Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Almost over

Well, I have Emma on DVD from Netflix, but I have not yet watched it. I am looking forward to it though. Here are some pics of the projects I've been working on throughout the KAL (and in between). I made some lacy fingerless gloves requested by my sister. I modified a feather and fan pattern (created my own decrease and everything). I turned them into short finger gloves per her request. I used a wool/bamboo blend from Germany called Trekking Pro Natura that she picked out from her LYS. She doesn't knit, but seems to have a yarn addiction like our mom and me. I liked the yarn. It was very soft and had a good drape. I liked her gloves so much that I'm making some of my own but with Louet Gems in teal. They are lovely, and I'm going to finish them (hopefully) while I watch Emma.

I also made a baby blanket for my boyfriend's sister's new baby (due the end of April). No one knows if it's a boy or a girl yet, so I made it yellow and green variegated. As it turns out, her nursery is yellow and green...how fortuitous. I used Cotton Tots for this (and all my baby blankets) because it is mommy friendly...machine washable and already shrunk. I lined it with cotton flannel because they live in Pittsburgh, and I hand stitched the lining on.
It's been fun. I'm sorry that it's over already and wish that there was more Jane Austen.
I liked Sense and Sensiblity, but I like Persuasion the best. S&S had beautiful music and scenery. I think someone mentioned that you get to like Marianne. True, because she was a bit annoying at first. I did like the true sisterhood the actresses seemed to have, and the badness that is Willoughby. Col. Brandon was wonderful in his true devotion to Marianne, and I've always felt bad for Edward F. He is shy, loving, and caring, and just seems to be a victim of circumstance. This actor really brought that out. I think that I still like the Emma Thompson version better, but almost any will do for me.
Good to meet and knit with you all. I'm now on Ravelry (stitchtwister). Hope to see you around.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sense and Sensibility

I did really enjoy this version of the book-maybe even more than the movie version. I am still working on fingerless gloves-onto my 10th pair now- but I did at least work on edging the squares for my sister's afghan a little bit. here is my Ravelry secret spring swapper wearing the gloves I made him

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

All that Lace

I was watching Sense and Sensibility on Sunday while knitting my Socktopia March socks and was consumed by the desire to knit lace. Could it have been all that feather-light stuff on the small screen in front of me? I just adore the lace collars and small shawls all the characters wear in this production. So I put away my socks and pulled out my poor Mystery Stole 3 that I've been ignoring. It took me a good half hour to figure out where I left off (I had to keep one eye on the t.v.) and it took another half hour to decide the pattern was too complicated to work while watching something new. I then cast on the Estonian Shawl and that worked much better! I must say that I am really enjoying this season of Masterpiece. I've just about decided to purchase all the DVD's (of course I already have P&P) even though I have been recording them as they air. I've re-watched Persuation, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Miss Austen Regrets every week since each has been on. I think that's a pretty good clue that I should have the DVD's. Happy knitting everyone!

More Austen...Hooray!

For some reason, my stupid DVR deleted Emma before I had a chance to watch it. Not to worry, I've been able to find the episodes of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Emma that I missed. I may have to wait a while, but I'll still be able to watch. Right now I'm watching Northanger Abbey, but I really enjoyed Persuasion. I was happy to see Anthony Head from Buffy, and Alice Krige from Star Trek: First Contact in it. I hated Anne's sister Mary, but Anne was just lovely, and the whole "I shall never be persuaded to the contrary" scene at the end had me on tenterhooks. I found myself jumping up and down in my chair saying, "Just kiss him ALREADY!" Wonderful.

I'm looking forward to watching Sense and Sensibility, but I too love the one with Emma Thompson and may find this one hard to compete with.

