Monthly Archives: September 2014

Outlander knitting – Mrs. Fitz’s Mitts

photo 5It’s no secret I have caught the knitting bug. No matter that until quite recently it’s been 100 degrees here but I’m SET for when winter finally gets here.

The next thing on my list was Mrs. Fitz’s mitts. I only wanted mine to fit a little tighter, and just have a more modern look.

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I mean, just look how happy she is?! It’s got to be because her hands are all snuggly and warm.

You can find the pattern I used here. 

I LOVE these. It was my first time attempting to knit a thumb hole, and I think they turned out really well. They fit nice and tight, so the pattern may need to be adjusted if you’re worried about them being TOO tight. The hand part is done with a provisional cast on and garter stitch back and forth. It makes it nice and cushy. Then the arm part is done in the round. Cute, huh?!

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So what’s next?! Well, even though I’m still quite a beginner, I’m going to try my hand at Claire’s “rent” shawl. I love it so much. I have a few patterns but the whole increase stuff is a big intimidating. So I may be visiting my local knit shop for some help.

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The Wedding recap – Episode 107

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Ok, guys, the wedding happened on Saturday and I’m just now writing a wee recap.

So many people I know have done amazing recaps – be them funny, serious, critical, whatever. So even though I feel like so many angles of this particular episode have been hashed and rehashed already, here is MY take.

For starters, I guess it is safe to say that I am a huge fan of the books. Read them all, love them all, blah blah. Taking that into consideration, if you only want a show that follows directly with the books, you are not only cheating yourself out of enjoying a really fantastic show, you are also probably going to be disappointed with some things that happened in this episode.

When the show first aired, I immediately threw the books out the window. (not literally, I love my books) But because not everything that happens in the books (especially the dialogue) is going to work on the screen. I have enjoyed every episode since the beginning and that is because as a whole Outlander is just good story telling. It’s compelling and visually stunning and moving and exciting and that is what Outlander is anyway. That doesn’t mean I don’t have questions or criticisms at time. But as long as the essence of my favorite book series is in front of me, I’ll save my judgement for the quality of the production over what lines were dropped from the book.

So, moving on.

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We open with Claire and Frank’s proposal and essentially their wedding day. Can I just stop for a minute and gawk at how amazing her outfit is? That hat. The structure of that suit. Incredible.

We continue to the kiss that seals Claire and Jamie as husband and wife, and so we’ll continue to see this sort of flashbacks and jumping around over the course of the episode. It’s a lovely way to remind the audience of Claire’s past life, as well as give us glimpses of whats happened over the course of the wedding day, from the bridal chamber.

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A toast to a Bride of astonishing beauty.

 

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We see Jamie and Claire coming to terms with being all married. They both know they need to “seal the deal” but go for the slow way around by Jamie telling stories.

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“Tell me about your family”. Love Jamie’s smile and Claire turns on the breaks.

I’ve never seen two people drink so much and still stay awake.

Rupert and Angus barge in which breaks the tension and Claire says they should go to bed. Jamie’s all “To bed… or to sleep?”

Then quite possibly the sexiest undressing I’ve ever seen takes place.

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There are some great lines from the book scattered through these moments. I love how real and honest this scene is. Jamie is a virgin, after all, and the desire and hunger in his face is palpable. You can see how much he wants to touch her, but there is still the slightest bit of hesitation. Even their first sexual encounter is honest. Short, sweet, and without much fanfare. He thinks it’s the BEST. THING. EVER. and she’s like “yeah… ”

The show is broken up in 3 different sex scenes. The first breaking the barrier between them, the second the exploration of a lover, and the third we see love. They are distinct and lovely.

It’s also broken up in the 3 stories Jamie tells of the things he did to make their wedding day as special as it could be.

The first being a priest, the second, a ring, and the third, a dress.

So let’s talk about this ring…

theringIt’s not in the book, and it’s created a big stir in the Outlander community.

If you’ve heard the podcast, Ron wanted a ring that would mean something and that she could keep on (as the ring she got in the book was Jamie’s fathers and it was too big).

I love this ring. I love how it translates on screen, I love how rustic and “18th century” it looks against her modern smooth gold band. As much as people are connected and loyal to the ring that comes to Claire later in the book, I am sure this one will probably be inscribed as well, and it will find a special place in our hearts just like that one did. It has it’s place in the show and no one is taking the other ring away from us book lovers.

Speaking of controversies, they also left out a very important conversation between Jamie and Claire about honesty. I feel like the wedding episode probably wasn’t the most fitting time to put it in, and we’ll probably see it this Saturday. Hold your horses, friends.

Now, the dress… Bless Ned Gowan. This is also different from the book in that they pick up the dress at a brothel and it’s new, rather than smelling of it’s previous wearer. I’m absolutely obsessed with the dress Terry designed. It’s so stunning. The sleeves look like they could just blow away, the stomacher is embroidered in this elaborate acorn and oak leave design, and there is mica in the skirt to make it shimmer. So, so lovely.

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And can we just stop and appreciate how in-freaking-credible Jamie looks as well.

