Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knitting = Weird

It's official - knitting is weird. Well, not knitting as such, but knitting accoutrement. Well, it's not that it is weird, it just looks weird...through an airport security baggage scanner. It's been legal to take knitting needles through screening points in Australia since Christmas 2009, but it would seem not many people choose to, because the young man behind the counter on Sunday morning at Sydney airport was taken aback by the sight of my knitting, in 2D, on his screen.

"It just looked weird," he said, as he eventually handed over my bag, having screened it twice, then donned plastic gloves in readiness to work his way through the contents.

It's amazing how you always feel guilty in those situations, even though you know rationally there is nothing to worry about. It's like when the police pull you over for a random breath test and you think you're about to be arrested even though it's Tuesday afternoon and you haven't had a glass of wine since the weekend.

I pulled off the reading knitter's double whammy on the flight - made possible because the kid was sitting five rows back with the GM, so I didn't have to concentrate on anyone but myself. I propped my book open on the tray table, unfurled my knitting and set to work. Several rounds and several pages later, we landed in Melbourne. I should fly, alone, more often. 

On the subject of knitting and flying, a little experiment came to fruition last weekend. I decided a few months ago that I'd like to knit a blanket for our bed. I chose this lovely one. But the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece costs about $14 a ball here. And $14 times 20 is expensive whichever way you look at it. But, with my sister spending the ski season in Utah, I went about buying up the colours I needed through some US-based Ravellers. Most of it cost half the Oz price, or less. And most of them shipped free to my sister's US address. And in Melbourne, on the weekend, we did the handover. Thank you, Emma, my yarn mule.

{Quick waiver: I have never knit a blanket or anything as big as a blanket, so don't expect to see the finished product here anytime soon.}

For those whose lives were hanging on the result, no, I didn't finish the bolero. It was a race to the finish line, but on Friday night I sent up the white flag. I may have got it done in time, but I wouldn't have been happy with the result, and it definitely wouldn't have been washed and blocked.  It seemed more sensible to stop and do it properly without the time pressure. Never mind, my girl wore a mummy-made dress and a cardigan I unearthed from the back of the cupboard. 

And a grand time was had by all.

On the return journey, security stopped my knitting bag again. Weird, huh?

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along.


  1. Where did the matching pair go??? Not to Aunty Wolly's for a holiday :( ! Soon????

    1. Wolly, they stayed with their grandparents in Sydney. A very wise decision! (though I missed them...)

  2. What a treat, solo flight doing something you enjoy, whilst people offer you drinks and food :) Perhaps a flight shoould be taken more regularly!
    Love the colours btw, can't wait to see the progress :)

  3. That's a great story, because I always fly with my knitting and often worry about getting "pulled aside." I agree about the guilt for no reason too, very odd but very true! I love your yarn mule too, I've got my parents visiting from the States soon and I've ordered some yarn for them to bring me too. I really like the blanket you picked out, I would love to knit one that big. Right now I'm working on a lap blanket, if that goes well I might go for a bigger size.

  4. Sorry you didn't finish the bolero, but I definitely think you made the right call ;)

    I love the fact that you had a yarn mule, that sounds like an excellent idea. I wonder if anyone I know will be in the states at any time soon... ;)

  5. Obviously the airport guy does NOT knit :) Love the colors of the blanket. I was contemplating starting a blanket as well, but changed my mind.

  6. Stephanie, showed a knit blanket she had knit and it was beautiful. I am getting ready to start one here and am so excited even if it's almost 90 degrees outside.
    Loved hearing about the airport experience, very funny.
    Have a great yarn along da.

  7. that is one beautiful pile of weirdness!!!!

  8. oooh, that Missoni-inspired blanket looks FABULOUS... and in those colours too. I'm Greer-inspired ;0)

  9. Weird? Now that is a funny story. Glad you didn't end up having any problems with getting the yarn and needles on the plane. What needles by the way are good to pass security? Or do they not count those 'dangerous' anymore? And yeah for a sister willing to be a mule! Your blanket sounds like it will have a nice history to it already.

  10. So glad you could knit on the plane even if you did get pulled aside. It really is the perfect place to knit in peace and quiet. :)

  11. Oh what a funny story! :)

    Long trips are the perfect time to get some knitting...and reading...done! :)

  12. That blanket is going to be beautiful!

  13. Wow - reading WHILE knitting! I'm impressed!

  14. Snort . . . yarn mule!! I love it. I am so glad you had time to knit alone. It's amazing how much gets done. That blanket is going to be great. Good for you for letting it go and everyone still had a beautiful time.

  15. Wish you'd taken a photo of the weirdness, although that would probably have added to its level of weird. I once got stopped carrying a lead crystal decanter. Not easy to mime, especially at the age of 12.

  16. love that, yarn mule ;-) so nice of your sister to help you out like that. happy knitting!

  17. you are so funny and clever. i'm so impressed by your yarn gathering abilities, hee hee. ah airport security. bless his heart.


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