Introduction: Flight-Safe Travel Crochet Hooks

Picture of Flight-Safe Travel Crochet Hooks

In these days of airline security paranoia, some strange things are banned from aircraft carry-on baggage.  Some airlines allow crochet hooks, but some don't, and sometimes it depends on the mood of the airport security staff*.

I was invited to an online build day - a bunch of Instructablers got together via a Google Hangout, and this is my build - a quick and easy hack** to help Kitewife do crochet on the move.  As well as being allowed on airlines, these shortened hooks are easier to handle in the confined space of economy class, or the passenger seat of a car.

*For example, American Airlines do not allow scissors longer than four inches, or "tools" longer than seven inches [link], which may be interpreted by some officials as "no crochet hooks").  Thanks to Sunshiine for reminding me about this point.

**Lifehack, modification and improvement of the product, all in one quick Make!

Step 1: The Materials

Picture of The Materials

I used an 8mm bamboo hook, and a keyring that came with a charity "trolley token".

The size of the hook isn't important, but you may find thinner hooks trickier to drill without a drill-press.

Step 2: The Make

Picture of The Make

The actual Make was very quick and simple:

I cut off the hook at a length that was short enough to fit in a purse or pocket, but long enough to still be handled.

I then drilled a hole in the shaft of the hook, trimmed off the corners with a sharp knife, and then filed the edges smooth to prevent snagging on the yarn.


Step 3: Metallica

Picture of Metallica

The day after the bamboo hook had been approved, it was time to add to the range.

A donated 4mm hook became the next to be modified.  This one, though, was metal (aluminium, I think), so required slightly different techniques.

I trimmed it to length with a cutting wheel on a rotary tool, rounded it off with a grinding bit, and drilled the hole with a twist bit instead of a wood bit.

The end result, though, works out the same - a shortened hook that can be used on the go.

Step 4: The Hang Out

Picture of The Hang Out

So, what was the point?

We thought it would be cool, and it was a bit of an experiment to see if it would work.  Organising Makers can be a bit like herding cats, sometimes, so we wanted to see if we could all be in the same "place", at the same time, just Making.

It's fun.  I recommend it.

It turns out, as well, that the iPod app for Google+ works quite well for this kind of thing.  I propped my iPod wherever was most convenient to see what I was doing (mostly on the windowsill of my shed).  Other folk were limited by their webcams, so the view they presented went blank quite often, as they went to use a tool that was fixed elsewhere.

If you get the chance to try an online build-session, give it a go.


MicioGatta (author)2014-09-24

Awwwww, this is the keyring right for me! >^.^<

Kiteman (author)MicioGatta2014-09-24


sunshiine (author)2012-08-31

Just curious can you fly with this? I always wanted to embroidery on the plane but since 911 it is out of the question. It is a cool idea thanks for sharing your brilliance!

Kiteman (author)sunshiine2012-09-01

The short answer is; it depends.

Rules about knitting needles and their ilk vary from airline to airline, I'm afraid.

Having said that, in this form, it is no longer and no sharper then many keys, and they are allowed on the plane.

sunshiine (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

I hear you. My son-in-law works for the airlines and you would be amazed at some of the stories I hear. This is a great idea though! Thanks for the reply!
Hope your weekend shines!

Kiteman (author)sunshiine2012-09-01
I found it - British Airways, at least, allow knitting needles and crochet hooks in your hand baggage.

American Airlines' guidelines are less clear, but I think you would be allowed this shortened version, but a full-length hook might be confiscated at baggage check;

Metal scissors with a cutting edge of four inches or less and tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers smaller than seven inches will be allowed on board. (link)
sunshiine (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

That is good to know. Then next time I fly I will try and take my embroidery supplies. I figured even my miniature scissors would not be allowed or the needle either! Thanks for taking the time to give me this link!

Kiteman (author)sunshiine2012-09-01

Kitewife found a tiny pair snips in a yarn shop in SF, the size of her thumbnail, with a cord to hang on a keyring and a cover for the blades.

