It Was Knitting Needles, Officer, I Swear

Charity can be dangerous. Or at least hard on the nerves.

So. Long story short, I’m currently in the middle of… helping to clear out a lot of stuff. And I mean a LOT of stuff. Stuffed-to-the-gills house lot of stuff.

Fortunately the local library has not barred me from setting foot on the premises to donate yet another box of books, magazines, and assorted stuff for their craft hours. Yet. I keep expecting them to toss me out any day….

Anyway. Part of the stuff sorted out was about 6.7 cubic feet of yarn-

Yes, I said cubic feet. As in would-be knitter who just kept… accumulating.

So. Sorted that out, finally found a local group that would take it that worked out of a city library, got a map, planned and executed the trip to bring them the woolly stuff yesterday.

Did I mention this wasn’t exactly the best part of town?

Dunno if it’s a bad part of town, exactly, but it wasn’t a place I usually go. So, not being an idiot, I went in broad daylight near the middle of the week. Just, you know, to avoid any potential trouble. “Best block, don’t be there,” a la Mr. Miyagi.

I got there without a hitch, pick up the first box, get in the first set of doors, get through the library doors-


Apparently I’d just walked through a metal detector. And there was a cop present. Who did not look amused. At all.

Frazzled Writer, arms full of opaque plastic bin of yarn: Um, I came to donate yarn to the knitter’s group?

Officer (Severely doubtful look.): Just put it down right there. I’ll see if the lady’s here.

FW: …Okay?

Officer: Stay there.

FW: (Meep?)

Fortunately the lady was indeed there. And promptly opened the bin, exclaimed in delight over the yarn, and was thrilled to go help me get the rest of it.

After we got outside, I mentioned, “Ah, and there’s all kinds of knitting stuff in there, tape measures, yarn gauges… I think it’s the knitting needles that set the alarm off….”

“Oh, that’s okay!”

FW: (Says you.)

So. Yarn delivered, I got out of there, and hopefully the cop has been reassured there was nothing actually dangerous in those two bins and one box. Oh dear.


47 thoughts on “It Was Knitting Needles, Officer, I Swear

  1. Oh my gosh, that would be…. *shakes head*

    I can think of a couple of different things that would trigger that, but dang. If it’s fine tuned enough to trigger off needles, that suggests stabbings.

    The tub itself would probably trigger my suspicions of a bomb.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *Sheepish G* Actually upon further reflection it was probably me, not the knitting needles. I carry Things in my pockets. Generally innocuous Things that I almost never have to use, to the point that it can completely slip my mind just what I’ve got in my pockets.

      …Mind, I’m just as glad the officer publicly bought “knitting needles” (I look mostly harmless, I swear) because otherwise things might have gotten Awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Compared to security measures globally, the United States isn’t actually that paranoid. When I was in Amman, Jordan we got patted down and bags searched going into shopping centers. Like yes, the Mall. But also, the Carrefour, the larger schools, some mosques…. like anything that could possibly have a large concentration of people in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And this is just one of the reasons that bamboo needles are superior to metal ones. The other main reason is thar yarn doesn’t slip as much on wood as it does metal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Objection! Some yarns will respond better to the metal needles, and sometimes your really nice needles get so well beloved and used that you find they aren’t actually to gauge anymore because of the groove worn into them. Or you can inherit a pair, like I did.

      Some of the bulkier yarns I’d use metal needles with, also probably on some linen yarns. Also, depends on the project.

      And what is available.


      Never use plastic needles. Don’t do it. And don’t use cheap circulars either, because even if the needles themselves are fine, the cable is often poorly connected so it’s a struggle to get the stitches on and off the needle onto the cable or visa versa.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been told to leave my knitting outside when taking the kid to ER. The needles are considered possible weapons should someone lose it in there. I guess. Maybe the spares/other sizes I carry, but ever try to use a circular needle with a half-completed project on it for anything other intended purpose? i don’t think it’s a real threat. The spares aren’t ever easy to dig out of the bag, either.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really? I left my knitting behind to go to a wedding this summer by plane. Of course, the funny part of the story is that I realized that knitting needles probably wouldn’t be allowed on the plane when I was punch drunk tired, so I thought very seriously about alternatives to hard needles, and almost decided to take some plastic straws, somehow make an end into a point, and transfer my project to them. About half an hour into thinking about how to do that, I realized that the straws would be a different diameter and mess it up, and that the plastic would collapse under the stitches, and that I was being ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. XD Nice!

