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Knitting at the Movies: The Debt

4 September 2011
Yarn Ball in Drink Holder

Ball of Shelter Yarn in AMC Hoffman Drink Holder: Fits Perfectly! Mr. Trask was unwilling to take a photo of me knitting in the theater (sigh).

Last night, Mr. Trask and I went to the movies with Jeff of GGSG. Inspired by Helen Mirren’s glorious career (as well as an NPR story suggesting male movie roles for Mirren AND our silly Twitter conversation on other roles), we went to see Mirren’s latest, The Debt. It was a real thriller – tense, tight, well-written and -acted. I knit all the way through, not because I was bored, but because I was intensely anxious – but, you know, in a good way.

Several exciting things happened in the course of our movie evening. First of all, I discovered that a ball of yarn fits nicely into the drink holders in the chairs at the AMC Hoffman in Alexandria, Va. So convenient! Also, I knit three more strips in the Log Cabin Shelter Blanket, changing colors blindly and only one of the three new colors was inappropriate – the orange, which I’d just used on that side. Utterly impressed with myself for picking up stitches without looking, and think I’ll be able to continue to knit the blanket at the movies (as well as, say, on the plane to the UK). I ripped out the orange strip this morning and replaced it with a nice navy blue one, but am posting a photo from before then, just because. If nothing else, the success of completely random color choice shows me how well Shelter’s different colors blend with one another, and makes me a little more confident about color in general. [Historically, I have issues with color choice. Perhaps that’s another topic for another post.]

Shelter Blanket 2011-0904

Shelter Blanket after the film: only one weird color choice, the orange. Victory!

The film included a knitting moment, but not my favorite. One scene takes place in a Ukranian mental institution, a grim place indeed, and the camera pans past a nurse teaching a patient to knit. He’s holding enormous needles and struggling to complete the stitch, and she’s leaning awkwardly over the arm of a couch to help him. Neither looks particularly happy, and both Jeff and Mr. Trask looked over at me after the shot, as much as to say, “You belong in an asylum.” However, let me point out that the man in the institution did NOT know how to knit when he entered the ward (otherwise, she wouldn’t be teaching him), and clearly he is being taught in order to help restore him to health. Knitters are sane: QED.

Moving along to the next book giveaway, I located some more nice books for you all. Some of the books have fading on their covers, but otherwise they’re in good condition (and free). All winners will be chosen, as always, by the ever-popular Random Number Generator. If you tell me which book you prefer, and it is available when your number comes up, you will get that book! Therefore, as Mother used to say, ask for what you want. Without further ado, here are the books:

Second Exciting Book Giveaway

The Second Exciting Book Giveaway: includes Stephanie Pearl McPhee and some nice pattern books.

The Second Book Giveaway includes:

  1. Rowan Classic Weekend Book Eight by Martin Storey. Features the pattern I first tried to knit with the cursed yarn. Ah, the days of the cursed yarn…
  2. Colinette #47: Wayfarer, by Colinette Yarns
  3. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off, by Stephanie Pearl McPhee.
  4. Bags: A Knitter’s Dozen, by XRX Books
  5. Knit Mittens!, by Robin Hansen – one of my favorite mitten designers, an expert in traditional colorwork.
  6. Odd Ball Knitting: Creative Ideas for Leftover Yarn, by Barbara Albright
  7. Modular Knits, by Iris Schreier – the owner of Artyarns!
  8. Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson of Purl Soho. An amazing book.

Comment on this post by noon EDT on Thursday, 8 Sept. 2011ย  for a chance to win. Please remember that, if you comment here to enter the giveaway, you are committing to pay for postage. The easiest way to pay for postage is to wait until the package arrives, read how much postage is on the package, and add a dollar or two to cover the mailer itself. Then use the Paypal button in the right-hand column of the blog to donate that amount. Again, thank you to all of you who are willing to pay for postage.

Finally, here are the winners of the first book giveaway:

  1. The Knitting Answer Book – Ivanna
  2. KnitLit – Elaine
  3. One Skein – CGuard
  4. Noro Knits – Sara
  5. Knitting on the Road – Tina
  6. Weekend Knitting – Robin
  7. Knitting Workbook –ย Krystal
  8. Knit 2 Together – Jeannie

Congratulations to all who won! Check your e-mail, send me your address, prepare for knitting book nirvana, etc.

