THERE MUST BE FEW THINGS more satisfying than mastering a new skill. Something that you thought was going to be impossible, beyond your capabilities, or simply beyond your patience. Since it’s been a holiday period — that long, wonderful thing called the university summer break — my partner Rahul and I have both been putting a little time into learning of a more everyday nature. For him, it’s been the manly pursuit of getting to grips with manual driving. For me, the feminine — the move from ‘beginner’ to ‘intermediate’ knitting. Last year, when I taught myself to crochet, there were tears of frustration, irritated jerks of the yarn, and possibly some crochet hooks tossed across the room. Then, suddenly, fluid flicks of the fingers and wrist as hot water bottles, tea cosies, and blankets appeared as if by magic in my lap. It has been much the same this time around, as I made my first ventures into knitted shaping, seams, and — horror of horrors to the uninitiated — double-pointed needles. So, today’s small pleasure is that moment when you realise you’ve finally got it!