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In the many years that we’ve been writing Knit to This, it finally happened. At last, I found it: the greatest Knit that ever Thissed. The platonic ideal of something pleasant and gorgeous and full of smiles, that doesn’t tax your brain but also doesn’t insult your intelligence. Not only are you able to knit to it, it enhances your ability to knit, because you are feeling so cozy, calm, and reassured about life.

It’s a lark of a series called Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland. There are two seasons, each with three or four episodes. It’s on PBS, and I came across it in one of my rummages through the PBS Passport streaming platform for something to watch while being an incorrigible unsupervised night owl.

The protagonists: the actors Alan Cumming and Miriam Margolyes.

The premise: a 50-something actor drives an 80-something actor around Scotland, where both have childhood roots and mixed bags of memories. Riding around in a camper van, they chat companionably and make lots of fun rude jokes.  These two can easily turn the slightest single entendre, or even half an entendre, into a double entendre.

Along the way, they stop for short visits with people who are doing interesting things like weaving tartan and being witches, or semi-interesting things like growing onions and brewing botanical insect repellant. The one who can sing, sings in Gaelic, beautifully. People come to see him sing; like a dozen people who just happened to be around. Nothing is a big deal. A chat with Brian Cox? Sure! The trio enjoys reminiscing together with genuine affection, and then he sees them on their way.

The scenery is stupendous. Loch lovers will not be disappointed. And in the middle of the second season, they’re on the isle of Skye. (Sigh!)

There’s a lot to love. The show is more than the sum of its parts, but nothing is overhyped.  This is Scotland, a land so beautiful that it doesn’t need studied setups or dramatic angles. The show is not gripping; it’s a warm, awkward hug.

Miriam has a thing about eating raw vegetables constantly, she’s impishly gassy, she delights in being doted on—and she’s a skillful question-asker. Alan seems perfectly content simply to be spending time with her. It’s charming, and it’s healing. People can just enjoy each other, if they take the time.

The only time I got emotional was when they stopped by to say hello to Alan’s mom and go for a walk with her ramblers group. What a lady. I won’t spoil it for you.

Lost in Scotland might even have been targeted for knitters. As Alan mentions in the third episode of season 2, when the pair has left Scotland for  California, New York fiber artists have been thronging his cabaret, Club Cumming, on Tuesday eveningsfor years now.

I want to knit them something.



  • I have enjoyed episodes of this cozy series and, thanks to your reminder, will look for more.

  • Unfortunately I cannot access Passport at the moment (provider issues) but certainly will watch Lost in Scotland when I do! In passing, thought I’d mention what perfect knit-watching opps British shows can be. On BritBox, Episode 17 of “Lewis” (difficult to remember title – “Sad, old, Far-off things”?) has some great sumptuous scarves. I haven’t been a scarf knitter for ages but these are runway-worthy. Hope to see Alan and Miriam soon!

  • Ok, you did it. I’ve been putting off subscribing to PBS but this blew away my procrastination and it’s going to cost me a bit more $ in subscription fees. Sigh!! I can hardly wait to watch this series.

  • I have direct roots to Skye. Cannot wait to get there one day. I need a cozy knit -to right now to get some knitting done. This is perfect.

    • Don’t wait Vanessa do it sooner than later. I am currently in a Waitrose car park in Milngavie Scotland and we spent the last 9 days on the East coast in Aberdour. Skye is amazing every one should go once at least. Just don’t go when the midges are out. We currently live in Central Massachusetts.

  • For more fun in Scotland, check out Men in Kilts on Starz. Two seasons of Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (from Outlander) cavorting around in a van exploring the countryside.

    • For more interesting scottish info:
      John Murray on Instagram
      Steve Marsh on youtube

  • I’ve seen it and it’s charming!

  • And if you love Miriam, try a series called “Almost Australian”…..after becoming an Aussie citizen, she drives herself around Australia, talking to people and getting a serious grip (well, semi-serious) on her new country. I think it was Netflix but not sure now.

    We found it funny and thoughtful, very interesting. I can’t wait to start this series….thanks for the recommendation!

    • I also loved this show about her travels in Australia!

    • I loved Almost Australian. Mentioned it in my comment too,

  • In my younger days, I thought the SNL skits poking fun at Masterpiece Theater were a hoot. Then I reached an age several years ago in which if my kids interrupted my viewing I told them to “SHUSH!” So along came PBS Passport and such joy! Thanks, Kay, for this recommendation. We lived in the Midlands in the UK for three years. Now back stateside, I simply want to go into a shop and have someone address me as “Love”.

  • Can’t wait to watch this, while knitting. Wish to visit the beautiful Scotland again some day.

  • Passport is so full of hidden gems, thank you for unearthing another one! We really enjoyed watching Men in Kilts on Starz, looking forward to returning to Scotland with this new adventure.

