Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needlework Tools to Travel With


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Ahhhh, summer! It’s that time of year when vacation spots beckon and when the travel bug starts to tickle!

Whether it’s a road trip or a long flight to a distant exotic destination, you probably don’t want to go without a needlework project. After all, if you’re goal is to relax, what better way than with a project in one hand and a tropical drink in the other?

Today, I thought I’d show you my typical line-up of needlework tools that I tote with me when traveling, and ask you what your favorite (and most successful) travel tools are.

Needlework Tools for Travel

Normally, my goal when traveling with needlework tools is to fit them into as compact a space as possible, and to make sure that they’re tools that I can use in a compact space. If I’m on the road, there’s not a lot of room in the car, and if I’m flying, there’s not a lot of room in the plane. When I get to my destination, I don’t want to deal with a whole slurry of needlework-related baggage.

Whether you’re driving or flying will influence the tools you can take with you, too. Maybe, if you’re driving, you’ve got plenty of room and you don’t mind having extra bits and bobs along with you. If you’re flying, you’ll be restricted by law in the tools you can take.

This is what I think about when packing up a needlework travel kit: 1. visibility; 2. cleanliness; 3. accomplishment.

1. Visibility: if I can’t see what I’m doing, there’s no point in doing it. Good lighting and visibility of my work are essential for me. I don’t have the best eyes in the world and I’m not going to strain them by working in poor lighting conditions. Besides, why would I bother doing needlework when I know I can’t see well? I’d just have to pick it out later.

2. Cleanliness: when you’re traveling, you don’t have the same opportunities for hand washing. You also don’t have the same control over your environment as you do at home. But it’s still important to keep your work clean!

3. Accomplishment: what are the most basic tools I need to accomplish what I want to accomplish on the particular project I’m toting along with me? I don’t want to pack along a lot of stuff I won’t use, but I also want to make sure I have what I need to do what I’m doing.

Needlework Tools for Travel

I’ve reviewed these CraftOptics magnifiers and light here. They are, admittedly, an expensive option for magnification and lighting in one package, but they do an amazing job of both lighting up your work surface and magnifying your work, especially for those of us who already wear specs. Since I have them, I use them!

There are other less expensive options for lighting and for magnification – simple over-the-counter reading glasses, small clip-on lights (book lights work well) and so forth can do the trick for many people. This Beam ‘n Read light that I also reviewed can work well, if it sits right on you. I’ve used it before on car trips with good success.

What I don’t normally do is tote along an honest-to-goodness lamp. It’s just too much luggage, even if the lamp is portable and light. The only exception I might make is if I’m going to a workshop or somewhere that I’ll be doing many hours of needlework every day while staying in the same hotel room. Then I might take a lamp that’s light enough and small enough to carry around, like this Stella lamp, reviewed here.

Needlework Tools for Travel

I always carry a package of hand wipes in my supplies, tucked in a zip-lock bag.

A few extra zip-lock bags never go astray, either. I keep my thread in them, and if I need to sort or separate any threads out, it’s nice to have an extra bag or two. They don’t take up much space.

Cutting Tools for Traveling

Needlework Tools for Travel

The tools themselves can be a bit tricky. The tools you can take with you often depend on your manner of travel. If you’re flying, for example, there are specific restrictions on sharp things, and you should make yourself aware of them before you get to the airport. You don’t want the officials to confiscate your $75 pair of embroidery scissors, after all!

If I’m road-tripping, I always take a good pair of embroidery scissors in a sheath (so they don’t damage anything if I throw them in my project bag). If I’m flying, I consider other options!

Needlework Tools for Travel

If you’re flying, these cutting tools by Clover are an excellent choice for snipping threads. You can string this thing around your neck like a pendant and you just slide your thread into the little grooves to snip them off.

Apparently, according to some of the comments below, they do violate regulations because of the blade inside, but I’ve taken them successfully and never had them confiscated or even given a second glance.

