Please don't hate me, but I spent most of last week 'working' in various cafes around Cambridge and drinking innumerable lattes. My rather paltry justification for indulging in this particular humanities PhD student perk was that I haven't had a great deal of holiday this year (spending a week in a wood in Dorset with 80 plus Boy Scouts does not count) and so I came back from out brief and wet sojourn in the Lake District with an appetite for more. Spending time working in cafes in one way to try and capture something of a holiday mood while still actually doing work. As part of this 'holiday', I spent Friday learning to read and knit at the same time (if you saw a blonde girl knitting in Caffe Nero on King's Parade in Cambridge, that was me), I might add with some success. Apart from the rather impressive length of Herdwick-wool scarf produced in the process (and 100 pages of medieval history tome digested), I was utterly delighted when a random middle-aged man actually came up to me simply to say how lovely it was to see someone knitting, exactly as my new and shiny 'Stitch 'n' Bitch' book assured me people would do if one knitted in cafes.
The only problem was that I rather foolishly forgot to bring a pen with me, even though I knew that I was doing a pattern that required a certain amount of row counting and that my ability to keep track of rows in my head is really not that good. In case you should find yourself in a similar position, let me assure you that it is perfectly possible to improvise an effective stitch counter through the careful arrangement of crumbs from a recently consumed almond croissant.