Prior to departing on our U.K. holiday, I began to worry. I've been flying with fiber since I started knitting. In fact, I look incredibly forward to plane time, because I know I'll have tons of time to knit. I usually pack too many projects and carry multiple sets of needles with me; a porcupine of stiletto point Sigs, as seen through the security scanner. Flying out of O'hare, it's not an issue. Ever. I've had my bags examined in San Diego and Seattle, but they let me pass. In and out of the Dominican, es no problema. Aruba; good. But, apparently, not everybody trusts a knitter on an airplane.
There you have it. Plain as day. Nestled between corkscrews and billiards, sits knitting needles on the restricted items list at Heathrow. My heart broke a little. Did the lovely people of London really expect me to survive an eight hour flight without a WIP? I mean, really.
I sought counsel from a friend and fellow knitter who makes trips to England on a semi-regular basis. She affirmed my fears, but offered solace in the form of a loop hole. While knitting needles are restricted, turns out, crochet hooks are not. She offered-up her copy of the Happy Hooker and a crochet hook to hold me over. I was optimistic.
About a week before take-off, I sat down and tried to teach myself the basics. It took me about four hours of frustration before I decided crochet wouldn't do. I needed figure out a way to take my needles with me. Based on the acceptability of the wooden crochet hook, I concluded wooden double points would be my best bet. I typically knit my socks on circs, but DPNs seemed a fair trade for being able to knit during the flight.
In my heightened state of panic, I hatched my scheme. First, I disguised the needles by mixing them in with my pens and pencils. Second, I divided them between the four pieces of carry-on luggage Mike and I were permitted to bring on the plane. Between Chicago and Dublin-no questions asked. We made it between Dublin and London with ease.
With safe passage on two out of three flights I should have been confident I was in the clear. Instead, I was shifty-eyed and sweaty as we passed through security at Heathrow. I completely convinced myself I was in for a cavity search and full-on interrogation for attempting to smuggle restricted items onto the aircraft. I could see the scene playing out in my mind. Good cop, bad cop-"WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING?! WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?"
Contrary to the depths of my imagination. Security was a breeze. In hindsight, I'm sure unconcealed DPNs would have easily passed muster. I still felt I'd gotten away with something; it's the closest to a George Jung moment I'll ever experience. And, for my efforts, I ended my trip with a completed pair of socks.
Yarn: Berroco Sox- John Moores 1425
Pattern: None, just a 2x1 rib with a 2x2 cable at each side; heel flap.
Needles: US 0 wooden DPNs