Needlework Tools for Travel

Small, fold-up scissors like the ones above (that I’ve reviewed here) can be an option for airline travel, but I wouldn’t take a pair that you especially like or that are especially pricy. (I wouldn’t take the ones above, for example.)

Here in the US, anyway, it seems confiscation is pretty random. I’ve had tiny scissors with half inch blades confiscated, even though they don’t violate the regulations. I’ve even had fingernail clippers confiscated! So your best bet, when flying, is not to take anything that you’d hate to lose.

Needlework Tools for Travel

Dritz makes small folding scissors for traveling. They’re not expensive and they’d be worth having for using in a pinch. They aren’t the best-cutting scissors in the world and their structure is pretty flimsy, but they’ll get you through, and if they get confiscated along the way, they’re not going to set you back much.

Needlework Tools for Travel

In my tool box, I also carry a small emery board for fingernail mishaps (there’s nothing worse than a snaggy fingernail when you’re trying to stitch) and a pair of fingernail clippers.

If you’re flying, take a cheap pair of clippers in case they get confiscated. Your best bet is clippers without the little file attached.

Needlework Tools for Travel

This particular needlework tool – a small stiletto and laying tool – definitely won’t make it onto an airplane unless it’s in checked luggage, but if you’re road tripping, it is very nice to have a small laying tool in the tool box.

I use a laying tool quite often (you can read about what a laying tool is here, and see how a laying tool is used here), so I think it’s worth including one in my tool box when road-tripping.

If you’re not willing to use the space to carry one with you, or if you’re flying, consider including a larger tapestry needle in your kit. It can be used as a laying tool in a pinch.

Needlework Tools for Travel

All of my tools fit into a small gift card tin that I slide into my project bag.

Needlework Tools for Travel

Why a tin? Because the lid can do good service as a tray if needed.

It makes a good bead tray, for example, or a good tray for cut goldwork threads. And while I might not dabble with beads or goldwork in the car or on a flight, when I’m at my destination, I find it handy.


Needlework Tools for Travel

When it comes to needles, my absolutely favorite thing in the world (a little partial here, I suppose!) for easy transport are the little needlebooks in my Lavender Honey & Other Little Things e-book.

When I wrote that book, I had to make a lot of samples, so I have about 8 or 10 of these little needlebooks.

Needlework Tools for Travel

They’re small, they’re soft, they hold a decent amount of needles – I usually include every type I need for the project I’m working on, and sometimes, more than one of each type – and they’re darned cute, to boot! They end up being great conversation starters.

Because they’re soft, they can serve as pincushions, too. If I’m switching out needles often, I stick the needles upright into the felt, like I would with a pincushion.

They’re just terrific for tossing into a project bag.

Needlework Tools for Travel

Finally, I do take a scissor pull or some kind of device to hold scissors conveniently around my neck or on myself somehow.

When space is limited, I don’t like having to fumble about for my scissors, so I find scissor pulls very convenient when traveling in the car or working in a hotel room.

You can buy scissor pulls and similar devices already made. This particular one is another item that you can make yourself, from Lavender Honey.

Needlework Tools for Travel

All my supplies get tucked into a project bag. I like these zipper mesh bags, and I can usually fit everything, including hoop, fabric, instructions, threads, and all the tools discussed above into one medium-sized zipper mesh bag.

I slip this bag into a tote where I carry anything I want easy access to on a trip, and that’s it! I’m good to go!

Last week, I took a quick road trip to Wisconsin for some unexpected family business (did you miss me?) and I packed everything very carefully, with high hopes of accomplishing a bit of stitchery along the way so I wouldn’t be too far behind when I got home.

Keep in mind that packing your needlework stuff doesn’t mean you’ll actually use it! I didn’t get a lick of stitching in. But if you find yourself in a situation where you do have down time and you’d love to be able to indulge in a bit of embroidery, it’s nice to have a few basics along.

Over to You!

