Thursday, November 29, 2012

What to Do While Knitting

Many people do something else while they knit, and I'm no exception. For me, however, I like to think of it as doing other things while I knit (or spin, for that matter). Most of the time, it's watching something on TV or DVD. I'm working on a project I can't show you right now (sorry -- all will be revealed in time), so I thought I'd take this lull in knitting content to share with you some of what I've been watching while I knit.

If there's one thing you should know about my viewing preferences, it's that I'm a sucker for period pieces, especially British period pieces. Obviously at this time last year I was watching Cranford and its sequel, Return to Cranford, which inspired Gaskell. I found the DVD set on sale at Costco and couldn't resist it. Unfortunately, I lent it to my mother several months ago and she hasn't returned it yet, so I haven't watched it recently.

There are number of similar series available either on DVD or streaming on Netflix. First is Wives and Daughters, another Elizabeth Gaskell novel turned into a miniseries. If you watch Masterpiece Classic regularly, you'll recognize some of the actors in this one. The main character is a young woman named Molly, who finds herself in challenging situations when her widowed father remarries a woman with a daughter her age.

Another series I quite enjoyed was Lark Rise to Candleford, which is set in 19th-century England and focuses on the story of a young woman named Laura, who leaves her small hamlet of Lark Rise to serve as an apprentice in her cousin's post office in the larger town of Candleford. There are four seasons of this show, which deals with topics as diverse as young love, marital discord, debt, pride, and the coming of the Industrial Revolution. The story is told by an adult Laura looking back on her youthful experiences. There are some familiar faces in this series as well, and there's also a fair amount of good knitting content!

A show I discovered fairly recently, thanks to Abby of the Knit Knit Cafe podcast, is a sweet little series called Call the Midwife on PBS. Only six episodes have aired (and they're available to watch online for free until December 3, so watch them fast!). The show follows a group of midwives living and working in London's East End during the late 1950s, and the story lines are both lighthearted and serious. I do hope more episodes are aired.

Finally, my favorite thing to watch is probably no surprise: Downton Abbey. I own both of the first two seasons on DVD, but season one is available streaming on Netflix and season two begins re-airing on PBS starting this Sunday (12/3). I'm very much looking forward to the beginning of the third season on January 6!


  1. I either watch tv or listen to audiobooks. Usually the downloadable system at my library has the audiobook versions of new and popular books (with little or no wait to get them as opposed to the 20+ people waiting to get the hardcover!). I think over the past several years I've listened to more books than read, though my kindle is steadily increasing that number. I've found that when knitting plain st st or garter I can read with my kindle propped on my knee. I've never been able to do it with a regular book.

  2. Try and find the BBC version of Martin Chuzzlewit. You will love it!

  3. So when can we expect a Downton-inspired piece? Or is that what you can't show us?! I love DA and am essentially emotionally cheating on my husband with Matthew :)