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Visit to LA

Jude | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi there I am visiting the US in June and will have a day to myself (along with my luggage I guess) in LA on the way back. I’m looking for good ideas on how to spend the day in textile-related ways, bearing in mind that I might have to lug a suitcase with me on my travels unless I can check it through from Atlanta to Sydney.

Also, I am interested to confirm whether it is now possible to take knitting (with needles) on internal flights in the US. We aren’t allowed to take anything at all like that on flights within and from Australia. If so, then I can pack my knitting and pull it out on arrival at LA! Sure beats wandering aimlessly around the terminal shops!


Jude (from Bungendore NSW near Canberra)


  1. sueb | | #1

    The TSA has a document on their web site that lists everything that you can and can't bring onto a plane.  You'll find the list here: 


    You might want to check with the individual airline though or maybe even bring a copy of the list with you.  Happy Travels !



    1. carolfresia | | #2

      Sue, that's a very useful list. It brings to mind an occasion a few years back when I lived in LA. I had to go fetch my husband at LAX after a business trip, with my 4-year-old son. This was just around Halloween, and my son was excited to see Daddy and show him his new Peter Pan outfit, so he dressed up for the trip to the airport. When we got to the security check-through on our way to the gate, the security officer confiscated my son's Peter Pan sword! This was a 10-inch long, blunt plastic toy, boldly emblazoned with the Disney emblem, and clearly part of the costume. I agreed to let her take the toy, but expected to get it back upon departure. She told me no, that the airport would not return it, because it was a "replica" of a weapon. Of course my son was upset, but he handled the situation really well (hardly cried at all, although I was absolutely fuming); the other travellers around us were as irritated as I was that we were being held up by this, and that a little kid was treated so nastily. (This was almost a year before 9/11/2001, by the way.)

      On our way out, my husband went to the security officer and demanded a receipt for the "$250 replica of a weapon" she had seized, and promised to notify her supervisor. She went to her office and surrendered the toy. Sheesh.  And so I was quite interested to see that on the TSA list, toy weapons are considered acceptable, as long as they're not realistic (which this one was not by any stretch).

      Let's hope they continue to let us take knitting needles and crochet hooks on planes, so we can keep busy!


  2. anneelsberry | | #3

    Travelled recently with my knitting and a copy of the TSA rules.  No one even questioned the knitting needles, though I kept my scissors in a checked bag.  Might of helped that I was using circular needles, so they definitely didn't look threatening.

    1. KarenW | | #4

      Jude, are you able to be more specific about where in LA you'll be?  It's a biiiiiiiig county!  Then maybe we can help you better!Years before 9/11 I had my Gingher scissors in my carryon.  One would have hoped it was obvious that I was using them for sewing related things since I also had the pieces of Christmas stocking I was beading and assembling (needles in there too).   Security at O'Hare airport wasn't going to let me take them.  I said ok, where and who would they be stored and would security be responsible for them, and I would like a receipt so that on my way back from my business trip a few days later I could reclaim them.  THey were so taken aback, probably in part that someone wasn't arguing with them about relinquishing the item, but also that I expected someone to be responsible and return it - that they just got all flustered and let me take them.  I guess safety comes second if you're clever enough to stump them.  


      1. Jude | | #5

        Thanks for such useful advice! I will be armed with the rules and my knitting needles as I stand under the sign for aliens in the arrival area (we Australian travellers think that's funny...)

        Not sure where I will be in LA - I will be flying in from Atlanta in the morning and flying out from LAX at night quite late. So I guess that puts me somewhere in the sort of middle of the city?? (I have a map but no reference points to place the airport in relation to what might be interesting to see)



        1. KarenW | | #6

          Ok, next - are you going to have access to a car?Karen

          1. Jude | | #7

            Ah a car! At this point probably not, but not completely ruled out. I confess to being a bit timid at the thought of navigating tangled spaghetti freeways on the wrong side of the road somewhere I've never been before. I could see myself ending up at Zabriskie Point with an empty fuel tank and an hour left to check in for my flight home! (OK so tell me the airport is next to Zabriskie Point...)



  3. kayl | | #8

    I'm fairly sure there's a way to leave a suitcase in a secured area

    at LAX. Might be worth having your travel agent inquire (or ask your


    As far as where to go, you might enjoy a trip to Fashion Institute of

    Design and Merchandising to view one of their exhibits and shop in their

    book store. The current exhibit is costumes from some of the major

    recent movies http://www.fidm.com/features/gallery/hollywood-2004/index.html

    You'll want to find out what will be up when you're there, as sometimes they're between shows.

    The book store has about every "professional level" sewing and design

    book in print congregated in one small space... browsing heaven for me.

    There is also a small store area available a couple of days a week, with clothes, fabrics, and bargain bags of buttons (love those button

    bags!!!) for very little money -- I seem to recall a bag weighing

    about 1.5 kilos was $2-3.

    Kay Lancaster [email protected]

    1. Jude | | #9

      Dear Kay

      Thanks for this advice. I will check out the web llnk and put this on my list of places to visit. Also plan to leave space in suitcase now that you have told me about the buttons!!



