Monday, February 29, 2016
While Miz Kittling Knits: Shetland
You're probably all waiting for my recap of Left Coast Crime which was held here in Phoenix last week from Thursday to Sunday, but you're just going to have to be disappointed for a bit.
It just ended yesterday. I have lots of photos to go through and lots of notes. Plus... it almost feels like Denis and I need to be reacquainted again! No, he didn't go because he had to work, and I was gone before he was awake, and I was in bed before he got home from work. Two ships that pass in the night, eh? But once I get everything sorted out, you can rest assured that you'll be hearing all about my first-ever crime fiction convention!
But in the midst of freshening the feathers in our nest, I have been watching television and stitching, so I thought I'd share another knitting project and another UK television series that I've been watching.
I came across an oh-so-soft bulky yarn called Fleece Lite in a shade named "Fiesta," and it immediately made me think of babies. Don't ask me why; I only show my maternal side around baby critters. This yarn made me think "baby blanket" and how warm a baby would be wrapped up in something made with it.
I chose a close-knit basketweave pattern because I wanted the blanket to be warm, and I didn't want little fingers or toes to get caught in the stitches. You can barely see the basketweave pattern in the photo above, but trust me-- it's there. If I'd really wanted the pattern to shine instead of the yarn, I would have chosen a solid color. Maybe next time!
Here's a closeup for you so you can get an idea of the true mix of colors running throughout the yarn. It doesn't matter if the baby is a boy or a girl, this blanket will be perfect!
I don't know anyone who's having a baby, so I'm thinking of donating this (and the future ones I make for there will be more) to a nearby hospital. Hospitals are happy to accept donations like these for preemies and other at-risk babies. Maybe I have more maternal instincts than I thought because it makes me feel good to think of my knitting being used in such a way.
What have I been watching as I'm working on this baby blanket? Denis and I have been enjoying a Christmas gift I gave to the two of us. I think all-region DVD players are becoming easier to buy. We've got one-- it's almost a necessity with all the British television and films we watch-- so I went shopping at Amazon UK and purchased some DVDs. One of my choices was the 3-disc set of seasons one and two of Shetland, based on the novels by one of my favorite authors, Ann Cleeves (a Left Coast Crime guest of honor!).
I love her novels set on the Shetland Islands of Scotland, and I've come to trust the BBC to do good crime fiction adaptations. I couldn't wait for Shetland to be available on Acorn or Netflix or PBS, so I just went ahead and bought the DVDs.
When Denis and I began watching, the first thing that struck me was that the actor Douglas Henshall looks nothing like the Jimmy Perez portrayed in the books. I'm used to Hollywood changing everything around, so I kicked this dissimilarity to the curb.
There was very little-- if any-- chit chatting while we watched because we were enjoying what we were seeing. Good stories and good acting make for a very pleasurable evening of TV viewing.
And as I thought, the Shetland Islands themselves play an important part in the series. The scenery is often stunningly beautiful (think the Scottish Highlands but with no trees), and we get to learn a bit about the customs of the Shetlanders, just as you do while reading Cleeves' books.
For the most part, I had no problem at all with the accents, but there was one notable exception. An old fisherman's lines were often unintelligible, but once we'd backed up and listened to sections again, I could tell that my difficulty in understanding the actor was due more to the fact that he mumbled-- a lot-- than due to any accent.
Season three of Shetland is playing right now in the UK, and I'll be looking to add it to our DVD collection. I know most of you don't have the wherewithal to watch DVDs from other regions, so keep your eyes peeled for this series to show up elsewhere. I think you'll enjoy it!