You know how sometimes, when you're knitting in a chair, you need to have a pair of scissors or a pattern or a pencil handy, plus a few other loose bits, so you make sure there's a side table or basket within reach lest they fall to the floor when you get up, or be lost in the chair when you're not paying attention? No? Well, I do, all the time, and lately - in the absence of a side table or basket - I've been sitting down with a tray in my lap.
It's surprisingly comfortable and effective.
Simple melamine trays have been popping up in all the discount housewares stores around here, and in addition to having cute patterns printed on them it turns out they're a picnic essential here at the condo. There are so many nice places to sit on the terrace for a meal, but all the tables are figured wrought iron and therefore the surfaces are both tippy and hard to clean. Bring up a stack of trays and all your dining companions have a safe level surface for their meal and beverage that can be washed easily once back in your unit.
Of course, now it's winter, and the trays were kind of forlorn until my pencil started rolling off the side table at the armchair I've been using as Office Central. We bought trays in so many sizes there was no problem finding one that fit on what was left of the table surface after the lamp there had staked its claim.
Recently I decided to save time getting into a knitting chair for a movie by just taking the whole tray with me, pencils and all, because I'd set my knit du jour on top of it the last time I'd put it down.
And man, was it convenient! The ball of yarn, the spare double-point needle at the end of a round, the pencil (always the pencil), my mobile phone (I'm keeping pattern notes on my phone now, rendering the pencil irrelevant but still somehow important), and my scissors are all in one easily moved Thing so that if I have to get up quickly - it's the home phone, usually, which is still not operating properly and must be caught on the second ring or the call is lost - I'm not dropping needles or other sharp, easily lost things down the back of the (leather, yipes) armchair. To say nothing of stitch markers, though I'm not using any of those at the moment.
So: knitting trays. They're a thing now at Hugs. I still love my big deep hand-thrown pottery bowl when I have a side table, but without one? well, melamine trays have the advantage of not breaking when you are speedily righting a reclining chair and tossing your knitting onto a neighbouring ottoman.
Have you made any knitting life-easing discoveries lately?