If you want to learn more about the dress, I suggest visiting Terry’s Blog Here. 

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I actually kind of love the blood letting and handfasting even though Dougal made it a bit unpleasant.

Then the vows we all know and loved said in Gaelic.

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I’m just going to leave these here. I did decide not to screen cap any bums or dangly bits as my mom visits this blog, and out of respect of our actors. (hey mom!) Needless to say, there was sex and it was hot.

There is a delightful scene with Dougal and Claire (that’s sarcasm) where he kind of comes on to her. Show Dougal has so many more layers than book Dougal and I find myself going back and forth with my feelings towards him.

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The scene where Jamie gives Claire his mother’s pearls is so painfully beautiful. This the start of the love between these two characters that we will just continue to see grow.

In the morning, reality sets in as Jamie leaves and Claire picks up her dress and Frank’s ring falls to the floor. She puts it on with the most perfect “what have I done?” look upon her face.

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And our episode closes. I think this episode was magnificently shot. It’s so sweeping and beautiful and the general arc of it is so well thought out. It was nice to take a break from the violence for just one little moment of bliss.

Pictures from FarFarAwaySite.

Screen grabs by me.

 

The Garrison Commander Episode 106

So I wanted to take a moment and talk about my reactions to this episode. It wont be flashy and full of screen shots. Just me taking a moment to reflect.

It’s been days since this episode aired, and I’ve only been able to view it twice. It’s taken this long to even attempt to write something that will be thoughtful and coherent since this is such a complex and emotional episode.

It begins simply enough, Dougal and Claire go to the garrison where she is greeted like the “English Rose” she is. Then we quickly see how a mouthy (delightfully so!) modern woman reacts when someone she’s come to care for and respect is insulted and disrespected. Enters Black Jack Randall and the tension heightens. She then is able to show off her medical skills when a soldier needs an arm amputated, but don’t think that’s where the gore in this episode ends.

When she returns to the room she was in earlier, Black Jack Randall is there waiting for her. Now, if you’ve read the books you know what kind of guy you are in for, and if you haven’t, well you are in for an education in this episode.

Randall begins his game of cat and mouse with Claire. Trying to find out who she really is, where she came from, what she’s about, why she would defend a Scot! This manipulative interrogation is one of the most compelling I have ever seen on TV. Tobias Menzies blows you away as BJR. He’s brought something to this character that makes you second guess what you know in the books. He’s handsome and charming, and like Claire, there is something about him you want to believe can come back, can be saved.

As he enters into his story of Jamie’s flogging, we suddenly realize how deep his sadism really is. He’s entranced by Jamie because Jamie matches his will, his stubbornness, his immovability. He looks at the pain and torture inflicted on Jamie as a kind of experiment, and the grotesqueness of his back as a work of art. You know then that this man is so twisted, so broken, but something, something in him makes you want to reach out to him.

The flogging itself is only a few minutes but packs a punch I still can’t quite get over. Jamie is a beloved character in these books, and seeing him whipped almost to death makes me angry, makes me sick, and makes me want justice. I would feel that way about anyone having to endure such horrible brutality. Kudos to the makeup department and the director for making it so impactful and so real, as it should be.

As he ends the story, he and Claire share a smile, and you see this flicker of vulnerability. As he reaches for her hand, pulls her up, and thrusts his fist into her stomach we realize just how dangerous that vulnerability makes him. He does not want to be saved. He does not want to be reached. He wants to dwell in this darkness that he has created for himself.

We don’t get a whole lot of who Black Jack Randall is in the books. We just know he’s a bad dude, he’s obsessed with Jamie, and we don’t like him. The character that Tobias has brought to this show is beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’m so interested to see where he takes BJR.

Dougal comes in and rescues Claire, takes her to a magical stream (hee) to see if she is lying about being a spy. She once again says she’s not, and he believes her. Then he drops a bomb on her. To save her from BJR, she needs to become a Scot, and to become a Scot, she needs to marry… a SCOT. As much as he’d like to “grind her corn”, he’s lined up Jamie for the job. She’s a little resistant to this whole thing, but I think Claire gets that there isn’t any other option.

Claire and Jamie have a lovely moment where she makes sure this is something he’d be ok with. She asks him if he minds her not being a virgin, and he adorably tells her he doesn’t as long as she’s doesn’t mind that he is. O_o The line of the night follows as he says “I reckon one of us should ken what they’re doing.”

Oh Jamie. I’d follow you anywhere.

 

 

Next week is the wedding and those delicious screen caps will be back as we discuss every delightful and sexy moment!

 

 

 

The great Scotland road trip. Let’s talk about “Rent” Episode 105

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In our fifth episode, Claire takes off with her band of highlanders to go and collect rent from the villages that were unable to make it to the gathering. Dougal leads this group, and we see his interaction away from the castle with his men.

Claire is still trying to plan an escape, and takes opportunities to scope out her surroundings and see where in relation to the stones she really is.

Ok, so that’s what’s going on. Let’s talk about some of the memorable scenes in this episode.