Pics later today. I've finished some lacey fingerless gloves for my sister that I worked on throughout several movies, and a baby blanket for my boyfriend's sister's new baby.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Sense and Sensibility

I wasn't sure how this could top the movie version (with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet and High Grant) but it is actually pretty good. Marianne grew more appealing as the show developed. I'd like to watch it again-all at one time. Didn't get any knitting done though except for sewing together some fingerless gloves for a swap. This week I also watched the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice and found it really insulting. No character development--Darcy looks like a kicked puppy throughout--Wickham was cuter. The only part that was probably more realistic was all of the backstage stuff-like Mr. Bennett following the pig through the house and the people working outside in the rain and the fact that every room shown wasn't decorated to the nines. Still- a waste of time in my opinion!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Emma watching but little knitting done

Pride and Prejudice (the real one) is my favorite, but I do like Emma also and I liked this version better than the one with Gwyneth Paltrow. I also like the movie version of Sense and Sensibility (with Kate Winslet and Alan whatshisface) so I am very dubious about the new version. But I will watch it. My recent knitting has been limited to fingerless gloves; so I have to get back to the afghan. Here are the gloves I made for people at work.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Here they are. The pics I've been promising. And we get to watch Emma on Sunday. Emma is my favorite. In order to keep my Jane Austen love going, I just watched Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. I (heart) Col. Brandon. Yum-yum-yummy. Alan Rickman's voice just does it for me. I watched the Jane Austen Book Club a few weeks ago, and felt that it was just okay at first. Now I find myself thinking about it more and more. "Life with out Jane Austen is not worth living," and "We could do worse than to use Jane Austen books as guides for living," are some good lines fromt the movie that have been staying with me. Besides, one group member is always knitting, and even starts to teach someone else how to knit. I reccommend it

First pic: Socks for my dad. My first toe-up socks, and my first men's socks. Pretty good. I used Lion Wool and a mixture of techniques that I've looked at over the years. I just used a simple rib in order to keep me from getting too confused.

Next pics: Monkey socks (Cookie A. pattern from knitty.com) for my sister. She found some yarn that she wanted socks out of from her LYS. She doesn't knit, but I think that she might have a yarn addiction. These are hand dyed and the colorway is called "Muppets in Space." I love the colors: blues and purples. The color didn't set well, so my fingers were often tinged with a faint dark blue hue. These were also toe-ups and I had to take out the cuff in order do a better bind off. I like the result. They look big in this pic because my feet are smaller than my sister's.

Here they are closer:

Looking forward to Emma,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some Austen Better than No Austen?

While flipping through the TV channels this weekend I realized that "Pride and Prejudice"with Kiera Knightly was on a cable channel that I didn't even know we had. This is NOT my favorite rendition ofan Austen novel; the storyline was altered. (Who messes with Jane Austen?) On the plus side, Dame Judy Dench was Lady Catherine and that was brilliant!
Did anyone else stumble across it?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

so sad

I've just discovered today that I'll have to wait until the 23rd in order to see more Jane Austen. I searched my DVR for the last installment of P&P, but I think someone deleted it accidentally. So, I looked for new Masterpiece recordings scheduled, but did not find it for today. I was mad a PBS for stupid pledge drive time. I'm bad I know.

Luckily, this TV hiatus will give me time to finally post some pics of what I've been doing. I've queued up the last episode of P&P in my Netflix, and I've also added Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen Book Club, and others. Some are on very long wait though.

I just watch Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway this last week. Has anyone else seen it? I thought it was just allright. I don't know too much about Jane's early adult life, but I love Anne Hathaway. I think she's just lovely.

Pics this week, I promise.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I enjoyed PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It is hard to forgive Mr. Darcy for interfering with Jane and Mr. Bingly, but really I should be mad at Mr. Bingly for allowing himself to be interfered with. Mr. Bingly is difficult to be mad at. It would be like kicking a puppy.

My favorite episode so far has been MANSFIELD PARK. Is it really written in first person, or was that a just a device to introduce Fanny's circumstances? It's one I still haven't read of listened to yet. It's the only one so far where I immediatly recognized any of the actors. Billie Piper played Doctor Who's assistant, Rose, for a couple of seasons. I haven't seen very many DOCTOR WHO's, but I did see one where she and the Doctor had to save Queen Victoria from an alien were-wolf. Seeing her star in a work of Jane Austen's was a pleasant surprise.