      1. KarenW | | #10

        Thanks for the tip on the buttons Kay!Jude, a real treat would be a trip to the garment district but it's downtown, aways from the airport and I'd say at least a $30-40 cab ride... may be worth a cheap rental car for a day!

        Otherwise for a somewhat closer fabric fix, one of my favorite fabric stores ever is F&S Fabrics on Pico Blvd. (there is one for garments, another opposite side of street for home dec).  They have a huge button wall..... not the prices Kay mentioned but an attraction in and of itself!  Great assortment of linens in summer, wools in winter, high end dressy special occasion wear and everything in between.  Only thing I love that I'd say they're weak on is knits.  If you're hungry there's a place a few blocks west on same side of street called "The Apple Pan"... it's been there forever and some time back was rated one of the ten best places to pig out in the U.S.  Actually I didn't find their apple pie/dessert so appealing but they have great burgers.  This is probably do-able by cab if need be, if you end up with a car and would like more sources a little further out just let us know!


        1. kswolff | | #11

          I'm so glad that someone else who lives in LA is a fan of F&S fabrics. I have been shopping there since the week I moved here 17 years ago. Karen is right about the store and the Apple Pan down the street. There are actually 3 F&S stores now, the orginal store for apparel fabrics and that amazing wall of buttons (Shirley is the wild button lady, by the way), the second store is across the street and down about a block for home dec, and the third store is directly across the street - all clearance home dec.

          If you have any interest in beads, there is also a bead and finding store across the street as well.

          I also agree about the garment district in the downtown area if you have time. It is more of a hike from LAX but is great fun and if you are inclined, you can even haggle with many of the vendors.

          Either way, I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.

          1. colleency | | #12

            I hope I'm posting this right!

            If you make it to the Institute of Design & Merchandise, you will be within walking distance of the garment district. I try to do most of my shopping in the garment district, where they have several stores devoted to buttons and beads or whatever you'd like. The prices are great!

            If you decide to use a cab, you'll need to carry their phone number with you, as you cannot depend on a cab being around in L.A. (other than at the airport). The City of L.A. has set the price of a cab trip from LAX to downtown as $38, according to http://www.taxicabsla.org/

            F&S is a great store, but I save it for special occasions as it's usually pricier than the garment district. I say a vacation is a special occasion. It's under 10 miles, so maybe it is doable by cab. Here is a map from LAX to F&S: http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp?go=1&do=nw&1ex=1&un=m&2ex=1&2tabval=address&cl=EN&ct=NA&2n=LOS+ANGELES+COUNTY&1tabval=address&2v=ADDRESS&1y=US&1a=1+World+Way&1c=LOS+ANGELES&1s=CA&1z=&1ah=&2y=US&2a=10629+W+PICO+BLVD&2c=LOS+ANGELES&2s=CA&2z=90064-2213&2ah=&idx=0&id=4092c9cd-00317-0297b-cdbcf381&aid=4092c9cd-00318-0297b-cdbcf381

            Have a great vacation!

          2. KarenW | | #13

            Oh this is too weird....

            I had to read this post a couple times and sip some more coffee....

            Because my last name is also Wolff... I thought maybe my MIL was cyberstalking me or something or I'd reregistered and posted a reply to my own post!!!!   Not that common a spelling, and for us both to be reading/posting on the topic about F&S is just TOO coincidental!  I don't live in LA anymore, have been in OC the last 15+ years but still get to F&S whenever possible. A little further down the road is another LA spot I stop at when I can get to F&S... how do you like Tito's Tacos???Karen

          3. KarenW | | #14

            Another funny thing.... my SIL, formerly a "Wolff" - loves beading/jewelrymaking from beads.  She usually is willing to go to F&S with me on a family event (i.e. recent bridal/baby showers) if I'm willing to drive - wait'll I tell her she won't have to linger around the fabric store anymore!  (She never complains though!).


          4. kswolff | | #15

            So, I realize this is off-topic from Jude's original question but decided to post it anyway in case anyone might be interested.

            Depending on when your trip is Jude, or Karen your next trip up to LA with your SIL, the International Bead Show is going on at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The dates are May 21, 22, & 23. For those who have never been, it is quite an experience! Not only are there beads but also, findings, tools, supplies, some jewelry, and gem stones. I went last year for the first time and will definitely go again - even though I don't make much in the way of jewelry. If you are a surface beader or costumer, or frankly, have Magpie in your family lineage like I must, you will have a ball.

            Should anyone want info, just let me know and I'll post the address and hours.


          5. boscojoni | | #16

            Hi  I have a freind whose last name is Wolff!  That caught my attention and now I am wanting to know more about the bead show in Santa Monica. Do plese send it. I am in OC but I will have someone drive me IF tacos and fabric are on the agends, too! Happy creating!, Joni

          6. kswolff | | #17

            Ok, so here is all the information on the International Bead Show....

            May 21, 22, 23

            Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

            1855 Main Street

            Santa Monica, CA 90401


            Friday 12 to 6

            Saturday 10 to 6

            Sunday 11 to 5

            One suggestion though if you are suseptable - either only bring cash and stop when you run out, or have a friend carry your credit cards. This can be a dangerous venture!

            I'm sure I'll see some of you there.


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