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. (

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.

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.