You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2008.

The Halifax Pride parade transformed Barrington Street into a whirling swath of colour earlier this afternoon. In case you couldn’t be there to share in the joy, here are some pictures taken from The Loop’s front stoop (click on images to make them larger):

Can knitting net you a run in with the law? ("Fuzzackles" felted handcuffs by Jodie Danenberg. Click image for pattern info.)

Can knitting get you in trouble with the law? You bet! ("Fuzzackles" felted handcuffs by Jodie Danenberg. Click image for pattern info.)

Knitters can find inspiration anywhere–but are they free to use it?

In a recent post on her excellent blog, Counterfeit Chic, fashion law expert Susan Scafidi commented on the dilemma faced by some UK knitters when they combined their twin passions for yarn and the BBC’s long-running cult sci-fi TV show, Dr. Who.

While you may take exception to Scafidi’s “granny” characterization of knitters, when it comes to intellectual property law, she knows that of which she speaks writes!

For a thorough discussion of knitting and copyright issues, read this Knitty article by Toronto intellectual property lawyer Jenna Wilson. There is also a good FAQ on knitting and copyright here


Lots of people associate knitting with the winter months and hibernation, but I love to knit in summer. There’s something about knitting on the road (or on the dock, or in the boat, or in a sun-dappled corner of the backyard) that compounds the joys of warm weather. Granted, not all knitting works under these conditions–I’ll gladly save the woolly sweaters for winter–but some projects and yarns are perfect: socks, light scarves, lace shawls, anything in linen, bamboo, silk.

knitting with a view

Here, a shrug-in-progress (a tatoo cover, really, for my friend Amanda to wear a wedding), enjoys the view from the dock of my parents’ cottage in the Kawartha Highlands, in Ontario.

I had to finish the shrug by the time I got back to Halifax, since Amanda would be flying out to B.C. the next day. I made it just under the wire. I was weaving in ends on the return flight. For the record, I had no trouble getting my large aluminum Chibi needle onto the plane, but I didn’t attempt to bring my scissors. I kept track of which ends had been woven in by tying a knot in the end of each as I completed it.

Earlier in the summer, my husband and I visited Cape Breton. At the Co-Op store in Neil’s Harbour we witnessed this novel use of a display. Clearly, the locals are more interested in knitting than snacking!

This is a question we hear frequently at The Loop, and there isn’t a simple answer. Most people have the idea that they are not allowed to take their knitting on a plane. To me, being confined as a passenger in any vehicle for more than twenty minutes without knitting would be a form of torture. Especially on an airplane, crammed in with strangers, eating mediocre food and watching worse movies, I want to be able to knit. I actually love to fly, and the fact that it can be an excuse to do nothing productive but knit is a bonus.

Image from CMS Made Simple

So, what’s the answer to the question, “Can I take my knitting on the plane?” It depends.

If you are flying domestically within Canada and the U.S.A., technically you are permitted to bring your knitting. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has a checklist of Permitted and Non-Permitted Items on their website. The section that itemizes “Penetrating objects” clearly indicates that your kitting needles are permitted in both checked and carry-on luggage. Yay! it’s official!

But … what if the person working the security line isn’t aware of the policy, or is simply having a bad day? It does happen, you know. Just ask Marnina Norys. In May of this year, she learned about this the hard way, because of the pistol she was packing, in the form of a tiny pendant around her neck.

Meanwhile, the U.S. equivalent of CATSA, the Transportation Security Administration, has a policy and checklist very similar to the Canadian one. The TSA goes a step further with some helpful recommendations about traveling with your knitting.

Several people have told me that they have asked airline staff whether they can knit on board a plane, and were told no. While this may not conform with official government security policy, it’s likely that the people working on the plane have a right to make some decisions about this. They are the ones, after all, most at risk from your penetrating objects.

International travel may be a whole different affair, since each country or airline may have different security rules. I found a list of items the European Commission prohibits from air travel throughout the European Union, and I’m happy to see that knitting needles are not on it.

I have the great fortune to be planning a trip to visit my dad in the Netherlands in August, so I have a vested interest in knowing the rules. I think I’ll adopt a strict ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, with a sock or two tucked into my carry-on. And just for good luck, I might even print up a copy of a checklist in case it’s needed for reference …

Cathy is merriment
Mimi is starlings
Morgan is pomoboho
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