Mostly I too am working on wrist-warmers since they are fast. I'm getting in a few rows here and there on my alien scarf too. I managed to get a picture where you can see the completed alien pretty well. There's about two-thirds of a second alien next to him. I can make out the eye, but I've spent A LOT of time looking at it from different angles. I'm always sceptical that strange patterns will work. Then I feel surprised and clever when I get the proper results. It's always so nice when things work!

I couldn't get the pictures to work right, they aren't where I wanted them. Still, I think it's important to show both the front and the back.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More afghan avoidance

These are so much quicker than finishing that darn afghan! We watched our own copy of the end of P&P this weekend-so missed the commentary. Still as wonderful as always. Grrrrrrr-back to the afghan from now on and there's a lot of knitting to ice skating time coming up in March as well.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

They Must Be Kidding

Well, I don't have much to say about my knitting progress, but I did imagine all of us sharing a collective giggle at the objectionable material warning before Pride and Prejudice this evening!!! Considering all the trash on television these days, I had to wonder if they meant we might object if we lived in the 1800's! Too funny.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pride and Prejudice and avoiding the afghan

I love this version of P&P and I am cheerfully watching it in sections with my daughter instead of viewing the whole thing at once on the DVD I own. I am also avoiding the afghan and getting into fingerless gloves-much quicker and more fun. Plus I got suckered into one of the Ravelry groups (earlier mentioned by other posters on this blog) and I am totally into it now. I only have 5 more sets of handwarmers to make for people at work...These are straight knitting, size 8 needles- quick as a flash.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

two finished beauties

My mom was visiting this past week and we hit the movies twice - giving me lots of time to knit. I LOVE to knit at the movies! So I was able to finish up my Jane project plus start and finish another project.
The top two pictures are of the soft, fuzzy wool sweater I made for my baby. It's a maybe fit for next winter. I embroidered it a bit and added some knit flowers. It still needs to be blocked but it's a very simple pullover, based on a classic that Garnet Hill used to sell for kids. I love how it turned out. The bottom pictures are of a simple hat and legwarmers made with the fabulous Socks That Rock yarn - so fun to knit with. I am a bit obsessed with matching caps and legwarmers for Little Miss.
I don't know what my next project will be. I've been loving watching P&P in the three distinct parts the way it was originally aired on the BBC. I have the dvd and always pop it in while doing some organization project around the house so it's more often background than something I am focusing on. I am concentrating on it much more with this Sunday night ritual. And I find so many people watching the series outside of this kal - I love getting to talk Jane with people I never knew loved her.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I am enjoying Jane Austen very much, but I haven't found a knitting project that relates to her at all. Last week I started a scarf that, if all goes well, will be full of hidden aliens. By knitting purls and purling knits they should only be visible from certain angles. They are very visible on the wrong side of the scarf. I hope that means it's working. I've been meaning to knit these scarfs for my cousins for Christmas for at least the last two years. My sister would probably like one too.

Seeing Gillian Anderson every week makes me miss THE X-FILES, although I think she's sounded very flat in her introductions. A couple of times she sounded like she was reading off a card. Does she always introduce MASTERPIECE THEATER? She starred in HOUSE OF MIRTH and I was wondering if that made her an American authority on Austen. If it was widely believed that all costume dramas are the same and no one knows the difference. Isn't that a horrible thought?

Once I started thinking about it though, I think Austen and Wharton were a little similar. I love the way they both handle narration. The narrator is always my favorite character because she's so clever. I imagine that's what they were like in real life. MISS AUSTEN REGRETS seemed to agree with me, at least as far as Jane Austen is concerned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

beginner projects

I've been working on two beginner knitting projects while enjoying the PBS series.  The first project is laughable. I started an afghan when I was pregnant with my first son...who is now 23! I picked it up again this year and got help from my knitting diva friend to finish. The original pattern had three complicated (for me) panels...and I only finished part of one as pictured. (Don't ask me what I've been doing all this time--you know, life.) I just couldn't concentrate enough to quit making mistakes : (  The 'new' pattern is to do two simplified outside panels, then hopefully ramp up to finishing the center one.

