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Knits on Screen: Ordeal by Innocence

Advert for BBC Ordeal by Innocence (2018)
BBC Ordeal by Innocence (2018)

I recently watched the new BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, Ordeal by Innocence. It was a story of hidden secrets, rather gruesome violence and surprising revelations, with some great performances. But I’m afraid I still found myself distracted by the sumptuous 1950’s fashion – and in particular the fabulous knitwear: classic cropped cardigans, colourful, fitted Fair Isle jumpers, pretty, lace cardigans for children, oversized cabled sweaters, sleek Beatnik style turtlenecks…

All these looks are just as wearable today as in the 50s, so I thought I would highlight a few of my favourite pieces and give some suggestions of how to recreate the look with modern knitting patterns!

(For information on where you can watch the 3 part series, see end)

Classic child’s lace cardigan



A flashback to the 1930-40s school room and a pretty lace cardigan.. Clockwise from top left: Catriona McNicoll as the young Mary Durrant; 1000 Tiny Tulips / Tusen småtulipaner by Anna & Heidi Pickles (here); Old Shale Cardi for Big Girls by Anne B Hanssen (here); Rosabel Cardigan by Anne Dresow (here).

Short fitted cardigan



Clockwise from top left: Crystal Clarke as Tina Argyll; 138-21 Morning Sky by DROPS Design (here); Miette by Andi Satterlund (here); Bentley Cardigan by Marie Greene (here).

Fair Isle fitted jumper



Clockwise from top left: Ella Purnell as Hester Argyll; Yule by Susan Crawford (here); Northdale by Gudrun Johnston (here); Lissuin  by Ann Kingstone (here).

Oversized cabled sweater



Clockwise from top left: Ella Purnell as Hester Argyll; Benedict Pullover by Michele Wang (here); Kykuit Sweater by Michele Wang (here); 122-8 Autumn Sunrise by DROPS design (here).

Sleek Turtleneck



Clockwise from top left: Anthony Boyle as Jack Argyll; Amandine by Alice Hammer (here); Light Basics Pullover by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence (here); Raspberry and Cream by Katrin Schneider (here).

Where to watch

The 3 part series is still available for a short time at BBC iplayer- see here.

It is also available at Amazon UK- see here. (FYI, the reviews shown on this page seem to refer to a film version of the same book.)

It is not yet available outside the UK, but it seems likely it will soon be distributed more widely.

Over to you

Have you seen this latest adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence by the BBC? What did you think? Do you have any favourite programmes or films for fashion-spotting? I’d love to hear any of your suggestions for 1950s or other vintage knitting patterns!



All images taken from Ordeal by Innocence are from the BBC 2018 production- made by Mammoth Screen, Agatha Christie Productions for the BBC, and co-produced with Amazon.





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