You wouldn't think that a girl would feel gorgeous wearing a circular needle and a bunch of stitch markers. The bright green waste yarn is, I think, the finishing touch that makes swanking about in front of the mirror in a half-finished cardigan such a pleasure. Oh, Matilda Jane, you are so lovely.
The designer (Ysolda) really knows her increases and decreases. Matilda Jane makes use of the lifted increase to create proud little raglan "seams", and the invisible make one to form discrete darts for the waist shaping. Decreases are fully fashioned (with the stitches leaning in the direction of the dart) where curves are to be hugged, and feathered (that is, with decreases leaning in the opposite direction to the angle of the dart) where they should be skimmed. Essentially, it is all extremely attractive, and the most attractive feature of all is the brain in the pattern. I can't wait to finish and wear this. That goes in italics because my default feeling at this stage of a project is usually more of a desperate inclination to procrastinate while I try to reconcile myself to all that's wrong with the item - positive feelings when this near to completion are worth a little typographical emphasis.
After the school run this morning, Maddy dropped off in her buggy, so Matilda Jane and me sneaked off to a coffee shop to enjoy each other's company. And while we were there, we made a new friend. One of the other school mums was sitting in the coffee shop reading a book. The other mum is Icelandic, and after a little while she looked over and said, "Did you know that people knit differently in other countries?" I asked her to show me how she knits, and was treated to a small demonstration of the continental style. "This is how you do, you know, opposite, to make it like a fence", she explained as she went through the wrangling motion of the continental purl (I think that "like a fence" means ribbing, and it's a description I like so much I plan to adopt it myself). Then she told me about how knitting is taught in Icelandic schools from age 5 to 15 (my grandma would approve), and how an older lady had accosted her in the supermarket to chat about the hand-knit jumper (made by her mum) she was wearing. "It's like knitting brings people together", she said, and then she packed up her book and left.