Netflix and Knits- “Anne with an E,” Season 2

In 2017, when Netflix announced Anne with an E, a new serial adaptation of the beloved children’s book Anne of Green Gables, I was over the moon. Written by author Lucy Maud Montgomery, the Anne books have been favorites of mine since childhood. As a purist, however, I was unsure how to embrace the new grittier version, which also inserts characters and storylines that don’t appear in Montgomery’s novels. After struggling through the first season because–hey, that never happened in the book!–I decided to enjoy the series as its own production without constantly comparing it to the original source material.

Since I’ve had a year to ruminate about the first season and wait on the second, I realized something: the novels are about a young orphan girl with an irrepressible imagination. This new look at life in the fictional town of Avonlea is merely a creative re-imagining of Anne’s story. It’s a more grown-up and desanitized Anne for the modern era, openly addressing issues of abuse, sexual identity, racism, and more. Not only that, the show’s lead actress, Amybeth McNulty, is an absolute talent. The second season of this inventive series became available for streaming on July 6, and now that I’ve finished watching all the episodes, I’ve discovered something new to love about the production.

The knits.

Much of the first half of the show’s second season takes place during fall and winter, and in much the same way that Starz’ Outlander got knitters all in a tizzy about the period knits–so many delectable capelets!–I’m feeling some kind of way about the outstanding knitted garments and accessories that appear in Anne with an E. These are my favorite pieces:

Anne’s slouchy beanie

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Amybeth McNulty (left) as Anne and Dalila Bela as Diana Barry in the Netflix/CBC production Anne with an E.

As someone who often wears her hair in voluminous styles, I’m always on the lookout for a winter hat that will leave plenty of room for my hair. Anne’s slouchy taupe-gray beanie is practical and roomy, but the delicate tassels at the crown make the piece jaunty enough to make a statement.

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Bela and Kyla Matthews (right) as Ruby Gillis.

Diana Barry’s lovely knit accessory set

Anne’s best friend Diana comes from a well-to-do family, and the chic coordinated knits she wears in the series lend a classy flair to her winter outerwear. Her pale blue garter-stitched scarf, dark blue mittens, and classy striped tam have got me planning an upgrade to my own winter accessories.

Ruby Gillis’ pale pink neck scarf

Although Ruby is a bit of an airhead who thinks about nothing but beaux, I couldn’t help feeling just a little bit envious of her sweet, self-fastening pink knitted neck scarf. I can so envision myself wearing it when there’s just the slightest nip in the air.

Jane Andrews’ lacy capelet

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Lia Pappas-Kemps as Jane Andrews.

In the fourth episode, as Anne and her friends prepare to re-enact a Tennyson poem, I gasped upon seeing the lacy white capelet worn by Anne’s friend Jane. What a beautiful way to warm the neck and shoulders while elegantly dressing up a plain coat.

Billy Andrews’ buttoned-up balaclava

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Christian Martyn as Billy Andrews. Gawd, I hate this kid.

If you’ve watched the show’s second season yet (spoiler alert), you’re going to hate Jane’s brother Billy almost as much as you’ll love the cabling on the balaclava he wears as part of his costume for the Christmas pantomime. While it’s a bit too extra for everyday winter wear, it’s definitely a piece I’d consider bringing along for an escape to much chillier climes.

Honorable mention

It’s not a knitted piece, but can we just give a round of applause for Marilla Cuthbert’s brown leather corset belt? WANT.

Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert

Can we also talk about Geraldine James’ portrayal of Marilla Cuthbert? 100.

Yes, summer may just have begun and winter seems a long way off. However, as every good knitter knows, now is the time to start on those cold weather projects so they’re ready for action just as the first autumn leaves begin to fall.

Anne with an E is streaming now on Netflix.

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