Wednesday, April 21, 2021

While Miz Kittling Knits: The Dig

 


Ever since Denis retired, I've struggled to fit in knitting time. I was used to fixing something to eat in the evening and after my meal, settling down in front of the television to knit and to watch whatever I'd chosen for anywhere from three to four hours. (I'm a night owl, and Denis worked the 2 PM to midnight shift.) Denis has occasionally complained that he can have trouble with lamp glare on the television screen plus he's going through a phase of wanting to watch programs that, if I'm completely honest, I couldn't care less about. Since he spends a good portion of his telly time watching programs from the screen on the inside of his eyelids (cough, cough), I've decided that I'm going to knit as long as I want to, and I've even begun sneaking in some of my favorite programs while his eyes are shut. I love the man dearly, but I've been going through major withdrawal here! (Besides, I have the-- probably-- irrational idea that if I keep knitting I will avoid the crippling rheumatoid arthritis my great-grandmother had.)

Fortunately, I've got something to share that I finished prior to his retirement. It's nothing fancy, but it suits me perfectly, and it's hard to beat something like that, isn't it? What is it? Let's take a look.
 
For once, I didn't open my Go To book, Leisure Arts' Big Book of Quick Knit Afghans. You know, the pattern book that's so worn, I have to keep all the pages together with a binder clip so I don't lose anything. No, this time, I knitted an afghan in a simple knit 3, purl 3 ribbing pattern, and I used my favorite afghan yarn, Lion Brand Thick & Quick Homespun in a color called "Pearls." This yarn is so lightweight, soft, snuggly, and warm, that it's absolutely perfect for afghans. It's also bulky enough that I use only one strand of yarn instead of the double strand that the Leisure Arts book calls for.
 
For some reason, I wasn't aware that this particular yarn was self-striping, but it didn't really matter. In fact, I've given my afghan a name-- "Coming and Going"-- because it has both vertical and horizontal stripes. You did see that I said "my" afghan, didn't you? Yes indeed, I finally made myself an afghan, and I did have a few opportunities to snuggle under it before the weather warmed up. I'll show you a closeup next.
 
This may not be very fancy, but then I'm not very fancy.
 
This is the second afghan I've completed in 2021. I recently finished afghan #3 and have already started on afghan #4 (with plans for #5 in the works). Denis made me laugh when I asked him to take a look at my progress on #4. "That's mine," he says. "What do you need with two afghans? Are you going to use them both at the same time? It doesn't get that cold here!" He just smiled and repeated, "It's mine." 
 
Something tells me that he's tired of me giving them all away-- which is one reason why I'm still busily knitting away on them... although I am contemplating other projects. After all, I do have a mohair and silk blend yarn with sequins and beads that would make a perfect scarf or cowl... We shall see!
 
What was I watching while I beavered away on my afghan? Since I've been interested in archaeology for most of my life, one of the programs I watched was Netflix's The Dig starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes about an archaeologist (Fiennes) embarking on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938 after being hired by the landowner (Mulligan).
 

Even though I knew what was going to be found, the movie still was exciting to watch, since the entire enterprise fits neatly into the "truth is stranger than fiction" category. Mulligan and Fiennes were perfect in their roles. Mulligan looked upper class, rich, and ill-- so ethereal that it looked as though a stiff breeze would blow her away into the next life. Also, this is the first time that I've ever liked Ralph Fiennes in anything; he's always left me cold in the past. But as the gruff man who left school at the age of twelve yet completely trusted his gift for archaeology, he was excellent. Both people had problems with the trained archaeologists. After all, this happened in 1938, and Edith Pretty (Mulligan) was a woman. The only reason why the professionals paid any real attention to her was because it was her land and her money. Basil Brown (Fiennes) on the other hand, was a totally different story with his common accent and lack of formal education. 

The Dig is beautifully photographed, and although it couldn't tell the entire story of the discovery of Sutton Hoo, I still think it did a very good job.

Have any of you seen it? For those of you who haven't seen it, are you thinking about it now? Inquiring minds would love to know!

12 comments:

  1. Retirement does take some adjustment I am sure! I am familiar with that screen behind the eyelids. As much as we love Midsommer Murders, every time we watch it either my husband or I or sometimes both of us end up watching the screen behind our eyelids.

    I love the color of your afghan. Glad you finally made one for yourself.

    I have heard good things about The Dig, but haven't watched it yet.

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    1. You might want to give the Dig a try, Gretchen. I certainly watched every minute of it from the outside of my eyelids.

      I'm now watching the 22nd season of Midsomer Murders, and I have to admit that there's something so comforting and relaxing about it that it's easy to nod off... not that I ever have! ;-)

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  2. That afghan is beautiful, Cathy! I love the subtle striping in it, and it looks so comfortable. I have to admit, I've not seen The Dig, but you're not the first person to tell me it's good. I ought to make some time for it.

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  3. My husband retired 5 years ago and we still have adjustment issues. We typically have different tastes in television, but we did both watch The Dig. Other series we will both watch are The First 48 and Schitt's Creek, although Ricky usually sleeps through Schitt's Creek. We are nearing the end of the series. I'll miss the Rose family. It got cold last night in NW Louisiana, but I have an afghan my mom crocheted for me years ago. I was learning to crochet before COVID, and I stopped for some reason. I think your knitted afghan is pretty and if it's soft, it's a keeper--that's my number one requirement.

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    1. Yes! I can't stand scratchy afghans.

      Denis has told me to watch whatever I want to watch when he falls asleep, but when I do, THAT is when he wakes up. He can be as contrary as I can! LOL

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  4. I enjoyed The Dig a lot, but I didn't know the backstory at all coming into it so I had no idea how important a discovery they were about to make - and embarrassingly enough I've always considered myself kind of an amateur archaeologist. I agree with you about Fieness, too; he's always come across to me as kind of stiff. I didn't get that feeling from this role.

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    1. Yes, Fiennes has always come across as a stiff, cold fish to me, but he certainly didn't in this film.

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  5. The Dig sounds like a good one. I have neutral feelings about Ralph Fiennes. He does get a lot of roles. I will look for it.

    And the afghans, of course, beautiful as usual. I understand why your spouse said afghan 4 is his.
    I think the mohair and silk would make a lovely scarf or shawl.

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    1. I had the same mohair/silk blend yarn in a gorgeous peach color. Our niece Daisy's eyes lit up when she saw it, and she took it home to England with her. This yarn is a deep, rich, chocolate brown.

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  6. Oh, that's peachy. Lucky Daisy.

    So your artisanship has ended up in England. So it's now world famous.

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    1. Let's rein that in a bit and say that it's known on two continents, okay? ;-)

      Daisy always has her pick of my stash of completed projects, and it's even encouraged her to begin learning to knit.

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