I was faced with a difficult decision recently - shall I allow some scalding-hot tea go over my legs or soak my yarn instead... OK, only a knitter would see that as even a remotely sensible choice to be made, but when you're only one hour into a long international flight it seemed logical at the time.
We were on one of these new Dreamliner planes and had read ahead of time about how uncomfy the seats are so were prepared with extra cushions, shawls and so on. These were carefully stowed into the tiny spaces under the seats along with my knitting yarn and other flight essentials.
I then unlocked the tray table which came down into place with a loud 'clunk' and a decided list to one side. I tried to make it go flat but when I placed a pencil on the table, it rolled off and went under my neighbour's seat. Not a good start. We retrieved it, had a brief conversation about how to get his overhead light on (not an easy task either) and I put the pencil along with everything else on my lap.
Soon our meal came along and I left my knitting where it was as I couldn't manoeuvre down to place it into a bag. The meal finished and a cup of tea arrived which was scalding hot. I held it on the sloping table for a while and then made the mistake of deciding it might be better if I folded the tray table over so it was slightly more stable.
It was at that point that I discovered that even folded, the table was not flat. This was just after I had let go of the cup. I saw the teacup tipping over and realized I had to make a snap decision as the tea was heading straight for my legs! But if I moved them out of the way it would soak my brand-new cotton-yak yarn, together with my bamboo needles, notes so far and the ill-fated pencil.
Good sense did, I am happy to say, prevail - but it was a close-run thing. The tea duly drenched everything in sight and I briefly looked at the sodden mass, before placing everything into a Ziplok bag and sealing it up. We dealt with as much of the tea as we could with the available paper towels and then I retired, as gracefully as I could, to the bathroom to try to dry my skirt out.
The rest of the journey was spent with a cold, wet skirt clinging to me and keeping me awake. I wouldn't have minded being awake if I had had some knitting, but with nothing to do the time dragged until we arrived at our destination.
Fortunately, my skirt was nicely dried by the time we landed but everything else was in a sorry state. The wood of the bamboo needles was raised and rough and the yarn was beyond saving. I am afraid to say that the combination of aircraft tea and yak yarn was decidedly unpleasant, especially after it had sat in a hot closed plastic bag for 10 hours! So I had to abandon it and come up with another solution for my holiday knitting.
Fortunately, I found an excellent substitute, but more about that next time...
Until then, Happy Knitting!
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