My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Defarge Does Shakespeare

I’ve got another fun book to review: Defarge Does Shakespeare, edited by Heather Ordover.


That link takes you to the paperback version on, but it is also available as an ebook that you can purchase via Ravelry, here.

This is the latest in the “Defarge” series of knitting compilations, the third compilation on the them, preceded by What Would Madame Defarge Knit and What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit. The two previous books had some great patterns, and this third book is happily following in that tradition.

There are 29 patterns for a wide variety of items, and I found quite a few patterns that I loved. You can view them all on Ravelry here.

Some of my favorites:


This is Lady M, designed by Mari Chiba. It is knit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport and is available in a nice wide range of sizes.

Ophelia’s Garden Mittens are designed by Rosemary Cox and featured dainty colorwork flowers, worked from Knit Picks Palette fingering weight wool.


Midsummer’s Evening Wrap by Meg Warren is knit from Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl, a merino/tencel fingering weight yarn. It’s a great pattern for a lace newbie — relatively easy to knit with spectacular results.


Viola’s Stockings by Sarah Jordan are top-down socks with beaded cuffs, knit from Cascade Heritage Silk fingering weight yarn.


Diamonds in the Ruff by Wendy McDonnell is a sweet lace collar, knit from Yarn Fairy Fairy Lace, a lace weight merino.

There are multiple good clear photos of each of the projects, nice big clear charts, and essays from the designers about their inspiration for their designs.

I’ve been authorised to offer a copy of the ebook in a giveaway — who’d like it?

To enter the giveaway for the Defarge Does Shakespeare ebook, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday April 26. A winner will be selected at random at the time.


Both Jennifer and I have cast on our Boxy projects and are knitting along. I started mine a few days before she did, and here is my progress:


One of these days I’ll get a photo that accurately depicts the richness of the color. Here is Jennifer’s:


Jennifer is using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Dustbowl colorway. I love how her yarn is knitting up!

I am using Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the Polar Sea colorway, and I love how my colorway is knitting up too!

While my stitch gauge is spot on, my row gauge is compressed. That is, I need to knit more rows to achieve gauge. That’s not a problem as I have plenty of this yarn.

Both Jennifer and I are doing the seamed version. I prefer to have side seams in my knits for the structure they add to a garment, and because this is Jennifer’s first sweater, I advised her to do the seamed version for two reasons. First, knitting it in the round would mean a lot of stitches on the needle and psychologically that can be overwhelming! I always think that knitting in pieces goes faster because you can see more progress. Second, it’s a good opportunity for her to learn how to seam a sweater, as this is her first sweater project.

Meanwhile at home, Loki pauses during play.



  1. Shirley Gallagher says:

    I would really love to have a copy of that book, I see two patterns I really want to knit. Beautiful Loki. I look forward to see his photos.

  2. The book looks excellent. Thanks for the preview.

  3. That book looks great! I’ve looked at the other two as well and I love the whole series of them.

    Loki is as adorable as always. 🙂
    Jessica´s last blog post ..Serenova Crafts Episode 16: Easily Distracted Wednesday

  4. I love this series and would enjoy working patterns from this book. Love the current work in process. I’m sure Jennifer, like the rest of us, is wondering how you knit so fast – don’t give up; very few can knit as fast as Wendy. Thanks for the contest.

  5. Alice Moisen says:

    That sounds like a fun book with some interesting projects. I’d love a chance at it

  6. I love that wrap and would love to own that e-book. Thanks for sharing.

  7. That looks like a fun book. I’d love to use it!

  8. Monica Cortada says:

    Oh, this looks like so much fun. I was not aware of the series. I’m off to Amazon to check it out! Thanks for recommendation.

  9. Lee Long says:

    The wrap looks awesome. So does Loki.

  10. Looks like a great book! Love the wrap.

  11. Pauline S. says:

    Glad to see they’re continuing the tradition with Shakespeare! Looks like lots of fun knits.

    Have fun with Boxy — it’s such a comfy sweater! I want to wear mine (1 boxy, 2 boxy worsted) all the time!

  12. Looks like a great book-thanks so much for sharing the Ravelry link….such inspiring designs…have already bookmarked 3 !!

  13. Oooh, that wrap is gorgeous! I’d love to have this book. Thanks for making it available to some lucky person!

  14. What a fun book! Lots of interesting looking projects.

  15. I’d really like to knit Ophelia’s Garden Mittens. Very nice book.

  16. I love the Lady M…this book looks like fun I’d love to have it…thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  17. Elaine F says:

    would love this book. thanks,Elaine

  18. Mary K. Bayer says:

    I would love the book. The sample patterns you selected for the post looked wonderful.

