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Tips for travelling with crochet

Assorted crochet tools with sunglasses, phone and cup of tea on grey wood floor

We all have our holiday essentials. Sunglasses, phone, sweetners, tea, mascara, tweezers and of course crochet.

Holiday is a great time to spend some quality, uninterrupted time with your yarn and hook, whether that’s on a long flight or sat on a beach.

But how much is too much crochet to take away on holiday with you?

I know that I spend just as much time (more probably) deciding which projects to take as I do shoes and outfits.

I see lots of people asking about the rules for travelling on flights etc. with crochet, so I thought I would start by addressing that.

In this guide, I also highlight some considerations for project planning and share some of my tips for taking crochet with you when you travel, whether it’s for work or play.

I did a poll on my facebook group My Crochet Wardrobe, asking people about their experiences of travelling with crochet so have included some of their responses here too (Thank you guys!!).

Can you take crochet hooks and scissors on airplanes?

This is one of the questions I see time and again on facebook groups and google suggested questions. The short answer is… it depends.

Rules vary from airline to airline and country to country so my first piece of advice is to check your airline’s website and the relevant countries’ transport security websites.

I’ve heard experiences of people checking with their airline, who are happy for them to travel with hooks and small scissors, but then have them removed when going through security, so no suggestions I give here are definitive… there seems an air of randomness about the whole thing.

There are no hard and fast one size fits all rules it seems.

This seems to vary from airline to airline, country to country and even between airports in the same country, which makes it hard to plan, but for the most part, it seems that crochet hooks in hand luggage are not an issue (it seems to help if they’re already attached to a WiP).

I had a peek on the British Airways site and this was their hand luggage guidance (as of June 2019), indicating they are happy with knitting needles and hooks and scissors with blades smaller than 6cm from the fulcrum.

Hand luggage guidelines for scissors and crochet hooks and knitting needles on British Airways

I think one probably needs to be more conscious of scissors than hooks, especially non metal hooks, but that is anecdotal.

But if you want to be extra cautious then those little yarn snippers without any sort of exposed blade may be a safer bet.

Yarn needles are not mentioned, so if you want to sew in your ends, I would go for the blunt or plastic ones.

Some people will only take plastic or wooden hooks and advise packing spares in hold luggage, just in case hooks get confiscated.

If you have any kind of sentimentality attached to a hook (or some particulalry pricey ones), I would leave them at home.

What type of crochet project should you take on your travels?

There are a few things to consider when it comes to your project planning.

Think about how you are travelling, the weather and environment at your destination and the kind of activities you are going to be doing.

This will all help determine the type of project you want to pack.

Method of travel

If you are flying you will have limited space in your hand luggage, so small projects using light weight yarn would take up the least space and give you the most stitches to work with.

Putting yarn into your hold luggage gives you more space, but also means you won’t have it with you the whole time.

Some of my facebook members will only pack inexpensive yarn in the hold in case of lost luggage.

If you’re driving then space may be less of an issue so you can be a bit more relaxed with your volume.

Weather and environment

Are you going somewhere hot?

If so then you probably don’t want to be working on a big chunky acrylic blanket! Perhaps a more light weight smaller project would be more suitable.

Check out this guide to crocheting in the heat.

Contrary to popular opinion, I actually find working with wool (in lighter weight yarns such as 4ply / fingering or dk weight) pretty comfortable in hot weather.

Wool is a sweat wicking fibre so shouldn’t usually be too problematic (though this is an individual preference). It’s acrylic that I really struggle with in the heat – my hands sweat and it just doesn’t flow very well, so I definitely recommend natural fibres such as wool, bamboo, cotton or linen.

I think smaller projects (socks, accessories or anything up to sweater size) would also work better in heat. You probably don’t want to be working sat under a blanket, regardless of how lightweight it is.

What about your environment?

If you’re going to be on a beach, I recommend taking ziplock / freezer bags that you can keep your project in to stop it getting sandy. This will also keep it dry in damper climates.

I’m not a fan of using plastic where I can avoid it but I have a few of these which I reuse time and again.

Ask yourself what else you might need to accommodate in terms of environment where you’re going.

Activity

What are you going to be doing on your travels?

If you just want to crochet during your travel i.e. on a long car or plane journey, then you can be a bit more flexible about your projects as you won’t be carrying it around and temperature won’t be much of an issue.

If you’re going on a more active holiday such as camping or hiking where you will be moving around a lot then take something lightweight.

Size and project type

In terms of the type of project, here are some questions to ask yourself which will help you decide what project to take:

  • Do you want to be challenged or do you want something mindless that you can just relax into without needing to constantly check a pattern?
  • What about access to patterns? Will you have access to WiFi or do you need to print a hard copy or work from a pattern book? And for that matter, do you want to be carrying paper round with you? Will you have space to spread it out? Could you save the pattern PDF on your phone for easy off line access?
  • How much space do you have to carry and store your projects?
  • How much time are you going to have to actually crochet? You can use this to work out how much to take.

How to you pack your yarn and crochet projects

Now you have decided what kind of crochet project you’re going to take on your trip, lets talk packing.

My tips for mostly involve space saving and avoiding tangles and losing things.

  • Squish yarn into small spaces (shoes etc.)
  • If you like to use vacuum pack bags, will you have a vacuum available at the other end when you’re repacking?
  • Take ziplock or water and sand proof bags for when you’re in the great outdoors
  • Use a separate bag for each project
  • Think about how you will transport the item home once you’ve finished it. Will it take up more space when it’s complete?
  • Ball your yarn (balls worked from outside in are more portable than cakes or centre pull) and sore each one in old pop socks or tights to stop it unravelling and getting tangled
  • Store hooks, needles and scissors in a makeup or toiletries bag if you don’t have a dedicated tool bag

Research yarn shops at your destination

If you don’t want to take a lot of yarn with you then think about visiting yarn shops at your destination.

Can you buy the yarn / tools whilst you’re there rather than take it all with you?

Do some research into the area and work out if you can squeeze a visit into your sight seeing plans.

Ask on social media if anyone is familiar with the area you’re visiting and has any suggestions.

Visiting local yarn stores is a great way to engage with the community at your destination and to support the local economy as well as a great way to discover new yarn brands and fibres.

Just make sure you have enough space to carry it home with you…or buy a new case whilst you’re there 😉

I hope you found these tips helpful. If there’s anything else that works for you, please do comment below and I’ll include it.

Happy hooking travellers!

Dx

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2 Comments

  1. If you buy while you are abroad and cant fit it in your luggage, find a local post office and mail it home to yourself. It is cheaper than paying excess luggage charges usually