Good knitting on TV and in the movies

Do you wince when you see someone “acting” knitting or crochet in a TV show or movie? A needle or hook is stabbed randomly at a piece that up to that point has been beautifully produced by someone who knows what they are doing. The random stabbing is accompanied by some yarn pulling or waving, the yarn itself being wrapped round the actor’s hand in such a way that it is more likely to cut off circulation than anything else. No wonder some people don’t understand how knitting can be pleasurable.

Later we see a “finished object” that could never have been produced using the yarn and tools seen earlier.

So when I came across a good knitting scene the other day, it was rather exciting. In the E4 show, Timeless, a central character Agent Christopher is seen knitting as she waits to see if her heroic team will survive their latest mission. She explains that knitting helps with the stress. The actress, Sakina Jaffrey, is actually knitting but the characters describes herself as knitting badly. It turns out that Jaffrey wanted this line included because she didn’t want to suggest she was knitting at an expert level.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip of this scene but I did find a couple of other examples of realistic knitting that you might enjoy.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn is seen working on a large red project. What is so pleasing is that not only does the actress know how to make a stitch but the way she holds her knitting as she moves about her apartment look natural and normal. In the clip here look out for her improvised yarn bowl and a familiar example of yarn escaping the ball.

Meanwhile, Fargo features one of my favourite simple knitting scenes with actress Kristin Rudrud knitting away happily as she watches her TV and then even continuing to stitch as she stares out at a masked man approaching her house.

What good and awful examples of knitting in movies and TV programmes have you spotted? Please tell us in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Good knitting on TV and in the movies”

  1. Thank you ……I have just fallen from my perch reading this article . I once knitted a throw for a local theatre group which had to be left unfinished …… the ‘acting’ knitting fell to the floor more than it was in the hands of the actor . I have to say I was transfixed by the unravelling which was slowly taking place before my eyes . I wanted to leap up and snatch throw , wool and needles ……but it was apparent that there were other ‘real’ knitters in the audience in fits of giggles and comments like . “You can tell she’s not really a knitter, just look how she is holding those needles. The comments livened up the performance. Knowing the producer I offered to take the throw home and fasten off and then attach yarn again so that the actress could ‘pretend ‘ but not fooling the real knitters .

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  2. I always liked the BBC’s 1980s adaptation of the Miss Marple mysteries with Joan Hickson. It was obvious that she was an accomplished knitter. Once about 25 years ago I was in the old ground floor haberdashery at John Lewis in Oxford Street (so much better than their current one). Next to me was Angela Lansbury very carefully selecting yarn – she was appearing in the West End at the time – so she must be a keen knitter too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her knitting in ‘Murder She Wrote’, although Jessica certainly has a large collection of sweaters.


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