Saturday, January 12, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Literary knits

You know what's great about classic literature?  You can read the guiltiest of guilty pleasure stories, and still get that sense of intellectual superiority when a complete stranger sneaks a peek at the title on the cover.  Because they don't necessarily know that 'The Monk' is a gothic tale of a religious rock star whose desperate lust leads him to....well, I won't spoil it!  No, as far as anyone knows, it's 18th-century literature.  And that's all they need to know.

Of course, that's not the only thing I like about classic literature.  But it's a definite perk.  So when you combine gorgeous knits with references to some of those timeless stories, my fingers get itchy to cast on.

Now, I already have these patterns in my library, so I'm okay, but I claim no responsibility for any of you who have taken the Love Your Library challenge and discover that you need to have these.

I'm pretty sure I let out an audible squee of delight when I first heard about Interweave's special edition Jane Austen Knits.  And the fact that there have been two more editions since then (Summer and Fall 2012) only makes it better.  You might even have noticed that the Rose Shawl in my resolution queue is from there.  There are a few others I'm hoping to get around to one day, like:

Photo credit: Christa Tippmann, Jane Austen Knits
Relatively simple, I wonder whether I could use some of my more colorful yarn with it.  Plus, I love the wrapping technique for wearing it.

Photo credit: Stephenie Gaustad
It's designed to be knit with handspun, so my goal is to use some of my own one day.  Quite a lofty goal at this point for me to spin with an end goal in mind, right now I'm just hoping for yarn, and I don't get any more specific.

While there is some knitting in Austen's novels, they never play the kind of integral role that it did in 'A Tale of Two Cities' where the FOs were a part of the French Revolution.  So it makes sense that we lit-knitters would ask ourselves What Would Madame Defarge Knit?.  I grabbed this when Yarn Barn was going out of business, and again it's the neckwear that draws me in:

Photo credit: Kathleen Rogers
Cozy cables, and maybe I'd even try out the beading, perhaps a decorative 'A' button?  I also feel like Hester is a heroine I would appreciate more now, I read 'The Scarlet Letter' so long ago.

Photo credit: Chrissy Gardiner
Now see, Dracula was a vampire.  No sparkles, just fangs and fatal flirtation.  Love the lacework here, and triangular shawls are probably the things I knit most.

What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit? is also coming soon, available for preorder now, but no word yet on a date.  There is good news, though.  Apparently, this is not even close to the end of the series, they have things like 'Defarge does Shakespeare' and 'Defarge does Sherlock' in the works.  Be still, my heart!

And, I should also mention, Cooperative Press, who publishes the Defarge series, is having a birthday giveaway.  It's worth entering in, whether you want the iPad mini they're giving away for reading patterns or Proust.

Don't forget to check out the other Inspiration Saturday posts this week!


  1. I've been tempted to check out all of these pattern books, just haven't gotten around to it yet. I really like the shawl you featured, especially!

    1. I had no choice with the Jane Austens, it's pretty much DNA-encoded in me to need Austen-inspired things.