Madam DeFarge was a character in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. She is known for her knitting activism during the French Revolution, secretly purling names into her knitting of those who would be charged with crimes in the upcoming revolution. Go to Wikipedia for the quick and dirty about Therese Defarge.
(Madam Defarge found on Google images)
The inside page of the WWMDK book explains a bit about how the book came into being:
What Would Madame Defarge Knit? is a new book of crafty patterns—in pre-orders February 7, 2011 from Cooperative Press—written and designed by the good people who bring you CraftLit, Cast-on, March Hare Yarns, Jen Minnis Artworks, WeaveZine and WeaveCast, Silk Road Socks, Gardiner Yarn Works, and Crochet Compulsive.
It all started back in 2007, while listening to A Tale of Two Cities on CraftLit. Not far into the book, WWMDfK? became a rallying call for t-shirts, knitting, and fun. And now—patterns!The Wilhelmina Shawlette is the first pattern I'll be knitting from the book. And the name Wilhelmina? It comes from here:
What would Mina, the heroine of Bram Stoker’s epic novel, Dracula, wear to protect her neck from the bloodthirsty count? Chrissy Gardiner thinks that, as a practical girl, she undoubtedly would appreciate this simple, delicate wool shawlette, featuring Serendipitous Ewe’s Autumn Glow vampire-inspired colorway, one in a series dyed exclusively for SandraSingh.com.
Designer: Chrissy Gardiner, Finished Measurements: 44″ wide and 22″ tall after blocking
(Close up of the knitted lace pattern in the shawl)
This is the variegated Ella Rae lace merino fiber I purchased from Aimee's Yarn Cafe in Paradise, CA for knitting the Wilhelmina:
My neck will definitely be warm when I wear this, even if I don't need to be protected from vampires.
(Dracula is a book that will be read on the Craftlit podcast in the fall. I can't wait!)