    Both your sweaters are coming along nicely. I understand your point for seaming. it is important for the sweater to stay like you intended it to be and the seam does that.

  19. Wow! There are so many lovely patterns in this book that I’d like to knit! A free copy would be amazing!

  20. Charis W. says:

    I love the Defarge series!

  21. Sophy0075 says:

    I love the classic elegance of Lady M. I have some Cascade Heritage Silk earmarked for socks- i enjoy beading. Viola sounds like a perfect pattern.

  22. Just spent an enjoyable hour or so on Ravelry looking at all the Madame Defarge books’ patterns and projects. What a great collection of patterns! Hope I win!

  23. The patterns look interesting!

  24. Oh Wendy,
    I see items that would make such precious gifts!! And a couple I’d love for myself. They’re all
    beautiful…you’re so lucky those folks share with you. I can’t wait to see the new projects finished…both of those yarns look so comfy.
    That was a nice picture of Loki….he’s so good at posing.
    Hope you’re staying warm….it’s snowing in Michigan today!!

  25. Joan the knitter says:

    Count me in!
    Joan from Wisconsin

  26. Midnite Baker says:

    Lots of lovely patterns. Loki looks very handsome in the photo.

  27. I’d love to win. I love the idea of your kal with your friend.

  28. The book sounds awesome! Boxy looks like a great start for both, wish I new what it is going to be…do tell!

  29. Sandra Kerr says:

    This book looks fabulous. And good luck on your KAL, they’re fun with friends.

  30. Leslie in MA says:

    OMG – “The Taming of the Shrug” has done me in. I waaannnntt!

    If I don’t win the book I’m going to have to buy it! Random Number Generator – please take pity on my budget and let the winner be me!!!!

  31. Yes! Thank you. That book would be a wonderful gift to have!!!

  32. Looks like a great book! I would love to win it! Loki looks adorable as ever!!
    gussek on Ravelry

  33. This looks like an interesting book. Would love to be lucky and win it. That was lucky, not Loki the cat. Such a pretty cat.

  34. There are several cute things in here! I love the inspiration for it:)
    -rav hodges00

  35. Betti Felton says:

    Would love to receive this book. It looks like some fun patterns to do.

  36. Denise Wessman says:

    Wonderful book. Something for everyone to knit. Boxy is awesome. Loki is so cute. Can’t wait to see your progress on boxy. I am going to knit this. Looking at yarn for it now.

  37. Oh, I love the Defarge series!

  38. Ruth Porter says:

    Love Shakespeare and love the patterns in this book. It would be a nice addition to my library.
    Hugs to Loki.

  39. Beautiful patterns! I’d love this book.

  40. Lovely patterns, and I own the other books in the series!

  41. Martina N says:

    I would love to have this book! What great patterns. It’s a definite plus.

  42. Phyllis G says:

    Great looking patterns – would love to win.

  43. Would love to win the book – I’ve been thinking about ordering a copy for a bit now, but just haven’t pulled the trigger 🙂

  44. Charlotte says:

    I’d knit a few of the shawls plus the flower on the tea cozy.

  45. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

  46. What a fascinating book. Hope to win it!
    Barbara Seiver´s last blog post ..A magnificent cat

  47. I’d love a chance to win!

  48. WANT X 100 for that wrap. Loki is just chillin’ after killin’ that critter. Seriously, you call her “Bother Jennifer”? or is that “Both Jennifer & I…”? Jen may have a new nickname!
    CeltChick´s last blog post ..Dither

  49. Oh, would I love a lace collar under a turtleneck for (next!!) winter. Please enter me in your draw.

  50. That lace collar… lovely! Please consider me for the drawing … thanks!
    melanie´s last blog post ..Hugo & Rose

  51. I would like to have this book, it looks like great pattern’s.

  52. grace yaskovic says:

    if you had not reviewed this book I probably would not have had any interest, but now I am quite excited about it

  53. Christy S says:

    Love those yarns in the sweaters!

    And love the projects in this deFarge book. I’ve been a big fan of Heather’s Craftlit podcast for a few years now. It’s a quality product and it looks like this book is, too.

  54. Lynne in Florida says:

    There are a couple of patterns there that I like, and, I must confess, the Tea Cozy just trips my trigger. Yeah, I’m weird, and I know it, and I revel in it!

