We are in the process of digitizing 30 years worth of files. Part of my job is to digitize these files by scanning them through our copy machine, which sends the digitized file to my computer. Since it takes a while to do this, a lot of my time is spent staring at the wall, waiting for one stack to finish scanning so I can put another stack into the scanner. This is a HUGE reason why less of this gets done than I have time for... it is extremely boring. A stack doesn't take long enough to go through so that I can go do something else, and it doesn't go through quick enough to stand there and wait... what to do? grab your knitting of course!
So yesterday, I brought with me my second mitten to work on, I was getting close to the decreases at the fingertips, so I worked on that while I digitized files. I was just about to do the first decrease, I checked my bag for a stitch marker... didn't have one. Crap! my plan had been ruined! I looked around, hmmm... paperclips... YES!!! a large paper clip fits perfectly on a size 8 dpn. bwa ha ha <
Of course, when you are decreasing and trying to keep track of k2, k2tog, on this round, k around the next, etc. the phone will ring. The phone always rings when you are telling a co-worker a funny story that happened over the weekend, it always rings when your friend on the Instant Messenger is asking you a question about something very important, and it ALWAYS rings when you are counting stitches. How to remedy this? Post-it notes. Find a post-it note (you may need more than one, depending on what you are working on) fold it in half so the sticky part sticks to itself. Since I was switching between k rounds and k2/k2tog rounds, I wrote "k2, k2tog" on one side, and "k around" on the other side. When I passed the marker, I just flipped over my little post-it note, so if the phone rang, I wouldn't have to listen to what the caller wanted AND keep repeating to myself "knit two, knit two together" in my head, I could just read my little post-it note reminder.
I actually got to the point of casting off the fingertips yesterday. The pattern I am using has you decrease until there are 11 stitches on the needles, break yarn, thread yarn thru last 11 stitches and pull tight and weave in the end on the inside. Ok, piece of cake... I'll just grab my darning needle... uh... no darning needle. Ok, I don't have a darning needle, but I do have paperclips... lots of paperclips. For this I used a small, smooth paperclip (not the kind that has the lines scratched into it and not the plastic covered kind). If you have played with paperclips as much as I have (I am fidgety) you know that if you bend a paperclip in the same place about 5 times, it will break at that spot. I opened up a small paperclip, bent it until it broke in half and kept the half with the smaller loop on it. I stuck the yarn inside the loop and squeezed the paperclip until the loop closed, trapping my yarn inside. I then could use this to thread the yarn through my last 11 stitches. I didn't attempt to weave in the end with it though, I think that is asking too much of a paperclip. The make-shift darning needle has a little point that sticks out on the side (unless you work in an office that has needle-nose pliers, which I don't), so that catches on the yarn and snags it, save your end-weaving for when you get home.
I hope some of these office knitting tips will help you, whether you knit at work, on the bus, at the gym, at school or you just have not invested in all those "extra" knitting notions.