In Which Ann Reads The Cursed Child

#ProjectKnitspeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

#ProjectKnitspeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream


A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a bit of a strange play – lots of fairies and magic and (as is standard in Shakespeare plays) misunderstandings. It also has one of my favorite lines in Shakespeare:

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

The associated project is Frances McCarthy’s Midsummer Night, chosen obviously because of its name. I did not knit the contrasting edging or add beads. Ravelry page is here.


#ProjectKnitspeare – Romeo and Juliet

#ProjectKnitspeare – Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet┬áis finished. This was my first Shakespeare play, which I read as part of my freshman year high school English class. I had either forgotten or never realized how funny Shakespeare is (maybe because a lot of jokes are sexual innuendos, which probably isn’t something you want to discuss with a bunch of 14-year-olds). I remember being incredibly annoyed by Romeo and Juliet at the time, but evidently I’ve become more forgiving in my old age.

This was a good place to start with Shakespeare – the story is incredibly familiar and ingrained in Western culture. At one point, I was knitting the accompanying hat while listening to Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (fun fact: I’ve played both of those pieces!).

The associated project was Natalie Larson’s Star Crossed Slouchy Beret, using these modifications. I selected this project because of the name – Romeo and Juliet are referred to as ‘star-crossed lovers’ in the famous prologue of the play. Ravelry project page is here.

Onward with #ProjectKnitspeare!



ProjectKnitspeareLately, I’ve been wanting to read some Shakespeare. Blame the wonderful web series NMTD and Jules and Monty. In an effort to keep me motivated, I’m combining two of my loves – books and yarn – in a project I’m calling #ProjectKnitspeare (so clever, I know). As I work my way through Shakespeare’s plays (reading order under the cut, because damn, that guy wrote a lot of stuff), I’ll be knitting one project relating to the work. The connection may be tenuous, depending on what’s available on Ravelry, but there will be some sort of connection between the two. I’ll be posting updates here, but keep an eye on Twitter (@booksyarnandtea) for random musings and pictures. (Plus maybe some videos coming soon?)

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Review | Kingsman: The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons & Matthew Vaughn

Review | Kingsman: The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons & Matthew Vaughn

I love spy things. I grew up watching James Bond and adore the TV show Archer. I only heard about Kingsman: The Secret Service when the film with Colin Firth came out recently. I put the graphic novel on hold, fully intending to read it and compare it to the movie.

Haven’t seen the movie yet. And now I’m not sure I want to.

Based on the trailers, the Kingsman movie appears to deviate significantly from the source material. That, obviously, is very common in movie adaptations (I’m looking at you, Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies…). But I really enjoyed this graphic novel, which was written by the creator of Kick-Ass and illustrated by one of the creators of Watchmen. I’m concerned that the movie will lose the important themes of the graphic novel.

The Secret Service follows the adventures of Gary. He’s grown up on a London estate (low income housing, for my fellow Americans who haven’t watched a lot of British television) and his life is basically going nowhere. He, his younger brother and his mom live with her drunk, abusive boyfriend and Gary spends his nights stealing cars and wreaking havoc with his friends. That is, until his uncle (and renowned secret agent) Jack London shows up. Taken under Jack’s wing, Gary is trained to be a spy. The story of his espionage education is woven into a larger mystery concerning disappearing celebrities (including Mark Hamill, David Beckham, etc.).

Because of Gary’s background, class distinctions are discussed throughout Kingman. Environmental concerns prove to be a driving force behind the plot. The media and the culture it creates are critiqued as well. These topics are not necessary fleshed out to the degree I would like, but the story is contained in only one volume, so space is limited. Gary’s mom is a pretty realistic depiction of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, but any other female characters are few and far between.

Overall, this graphic novel somehow combines a fun spy coming-of-age story with themes of class struggle, environmentalism and media culture. 4 cups of tea.
4 Cup