I recently found myself heading out of the house to take offspring to an after school sports class. Imagine my horror when I realised that I had no suitable, portable project to take with me. I had recently cast off some plain vanilla stripy socks and a garter stitch Hitchhiker - both being my default options for 'grab and go' knitting.
In desperation I cast about looking for something to take and for a brief moment of insanity contemplated trying to wind a skein of sock yarn in the 2 minutes I had left before departure. I contemplated taking my Kindle - it was out of charge. I contemplated not taking anything with me at all - I didn't contemplate this for very long, obviously.
Spending an hour seated with other restive parents on too-small chairs, watching one's children karate chop each other is one thing. Doing it without any form of occupation at all is quite another, so in desperation I grabbed my drop spindle and a handful of fibre.
As a knitter with a capital K, I knit anywhere and everywhere and I am accustomed to the strange sideways glances, the covert looks and the odd comments regarding "Grandmothers", "dying arts" and crochet. Can I just say for the record however that drop spindling in public takes this level of interest to a whole new level.
The assembled parents couldn't have been more astonished if I had brought in my own goat and proceeded to milk it. Starting my drop spindle off requires a certain amount of concentration (this is quite a new skill for me) but once I relaxed into it and got into my rhythm I glanced up to be met with a sea of incredulous faces. Mouths open doesn't begin to hint at the expressions that met my eyes.
Once the parent nearest to me had recovered the power of speech she asked me what I was doing. When I replied that I was making yarn she just nodded politely and then moved her chair way, just a fraction.
The children however were a source of delight and interest. They were fascinated by the process and the idea of turning candy floss-like fluff into yarn you could knit with seemed entirely reasonable.
During the hour I got a satisfactory amount of spinning done - and I only dropped it once. And as an added bonus the bossy mum collecting 'volunteers' for sports day gave me a very wide berth. Result!