Not sure what to say in your comment? Tell me your favorite knitting book or author (mine is Elizabeth Zimmermann); tell me if you knit at the movies; tell me how you feel about Helen Mirren; tell me which male movie role you think she’d excel at. Heck, tell me how your weekend has been! As The Master might say, Anything Goes.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimberlee permalink
    4 September 2011 6:59 pm

    How exciting, a knitting book giveaway! I’ve never knit at the movies, mostly because I don’t go that often, and I am a newbie knitter. I also require quite a setup for knitting, and don’t think I could manage it all at the movies! My knitting, my pattern, a cold drink, a snack, and my comfy chair. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a great contest! If I win, I’d be happy to have any of these books, no preference here.

  2. Traci permalink
    4 September 2011 7:01 pm

    Just want to assist you with your move to England; )

  3. robin permalink
    4 September 2011 7:14 pm

    wowie-zowie, kathleen!! thank you!! i am so impressed that you continue to blog as frequently as you do with all that is going on in your life – when exactly do you & mr. trask leave on your grand adventure?
    my favorite knitting author is EZ – i get a kick out of her & totally appreciate the creativity & wit. there are others tho’ including the yarlot, mags kandis, & ann budd – i’m probably forgetting many many more, but if i want to just read a knitting book it’s EZ all the way.
    knitting at the movies? i don’t really go but i used to knit at band concerts for my boys when they were in school, not at sporting events tho’ because i might have missed a touchdown (or a goal or a check into the boards)
    love helen mirren – i actually think she could play anything – she was a great “Queen” don’t you think? maybe Don Corleone? or Scarface? that’s rather preposterous tho’
    thank you again & this weekend is the first weekend i have had 3 days off in a row in i don’t know how long! i am just enjoying reading, knitting, visiting one of my sons in Chicago yesterday, & having no plans!! (almost forgot – Last Minute Knitted Gifts would be my preferred book if i was so incredibly fortunate to win again!)

  4. Consuela permalink
    4 September 2011 8:54 pm

    Okay, I keep promising myself I will not comment on your wonderful blogs because I have already won twice…but I just can’t resist a book with the wonderful title of Odd Ball Knitting: Creative Ideas for Leftover Yarn. So my hat’s in the ring…

  5. Lynda permalink
    4 September 2011 9:51 pm

    I discovered that too! About the drink holders at the movies. Sadly, I also discovered I can not knit in the dark, I need to see my stitches. In order of preference: Modular Knits, Knit Mittens!, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

  6. 4 September 2011 10:08 pm

    I am – right now – interrupting finishing my first pair of adult socks to comment. Would love the last minute gifts book. Wow!

  7. 5 September 2011 10:00 am

    I’m a newlywed and my kids and I have been spending the weekend with my new husband. Such a treat. I read to him your comments about impressing him with the Criterion “Brazil” — that REALLY resonated with us.

    I’d love the Rowan book – a Martin Storey sweater is on my knitting bucket list.

  8. 5 September 2011 12:41 pm

    You’re making the log cabin blanket! I keep saying I’m going to do that one of these days. Maybe I need to purchase gorgeous yarn and get inspired.

  9. Gwendolyn permalink
    5 September 2011 1:26 pm

    My weekend was lazy and interesting, for me. Saturday we accomplished nothing, but grilling dinner. I mean breakfast was even donuts(sp?). Sunday morning I finished another kitchen towel. Then we went to the zoo only to leave and find a dead battery in the car. I am still baffled how that happened. Everything was off, the car alarm wasn’t even set! Luckily the guy who wanted our parking space had jumper cables. Then the afternoon getting a pedicure and visiting the pool.
    I would prefer (if a winner) Last-Minute knitted gifts …… I’m pretty sure I will be able to put it to good use.

  10. Michele permalink
    5 September 2011 1:27 pm

    This is so weird, we were at the 2:05 showing of the same film. My first commnent upon sitting down was it was too dark to knit in there but that was because I’m making a complicated castle design blanket and I really have to keep track of the chart. I will have to try the cup holder idea. If I were to win, thereby assisting you directly in your move which is only right and pretty noble of me, I would be interested in the Oddball Knitting or Last Minute Gifts books. Who am I resist a book with the word “oddball” in the title or a book that promises to aid me is doing things at the last minute?