In the midst of the outside panel, I had to take a mental break and do another project. I did a simple prayer shawl. It's really a nice color, and fun to wrap up in while knitting on the other. I'd like to hear comments on those that like to work on one project at a time...or have a few going at once. Thanks for getting me back into the knitting world, even if it as an aged beginning! It's very inspiring seeing all that the group is doing. 

Vote for your favorite Austen hero

Darcy, of course!-----Even though I own this version of Pride and Prejudice in video and DVD, and have watched it at least 2 dozen times, I still had to watch again Sunday night. I can't really imagine another Mrs. Bennett, or Mr. Collins (!!!!) never mind Lady Anne de Bourgh when we get to her. I am almost done edging the lacy squares for my sister's afghan--now I just have to finish the embroidered squares, edge them, and put it all together. This is the point where I start looking at starting new projects! Here is the link to vote http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/austen/menofausten.html

Monday, February 11, 2008


I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of Pride and Prejudice last night and spent most of the evening working on a scarf that I knit when I don't feel like working on other projects. I am so glad that PBS did not remake this show--this version with Colin Firth is wonderful (of course I say that about anything he is in). I started thinking of all the P&P sendoffs though. I expect everyone has seen Brigit JOnes but has anyone seen the Bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice?

Miss Lynn Regrets

the utter lack of pictures. I lent my camera to someone, and I don't have it back yet.
I did start a moebius scarf (FIVE TIMES) through Miss Austen Regrets. I finished it through the CSI mini marathon later (does that count, I just couldn't stop knitting). I won't have pics of that because it was a commission and I needed the money, so I already gave it to the person who is getting it, but I will take a pic of mine as a model.

I loved the detail in Miss Austen Regrets, too. I had to pause it at the scene where she's writing at the window and her sister comes in. Did you see the handknit lace scarf she had on her head? It was beautiful. now I know that my next project will be a lace one. I love it so much and I've been wanting to do more lace anyway. I already have the yarn, now I've got to find the right pattern.

Looking forward to settling down with my DVR to start P&P and the lovely Colin Firth. I'm a Colin fan more than a Mr. Darcy fan. I relate to Emma much more, and I love Mr. Knightly. Actually, did you notice the relationship between Jane and Rev. Bridges. He points out her mistakes and she thanks him for it: just like Emma and Mr. Knightley. I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

miss austen regrets

Miss Austen Regrets was my favorite of the series so far. I loved the boldness the creators took in imaging this story. And did you notice the domestic details? There was lots of camera shots lingering on shoes, interiors, and bedroom scenes. I reveled in that.
I am still working on a pretty simple sweater for my Little Miss. For the first time I am trying some embroidery and adding knit flowers to girlie it up. I just may get inspiration from P&P this Sunday to finish it up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pics later....

but I finished some socks for my dad. I started them before the KAL (actually around Christmas time), and I promised that I wouldn't start anything until they were done. They are the first men's socks that I've made, and the first toe-ups. I make a fine pair of socks if I do say so myself, and I've just gotten to where they always come out the same length, but I didn't have to worry about that. Believe it or not, my dad's feet are not the same size. He has a 10 inch left foot and an 11 inch right foot. Crazy huh?!

My next project is a moebius scarf commission. I knit these pretty quickly, so I think that I'll be getting done a project per episode.

I've only today had the chance to watch Mansfield Park. It was nice to have this designated time where all I do is knit and watch Jane Austen. I also knit all through the super bowl on Sunday, but I was at someone else's house and sneezing because of their cat.

I enjoyed Billie Piper as Fanny Price, but MP is not one of my favorites. I'm excited about Miss Austen Regrets, and most especially P&P. This version is the one mentioned in Bridget Jones' Diary, and I LOVE Colin Firth. Really excited.