I don't know what they were called, the packaging was entirely in Japanese.

sunshiine (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

Wow! those are some small scissors! I have never seen any quite that small. I will have to do a search online and see what your talking about. They would be handy to have on your key-ring. Thanks for sharing.

Agentfern (author)sunshiine2012-09-30

If you can't find tiny scissors, you can bring a dental floss container and use the little cutter on top. It works on embroidery floss, although probably not on yarn.

bajablue (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

You've obviously posted this from a remoter-than-gitmo detention facility; surrounded by a plethora of torture implements, to include your wave generator... nefariously hacked to a water-boarding device.

Who, in this illustrious community, shall we summon to your rescue? The entire Instructables team is on stand-by, awaiting orders.

Kiteman (author)bajablue2012-09-01

Detention facility??

I'm back in the UK; that's my shed!

bajablue (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

Sure you are... a doppelganger imposter, no doubt.

Who are you and what have you done with Kiteman???

Kiteman (author)bajablue2012-09-01

How about this photo I accidentally took of myself while I was setting up my iPod? Is that good enough evidence for you?

bajablue (author)Kiteman2012-09-01

ok... but you really do look a little tortured

sunshiine (author)bajablue2012-09-01

I have to agree with Ms blue, you do look like an imposter! Is that an instructables cup on your desk? It sure looks like one to me! Pour yourself another cup of brew and try another picture because the real Mr. K 's motto is: "Happiness is a shed full of power tools." That does not look like happiness to me!

bajablue (author)sunshiine2012-09-01

Excellent deduction Ms. shiine.

Perhaps some whiskey in the coffee may eliminate the frowny-face?

sunshiine (author)bajablue2012-09-01

whiskey might work but I think we could get better results with beer!

Kiteman (author)sunshiine2012-09-02

As Goodhart would say; *sigh*

bajablue (author)Kiteman2012-09-02

A Good-harted beer drinker  would *burp*.

Just sayin'. ;-)

sunshiine (author)bajablue2012-09-02

He did! Didn't you hear it???? Cyber might have been too quick for your ears to pick up on that! Look above your post, *sigh* that was it! A kiteman grin followed but guess you didn't see that either!

bajablue (author)sunshiine2012-09-02

OH... that's what the sound was!  I just thought it was MrK blowing off. ;-D

Kiteman (author)bajablue2012-09-01

Nah, that's my What the heck is the internet up to now?? face.

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2012-09-02

(Following this discussion, I've updated the project.)

HollyMann (author)2012-09-15

Great idea :) Something I would not have thought of. Thank you!

Kiteman (author)HollyMann2012-09-15

Thank you!

sunshiine (author)2012-09-02

I love the udate and the new pictures! Nice shed by the way! Keep on shining kitman!


Kiteman (author)sunshiine2012-09-02

Thank you!

Browncoat (author)2012-09-02

Don't count on it. This year, I wasn't allowed to take on a plane (leaving Aust) a "gun" KEYCHAIN. *headdesk*

(Sorry. Not trying to take your 'ible down a peg. Just more me still being frustrated about the stupidity I had to deal with...)

Kiteman (author)Browncoat2012-09-02

And yet, at the same time, knives on key-rings are ignored.

AussieAnglerGal (author)2012-08-31

haha thats maybe a pair of knitting needles?...

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-08-31

This would be really handy! The last time I was traveling I had crochet hooks with me but I left them in my purse and didn't use them because they weren't handy :)

Kiteman (author)Penolopy Bulnick2012-08-31

If she can use this one, I'm going to make a whole bunch of them, different sizes.

Maybe metal, though, next time.

wilgubeast (author)2012-08-31

Glad to hear that the iPod worked for this. That's a MUCH easier proposition than contorting to use a built-in laptop webcam.

Kiteman (author)wilgubeast2012-08-31

Yup, except, next time, I'll start with it fully charged!

I've just had to drop out of the Hangout...

About This Instructable




Bio: The answer is &quot;lasers&quot;, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr &amp; Twitter: @KitemanX
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