 

Ned Gowan

Oh what a precious little guy. What else is there to be said for him. Loved him in the book, and the actor that plays him is pretty spot on. He’s a lovely new addition.

The Wool Waulking Scene

My favorite scene in this episode. I loved the singing and I loved the camaraderie of the women with Claire and I even loved the hot piss. Hey, it’s authentic, right?

The Goat Scene 

I think the basically showed what happens when you mess with a hangry Claire too strongly. She fights back. And she’s got claws.

The Shirt Ripping Scene

Though I personally expected a more explosive reaction from my experience reading the books, Sam Heughan’s facial expressions leave you with no doubt of how he really felt about his back being brandished to a group of people. (over and over again)

The Watch and the “Traitor” men

Both the scenes with The Watch and the men trussed up are a sad but poignant reminder of what it actually going on politically during the time (if Jamie’s back didn’t remind you). Claire’s reaction during both scenes mimics how I’d probably feel. Helplessness, anger, fear, revulsion.

Dougal’s Speeches 

The Gaelic speeches by Dougal are numerous in this episode. Numerous and one would argue necessary. It is only later that Claire (and the viewer) realizes exactly what he’s speaking about. Raising money for a jacobite uprising. One that Claire knows is doomed. The Gaelic in these episodes is SO wonderful though, and his passion! Gah.

Frank Flashbacks 

I’m just adding this because I LOVE the extra scenes with Frank. 🙂 Sexy beast that he is.

Eavesdropping on Jamie and Dougal 

Any time we get a little glimpse into what Jamie is truly made of I’m happy. Though couldn’t he punch something a little softer?

Redheaded Door Stop 

Sigh. A scene from the book and the scandalized look on Jamie’s face when Claire asks him to sleep IN HER ROOM is so priceless I just want to squeeze him. “I’ll be right here”. I feel safer already.

Adorable, the both of them.

Standing up for Claire

When her companions defend her honor and Murtagh explains that to her, it links her to them. She sees them in a different light. One of my many changes of heart she has. Suddenly she isn’t seeing them as just her captors, but passionate rebels willing to fight for things they believe in. She even feels comfortable enough to joke with them.

“We can insult ye. But God help any other man that does.” – God I love Murtagh

Culloden Flashback 

Nothing else to say about it really. If you’ve been there, you know. If you haven’t, you should go.

Dougal confrontation and cliff hanger 

Dougal finally gets Claire in a place where he can confront her true motives, only to be thwarted by the arrival of some English officers (including hottie LT Foster). Asked if she is there on her own will, we are left hanging. What will she answer?….

 

Next weeks Episode “The Garrison Commander” can be watched on Starz this Saturday. It’s promised to have lots of evil BJR goodness. Can’t WAIT!

 

The Outlander Evangelist knits again!

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It’s safe to say this cowl has been my obsession since this picture was first released. It looks so warm and chunky and the texture is just gorgeous. I was dying to make one myself but as I just started knitting a few weeks ago I had no idea how manageable this would be. photo 2Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.49.50 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.50.03 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.50.28 PM

The verdict? It’s so easy. Once again my local knit shop was the place to go, and the owner there took one look at the picture and grabbed the needles and yarn that would work, and told me what to do. In less that a day, I had created this gorgeous scarf.

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The pattern is simple. I used US size 36 needles, 4 strands at a time of cascades eco yarn.

If you have a shorter neck or don’t want it super chunky, I’d suggest trying 2 or 3 strands at a time. Then you can cast on 12-15 stitches, depending on how wide you want it, and just keep knitting in rows back and forth until it’s long enough to loop over twice. Then sew the ends together to make a big infinity scarf.

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And if you want to wear it a more modern way – this works too.

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Thoughts on Episode 104 The Gathering

This episode of Outlander just proves that it just gets better week to week.

In The Gathering, we find Claire desperate to get back to the stones. She’s calculating her escape, making plans, and getting everything prepared for her journey back to Frank.

This is also the episode we have cameos by Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon and show producer Ron D Moore.

As there are so many recaps of episodes out there, here are the highlights for me. (apologies for the less than superb screen caps)

 

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Any scene that involves these guys.

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This incredible dress of Geillis’s we didn’t see enough of.

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I think I spot a very handsome Ron D. Moore.

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Our amazing Diana Gabaldon’s cameo. She was wonderful!

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This dress too. 🙂

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This hilarious scene with Claire and Angus… and the port.

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Oh and this dress.

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The only scene of the night that made me squirm. Don’t give her any reason to throw you under the bus Claire!! #witch

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Foreshadowing… eh?

I mean… quite possibly the best scene of the night. AM I RIGHT.

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Jamie’s ability to avoid the double edged sword with perfect ability and charisma.

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The hunt with and the loss of Geordie. Big fat tears most definitely ran down my face. Expertly acted by Caitriona Balfe, Graham McTavish, and Bryan Larkin.

More great acting (and shinty playing) by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish.

I’m so loving each and every new thing I see come from this show. All the little added bits are a delight, the music is superb, and the acting is wonderful. It only gets better and better, as it should!