Knit Happy,

Monday, February 4, 2008

My shawl is frogged


Saturday I picked up my shawl and knit two rows. On the way back I saw a mess several rows back. I must have made that mess last week somehow. What should have been a nice neat open hole made from a YO on one row and a purl on the row coming back had a tangle of threads and not that nice neat open hole. I valiantly tried to drop those stitches back and fix it. But I just made it worse. I should probably have tinked it, but by this time I was totally confounded, and so I frogged it all the way back. I'm not sure when I will pick it up again. In the meantime, I picked up a spinning project and I'm thinking of what I can do as a nice easy knitting comfort project.

And, I didn't watch last night's episode yet. It is taped, but DH just HAD to watch the Superbowl.

Sigh again.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Question about yarn

Happy Saturday! I haven’t knit much this week or during last week’s Jane movie because things have been really busy at work. I’ve been almost too tired to knit! But I do have an interesting story and a question to ask you all. Last weekend (in anticipation of the coming week’s havoc), I was a bit worried and down. I went into my stash room to find comfort in the possibilities and the colors and the texture of the wool. (Does anyone else find the presence of yarn and its possible futures comforting??) Well, we have the heat off in that room since we don’t go in there often (really, so the wool doesn’t get too warm. After all, it is wool and there’s so much of it, it doesn’t need any more heat—but don’t tell my husband this is the reason; he thinks we do it to save energy). Anyway, so it’s cold in there and I wore my coat. I was tired and uninspired and spent, so I made a little pile of some inspiring wool to rest on.

Well, my husband came looking for me. When he opened the door, I had my head on the wool and my face and body covered with my coat. Do you know what he said when he saw me there?? “Wow, you look like a drug addict passed out in the street!”

So, my question: do you think my behavior is odd??

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I finished this before the KAL, and it is crochet BUT.........................

But she looks so cute in it! This is the crochet pattern we used to make all the preemie hats for Save the Children (we sent in 242 hats). The knit pattern is also available, and they go really fast. A great thing to pick up if your chosen knitting is too complicated to do while watching Jane Austen. (http://www.savethechildren.org/publications/capstothecapital-kit11.pdf)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


After trying to start several other projects, I decided I AM going to finish this birthday afghan for my sister so she can get it this June, only one year late. So I am now adding crochet edging to each square, starting with the lacy ones. I have to find the pattern again so I can finish embroidering 2 of the flowers (duplicate stitch is so much easier than carrying the colors behind!). I got in extra knitting on Sunday since I watched the figure skating US Nationals first. I am also teaching a co-worker to knit and it's so much fun to see her enthusiasm for it.

I did enjoy Mansfield Park a little more than the first 2-I had also seen an old production (probably BBC) and this one was much better. We are planning to do a face to face book group on one of her books and will probably choose this one since most of us have not read it lately. I pretty much know Pride and Prejudice by heart, so that wouldn't work.

Sarah (I realized everyone else has their name as a screen name!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mansfield Park

Hello everyone. I just joined this past week but I have been watching the JA films on PBS and knitting. I agree that they're all just a bit short. I've enjoyed Mansfield Park the most. I liked the way Fanny was portrayed--she can be a bit priggish.

Another Kate

Hello from yet another Kate, formerly a Katie and occassionally still called Katie. Like Lynn, I am not watching Masterpiece Theater in real time. I almost got my husband to watch last night until I opened my big mouth and told him it was Jane Austen. Sigh. I too am utilizing the DVR and haven't had time to watch yet. I am knitting though. I've been knitting for a little over a year and am working on my first project with circular needles, making a hat. It has been incredibly easy so far but I'm getting nervous about switching to double-pointed needles and finishing the top. I can't even figure out how to use the markers so I'm doing my best to tell where rows begin and end. I also have a bag I've been knitting. All that remains is to put it together if I can figure out how.

I'm busy prepping for a three-week trip in February so I'll be a little behind in watching and blogging. Before I leave, however, I definitely need to watch the episodes already on the DVR to clear space for more Jane Austen--no way am I missing Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy!

Project Started

Last night I cast on for my KAL project - a lace shawl - just before settling down to watch Mansfield Park. Fortunately it is a pretty simple lace pattern so I could watch and knit at the same time. I only made one mistake that took my concentration away from the television while I fixed it. Pictures will be forthcoming; there isn't much to see so far. The pattern I am using is the "Invisibility Shawl" from Charmed Knits.

