When I wasn't looking I fell into a new hobby.
On a sudden gardening kick I decided to give succulents a whirl. At first I liked their geometric spiraled shapes, but then I discovered how well succulents do when you don't pay much attention to them. They just sat in the back patio of my apartment building without much help from me aside from the occasional watering and they lived pretty happily. Then one of the other tenants in my apartment building left behind a ton of succulents, which I potted and they all bloomed and grew, not thinking that they would actually survive, let alone thrive under my care.
Now succulent gardening is my new back-up hobby, an alternative to knitting. When I need something I can do immediately and finish within an hour I go onto my little patio and make little succulent arrangements. This is exactly what I need when I'm in the middle of a long term knitting project that will take months to complete. Repotting succulents makes me feel like I've accomplished something. It's a nice departure from my knitting projects where full enjoyment can be long delayed.
I'm not all that great at it yet. I still have a lot of learning to do. I'm making regular mistakes like using plastic containers (gasp!) and not really understanding excellent composition yet, or using decorative rocks. I'm sure I'll get there.
What are some of your back up hobbies when knitting's become a bit too much?