I actually concentrate better when doing plain knitting or crocheting; somehow, having my hands making patterns helps my mind focus. I'm much less likely to drift off or fall asleep during a theory-heavy paper. And yet I know that that's not obvious to non-yarn-arts people, and I worry that the speaker or my colleagues will think I'm not paying attention. (I don't want the speaker to be insulted, and I don't want my colleagues to think I'm not a serious academic.)
The whole thing was deeply frustrating. In the six or so hours of sitting-and-listening do you know how much yarn work I could have gotten done? Even if I confined myself to plain mindless work, I could make three scarves in that time! It's enough to make you want to cry from the sheer waste of it all.
On a happier note, I took Kavi with me to the winter farmer's market at St. Giles church, where she picked out a box of mushrooms and a box of apples, tasted some apple cider and some chips with tomatillo salsa, considered a needle-felted chicken but decided against it, and got a heart-shaped cookie baked by only-French-speaking nuns. Along with a pot of cinnamon basil and a jar of the aforementioned delicious tomatillo salsa, I gave in to temptation (and supported my local crafter), picking up two skeins of hand-painted yarn: My Small Wonders, Midnight Garden colorway. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it was so gorgeous I couldn't resist. 75% wool, 25% nylon, worsted weight; I've got about 300 yards of it. Deep rich colors (blue, green, purple, magenta), so I think something for me rather than for the children. Hmm...maybe a bag?