What needlework tools do you travel with? Do you have any favorite tool that you couldn’t be without while you’re on the road or flying the friendly skies? Any tips for tools to consider, specifically for travel? I’d love to hear your input! Feel free to join in the conversation below!

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(71) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    A great selection and good advice on tools for embroidery while travelling. When I’m travelling by plane I put everything in my suitcase because I worry that the sharp tools like scissors or needles or the laying tool might be confiscated, I pack everything in a plastic bag so that it is all together and like you I try and keep it to a minimum. But the gift card tin and project bag are an excellent idea and I do like your fold up tools like the scissors and the small needlebook case and the clover cutting tool used for thread would come in useful for travelling. The only problem I have is I need a magnifier and light and so far I haven’t seen anything which is inexpensive and a good product the CraftOptics light you reviewed are to expensive for me but I can see they are a good product. Thanks for your review on travel equipment for the embroider very useful and full of excellent ideas.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. According to the TSA website the clover cutter is not allowed. I did fly a couple of weeks ago and had forgotten to take my clover out of my carry on and they did not take it. Not sure I’d chance it again.

    1. I have always traveled with the clover cutter and I’ve been told they are allowed. I even take it out and place it separately because it shows up going through the detector as a large metal object that always has to be checked out. So I save them the trouble and just put it in the bucket with my shoes and my watch.

    2. I suspect that numerous things are in play about those cutters. It could be that different airlines/airports etc have different rules, but that the employees doing the checking have to see it and have to know what it is. Many people do no crafts, so they might just think (even on x-ray) it is a keychain or whatever, if they do not know about the blade inside, they would likely say nothing, regardless of the rules. Just my thoughts.

    3. We never fly, so I don’t know what is doing with airplanes, but for jury duty around here (Long Island, NY) one cannot bring embroidery scissors as they are pointed.

      The following school supply season (when scissors are cheap and plentiful) I bought a pair of Fiskar’s children’s scissors. I think there were 2 different kinds and I bought the kind for the older children. They are sharp enough for threads as they are good quality scissors and don’t have a point.

  3. Great tips. I think the clover is specifically not allowed because it is razor blades inside, but I have never had one taken. Scissors confiscations seems to be a completely random event on domestic flights. Should be packed for international. One trick I learned on needlepoint nation was to pack a used dental floss container just in case your cheap scissors get taken.

  4. In place of my larger laying tool, I use a toothpick. I have a case that hols 10-12, which will eject a new toothpick when one is needed.

    My favorite toothpicks are the ones that Cracker Barrel has for thier restrauants. A package of about 100 costs three or four dollars, and lasts forever. (Ask for a package at the check out counter.) One end is nicely tooled to help hold the toothpick / laying tool when it is being used.

    If one gets lost, just pull out another one!

    I found the “case” to hold them at a quilt shop.

  5. Don’t count on being able to take the clover circular cutter on a plane. Apparently one can remove the razor blade and thus it becomes a weapon. I’ve had mine taken (carry on) on flight to UK for this reason. Ditto needles.

    1. That is the same thing I have always been told, that scissors of any description, pendant cutters and needles were a no-no. With the one long trip I have ever been on in my life, I called to ask and was extremely specific. However, the employees doing the checking have to see those things and have to know what it is. Many people do no crafts, so they might just think (even on x-ray) your pendant cutter (example)or folding scissors are a keychain or whatever. Even if you have it around your neck, if they do not know about the blade inside, they would likely say nothing, regardless of the rules. The same with needles, if they are not obvious, even on x-ray, and since they are usually packed in luggage (or whatever) with other items, they cannot take them away.

  6. I had a pair of the first folding scissors just like the first pair shown taken away, as well as nail clippers (with file) and a pair of fingernail scissors! Really got to think about what you pack for air travel!

  7. When traveling I place the actual embroidery in a zip top plastic bag. The closed bag is waterproof and will protect the piece from dirt, spills or rain. The two gallon size is approximately 13 x 15 inches which is large enough for most hoops and many projects mounted on stretcher bars.