        Yes, I looked it up, because I’d made some hatpins out of knitting needles for my summer hats, and wanted to know if I’d be able to keep my hat secured to my head on the plane.

        Knitting needles are specifically listed as okay, and no one gave me any grief about the hatpins.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. stab in the eye, or garrotte – what’s the third? And the project on the needle would definitely hamper any offensive use. i don’t make small projects, I do sweaters and things. Grab both ends and swing, and the soft stuff might tangle the guy….?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny thing about ladies accessories? It’s amazing how many of them can be turned to weapons. I’ve gotten the side eye in airports for my hair sticks, which are 5-7 inches of wood or acrylic. I’ve only been asked to actually take them out once, and when this resulted in a dramatic knee length hair tumble worthy of an animated movie, the rather sheepish security guard allowed me to keep my stick. The dirty look from his female coworker might have helped there.

    Hatpins have a rather interesting place in women’s history, particularly in regard to their usefulness in discouraging unwanted advances. I believe I read somewhere that there was also a bit of a trend in either Greek or Roman times for women to use the pins that secured the shoulders of their garments to defend themselves at need, before the fibula came into use.

    Remember those cat key chains popular a while back? They were very popular for a bit, then once they started catching attention, many states started explicitly announcing they were considered to be a kind of knuckle duster, and therefore illegal.

    Of course, some things are just plain silly. I had to surrender my nail clippers once at a courthouse, because they somehow counted as a “blade over six inches.” Mind you, these were fingernail clippers, that didn’t even have a nail cleaner/file. Even if I’d fully disassembled it and somehow connected all the flat pieces, it wouldn’t have been six inches, let alone sharp.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “two rolls of quarters” has been a standard improvised weapon since the sixties, at least.

        You can also put one in your fist and punch.

        I think I’d hit them with a book, instead.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatpins have a rather interesting place in women’s history, particularly in regard to their usefulness in discouraging unwanted advances.

      I recall reading somewhere that some American city outlawed hatpins over a certain length because the importune “gentlemen” started complaining about getting stuck by the ladies they were importuning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The classical Chinese fictional murder method was for a woman to stick a big long nail in the guy’s head. Never really understood why this counted as so secret and clever. But a sufficiently sturdy hatpin….

        Liked by 2 people

    2. What works best in your hair? I have ridiculously thick, coarse, and long hair, to the point that almost nothing works. I do love those open bobby-pins/kanzashi for buns, but just about nothing else works. Seriously, I’ve tried regular bobby-pins and my hair is so thick and coarse that they come out before I leave the mirror. Also, how do you do hair sticks? Sorry if I sound demanding, but I would love some recommendations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you tried Lilla Rose products? Their flexiclips are made with piano wire. You might get more mileage with that. *shrug*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Personally, I 1) twist my hair into a coil, 2) stab one side with the hair stick aiming into my skull or even a little away from the center of the bun, 3) before making contact with my scalp, turn the stick towards parallel to the tangent of bun and head, 4) continue stabbing through the bun. If my hair isn’t damp, I’ll sometimes reinforce the stick with an elastic at that point — mostly to pin the ends and encourage the gathered hair to lay smooth instead of puffing without tension.

        My hair is thick/coarse enough that I have gotten chopsticks to hold by twirling the hair around it (starting at the base of the twisted ‘tail’ and collecting the ends) before stabbing, but that really only works for a certain length of hair, and ridiculously long is not it. (Currently my hair is just a bit too short for that method to work, but it looks a bit more like a french twist than a traditional ‘bun’.)