I liked this television series is making me want to read (or listen to) the books. I haven't read all of Jane Austen - just some of the books. Mansfield Park is not one of the ones I read so I can't speak to how faithful it is to the book. But I can honestly say that I liked this version better than the original BBC version. I liked this Fanny Price better - she was firm and settled but not as pious or severe as what I remember from the old BBC version. I was a bit worried that I would see too much of Rose Tyler from Dr. Who in the actress who was playing Fanny, but I didn't - she played Fanny quite different than Rose.

Altogether, I am really liking the series.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the flu and Jane

I am emerging from a three day bout with the flu. My head is finally clear and I am very excited to wrap up in a blanket with my baby sweater and watch tonight! We have lots of new members. I am so glad we've come together at this virtual knitting party for Jane. Yeah for us!


Hi. My name is Katie (seem to be a few of us!) and I'm excited to join this blog. I really enjoy Jane Austen and, of course, knitting! I took a class in college just on Jane Austen's novels, but that was long enough that they're all a pleasant, but distant, memory. So far, I've enjoyed watching the movies and I'm looking forward to the one tonight. I agree that they're a bit short, but... Last week I worked on one of the fronts of a cotton cardigan I've been doing (pictured here--a bit fuzzy). I should probably work more on this tonight, but I think I may want to advance on some socks...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lynn's intro

Hello everyone,
I'm a little late in joining, but I'm happy to be here. I love to knit, have been knitting for over 10 years, and I love Jane Austen. I didn't know that Masterpiece Theater was showing these movies, but I've set up my DVR and I'm excited. I can't watch them in real time without boring my family, so I'll have to watch them later.
I'm working on many projects right now; most of them are for other people. I'm excited about the opportunity to share. I joined the 52 pair plunge last year (52 pairs of socks in a year), but I stopped at about 12 socks, and I've gotten off track. This one is much more manageable.
Looking forward to knitting with all of you from deep in the heart of Texas.
Lynn F.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

adaptation screenwriter scoop

You may have already completely explored the Masterpiece Theater site on The Complete Jane Austen. But in case you haven't, you'll want to check out the fascinating opinions of the new adaptation's screenwriter, Andrew Davies.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Northanger Abbey and ripped out projects

I started a scarf about 6 times while watching this show-I wanted something easier to work on than my embroidered floral afghan. But I finally gave up and started an aran mini purse for my niece-not big enough for photos yet. I found this novel pretty fluffy-I don't think I've seen another version of it but that's fine with me. The show did have some nice dancing scenes and scenery-but not much character development. Now I'll have to read the book to see if there is more substance to it than appeared on screen! So I looked at Ravelry and there are a mere 6900+ people ahead of me on the waiting list. I'll probably forget about it by the time I get invited to join! Is it really worth it???

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

next project

I still haven't had a moment to watch Northanger Abbey. I tivo'd it but a sick baby, dinner with friends and an unexpected guest have stopped me. Maybe tomorrow night.
But I have started my next project. I am trying to get through my stash so this very simple pullover sweater for my little daughter is being made with such cheap yarn, I am too embarrassed to even admit what it is. But it is coming out *okay* and I am saving up my pin money for the next project with yummy new yarn.


Hi everyone - I just joined this KAL and wanted to introduce myself. I started reading Jane Austen back in high school when I read Pride and Prejudice (which, by virtue of being the first Jane Austen book that I read, remains my favorite). Then I saw the original BBC productions and started reading some of the other books. I'm looking forward to seeing all the installments of this new adaptations. In college, for my speech class I had to do a dialogue, and I chose the dialogue between Elizabeth and Lady Catherine and had great fun with that.

I'm about to start on my very first lace shawl. I will be using the pattern for the Invisibility Shawl from Charmed Knits. Even though it is a pattern from a Harry Potter themed book, I think a lace shawl would be a suitable project for a Jane Austen KAL. I'm also wanting to sew myself a regency dress, but I don't know if I ever will get around to doing that.