    My work around for poor lighting and no magnification is to select a project like smocking or a large count canvas that I can see easily. Or sometimes I pack a pair of inexpensive reading glasses for projects requiring magnification.

  8. Dear Mary

    I pre-cut my floss for my cross-stitch project, then I feed both loose ends through the eye of the needle. I do my stitching and when I am at the end of my floss, I work it through the back and through the work at the back. Then the needle slips off the loose ends. No need for a pair of scissors. Best natural light I had, was on a recent trip to Antigua. I just sat on a lounger early in the morning, before I knew it, I had been stitching for three hours. Wish I could have light like that all year round. My scissors was packed in my suitcase. Stitching on the flight was fun, I had a window seat.

  9. Having had scissors and clippers confiscated at airport security, when traveling by air all I take is a call container of dental floss. The little built in cutter will work surprisingly well to cut floss, and I’ve never had a security agent look twice at it.
    Funny story. After having my nail cutters taken by security, I bought another pair at one of the shops inside the security zone. No sense at all there.
    I really like this post. Packing some handwork for any trip comes very close to the top of the list of most important things for travel. Not having something for my hands to work on would really be a tradjedy!

  10. I travel between the US and Europe several times each year for work, so I always like to pack a simple project to get me through the 18 (yikes!) hours of travel time with layovers. To solve the scissors issue I bought a couple of pairs of Fisker safety scissors with rounded tips in the back to school supplies for a dollar each. They haven’t been taken despite flying on many domestic and international trips. Other than that I try to pack a project bag and I always make sure to pack a “basic” project with few colors or types of threads so that I can keep my needle selection slim. I’ve never had needles taken, but I do pack an extra set in my checked luggage just in case!

  11. I print a copy of the TSA rules for scissors to show the airport TSA folks if they argue about my scissors. If they insist on being silly about it, I also have a couple of padded envelopes and stamps so I can get out of line, mail the offending items back to myself and eliminate the chance that TSA will have my scissors on their eBay auctions.

    1. I do that too, although I have never actually ha to use it with the TSA.
      However, see my note below regarding Thailand, they have their own rules and that means NO SCISSORS AT ALL, not even tiny cheap folding ones. Funny thing is, they didn’t take the very fine, and very sharp, metal crochet hook that I keep for pulling threads through!

  12. Hi Mary. I’m curious as to what type and size of hoop you take with you. I have the kind you sit on and the kind that sit on a table. I don’t tend to stitch in a car (although I have) while I will knit or crochet in a car, but I do take my stitching on summer vacation. Do you take a smaller than normal hoop with you so it will fit in your travel bag? Or do you take whatever size you need? Do you tend to pack projects that you are working on or do you have special ones that are suitable for travel, i.e., maybe not so complex?

  13. When I travel in the car I have a very large pill bottle from the pharmacy that I put my scissors, and any other small tools I use. I read somewhere that a lady takes and uses the dental floss cutter when flying. Like you I use ziplock bags, and then put them in a tote.

  14. If I take needlework on a plane with me, I make sure to leave my good Japanese steel needles at home and just take a couple cheaper ones, just in case they decide that day that needles are a violation. I also make sure I have good, but not expensive, nail clippers that can clip thread (or yarn) easily but if confiscated, wont make me cry.

    It’s amazing how many conversations you can get going as you sit in a gate waiting area stitching away!

  15. My understanding is that the Clover circular cutter is not allowed on planes anymore because it contains a circular blade that may be broken out. Check out the tool kits on Sublime stitching which was discussed at an earlier date on this blog. Purchased with or without the tools, the kit, similar to a gift card tin, is magnetic and does hold an amazing amount. Great gift for a stitcher.

