this scarf since the summer (the black/blue #272 skeins), but then decided I wanted a different pair of skeins to partner with it, and found the #243 pink/blue/green ones at the Romni sale. It’s a more moderate contrast but combines tones and colours that I like, so there are some places that are much less visibly contrasted than others. I like how it’s turning out so far.


Since a few of you were wondering – yes indeed, I knitted in airports and airplanes, on both the Toronto and the New York (Newark) ends of my trip. I was reminded alternately to remove my earphones and to place my coat/bag in the overhead bin, but no one ever said boo about my knitting. This allowed me to finish a glove on the way there and knit away on my scarf on the way back.

Although I realize that knitting needles may be perceived differently to different air carriers and security checkpoints in different parts of the world (and WOW believe me am I not interested in pulling at that discussion thread here and now), I have not yet (touch wood and turn three times and spit) had any problems taking knitting with me on a plane in North America. I fly a few times a year in Canada and the United States, and my general approach is to bring knitting with me with needles that, if necessary, I could stand to part with. I check the Addis in my suitcase if I need to bring them. Most of the time I am travelling to destinations that would allow me to purchase replacement needles in a jiffy anyhow, and I would rather err on the side of “take knitting and assume it will be fine”, because that way I get to have knitting with me. To err on the side of “don’t take knitting because something bad might happen” is also reasonable, but that way means I don’t get to have my knitting with me. 😉

I have, in this manner, successfully travelled with bamboo straights, metal circulars, metal DPNs, and wood DPNs. So far so good. (I will say however, that this approach doesn’t stop me from fretting. I still fret a little bit. But wouldn’t you rather fret with the chance of still having knitting with you? I would.)


And while we’re on inquiries – the afternoon tea I had in New York was at Alice’s Tea Cup. It is pretty much always busy, so a person is wise to go in, anticipate having to put in one’s name and cell phone number and come back when a table frees up, but it is worth it for a decadent lunch or treat. The scones are delicious. I strongly recommend visiting the Upper West Side location, because then you are walking distance from Knitty City, but then, you were going to visit Knitty City anyway, right?

Also, the red cabled/bobbled beret in the previous post was my incarnation of Jared Flood’s Laurel beret, and I owe it (and my Tibetan Clouds stole) a proper photo post. Soon.

I hope your last gasps of weekend/holiday are enjoyable. I’m going back to the real world kicking and screaming and don’t care who knows it. Knitting, I’m so glad you’re with me.


  1. I flew from Florida to NY-LaGuardia yesterday, and nobody said anything to me about my knitting except, “what are you making?” I also knit through take off and landing. My husband, on the other hand, was patted down, had his little baggie of toiletries swabbed for explosives (then declared explosive free) AND had his carry on searched. Joy. Oh, we also had to have the discussion with the 6 year old that he was forbidden to call the cookies in his carry on by their real names: Cherry Bombs. Sigh.

  2. Very pretty scarf – I love the way the pattern looks so different in different colourways. And that tea looks like the business – yum!

  3. Ooops. Sorry, my previous “drool over the tea/lunch” comment belongs here.

    Love the way the scarf is turning out. At the end of this winter season, I am planning to take apart my garter stitch first scarf made in Silk Garden and combine it with another color to get a sturdier and more wind proof version. The only question is which colorway? I had three in my hands at the yarn store just before Christmas, and put them all back. Couldn’t make a decision. (I think the operative phrase in that sentence was “before Christmas”.) I’ll have to take another stab at it. YOURS… is going to be gorgeous. 🙂

  4. Elizabeth · ·

    Ok, what is the trick? The last time I went throug the airport I had to de-needle a particularly difficult-pattern sock OFF the DPNs and had nothing to put them on. As a result I not only had to leave my bamboo needles behind (not worth it to mail them home) and had a crap load of unraveled stitches when I reached my destination!!!!

  5. Not sure what looked more delicious–the scarf or the tea goodies.

  6. If I had only one active project on the needles I would think I must be dying or something

    I never tire of seeing the noro scarf combinations, I knit them just to see how they look and then give them away, it is the most addictive knitting I do.

    I feel the lower interest places on the scarf are needed- in the art world it is said to give the eye a place to rest.

  7. Love the scarf! And I’m drooling over all those yummies, especially the tart with the strawberries. I learned the hard way that you are not allowed to leave Ireland with needles in your carry-on. You can take them into the country, but not out (go figure). Now no matter where I’m flying, I make sure to put in a lifeline so if I have to give up my needles, I won’t have to frog the whole darn project. Thanks for sharing 2009 with us, and have a great 2010!

  8. Flying with kids is such a PITA I avoid it as much as possible, though I’ve done it. I WISH knitting needles were my biggest concern! 🙂

    Anyway, the scarf is beautiful. Good luck with the new semester, and happy knitting!

  9. It’s a very nice project to kick of 2010 with 🙂

  10. I have one project on the needles entering in 2010 too! It’s a sweater and I probably will have to cast on a smaller project when its gets to the point of being too heavy to easily carry around. Maybe a striped Noro scarf?

    I’ve also had no issues traveling with my knitting and I’ve done quite a bit within the States and to Canada and back. I’m knocking on wood, because who knows what rules TSA will cook up next. A life line is an excellent idea for that “just in case” moment. And I probably should start doing that, just to be safe. Don’t want to get cocky!

  11. I hope your travel experience will set the tone for 2010! I’ve never had trouble with knitting on planes in the past, but I’m worried things might change now. I love the idea above of putting in a lifeline — just not sure I can be that organized!

    The Noro scarf is stunning! Does that stuff get soft with wash/wear? It’s so darn scratchy in the store!

  12. One project on your needles?!?!
    I’ve never tried that…
    The scarf is lovely. The tea tempting.
    Reality bites, doesn’t it?

  13. Love the scarf. May have to actually find some Noro and knit one myself.

    And I agree on the approach to knitting and travel. I’m glad to hear that despite the new travel restrictions you were still able to knit. I heard the Americans were banning all carry on luggage and not going to allow people to read! What is the world coming to?

  14. glad to hear that even with the heightened security, knitters can still travel with their projects! I haven’t had any trouble in the past, and always travel with circulars. The tea looks delicious!!

  15. kateohkatie · ·

    I don’t fly very often, but I may be doing so next month. Just a short trip – St. Louis to Chicago (IF it happens at all). I think I’ll start a Noro Striped Scarf just for the trip, and abide your philosophy – better to fret a bit and have knitting, than leave it at home and DEFINITELY not have knitting 🙂

  16. I had the same attitude last time I flew long international (UK to Australia). I took needles I was prepared to bin and a wooden crochet hook and alternative pattern as a backup.
    The thought of 24 hours in transit with no knitting makes me feel slightly ill.
    I’m glad you had no problems.

  17. I always wanted to try Noro Silk Garden and its so pretty! Thanks for the photo 🙂

    I can knit anywhere…. but I’m always afraid of the airport or airline security confiscating my knitting needles (and project), so I usually suffer from withdrawal symptoms during plane rides… Its intense suffering.

    Your sharing certainly helps me build up my guts to chuck my needles in the handcarry and see what happens.

  18. I managed to travel through Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and another state this holiday season with a set of knitpicks metal interchangeables, and all I got was a “uuuu, are those drill bits?” from the chick at the x-ray machine. Flight attendants, security guards and the such all saw me knitting with either circs or wooden DPNs, and never mentioned anything other than Oooo, pretty!

    But yeah, I was afraid they would be confiscated most of the times, anyway.

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