Tuesday, June 06, 2023

While Miz Kittling Knits: Around the World in 80 Days


Last week in my introduction to my weekly link round-up, I mentioned that I've been fighting mood swings and depression for the past year. Knitting has been a windfall for me in more ways than one. Not only have I made several people happy with the things I've created, knitting has also helped keep my hands limber despite the encroachment of arthritis in my finger joints. My great-grandmother had crippling rheumatoid arthritis that turned her hands into unusable claws, so this is something I've always been aware of. But wait-- there's more!
Knitting has also helped me stave off these mood swings and depression. True, my needles and yarn haven't vanquished them, but they have helped keep me from falling into a Well of Despond. (Don't mind me, just a momentary lapse into Victorian English.) But enough of this blather. Let me show you one of the things I've made recently!
A lap blanket made for donation.

I found the pattern for this lap blanket at Lion Brand. It's a freebie called "Snowdrift Blanket", and I used two strands of Lion Brand's Homespun yarn in a lovely rusty color called "Wildfire" on US size 15 circular needles. This lap blanket is wonderfully soft and warm and will be donated to the Arizona Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

What was I watching while my needles were clacking away? 

I had some misgivings, but Denis and I both like David Tennant, so when I saw Around the World in 80 Days on Amazon Prime's PBS Masterpiece channel, we decided to give it a try. We're glad we did.
My initial misgivings were due to the fact that I'd watched the 1956 movie starring David Niven and Cantiflas when I was a teenager (and again in my thirties) and hadn't liked it at all. I will also say that I have not read the Jules Verne novel both were based on, but I can't imagine that this eight-episode series follows it to the letter. No film adaptation ever follows the book exactly, right? I would imagine that it follows the spirit of Verne's book, however.

David Tennant portrays "gentleman adventurer, Phileas Fogg, who sets out on a quest to travel around the world and back home in a period of 80 days." He is accompanied by a manservant, Passepartout (actor Ibrahim Koma), and an aspiring newspaper journalist, Abigail "Fix" Fortescue (actor Leonie Benesch). 

Denis and I really enjoyed the sets and cinematography, and I know I liked how the story delved into the personalities of all three. When it was all over, I wished Fogg and his companions would start all over again. (By the way, want to hear something wild? The £20,000 bet that Fogg made would now be worth almost £2,000,000!)


  1. That's a beautiful lap blanket, Cathy! I love the warm shade, too. I'm glad it helps to knit, and it's nice to do something like that when you're watching TV. I've not seen this version of Around the World..., but it sounds as though they did a good job with it. And wow - £2,000,000! It shows you how much the value of money has changed in those years!

  2. Must be a wonderful feeling to have something tangible to show for all those hours spent, Cathy; can't remember the last time that's happened to me. I'm a big fan of David Tennant's work so would probably watched the series for that reason alone. I did enjoy the Jules Verne novel as a very young reader, but retain only a feeling of liking it a lot - not so much why. Like you, I'm not a fan of the David Niven (or David Niven when it comes to that) movie version.

    1. Niven was a funny raconteur on late night talk shows, and I loved his quick wits the year he MC'd the Oscars, but I have to admit that I never particularly cared for him as an actor.

  3. I read and loved the novel as a teenager and I did see that David Niven movie but it is pretty much a blur in my memory now. David Tennant is such a personable and talented actor. I've enjoyed everything that I've ever watched that he has done. I suspect I would enjoy this as well.

  4. First things first: Afghan is lovely and it is so generous of you to donate it to disabled veterans. Then the movie. I watched the old version years ago, not much remembered. I, too, like David Tennant, and might watch this because of him. Two excellent British productions he is in are Broadchurch and The Escape Artist. Broadchurch (British version) with him and Olivia Coleman is slow and measured and excellent as a investigation into a child's death and beautiful scenery. And then The Escape Action is nonstop action with some courtroom drama. He and Sophie Okenado have some terrific legal sparring sessions.

    1. I've seen both of the ones you mentioned.


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!