  16. For portability I’ve used recycled packaging for sheet sets. They’re clear plastic, zippered, square shaped bags that sometimes even have an inside pocket (where the advertising slid into) that I use to hold my scissors in. Because the square sides bend outward it accommodates a hoop easily and its basically a free item. I’ve also use a school kid’s plastic and cloth pencil case that’s slimmer, that I keep in my purse to be able to pull out whenever I’m stuck waiting somewhere, for example a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment.

  17. Have you ever tried custom made glasses.When I get my eyes checked I also bring along some needlework, I then ask her to make a pair of glasses that have my correct magnification. I usually purchase half glasses for frames. They work perfect and no awkward attachments on my glasses. They don’t cost much more than the ones you have featured here in your article.

  18. I use a daylight portable and rechargeable lamp and a small clip on magnifier. I always work with a hoop so the magnifier just clips on the hoop. These are much more within my budget! Because I use hoop in hand the magnifier does not restrict my movement but I do wish they would make a higher magnification, mine is 2 times. If I am going to a seminar I take a bigger clip on table magnifier but thats only 1.5 times! My prescription lenses are complicated, it would more than double the cost of these telescopes!

  19. Hello Mary,
    I am pretty sure that here in Europe, you cannot bring needles in a plane. Do you think it is allowed in US ?

    When I am on holidays away from home, I prepare a small project and everything ready for that particular project. But honnestly, I can hardly find time to work on it !

  20. I think it’s worth remembering that you can pack whatever scissors you like in your checked baggage, so I would take a good pair of scissors to use while I’m away. Personally, I prefer to knit or crochet on a plane, so I tend not to bother with stitching anyway.

  21. I tend to knit in a car or even on a plane. Socks are a good project to take along. Use a circular needle, though. I’ve dropped one of my double-point needles, and the driver didn’t think it was necessaary to stop for me to retrieve it from under the seat! I save my stitching for the hotel room. I’ve found that a small needlepoint project, like the zip around cases, are good travel projects. I have a small (2″x3″) folding Ott light that is VERY bright; when open I can sit it on a table or on the arm of a chair. It even has a clip on the back.

    1. So…let a non-traveller Australian get this straight. You will undoubtedly have your itsy-bitsy half-inch scissors confiscated but you can take knitting needles? Or crochet hooks? Do I have that straight?

      I know that security is important but somehow this seems to be a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I fail to see how much damage could be inflicted by those teensy scissors or the Clover round thread cutter, but my heavens, a metal knitting needle could create some serious havoc.

  22. I will be going on vacation soon and you can bet your sweet lollipop that I will have a few small projects to work on.I will be away from home for almost one month.Visiting my son that lives far from us I have already started to make the LIST of stuff to bring, I found some small projects that I want to make, and am gathering all the threads and stuff I need to do it.Also made some extra copies of paper work just in case I spill coffee on them. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I do bring my lamp/magnifier I need that,and all that important stuff, I also bring Zip Lock bags just in case,we never know.As long as I can remember each time I go away for 2 days or what ever I always bring some stuff to do.Either embroidery or Hardanger, lots of time it’s a good time to finish all those projects that are calling out to you,Hey finish me,I want to congratulate you on your Needle/Thread anniversary,.I will follow you until I can no more .
    Keep up the good work,
    A fan Diane

  23. An EGA teacher once had students use a collar stay as a laying tool. Cheap, light, and small and should cause no problems with TSA. Last time I was called for jury I took a project with me and had my scissors taken before I entered the court house so it’s not just flying that’s a challenge. In that case, I just asked anyone sitting behind a desk to clip threads. (No one offered to hand me their scissors, of course.)

  24. I use a book light when I travel. I dislike using it on loops I am holding because the hoop tilts. Sometimes I do what I call freehand embroidery to make a tapestry. I seem to be able to keep consistent tension without a loop. When I get home I will put the piece back on a stand. I carry my needles in those brown needle tubes or old pill bottles. If I use a pill bottle I will put some felt at the bottom. Until I retired I did most of my tapestry making during meetings. I wish I had a kept one. By the time I finish them I am tired of them so I give them away. The fun is in taking a blank cloth and making a picture using the best stitch for the job.

