handknit socks - perfect travel knitting, and yes you can knit on planes!

Yes, You Can Knit On Planes!

“But you can’t knit on planes!”

The older woman was looking at me horrified. She was white-haired and elegant, and looked exactly like an older French woman should, with her toffee-coloured coat and jaunty silk scarf. This was the second time she’d informed me I couldn’t knit on the plane – the first time she said it in French, and when I mumbled “Pardon – je suis désolé, Anglais.” she repeated herself in English.

I smiled. “How do you think I got these here? And they let my needles through security okay.”

“But they’re more than six centimetres long.”

“Are they?” I measured them against my hand. Measured across the knuckles, with fingers and thumb held tight together, my hand is 10.5 centimetres. It’s a good thing to know when you don’t have a tape measure to hand. So to speak.

“Yes, they’re more like nine or ten centimetres. But they’re fine. I’ve knit with them on planes lots.”

I didn’t say that according to most airline regulations, it’s blades which can’t be more than six centimetres long. You can’t take a long pair of scissors, or a box cutter, or a pocket knife, or a fruit knife, or heck, probably a butter knife on a plane, but you can take knitting needles, most of the time.

Like everything in the friendly skies, it’s at the discretion of the crew, and you should check with the airline before flying. But I’ve knit on planes with these needles on flights to Australia, America, Canada, France, Germany and now Switzerland, so I hadn’t bothered checking, and as before, there hadn’t been a problem.

Outside the UN in Geneva.

“I used to knit a lot on planes,” said the woman. “But not anymore. It’s a shame! Knitting never hurt anyone. I mean, really, you couldn’t…” She made a vague gesture, then mimed grabbing at my knitting and stabbing someone in the neck with knitting needles.

I laughed. “Exactly! I have a pen in my bag that’s more dangerous then these needles.

“Hah!” she said. “Which seat are you in? I don’t want to sit next to you.”

I laughed again, and then the flight was called.

I had the window seat, and squinted out at the jet d’eau I turned the heel of my sock and started the leg.

Geneva's Jet d'Eau is visible from the air.

I’ve been flying a lot lately – my boyfriend lives in Geneva, and I live in London – and it’s nice to have something to do while hanging around in airports and on planes. And socks are nice because unlike amigurumi, they’re all in one piece (I dread the thought of losing a tiny eye or a miniature leg down the back of an airplane seat). On top of that, socks are slow knitting. I might whip through a hat or a mitten on a plane ride, but not a sock.

The “plain vanilla” socks I prefer have no patterning to break up the knit, knit, knit. It’s boring knitting, but good for a plane ride and an audiobook, or I prop up my kindle and turn the “pages” with a touch of a knuckle, my hands still clutching my knitting.

Finally – it’s silly, but I think socks are a bit romantic. Something about slipping them on (“pull your socks up!”) and how comfy they feel (“like wearing a hug”) and that they’re for walking on. Or for travelling. Perfect for planes.

handknit socks - perfect travel knitting, and yes you can knit on planes!

Leave a Reply

Keep Reading: amiguru.me

Homemade face masks for that quarantine chic

Homemade face masks for that quarantine chic

Ami What is the best yarn for amigurumi? Why crochet amigurumi? Knitted Amigurumi Amigurumi Gifts – Select -AmiWhat is the best yarn for amigurumi?Why crochet amigurumi?Knitted Amigurumi – Amigurumi Gifts Guru How to crochet everything – picture tutorials – Select -GuruHow to crochet everything – picture tutorials Me About me Blog – Select -MeAbout meBlog […]

Inside voices: crafting through the coronavirus

Inside voices: crafting through the coronavirus

Ami What is the best yarn for amigurumi? Why crochet amigurumi? Knitted Amigurumi Amigurumi Gifts – Select -AmiWhat is the best yarn for amigurumi?Why crochet amigurumi?Knitted Amigurumi – Amigurumi Gifts Guru How to crochet everything – picture tutorials – Select -GuruHow to crochet everything – picture tutorials Me About me Blog – Select -MeAbout meBlog […]

Let’s knit a gansey

Let’s knit a gansey

Gansey, guernsey, jersey. What on earth am I talking about? A sweater, of course. You know the sort I’m talking about. A deliciously cabled, blue sweater, perfect for cold days. You might call it an aran sweater, or a jumper. You almost certainly do not call it a ‘knit frock’ like old books do. Whatever […]

Multimodal split bike mittens (free knitting pattern)

Multimodal split bike mittens (free knitting pattern)

I’m so excited to share a new free knitting pattern – multimodal split bike mitts. This split mittens pattern is designed with biking in mind. I’ll tell you all about it, but first: Download the free split mittens pattern or view on Ravelry. I got a new bike for my birthday, aren’t I the luckiest […]

70+ gifts for knitters and crocheters

70+ gifts for knitters and crocheters

It shouldn’t be hard to find gifts for knitters and crocheters, right? After all, you can always buy them yarn, right? Wrong. Knitters and crocheters love yarn by definition, but they’re also fussy about it. Not just colour, but merino vs alpaca vs silk and worsted weight or worsted spun, and don’t get me started […]