I have been doing a lot of reading in preparation for the trip to Wales. There were knitters from Bala (in mid Wales) who knit socks with one hand, while using a knitting belt (similar to what is used on Shetland). I'm told they did this while walking and even in the pubs--trust the canny Welsh.
While trying to learn more about them, I 'Googled' the name and in addition to the knitters of Bala came across a site about the knitted balaclava, which is associated with the Crimean War. Just to show that life isn't always grim, here is a site which I found: http://www.agoodyarn.net/PT_Helmet.htm. I offered to knit matching balaclavas for a relative of mine who is a dog owner/lover. My offer was turned down!
I'm knitting another piecework blanket. It doesn't seem to matter how much I knit, my stash doesn't seem to get any smaller.