        The bun pins (I seem to get better results googling chignon pin, when looking for items like I use) tend to be more secure than a stick, having two prongs and being shorter and less likely to get dislodged by something, but are applied the same general way. I have never tried regular bobby pins.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Something I’ve tried, that you might have success with, is to put the hair up in a high ponytail, loop it over the pony tail so that the loose end is under the loop and the hair… I guess it kind of forms a “phi” shape (please let the unicode work): U+03D5 … and then you put a stick horizontally over one outside loop, under the center crossing line and ponytail elastic, and out over the other outside loop.

        It stays in place amazingly well even in my thin, fine hair.

        If your hair is too thick to do one ponytail, you could split it into two ponytails vertically along a center part and do two loops and sticks.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. As for your first question, have you tried an octopus hair clip?

        In my experience, buns are difficult if you’re taking a car anywhere (headrests interfere), but an octopus is much more secure than a pin or stick.

        I don’t spend a lot of time on hair-styling. I usually use an elastic on a ponytail or braid, a large barrette on the front/top third or half of my hair (my hair usually isn’t coarse enough to keep a barrette from slipping eventually, but proper proportioning helps), or a bun. If my hair is long enough to reach my shoulder blades, bear claw hair clips can no longer contain a french twist, so that’s not really an option.

        The biggest problem is that barrettes and often elastics can snag your hair, leaving short split ends.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thank you guys so much for talking about it. Seriously, when I was a kid if I didn’t brush my hair out every few hours I had a really nasty rats nest because my hair is so thick and coarse, thankfully I grew out of that stage but it’s still a lot of hair. My hair is now down to just past my waist because it was getting a bit long and I decided to see what long hair is like. I will totally look at your recommendations. Unfortunately, even though I have a big family with lots of sisters, I’m just about the only one with coarse hair, everyone else inherited my Mom’s hair which is very fine. So everything that works for them just doesn’t for me, and I’m a better hands on learner, so I’ve always had trouble figuring out hair stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. *sympathy*

        I got dad’s hair– and he has no sisters. It’s baby-fine.

        My mom got almost horse-strong hair, and after being annoyed for 19 years cut it in an act of college age rebellion…which got ignored by her mom. -.- Has kept it short since.

        So I had nothing of use to offer you– pretty much nothing works on my hair without it coming out, including the huge bobby pins that are three inches long. And I was pretty sure you didn’t want the Navy hack of using a nylon with a hole in the bottom to make a REALLY BIG bun out of your hair. (You use it like a hair band, and then tuck the pony tail around it.)

        Liked by 1 person

      7. My sister was in CAP (Air Force Civilian Auxiliary) so I totally know that hack but I don’t like it, so thankfully the U pins work for me. I actually only discovered them last January, so I found out that some stuff actually works in my hair and kind of started me looking for other stuff that works. Before that I had given up on anything but regular hairbands.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Oh, no problem at all, I don’t mind! My hair…sort of eats bobby pins, then spits them back out. There isn’t really any point in me trying to use them. If you want to use pins, try something called spin pins. You screw them into your hair, and they do wonders for holding up a bun or updo.

        For sticks, there is a learning curve, but I can now get knee length hair into a bun in under 30 seconds with mine. I like a particular etsy shop, for my sticks. HairSticksNMore is the name, just in case any link edit outs happen. There is a large variety to choose from, and the acrylic sticks are waterproof and don’t set off the dreaded metal detectors.

        My preferred bun style is called the nautilus bun. It uses your hair to help secure the bun, so the weight is distributed really well. You can look up tutorials, but basically you gather your hair like you’re going to make a pony tail. Hold with one hand, grab the base, loosen grip, give a twist with the grabbing hand so you have a loop of hair around one palm, use other hand to wind rest of hair around base of pony area. When it is all wound, you slip the part around your hand to around the bun, then stick a hair stick through the whole thing.

        My explanation isn’t great, but it will make sense when you see it done. You’ll get the loop size wrong a lot at first, just keep trying. You can use one or two sticks with this style, and some people can somehow get away without any sticks? You can also make this style with a braid, or start it with an actual pony tail instead of just gathering the hair. Also, this style won’t work on hair that isn’t long enough. It is a LONG hair style, not a “oh, my hair touches my shoulders, that’s what they mean by long, right?” style. You might be able to fudge it by using a couple fingers instead of your palm, but there is a balance between enough hair to go around the bun, and enough hair left to make the bun.

