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Review: What Else Would Madame Defarge Knit?


First, the facts:

Title: What Else Would Madame Defarge Knit? 28 More Patterns and Essays Inspired by Classic Literature

Author: Heather Ordover

Published by: Cooperative Press, 2013

Pages: 253

Type: Patterns


1. Children Will Listen
2. Ladies Glow
3. Slip into the Dark Side

KS: What Else Would Madame Defarge Knit?

The In-Depth Look:

Just like its predecessor, this book was great fun–chock-full of knitting patterns inspired by literary greats.

Each of the 28 patterns comes with an essay of why, exactly, the designer was inspired by a certain book or character to make this design … and the designs cover a wide range, from hats to gloves to socks, sweaters, bags, scarves, lace handkerchiefs… even a dress.

It’s a delightful book to page through–the essays are enjoyable and there are interesting tidbits to read scattered throughout. There are plenty of pictures (both atmospheric as well as of the actual knits). Charts and schematics abound, there are blank, lined pages for you to jot down your own notes, and all-in-all, it’s, well, FUN.

The digital PDF version that I’m reviewing has some nice extra touches–links to websites with knitting instructions, or to the books the patterns are inspired by are live. There are also links to recipes and articles and other things that you might find interesting or inspiring. Most pages have a handy “TOC” button to bring you back to the Table of Contents, and the patterns include links to their Ravelry pages (which I found pretty cool).

My biggest complaint was that trying to read the essays that introduced each pattern was frustrating in a two-column PDF format–to have the text big enough to read, I couldn’t fit the pages vertically on my computer screen, so I had to keep scrolling up and down on each page to read from the left column to the right and after about ten patterns, I just gave up (no offense to the writers of the other eighteen patterns). For actually knitting any of the patterns, this would not be a problem at all, of course, and when I copied the PDF to my Kindle Fire, I was able to read the entire page, so … this is likely only a problem if your computer/laptop/e-reader screen is too small to make vertical pages easily legible.

Really, though, this book is fun–interesting patterns with nice, thoughtful introductions … not to mention introductions to some classic books and stories you might not otherwise know.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Cooperative Press. Thank you!

My Gush: Fun and educational (well, kind of … but definitely fun!)

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