My blog is ILovePolarBears and I'm treesh on Ravelry but I haven't done much there yet.

I'm looking forward to discussing the books and adaptations!

Monday, January 21, 2008


We tried to get ourselves into an Austen sort of mood with a little tea in the fancy cups. :) It was the best Northanger Abbey movie I've seen (which isn't saying much, really). I liked the Cathy actress and found the treatment of the gothic fantasies hilarious in a few cases. Still, looking forward to some of Jane's works that I like a bit better--you can understand why they didn't publish this one right away! Knitting progress was also a tad disappointing--first row back was a cable needle row, so it felt like a slow start. How'd it go for everyone else?


I hope it is ok to post an introduction. My name is Amy - I am Knitnmom on Ravelry. I have two blogs - my personal journal at Journal Back to Joy and my knitblog at Knit+Mom=Knitnmom

I've only been a fan of Jane for a few years. I think only recently would I have enjoyed it as much as I do now. For Christmas I bought myself the BBC Jane Austen DVD collection and am really enjoying them. I would rather listen to Jane's books via audio and they are great for knitting! I've yet to listen to Northanger Abbey - I'll have to see if Librivox has a good version. Does anyone know?

As for what I am knitting....well, I was going to work on the Secret of the Stole ii, but it became very obvious I needed something more mindless so I've pulled out the boxers I'm knitting! I'll probably do some socks eventually too - I'm wanting to knit the Firestarters - have you seen them?

I look forward to meeting you all!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Northanger Abbey

This week's adaptation is Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Catherine Morland has an ordinary life and a feverish imagination. When she gets invited to Bath, Catherine is immersed in a world of elaborate balls and handsome men. When one suitor takes her to his family estate, Northanger Abbey, Catherine becomes mired in a world of fact and fantasy. Is there a dark mystery behind the locked doors of Northanger Abbey? Why has her budding romance suddenly been cut short?
Check out this clip from the film . . .

first finished Jane project

I finished up my first Jane Austen knit along project - a sweet little hat and legwarmers for my Little Miss. I used Zen String's Chocolate Cherise - very pretty and soft merino superwash that I picked up at Twisted - my LYS that I am just starting to go to.
The hat is a bit big so she can grow into it - I have the perfect outfit to match next fall.
I am trying to decide what to work on this Sunday. Northanger Abbey is my least favorite Jane Austen - I guess because of the whole Gothic fantasies - just not my thing. I like to revel in the Regency time period. But I'll give it a fresh chance with the new adaptation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This is my season for knitting scarves and afghans-watching Persuasion I finished 2 scarves which you can kind of see in this sideways picture which I took with my cell phone. One scarf is to the left of the white squares and the other is to the right of them. Now I am committed to finishing this very fancy white flower afghan (2 squares shown in the picture-all of the flower squares are different) for my sister while I am watching the Jane Austen series. I would also love to knit either a reticule or a pelisse-I have found a sewing pattern for a reticule so maybe I can adapt that one. http://www.worldmags.com/magazine/page.ihtml?pid=467&step=4

Persuasion was pretty disappointing-it was way too short and had no character development to speak of. It took me nearly 30 minutes to remember that Elizabeth was Anne's sister and not her father's trophy wife! They seem to have started it a few chapters into the book. It was also not
believable that Lucy could flit so quickly from Captain Wentworth to his friend-or that his friend (whose name I forget) could get over his dead love so quickly. I have seen at least one other version of Persuasion and that one was somewhat better developed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here is my first Jane Austen project. Nothing particular Regency about it but easy to do in the dark. A little cap for my baby girl - made a bit big so it will work next fall. I've finished the matching leg warmers. It's made with Zen String in Chocolate Cherise. So pretty! And I love knitting with sock yarn - though I am terrible at socks - they are always so slouchy. So any kind of project that isn't socks when I can use this light and pretty yarn is a plus.
I did get a couple of pictures of Little Miss wearing it in progress but her teething is giving her a despondent, runny nose look that I wouldn't want to capture for posterity - though very Regency - can you imagine how many snifles people must have had living without central heat? More when she recovers. Knit on!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Off to a painful start

