April 01 2011 – thisisknit
One of the most frequent questions we get asked in the shop is "Can you bring knitting needles on planes?" It's also a very common query on Ravelry. Official advice is confused, and it varies widely from place to place across the world. There's several solutions to our need for yarny calm when flying, or when your flight's delayed (yes, five hour delay in Luton airport with no knitting, I'm looking at you). One is to crochet, since crochet hooks have never been prohibited. Another is to bring your work lifelined so that you can at least rescue what you've done if your needles are confiscated. We've even seen pictures of someone knitting with biros while aboard. But another stratagem has appeared, one which we're really excited about. We've recently been testing a rather special brand of needle called the Hyperknit 250, which is a huge step forward in needle technology. Just as WD-40 was initially developed for the US space programme, these needles are made of the same high-tech composite materials used in the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. The initial attraction of these materials is their strength-to-weight ratio and the even finish that can be achieved. The strength of the composite means that they're essentially unbreakable, even below 2mm. We've been trying them out, and they're a delight to knit with: as light as air, with the perfect combination of smoothness and grip. The examples we've been using have particularly sharp points, making them ideal for lace. Hyperknits turned out to have an unexpected advantage, though. Just as the little hole in a Knitpro interchangeable needle was intended just for tightening the join but then worked a treat for easy lifelining, the stealth materials in Hyperknits are invisible to X-rays. Travelling with your knitting has just become a lot less stressful. The downside to these needles is that they're only available on one day a year: April 1st.