  11. 5 September 2011 5:13 pm

    I have never knit at the movies even though, like you, I find knitting helps my brain keep going. When I was a little girl at boarding school I would knit in the dark once the lights had gone out for the night. As I recall it was usually a mess in the morning. I have threatened several times to take my knitting to church as think how much knitting I could get in during the sermon time and I really would be listening! So far I have chickened out but maybe if I sit at the back . . .

  12. Patrizia permalink
    5 September 2011 6:06 pm

    I knit mostly in my car and at the beach (it’s very close by…) but I couldn’t at the movies. I’m not fast and I need to see what I’m doing so I envy you a lot. Thank you for this giveaway, it’s really difficult to chose but I would love to win Last minute gift. It is so inspiring.

  13. 6 September 2011 7:47 pm

    Gee, I can hardly wait to see how hubby reacts when I take over his drink holder with yarn.

    GREAT blog post!

  14. 6 September 2011 7:47 pm

    I agree that you should do a post on color choices, this is a really big issue for me!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I tried to decide which books I’d rather have but kept going back and forth and back and forth – they would all be amazing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. 7 September 2011 12:51 pm

    hey! I just found your blog-it’s great! Where in the UK are you moving? I left Oxford last year and I loved it. I’m sure you’ll have a great time! (It’s perfect sweater weather!!)

    I think all the books look great, although I do have a weakness for both Stephanie and Rowan ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Krystal permalink
    12 September 2011 6:57 am

    Glad to hear the Helen Mirren movie is good – I have a bit of a girl crush on her, and have been thinking of inviting my husband on a movie date soon (we go about once a year). I knit when watching movies at home, but have never done it in the theatre yet – mostly because I go so infrequently!

    • Kathleen permalink*
      13 September 2011 5:06 pm

      The Helen Mirren movie is soooo good. Not what I was expecting – but so much better than what I was expecting. Drag that husband out on the movie date; Mr. Trask really liked this one.

      • Krystal permalink
        15 September 2011 4:46 pm

        Good to hear – hopefully I’ll make it happen this weekend!

  17. knitterarian permalink
    15 September 2011 1:19 am

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for posting this. I’ve always had to urge to bring my knitting with me to the theatre, but have always been anxious about it. Kudos! I just may show this post to my boyfriend first, to prove I’m not insane so that hopefully he’ll continue to sit beside me ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. knitzippy's husband permalink
    1 October 2011 8:16 pm

    I loved the handknit sweaters that the Sam Worthington and Marton Csockas wore in “The Debt”. Did you notice them? My wife has offered to knit a sweater for me and I’ve found that the best looking men’s hand knit sweaters seem to show up in films and I’m hoping to track down similar patterns. Last year’s, “Never Let Me Go” also had great hand knit sweaters. I’m assuming the costume designers commission expert knitters to create the sweaters?

    • Kathleen permalink*
      3 October 2011 5:57 am

      Ooh! I eyed those sweaters, too. I haven’t seen “Never Let Me Go,” but it is on my list – and just moved up by virtue of your hand-knit-sweater recommendation.
      Of course, I suggest you learn to knit yourself, and either knit a sweater for your wife or one for yourself. Give it some thought…

      • knitzippy's husband permalink
        8 October 2011 2:08 pm

        I admire my wife’s knitting talent and I’m impressed how nice knitters all seem to be! I promise I will try to learn.

        Reading the responses to your question about knitting for husbands, I think the time is ripe for someone to solve the “sweaters-for-husbands-are-always-unsuccessful” problem. When I asked my wife to knit me a sweater, she reminded me about the sweater she knit for me in 1985 that I never wore. I promised to be more involved this time in choosing the pattern.

        Looking through the catalogues, the only patterns that seemed nice were for very heavy fisherman-style sweaters. We live in California and it’s just too warm for that kind of sweater. I’ve found a few promising men’s sweater patterns, but 90% of the designs are hilariously strange – like they just gave up. So now I’ve been noticing the beautiful hand-knit men’s sweaters that are appearing in recent films – I want that!

        Thanks for your great blog.

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