  55. I LOVE Ophelia’s Garden Mittens–gorgeous! Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win!

  56. Savannagal says:

    There are a few things I might knit, especially the socks. I have a lot of sock yarn that needs to be knit before time gets away from me…if you know what I mean.

  57. Fun looking book!

  58. Thanks for previewing the book, it looks fantastic!

  59. Marseille says:

    Looks like a great book!

  60. Gina Zahra says:

    I love listening to Heather’s podcast and would love to win the book 😀

  61. The first thing I would do with this book is figure out the references I don’t know. Then I would start knitting 🙂

  62. ove Lady M! Mags9k on rav.

  63. Ann Rose says:

    Though I am an American literature person by training, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Richard III, both the real person and as Shakespeare portrayed him. Were I to win the review copy, I’d knit up a shawl whilst sitting in a car park. 😉

  64. I would! I do so want the book!

  65. Nancy Thone says:

    Love the patterns in this book! Thanks for reviewing. Nancy

  66. The patterns for Defarge does Shakespeare look gorgeous especially Viola’s stockings. I think that is what I would knit first. Thanks for reviewing this book and sharing the pictures!

  67. Melanie Hayes says:

    I love all of the patterns, Ophelia’s Scarf of Watery Death caught my eye first, but as I continued looking each pattern is just wonderful, love The Yellow-Gartered Dude Abides! Looking forward to knitting some of these!

  68. I would really like to win that book. It seems to have some very nice patterns in it. Loki is a cutie!

  69. Ohhh so many lovelies! I’d love a copy and thanks!

  70. Catherine S. says:

    First thing I’ll knit from this cool book? The sweet lace collar.

  71. Now, that sounds like a fun book!

  72. Pick me! Pick me! I’d love to make the tea cosy.

  73. I own the other two books and I see quite a few patterns that I like in this book too.

  74. Looks like a fabulous book. I especially like the Midsummer’s Evening Wrap.

  75. I would love to have this for my collection. Fabulous books!
    Thank you!

  76. Really interesting book! Would love to add to my library! Thanks for the giveaway.

  77. Very pretty knits, I would love to have this book!

  78. Ooh! this looks like a great one! Viola’ Stockings may be just the thing I need to get me knitting socks.

  79. That book looks great! I am totally digging the Viola’ Stockings!

  80. Looks like a book I could enjoy. Thanks for the preview and review.

  81. A very interesting looking book. Pet Loki on his floof for me!

  82. Heather K says:

    I love the DeFarge series and this latest runs true to form. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. Loki’s pictures are a riot – thanks again.

  83. I’m in love with half of the patterns already! What a great concept. I’d love to win this book.

  84. Kristina Peters says:

    Hope RNG picks me!

  85. Hard to pick a favorite. All are so loverly

  86. DatPixieGirl says:

    I just listened to the WEBS weekly podcast with their interview of Heather about this particular book, and I enjoyed listening to her talk about the creation of this book (and the other two Defarge books). The Lady M sweater was also one of my favorites, though I really look forward to reading the essays from each of the pattern writers; if I don’t win a copy, I’ll definitely buy one.

  87. My two favorite past-times in one book – knitting and Shakespeare.

  88. Enter me for this one. And I agree with you about seams in sweaters. Much of the time the finished garment hangs so much nicer.

  89. Alicia Grayson says:

    I’d love to get this book – I’ve really enjoyed the first 2 in the series.

  90. Fuego Azul says:

    Omigosh!! The Taming of the Shrug is my favorite!! These patterns are too beautiful! Thank you for yet another kind giveaway!

  91. Me, me! I love Shakespeare.

  92. I don’t have any of the “Defarge” books yet; but I’ve looked at them all because they all have such lovely patterns. I’d love to win this one!

  93. I love Lady M and would love the book.

  94. I do believe I would knit almost all of Madame DeFarge’s patterns in this book. Esp the tea cozy, at least one of the shawls, mitts, socks. I’ve been looking for a new pattern of a tea cozy for my “bride to be” granddaughter in Sept. This one is so her. I would love to win this! Thanks for the chance!

  95. Mary Beth says:

    That Midsummer’s Evening Wrap is gorgeous!

  96. I’m a big fan of CraftLit, I listen every weekend! Would love to win this book.

  97. Mary Evans says:

    I have both the ‘DeFarge’ books and love them. I’d love to win this one!

  98. Sarah Fuller says:

    Looks nice! I’d love that one. Count me in!