Traveling with Handmade Projects

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The beauty of crochet and knitting is that they are portable. You can partake in yarny adventures whether you’re at home, waiting in a car line to pick kids up from school, or even at 30,000 feet! Recently my husband and I went on a short trip to see our daughter graduate from the University of Oklahoma with her Masters Degree. We couldn’t be more proud, but the trip wasn’t going to be a long one. I debated whether or not it was even worth traveling with any handmade projects. But ultimately the thought of being stuck on an airplane without anything to do pushed me to take one with me!

Traveling with Handmade

Knitted bunny in mustard yellow and white polka dot dress.
Pattern from Litle Cotton Rabbits

I decided to bring my Little Cotton Rabbits project because it was one that needed focused attention. I didn’t have hopes that I would finish it, only that I would at least make some progress. Boy was I surprised that just those two flights plus a morning hotel session helped me to finish the whole bunny! I was even able to start an additional pinafore on the plane ride home!

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Traveling with handmade is wonderful but I learned a few lessons along the way! I hope you will find them helpful when you travel with your own crochet and knitting projects!

Traveling with handmade projects on an airplane!
Traveling with Handmade Projects

What to Pack

When traveling with handmade projects it is best to KISS (keep it simple sweetie). I have a tendency to want to bring everything I own but I reigned myself in and stuck to the essentials. I ended up bringing one amigurumi project and my Harmony Granny Square Blanket project. Honestly I didn’t even touch the granny squares during our short trip.

Identify all the tools you will need for the project you decide to bring.

  1. All the correct sized crochet hooks/knitting needles you will need for your project. Check your pattern to make sure you know exactly what you will need to complete the project!
  2. All the yarn you will need for the project. I always bring extra in case I misjudge how much I will need, but I always overpack, so keep that in mind!
  3. If you’re bringing an amigurumi project bring stuffing! I almost forgot it and I’m so glad I didn’t!!
  4. Yarn needles, stitch markers, scissors, embroidery floss, safety eyes.
  5. Your pattern! Also bring a pencil if you like to take notes!

How to Pack It

My carry on bag’s sole purpose was to hold all my handmade projects. I kept each project separate by placing them in different smaller bags so when I wanted to work on one I could just grab that bag and get to work! For the Poly-Fil stuffing I grabbed a gallon sized ziplock bag and stuffed it as full as I could. I ended up having way more than I needed, but like I mentioned before, the more the better for me!

Knitting on an airplane.

What Not to Pack

Be very mindful about what you bring through security. TSA actually scanned my carry on bag twice and I got so nervous that they were going to take my scissors or knitting needles away! Not only would that have been a total bummer it would have also been costly. My knitting needles were not cheap and I had three pairs with me!

It may be worth spending some time looking over what the TSA says you can and can’t bring onto the airplane. One thing I know for sure, do not bring long scissors! I only had my small embroidery scissors. I do believe there is a limit for how long the blades can be and not having my scissors would have been a costly mistake and limited my ability to finish my project.

Time in the Airport

Knitting a mustard yellow and white polka dot dress in the airport.

I’m one of those people who like to get places early. My husband on the other hand travels almost every week for his job so he is comfortable arriving at the airport with no time to spare. I convinced him that for my mental health we should get there early. He realized that my mental health greatly affects his mental health, so we got there in plenty of time for me to get a little knitting in while we waited for the flight to board.

Time on the Plane

Traveling with my handmade project! Knitting a bunny rabbit on an airplane.

I have found that this time on the airplane is a great luxury. There is literally nothing to do and nowhere to go. The flight was a little over two hours one way which equaled up to four plus hours in total! You would be surprised how much you can get done in four uninterrupted hours! There are no needy dogs, no dishes to wash, no telemarketers calling. Just four blissful hours with nothing to do but knit.

Unexpected Encounters

When traveling with handmade projects be prepared for complete strangers to interact with you. Because it is so rare to see someone with yarn and a hook or needles people are naturally curious. The flight attendants wanted to see what I was making. Another passenger wanted to know where I got the pattern. People oohed and ahhhed over my little stuffed bunny. In today’s high tech world something as simple as crocheting and knitting invite people to interact with one another. It’s really a beautiful thing!

Traveling with handmade projects does take effort and planning, but it is so worth it! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to accomplish on the airplane! Have you traveled with a handmade project and do you have any tips? Please leave your comments below! I love to hear from you!

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  1. Eu e meu marido moramos longe dos nossos pais, a viagem dura um total de 24 horas. Eu tenho o hábito de levar um projeto, mas as vezes sinto enjoo de viagem ou tricotar 🙁

  2. First, a big congrats on your daughters graduation! That’s awesome! Such a great feeling.
    I am so surprised they didn’t take your needles and scissors! About 4 years ago TSA took my scissors:(
    What a great way to tell about your blog to complete strangers!
    I travel with a project in my lap all the time. My last trip I made wedding bells for my daughters wedding! The car didn’t bother me at all.

    1. Thank you, Angela! We are so proud of her! I was so so nervous when they put my carry on back through the scanner! But thankfully they allowed me to keep my needles and scissors! I so envy you that you can craft in the car. I have terrible motion sickness but somehow being in the air is ok! ✈️

  3. Wow good point about the needles I never would have thought of that! I think this bunny is my favorite ever of your projects

  4. The bags inside a bag are so smart. I do that too, it just simplifies life! Those uninterrupted hours sound blissful!

  5. I always bring a project with me when we travel just in case I get a spare moment, but I get motion sickness so working on it can’t be while moving. I REALLY wish I could change this!

  6. Congratulations to your daughter! I always have people ask about my knitting. One time a man on an airplane comment that I must save so much money knitting my own socks. I’m still laughing over that.

  7. that’s one well-travelled bunny ^^
    I also find that crafting in public is a great conversation starter. This year has been filled with quite a few hospital appointments for the husband & myself, rather than travels, and I often get questions from other people in waiting rooms, wanting to know what I’m making, who it’s for, how many hours work will it take etc.

    1. I love that about crocheting and knitting! People are naturally just drawn to it and want to see what you’re up to! It always brings up a special memory for them of a grandma who handmade things and they share those stories! Another reason why crocheting and knitting are so awesome!! 😊