        Huge secret here, but….the nautilus bun is also great when I’m running late because I don’t necessarily have to brush all my hair. I mean, I should, but sometimes you oversleep or life happens, and you need to get out the door looking put together asap. I can just run a comb from roots to shoulder-ish, smoothing just enough for the outer loop part, and the unbrushed hair will be mostly hidden in the bun. Shhhhh!

        Another that gets me TONS of compliments is to make a pony tail. Braid the pony tail into two braids. Wind one one way into a bun, secure with a spin pin. Wind the other braid the other way over the bun, secure with another spin pin. If needed, use additional spin pins to steady the bun. Looks like it took ages, but if you’re good at braiding, it’s fairly fast. This is a good style for hair that is at least a bit past shoulder length.

        Another cute style is to make a pony tail. Insert a hair stick horizontally just above the elastic. Separate the hair into two parts. You can leave it loose, or braid it. Bring those tails up over the stick, between stick and head on either side of the pony, cross below the pony, then just wind hair around pony under the stick, secure with spin pins. Looks complicated, but once you have it down, it takes longer to get the ponytail smooth.

        Hopefully some of this helps!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, I only own one pair of sneakers, which have steel toes because a lot of the clients I work with have adaptive equipment that they could accidentally (or on purpose) roll over my feet. Cue me completely forgetting about that fact and then going to an amusement park for the first time in nearly ten years.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looks like my last plotting comment was 11/17. So, I’ve been out of action since 11/18.

    Not much creatively useful thinking during that time.

    (Forex, last night I read the new Psi Wars path of the void. Noticed it was emotionally powerful, and immediately thought that the influence of Unknown Armies on Psi Wars is obvious, and not necessarily what I want in a Star Wars thing. My reading of Star Wars was started with Junior Jedi Knights, and Young Jedi Knights, so the madness, sacrifice and death stuff doesn’t feel that right for it to me. Then I had several other thoughts, like the question of whether Shirou Emiya is more True Communion or Broken Communion. Then the bunnies asked if the void milestones weren’t similar to my plans for WIP. *head desk* (‘No’ should suffice for here.))

    Lots of important events during that time where my plot is concerned. I may backfill. My very tentative sketch ends the first third of the plot at this point. The usual Fairy Dance conflict is resolved, with some of the usual events, and Asuna is free. At a different cost, entangling Asuna and Kirito in some of the politics surrounding Retco, the link between the Fairy Dancelike beginning and the climax. This the period where they become more aware of the bombings, assassinations, and various other incidents. Forex, Laughing Coffin and some other interesting parties has disappeared from custody.

    Nov 22:

    It might be best if I placed the incident of Asuna tweeting something on this date. I needed a tweeting incident for a later incident that I penciled in based on a joke from another blog.


  7. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, but thank you for your massive cleanup and donation efforts. I can picture the joy if I had received that much yarn in this season especially! It was appreciated, and I hope the House Hoard can be managed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Check your local 4-H club, usually reachable at the school system, or go to the closest “state fair” website and see if they do textiles.

        I am dang near shaking, because wool is freaking valuable. Pain in the rump, yes, but it’s hard to get, hard to handle, and it would be like Christmas for a hobby club to get that….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll look for the 4-H club and state fair, thanks.

        I have no idea how valuable the wool is, all I care is that it’s huge bulky very painful reminders of how much time was devoted to stuff, stuff that was never used, instead of living people. Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good luck, I know they’re very regional…. I can just imagine if freaking ANYBODY had gone “Hey, you want a pickup bed of wool?” to ANYBODY in any of my groups.

        I grew up with the job of “treating” my folks’ boots by stomping the wool bundles while wearing the boots; lanolin is awesome.

        Even as the grandson of the regions’ richest dude, we couldn’t afford a square of wool, not for no serious reason.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s