  25. For airline travel, everything gets packed into the suitcase and sent off with the rest of the checked luggage because I can’t focus on anything other than a book or a sleep when flying.

    I can knit or do hand piecing in the car, but embroidery, applique, or anything else no; bumpy roads and confined space don’t work for me with detail work.

    Anyway…I modified Anna’s Noodlehead pattern for the Road Trip Case so that every single thing I need tucks neatly inside, ready for me to get to work when I am safely and solidly ensconced in a hotel room. Pins, thread, needles, floss, thimble, scissors, snips, marking tools, paper, cutting mat, embroidery hoop, templates, fabric, and whatever else I’m forgetting at the moment live in that case. The only things that get packed separately are yarn, which I put in freezer bags and tuck into the suitcase, and the mini magnifying lamp.

  26. I may have mentioned in a prior post, that some years ago I made a holder for my needlework. It is large enough to hold, perhaps, a 9 inch hoop. It has 3 sections on the inside. I can fit a project in each one or use more than one for a bigger project. The hoop or hoops I am using (generally not a 9 inch one) can go in these sections. There is a flap that closes over the entire of the 3 sections. On the front are 2 small sections with flaps to close them. One is smaller and holds a couple of pairs of scissors. The other holds packages of needles, small ruler, pencil, etc. depending on the projects being worked on. I keep the main projects I am working on in it all the time. It is easy to grab and go (and also is attractive).

    We used to travel by car and stay in hotels, so it was designed to be tossed into a suitcase. Now we travel in a VERY SMALL RV (basically a converted Chevy Express Van) and I will store it in an assortment of places depending on how long the trip is and how much else I have to store around. (Where it travels for shorter duration trips is where husband’s camera equipment goes on longer trips.) I hate to say it, but sometimes it acts as stuffing over items that are making noise as it is soft.

    Whether I am stitching at home at my kitchen table or studio work table (the former more common) or in the driver’s seat of the RV (turns around to sit in during the evening and serves as the chair) I have everything I need together and handy with it. It may be the best thing I have ever sewn.

  27. I take all my basic tools in a transparent make-up purse with a ip top. That way I cn see everything that is inside; scissors, needle-book, light blue thread, etc. I put that together with my home made kits in zip top sandwich bags for tiny samplers, 2″ x3″, 1 over 1 on 36 or 40 ct linen, all goes into a larger make up bag about 12′ x 8′ and slips into my large handbag for plane, train or automobile!

    WARNING – DO NOT TAKR SCISSORS TO THAILAND. I had my VERY EXPENSIVE scissors take away by the equivalent of TSA there even though they had been all over Europe, USA and Asia with no problems!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Sorry about the typos, I am trying to do this on my lap and I can’t seem to manage the keyboard properly!

  28. Hi,
    Its been a while since I flew,on my last lot of flights I found no rhyme or reason to what they confiscated .At different parts of my trip I lost thread snips ,needles and a crochet hook.Though on the flight where I lost the crochet hook someone else got through with theirs.So now I have a backup plan of reading and drawing on flights.
    And on road trips ,well, Im the driver……..

  29. Great tip to use the dental floss cutter in an emergency ๐Ÿ™‚ I would miss my good nail clippers as much as a good pair of scissors.

    I have one of those mesh bags that came full of hair ornaments; love it for its sturdiness, and convenient size. Also use Ziplocs of varied sizes for all kinds of things, and the 2 gallon size is my fave.

    For me the best choice is taking something simple and easy to see. Requires a little planning ahead, but I use the same yardstick for my knitting-away-from-home projects…no lace, no silk, no super large needles, no fairisle, and so on. Still have lots of choices…

  30. Thank you for the tips.

    When I was younger I didn’t take projects with me until, on a holiday, I had a very strong compulsion to do some stitching. I found a local store and bought found a beautiful canvas work project to work on. Of course I then had to buy scissors, hoop, etc. as well! Since then I almost always take stitching away with me. (The only times I don’t is when I know stitching time will not be on the cards.)

