Friday 25 May 2018

Under His Eye: Review of Baa Baa Brighouse's The Handmaid's Tale Yarn Box

Series 2 of Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopian drama The Handmaid's Tale is now airing on Channel 4 in the UK and to celebrate Baa Baa Brighouse has released a a yarn box costing £26 plus P&P containing goodies and hand-dyed wool inspired by the novel and programme.

I was a latecomer to the novel, which was originally published in 1985, only reading it earlier this year after binge watching most of series 1 of the TV adaptation on a plane. Immediately I was hooked by the horrific treatment of June, otherwise known as Offred, and the other handmaids who are forced to bear children for the ruling elite.

The box contains some wonderful goodies for fans of the novel/show:

Look at this fabulous card with a handmaid on the front and the cod Latin 'Don't let the bastards grind you down' quote Offred finds carved in her closet by a previous handmaiden:

Then there are three pencils (always useful for scribbling on knitting patterns with) and a badge with the Gilead-prescribed greeting 'Under His Eye' on them, along with an Offred bookmark:

The final treat tucked at the bottom of the box is this fabulous canvas bag to put your knitting stash in, emblazoned with the slogan 'This is what a feminist looks like!'

Then of course there's the yarn, which almost feels secondary to its well-chosen accompaniments. There's one 100g DK skein called Offred and a 25g mini-skein named after Offred's mistress Serena.

The mini-skein is blue, the colour that Commanders' wives must wear to identify their high status in Gilead society. 'Offred' is a mix of cream, peachy/pink and purple - lovely shades but not obviously fitting with the Handmaids' red, white and black colour schemes.

Sadly the yarn box was a one-off and is no longer available. Baa Baa Brighouse does, however, produce a different themed box each month and June's will be on the theme of Harry Potter. For details of this and the other yarn boxes available see their current selection.  Buying a yarn box without knowing what the contents are can be a gamble, particularly if it turns out that the wool colour isn't up your street. There's nothing in this box, however, that's a dud. I've even kept the dark green ribbon used to to tie up the box for Christmas crafting!

What would your ideal theme be for a film/novel/TV-inspired yarn box? Have your say in the comments box below.

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