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While it is highly unlikely that you will be refused entry in airport security just by bringing your crochet hooks and yarn, it can happen in rare occasions when you chance upon very strict staff. Especially if you have a long-haul flight in store and all that yarn in hand, it helps to be prepared of what other crafty alternatives you can do to pass the time. Below you will find some excellent ideas that are just as productive and somewhat true to your art.

Finger Crochet

While crochet is most commonly done with a hook, there is no reason why you can’t use your finger to crochet. In fact, you can most certainly use your finger to turn that yarn into a finished product in no time.

If you’re familiar with the basics of crocheting, then it’ll be very easy for you to get the hang of this technique. Basically all you have to do is use your index finger as if it were the hook. The best part about it is that it will seem very natural and easy.

To get started, the first thing you have to do is to create a slip knot just like you would using a hook. Typically, you would be inserting the crochet hook into the slip knot and pull it tight. However, since you are using your finger as a hook, what you should do is insert your pointer finger into the slip knot instead. While you would normally pull the slip knot tightly up to the bottom of your finger, you want to leave enough of a gap so that you could fit your thumb into the loop below your finger.

If you’re able to make a slip knot with zero problems using your fingers, now it’s time to make your foundation chain. You can do this by bringing your right thumb through the loop on your finger, all while holding tightly to the working yarn and pulling it through the loop. Release your thumb and you’ll have a new loop on your finger. To complete your chain, you just need to repeat all this looping as many times as you need, in order to achieve the length of the crochet chain that this specific project you’re working on requires.

Truth is – there is no stopping you from using your finger to make double crochets or any other more advanced stitching techniques. Just be mindful of the fact that you won’t necessarily get the same results, as you would if you were to use a hook. That’s because the stitches will appear a bit wider because your fingers are much larger than a small crochet hook.

Macramé

If you find yourself stuck in an airport with all your yarn and no hooks to use, macramé would incredibly make for a good choice. Macramé is the art of tying cordage into knots in order to make a number of crafty products including baskets, unique jewelry and knotted purses. It has been very popular in the United States in the 1970s, but it is now certainly picking up once again.

While it may seem impractical to learn a new craft just to keep yourself company for just one flight or two, macramé is an incredibly easy craft to pick up, especially as you’re already familiar with the concept of knotting, looping and pulling your yarns.

To get started, find an object that you would be using as an anchor. You can use a circular hollow object or a horizontal bar, but you can just as easily practice with a pencil or a pen. You can even avoid having an anchor entirely if you have tape or Band-Aid handy. So, pop that airport tray open and just make sure it keeps your yarn anchored and parallel to your surface.

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to learn how to do a square knot. In order to do a proper square knot, the first step is to secure two folded cords to your anchor and mentally number them from left to right as cords # 1, 2, 3 and 4. Staring with cord #1 on your leftmost, move it over filler cords #2 and 3, and pass it under cord #4. In reverse, move cord #4 under the two filler cords and over cord #1, as you pull it out on the left. You would know if the first half of your knot is finished once your working cords have switched places. To finish the second half of your square knot, all you need to do is move the working cord on the rightmost over the fillers and then under the leftmost working cord. Next, move the leftmost cord under the fillers over the rightmost cord, as you pull it out on the right. It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Should you want to change the direction of your knots the opposite way, all you need to do is simply reverse the steps. Remember, the head of the knot will always face the direction of the cord you move first.

As in knitting or crochet, there are many different kinds of knots you can learn for macramé projects. However, mastering the square knot is incredibly a good place to start. Reality is – it will take a few hours of practice before you can even get a good grasp of it, so don’t get too ahead of yourself by forcing yourself to learn more than what you can handle.

Should your hooks be refused entry at some point in your travels, the good news about working with yarn is that it is highly versatile. Depending on how fast you are learning, there’s a wide selection of projects you can still do using your fingers or macramé that you can easily download off the internet, so make sure to use that free Wi-Fi on board or in the airport to get some inspiration and start crafting. You can even teach your kids how to make friendship bracelets using yarn, if you’re just simply looking to pass the time.