  31. My travel kit includes all of the same items that you listed with the inclusion of a thimble. Not that I always use one but if needed, I want it available. Also some bandaid.

  32. I spend a lot of my spring and fall sitting at the park during my kids’ sports practice and games. We also camp sometimes. I tend to pack a single stitching project with my preselected thread colors, an 8″ hoop or frame, 2 needles, needle threader, cheap embroidery scissors, thread heaven, etc into a 1 gallon ziploc bag. I also have WetOnes always because – kids.

    Sometimes if I’m expecting low light conditions, I’ll toss in an led headlamp. I have got it for hiking/camping, but it’s great for needlework in a park after sunset.

  33. Dear Mary. Here in New Zealand 3 years ago I was able to purchase a pair of travellong scissors they are quite small but they have a short but blunt nose blade. I took them to Australia with me and had no trouble with them. Like you I dont travel without the wet wipes not only for my needlework but hygienereasons as well. Those meduim size mesh zip bags are great as well. The needles I just leave in my piece of work I am carrying and only have about 2 the rest are in my luggage.
    Thanks for the great blog. Raewyn

  34. Thanks for the good tips and reviews, always timely. If I fly with my embroidery/sewing tools I put them in my suitcase in a zippered bag,to avoid hassle in security. I agree with Anita, the gift card tin is a good idea and recycling too!

  35. Mary, I loved your blog today and the responses. How clever you all are! I travel by car, mostly, and am a shockingly loose packer. I have a large firm-sided tote bag with three or four small projects and I brought two plastic leftover containers; one for counted thread and one for surface embroidery. And at that I really need to bring a light. Motel rooms are very badly lit and I seem to visit very dark houses. Doesn’t anybody read? Don’t answer that! I must do better, thanks Mary and stitching friends

    1. This is why I take a copy of the rules printed from their own website. Clover used to advertise that their cutter was TSA approved – do they not do that anymore?

  36. in my travel bag, I have a wood laying tool, a clip on magnifier and I wear a headlamp that I purchased in Home Depot. works on airplanes and during blackouts!

  37. One of my special tools I wouldn’t be without and the smallest – Uncle Bill’s Tweezers. Pin point precision.I have owned them for many years, I don’t remember where I bought them. They are in a little plastic tube with a lid. The address on the side 838, Stannage Avenue, Albany CA 94706. Made in the USA.
    They tweek out the tiniest threads without damage to their neighbours – used them this evening taking out something I did not like when making a Yubinuki

  38. Thanks for the great tips on travel. I use a lap board when riding along with my husband on trips. I stitch and bead. Since the board is not level and tends to slid off my lap I use a heavy duty expandable curtain rod, one end to support the board and the other end between my feet. The boards have holes that act as handles and I put a bolt with a small slat in the top end to keep the rod from falling down. This works like a charm and provides a great working surface.

  39. Thanks for theses good ideas. I really appreciate because for my next travel I’ll prepare a box like yours.

  40. Oh Mary, i do so love your posts and as always learnt a lot especially the laying tool. I love that you say that packing your stitching does not always mean you will get to use it … so true heheh xxx cheri

  41. This is particularly useful regarding scissors and air travel. How about needles for air travel? Can various be taken in a needle book or can these be confiscated?

  42. Mary,
    Congratulations, you are now into your 10th year of operating a fantastic blog/website that is a daily surprise and always interesting. It is a lotta work but hope that it is also a lotta fun for you. Out here, we appreciate it.
    Thank you,

  43. A similar subject was discussed recently on Yarn Harlot blog – it sounds like if you are traveling internationally, check rules with ALL countries you will be departing from. Also, some noted that printing out the TSA rules and showing them to the agents on whether something you have is allowed or not may not be the best course of action.

