What about french knitting? (which I think is also called a lot of other things so you might not call it that - it's the thing where you have a tube with pegs on the top and loop yarn over them to make a long knit cord) It's absorbing in a similar way to knitting, and you can make all sorts of things with the cord like flowers and things.
This is the sort of thing I'm talking about! (But my mom used to make them for me from a cotton reel and 4 nails so you don't have to buy a ready made one)
There are some instructions here: