Throughout time, knitting has woven itself not only into beautiful pieces of hand art but also into everything from prose to poetry. The grand dame of fictional knitters without question is Madame Defarge of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Having just finished a book of one of his contemporaries, I’m ready to read another Dickens book.
I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and can still remember those needles of Madame Defarge clicking away the count of heads dropping from the guillotine. That woman is never seen without her knitting! Some of the chapter titles are – “Knitting,” “Still Knitting,” “The Knitting Done” and they all indicate symbolic significance to the story line.
I believe the knitting needles of Madame Defarge carry a death sentence with them or at the very least, an indication that some evil deed as been committed. You see, the setting is the time of the French Revolution and Madame Defarge, well, let’s just say she despises aristocrats.
How often are you asked the question, “What are you knitting?” When Madame Defarge is asked what she is knitting, her reply is “Shrouds.”
Being the wonderful man that he is, my husband is very praiseworthy of my knitting. I bribe him with hand knit socks to be so. The husband of Madame Defarge? He says, “It would be easier for the weakest poltroon that lives, to erase himself from existence, than to erase one letter of his name or crimes from the knitted register of Madame Defarge.”
On the knitting front, I just cast on another sock for the Sock Knitting Master Class, this time the Almondine socks. I’m using the same yarn and color as in the book, Cascade Heritage Handpaints and have been holding them back to be my March St. Patricks Day socks!
P.S. I finished THE MOONSTONE by Wilkie Collins and gave it 5 thumbs up. Oh, wait a minute! I guess it is 2 thumbs up because I only have two thumbs, right? Wonderful book!