    I can’t stitch while in the car or airplane, I have to be looking out and about. But I will keep these tips in mind for taking things to stitch in waiting areas or at the destination.

  44. I have a very bad back and when I am going to sit for any length of time it gives me fits. Then I found the Relax Your Back Store and their portable seat cushions. I am so much happier when I travel. It folds in half, doesn’t take up too much space and I don’t ache so much any more.

  45. TSA rules state that scissors with less than 4 inch blades are allowed. I take the small ‘school’ scissors with rounded blades so I don’t stick myself with the points!

  46. Years ago I wanted scissors that were narrower then the lower grades scissors and bought a pair of nail scissors for infants at the drugstore. Then I had them sharpened by a scissor sharpener at the fabric angle. I have never has trouble flying with them.
    I recommend getting your flying scissors sharpened. I was surprised at how much difference it made! No more sawing through threads to needlepoint while I travel.

  47. Hi Mary,
    I just received this weeks Lion Brand e-letter and they state that the TSA do not permit the Clover brand pendant cutter as a carry on. However, you can have scissors with blades less than 4″ long. This is for domestic travel only. Seems illogical but…
    Here is the web link: http://blog.lionbrand.com/2014/11/21/your-guide-to-flying-with-knitting-and-crochet/?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Airline+Travel+Rules+For+Knitters+and+Crocheters+&utm_content=6+Quick+%26+Easy+Travel+Projects&utm_campaign=Weekly+Stitch+06162015

  48. Hi, Mary
    Yep, have had lots of trouble w/ the airlines, and I DO like to have a good laying tool. So…I have a short piece of a bamboo meat skewer that I stick into a used wine cork. That way I can separate the 2 pieces until I need to use my “laying tool”. So far, it’s not been confiscated.
    I also use an empty dental floss container with a piece of wool flannel inside. The wool holds needles and the floss container cuts thread.
    Hope someone finds these helpful. :^)

  49. I never leave home without bandaids! I never know when I might accidentally stab myself. I also tend to leave the work that requires less thought for traveling. i personally do not concentrate as well as when I am at home.

    Great article! (as always)


  50. I have only just started to love embroidery and would love to follow what you do as it is very good works.

    I am disabled and stay at home most of the time so this will certainly keep me company.

  51. I appreciate your kind and careful mention that different airports and/or different TSA agents apply rules … selectively.

    I have a Leatherman Squirt on my keychain and it’s a definite no-no in any airport, any airline. I forgot to leave it at home once when I was flying a redeye from SEA to the east coast. A kind TSA agent pointed out to me there was a “mail what we won’t let you take on the plane” kiosk not too far way for me to use it and get back to the plane before I needed to board. It was expensive, but still cheaper than it would have been to replace it. I imagine most airports have those so if you’ve got carry on tools that don’t pass inspection and you’ve got the time you don’t necessarily have to lose them,

  52. I appreciate your kind and careful mention that different airports and/or different TSA agents apply rules … selectively.

    I have a Leatherman Squirt on my keychain and it’s a definite no-no in any airport, any airline. I forgot to leave it at home once when I was flying a redeye from SEA to the east coast. A kind TSA agent pointed out to me there was a “mail what we won’t let you take on the plane” kiosk not too far away for me to use it and get back to the plane before I needed to board. It was expensive, but still cheaper than it would have been to replace it. I imagine most airports have those so if you’ve got carry on tools that don’t pass inspection and you’ve got the time you don’t necessarily have to lose them,

  53. For thread cutting and airplane security issues I take the small free box of dental floss that I get from my dentist office visits. You can use the cutter for your embroidery thread as well.

  54. I must always have a good pair of scissors. By that I mean a cheap pair that cuts very well. I do a lot of hardanger so the need is great for sharp scissors. I like the small “ice cream” scissors. They are under $5.00. So if removed not a big loss.

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