Very funny that I'd emailed Katie about Wentworth's good looks before I'd read her post! My partner made an interesting comment about last night's Persuasion which I hadn't noticed bothered me, but after she pointed it out I realized had a bit--she (and I) wished that there had been a little more sense of place. There were SO MANY close-ups, particularly of Anne, that much I enjoy about watching Austen films (lovely countryside, lavish parties, elegant sitting rooms) was absent. That said, I do think we got a very intimate look at Anne's torment and desperation. Didn't you cringe and writhe for her? I thought it was well done overall.

Persuasion was the perfect accompaniment to my knitting project. What better to watch while working on a project you started FOUR YEARS AGO than the story of someone still longing for a better life eight years after she thinks she lost her best chance? I've just picked this blanket back up after a very long time away--here it is in my little viewing corner for watching TV: While poor Anne was being tortured by Wentworth's cutting comments about strength of mind, I was trying to fix mistakes buried eight rows down in some garter stitch. Ick.

The blanket is for our fourth and youngest daughter, Ellis, due in April. I started it when I first got pregnant with our twins, before we knew they were twins or girls, and was working on it while in the hospital on bed rest before they were born and died. I just didn't have the heart to pick it up after that, other than some brief attempts during my pregnancy with my third daughter. Because this will probably be our last baby if we get to bring her home, I thought I'd better finish it! It's on some smallish needles so may take me until April to finish, but hopefully devoting Sunday evenings to the cause will help me reach the goal.

One more silly little thing--I could only see the actress that played Elizabeth as the caterer in 'Love Actually.' I just could not get past it!

Comment on actors more than anything

I have the old BBC and A&E serialized versions from the late 70s/early 80s. I think we have been tought to expect a certain um... lack of physical beauty in the leading men because they have been so not attractive in the past. I know not all English men are unattractive, so why must the heros/love interests be unattractive? And, why must the "attractive heartbreakers" have long hair? It rarely does anything for the loooks of the guy himself and just perpetuates the stereotype.

Aside from all that, I agree that Frederick is very nice to look at compared to most leading men in a Jane Austen movie.

so what did you think?

My dreams of wrapping up in a blanket with my knitting and wine all by myself was a little augmented by an unexpected guest - a teething baby! Luckily Little Miss was happy to sleep as long as I held her so I balanced the vino and knitting around her warm little body.
I was swept away by Persuasion. What a great start to the series! While it's never been my favorite of Austen's books, I found new things to appreciate about it last night - Anne's growth from timidity to independence felt very natural. I was cheering for her as she ran around Bath looking for Frederick. And speaking of Frederick - va va va voom! I never thought of him as being so handsome as Rupert Penry-Jones who played him in last night's production. But possibly, as he grew into his fortune maybe he also grew into his looks. I would have liked a bit more of scenes with his sister who is a great role-model for Anne, but overall, I was very satisfied by the first entry in the series.
I was able to finish one knitting project and start another even while cuddling with Little Miss - but I haven't had time to photograph it yet. I'll share it soon.

I would love to hear what others thought and what projects they are working on. If you've emailed me with your request to join the KAL, I've sent you the permissions to write your own blog entry. I can't wait to see what you think!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

video preview of the series - yeah!

Here's a preview of the series on Masterpiece Theater. I can't wait!

Monday, January 7, 2008

the complete jane austen schedule

Clear your calendar or set your tivo. Here is a lineup of The Complete Jane Austen

January 13: Persuasion
January 20: Northanger Abbey
January 27: Mansfield Park
February 3: Miss Austen Regrets
February 10: Pride & Prejudice, Part I
February 17: Pride & Prejudice, Part II
February 24: Pride & Prejudice, Part III
March 23: Emma
March 30 : Sense & Sensibility, Part I
April 6: Sense & Sensibility, Part II

You can get a pdf of the complete schedule at Masterpiece Theater's site.