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What Would Madame Defarge Knit?

(What Would Madame Defarge Knit? #1)

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  14 reviews
What Would Madame Defarge Knit? is a delightful literary-inspired romp edited by CraftLit podcast creator Heather Ordover. With 21 patterns and a special kid-friendly project, too, this book is 200+ pages of patterns and accompanying essays based on classic characters from literature. An accompanying website contains additional content, such as video links, links to audio ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published May 14th 2011 by Cooperative Press
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Julie Davis
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's is a set of essays reflecting on classic literature.

It's a knitting pattern book.

Perhaps surprisingly, it functions beautifully as both.

It takes a special group of book-loving knitters to latch onto A Tale of Two Cities and ask, "Just what was Madame Defarge knitting? Is there a pattern? Let's make one!" What makes the book work ultimately is that editor and writer Heather Ordover pulls it all together and imbues it with the joy of curiosity, discovery, and whimsy.

Ordover is best known to
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! Beautiful patterns, fun text, and web extras to boot! It's exactly the high quality I expected from a project put together by Heather Ordover.

Speaking of which, my copy was autographed by Heather Ordover, at the Printers Row Lit Fest, Chicago, 6/05/11. Thank you, Loopy Yarns!
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting-books
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, because this is a book of knitting patterns inspired by classic literature. We have a cap for the Ancient Mariner, a mobius hood for the mad woman in the attic, and (knitting project of all knitting projects) Madame Defarge's revolutionary shroud, encoded with secret messages. To state the obvious, this is a seriously cool book of patterns -- one providing some much-needed inspiration for me to move beyond my namby pamby beginner knits toward the world of kn ...more
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. What a great idea, knitting and crochet patterns inspired by famous characters from literature. I love that the designers have given a background to the story and the character they were inspired by.

Warning, you will come away with not only a 'to knit' list but a 'to read' list as well but fear not, you can always search out and listen to the book whilst you knit :-)
Heather Ordover
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
A staggering work of genius. Whoda thunk it?
penny shima glanz
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft-knitting
This collection is very different from just about every other knitting and crochet book that's been published.

Where to begin? It is full of awesome and there are good things found within and beyond the slender volume. I know that I'm going to leave out something important.

Heather is the host of CraftLit, a podcast of 200 episodes and counting that draws upon her combined loves and experiences of crafting and teaching literature.

Cooperative Press is the brainchild of Shannon Okey. An objective o
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is book of essays about classical literature that make you want to read more.
And it is a book of knitting patterns that make you want to knit more.

How to combine those? Well, stick a book in your ear - listen to audiobooks, or to CraftLit, and knit along with the story!

You can make Jane Eyre's ubiquitous shawl (in a suitable discreet grey or maybe a bolder colour), a shawlette to cover up the bite marks on Mina Harker's neck, a great white scarf for Captain Ahab, or ...

The print version
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-knitting
Ok, seriously cool. This is a multi-media book!
The essays and patterns in the book were interesting and fun - and the web-site that accompanies the book offers additional links; recipes, project photos, and more info about the designers. Quite spiffy!

I read through all the essays and pondered the patterns (I also fav'd the ones I'm most likely to knit on Raverlry). I have start-itis soooooo bad right now. But I MUST work on x-mas gifts...

I enjoyed the essays presenting the designer's perspectiv
Charlotte Dadswell
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: craft
The only thing that left this as 4 stars was the lack of photos, which meant cross-referencing with Ravelry to see the patterns clearly. I would have been there anyway though, as many of the patterns found their way onto my queue!
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Forever trying to find a free few minutes to see what happened next.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yarn
I love Craftlit, and was thrilled to get this companion piece. I was slightly disappointed to find that there are no project photographs here, but like the way it is integrated into the website. This might be one book where the digital version would really make a lot of sense.

The essays are really good, if short. There is a good range of pattern difficulty, but not sure how many of them I will actually make...
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
i think i'd've been more into this book if it had pictures of the patterns but i understand why they had to save them for the companion website. i'd've been also more into it if i was more of a classics reader, which i'm not. there's supposedly a volume 2 in the works so maybe it will focus on some more modern lit? ...more
Wendy McDonnell
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great interactive knitting book which teaches more then just knitting... dabbles in everything from dyeing ({ahem} my part in the work) to recipes!
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book, knitting
I can't wait to create all the designs in the book! ...more
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Writer of books—What Would Madame Defarge Knit, What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit, Defarge Does Shakespeare, and Grounded: The Seven, book 1, teacher of things, and Caster of Pods (at

She lives, teaches, and writes in Eastern PA with her bemused husband, two goofy sons, sly cat, a few frogs, and many, many ka-honking geese.


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