Monday, December 11, 2017

While Miz Kittling Knits: The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries

You haven't seen any of my knitting since the end of May. Once the weather heats up and I start spending a lot of time outside, my knitting projects tend to consist of simple things that would bore you to tears. And as far as that "heated-up" weather goes, it's simply too hot to knit anything that has much size to it.

Now it's cooler-- in fact we finally turned on the heat last Tuesday-- and my knitting needles have been seeing a lot more action. I've been working on an afghan that's keeping me snug and warm from waist to knee, and I'm looking forward to it getting down to my cold little toes, but I have been knitting smaller projects as well.

I decided to show you one of my failures because...well...because things don't always go according to plan. When I found this "tassel cowl" pattern on the internet, I thought it would be perfect for my beautician's teenage daughter.

I thought it looked fun in the multi-colored yarn in which it's shown, but I thought it would also look extremely well worked in a "dressier" yarn, so I brought out a skein of Red Heart Fiesta acrylic yarn in black-- which is really a combination of black and blond strands twisted together.

I had a second reason for trying this pattern: learning how to seam knitted pieces together. As I knitted the length of ribbing, following every single one of the directions in the pattern carefully, I began to have doubts. When I seamed the piece together (which went really well, I might add) and put it on the mannequin, I saw that I had been right to doubt. Take a look for yourself....

This is supposed to have enough stretch to fan out and spread across the wearer's shoulders. All I have is an extremely warm double thickness turtleneck that would look stupid if I attached the fringe at the bottom. What makes this doubly disappointing is that I'd already knitted a second in a lovely, Christmasy red acrylic yarn with a gold metallic strand in it. Fortunately, I didn't seam the red one together, so I can either pick it apart and reuse the yarn or use it as a mat. There is definitely something wrong with this pattern (probably the needle size)!

Every time I try to knit something special for Tucker's daughter, it turns out to be a dud for one reason or another. I'm beginning to think I'm trying to knit through some sort of curse! So this year I've just wrapped up Tucker's gift along with three other finished selections from my stash. I'm sure mother and daughter will be happy with what I've chosen.

And what was I watching on television while I was knitting away on my cursed project? Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon (now on Midsomer Murders) in The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries.

This five-episode series (1998-2000) is based on the series of mysteries written by Gladys Mitchell, and if you're the sort of person who likes their television and movie viewing to follow the books they're based on very closely, you're going to be due a disappointment.

In the books, Mrs. Bradley is an old woman, and she's, quite frankly, ugly. It's her mind and her wit you're going to like her for, not her appearance or her fashion sense. Diana Rigg, no matter her age, is far from ugly, and you can tell she enjoys wearing the clothing styles of the late 1920s. In fact, she reminds me a bit of Essie Davis in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries set during the same time period in Australia. (There's just something about that clothing....)

Although the casting strays far from Gladys Mitchell's Mrs. Bradley, the writing does not. These five episodes are classy, intriguing mysteries that are filled with witty dialogue that only an iconic actress like Diana Rigg can deliver.

In other words, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries are perfect companions for evenings spent knitting-- whether the knitting project turns out well or not!


  1. So glad you're enjoying the Mrs. Bradley mysteries, Cathy. I've liked the ones I've seen very much. Sorry to hear about the knitting pattern, though. How frustrating!

  2. Knitting frustrations, too bad. I'm sure you will work it out.
    I like that knitted collar and think teenagers will thin that cool.

    I like the TV Mrs. Bradley series. Have always adored Diana Rigg.

    1. Diana Rigg was one of the very first actresses I remember thinking was cool-- Mrs. Peel!


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