    I love having access to Passport, it is a win-win as I get access to some really interesting and entertaining content while supporting my local public media station. Actually the funny thing about PBS is, if I am scanning stations and watch whatever they are broadcasting for a couple of minutes I get drawn in and stay put. I do not find the Passport interface the easiest to use, but I have found many excellent programs there with a little digging.

    • Sometimes I don’t have the energy to navigate a streaming menu (shades of the incapacitating indecision I always experienced in a Blockbuster video store) so I just click on my PBS station and watch WHATEVER and I do mean WHATEVER.

      • Yes… exactly.

  • Sounds delicious. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Looks like a fun series!! Looking forward to watching it!

  • Oh, I could use a warm awkward hug. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • OMG – perfect and your timing is impeccable as I’m just looking for some new summer “knit to” series to add to my list. Finally — school is out and serious knitting time can begin.

  • I have passport from PBS, and in my area of the country this programming is not available. I guess it depends on your station.

    • Same with me. So sad!!!

    • Change your station. You can always change it back. I know WTTW Chicago has it.

      • Tried changing the station but, yes, Passport knows I live where such a great program is “not available.” Rats.

        • Yep, same result
          I even called WTTW to see if I could get their programming by subscribing to both my local and there, but they won’t let you do that. Very frustrating!

      • Good idea and I tried it but it could tell I wasn’t in Chicago. Oh well…

      • Thanks. I’ll give that a try.

      • Thank you. I did not know I could change my pbs station! Will be doing that soon!

  • Thank you for this! Alan Cumming, Scotland and knitting? A trifecta of fun!

  • This was a glorious experience; Margolyes and Cumming are funny, brilliant, and obviously enjoying one another’s company. I loved every minute, and will rewatch!

  • I will definitely watch this, thanks so much!

    Sounds a wee bit similar to “Great Canal Journeys,” a British show with actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales traveling by narrowboat across canals in Britain and Europe. I watched it on Amazon and loved it.

    • Sadly does not appear to be available still?

      • It is still available on Prime to me (in the US).

  • This sounds like a great watch but when I added it to my favorites on the PBS app I was bummed to find no episodes listed. Major user experience fail on PBS.

    • I just played around with changing my local station and it doesn’t work. They are really intent on only showing you videos purchased by the station you support financially. That is, I can change my local station to Chicago but when I go to watch the video it automatically knows I’m actually in Spokane. Bummer.

      • I posted a request for the show on my local station, WGBH. Maybe if enough of us ask?

  • Thanks for the head’s up; will check it out on Passport. If you love Miriam, catch her in the movie “Cold Comfort Farm.” Then read the book.

  • Can’t wait to binge this with La Lina! Thanks, dearie!

  • We’ve seen this on our local Georgia Public TV. Now airing a US West coast tour – accompanied by Alan’s dog Lala – of LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas – hitting all LGBTQ business and clubs. Culminates with the charismatic couple being “friends” married by a Dolly Parton impersonator. Bawdy but charming

  • Love Passport! Can’t wait to knit to this! Always appreciate your suggestions!

  • Thanks for this share! Off to PBS!

  • Thank you so much for reminding me about this series. We watched the first episode this afternoon and it is wonderful. I do wonder how you knit through it, the scenery is so beautiful that I had to watch intently. If you’ve not seen it, catch Almost Australian with Miriam too!

  • Wonderful program. I would watch it again. So natural and spontaneous. I am glad you gave it a bit of promotion. Definitely deserves it.

  • Love this lady… love knitting. Who could ask for more

  • Thank you for the recommendation. I have been obsessed about Scotland for the last several years. The Scotland Outdoors Podcast is a a treat as well, charming hosts and interesting topics!

  • Omg yes! I stumbled on this late one night on PBS and their rapport is charming and they so enjoy each others company.

    I believe they did one on the US as well? But don’t quote me.

    Would love Miriam’s specially made tartan blanket …

    Watch her as Mrs. Mingott in ’Age of Innocence’ – I think of that character every time I walk on Fifth Av.
    And do try and see Alan in concert! Wonderful performer.

  • Sounds awesome. I’m going to give it a go.

  • I watched Miriam’s show about traveling through Australia and it was great! Thanks for sharing — I will definitely check out her trip through Scotland.

  • What fun–I binge watched all of season 1 yesterday. What would we do without PBS passport???? Thanks!

  • I’m in the “not available” category. I support my small, local PBS station, and get Passport through them. I don’t have a tv: I’m a streamer. So I could support the big station in a nearby city, for another paid membership, and see if they have it. Or I could give up supporting my local station and purchase PBS through Amazon – but that’s not exactly in line with my values. Such a bummer. And now I sit here wondering what else I am missing.

  • Oh yay!! I watched the series “Almost Australian,” where Miriam drives around Australia (her adopted home) as she is on the verge of becoming a citizen. I really enjoyed it, knowing almost nothing about the place, discovering it along with her. And I appreciate that she acknowledges her privilege while also noting the ways in which she has faced hardship.

    This one sounds wonderful!

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