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WIP Wednesday and Book Review: Tudor Roses

The facts are these.

Rosemary Cardigan
Chugging along on this. Had to restart the sleeve because I’d slightly forgotten how to knit the pattern in the days it was hibernating while I knit Hiro.


Really thrilling stuff, I know. The rest of this post is probably equally as thrilling if you’re not really into historical-inspired knitting and/or crazy colorwork patterns.

As I mentioned in my little gift list, Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses is available for sale now. I originally thought that the book was a reprint of the fifteen year old version, with an updated introduction but the same patterns.

Noooot quite.

I don’t have the original book, but after Amy Christoffers asked via Twitter if it had the same patterns, I did a little bit of comparing and contrasting. You can play along by seeing all the fantastic photographs at Virtual Yarns.

A lot of the names have remained the same, the Starmores (this book was co-authored and co-designed by Jade Starmore) pulling their inspiration from historical accounts—including snippets of first-person writings by the women themselves, in most cases, that introduce each pattern—but some of the patterns are dramatically different from the original publication. These ladies’ patterns have carried over from the original text: Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth I, Katherine Howard, Margaret Tudor, Mary Tudor, Catherine Parr, and Katherine of Aragon (disclaimer: the patterns look the same, although most of the Ravelry pattern pages feature photos by knitters and are not the photographs from the original book, as far as I can tell and also, I’m operating on the assumption that the pattern page in Ravelry represents the entirety of the original book, so I may be wrong—feel free to buy me a copy of the original for comparison purposes, hah).

The patterns inspired by the men (namely Henry VII and Henry VIII) are omitted from this text. In addition to the seven patterns listed above, Elizabeth of York keeps a geometric pattern but gets some color and Jane Seymour takes a pattern from the original and expands it in the update. New to this collection are Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Lady Mary (which I love and will likely knit by dint of it being steeked because purling colorwork is the pits), and Mary Queen of Scots.

That’s the nitty gritty, here’s the squee.

OMG THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS, THIS BOOK. First of all, it’s huge.


If you’re at all interested in history, British history (let’s not discuss my collection of books on the Wars of the Roses), serious business colorwork patterns, or beautifully styled photography of knitting, you need to at least get this book from your local library (though I would argue for buying it to place on your coffee table and pet as the need arises). Even if none of the patterns as-is appeal to you, there’s so much inspiration to be gleaned (and you can see that from the projects in Ravelry—so many wonderful variations).

Add it to your wish lists now, folks. You won’t be sorry.

Categories: Books WIP Wednesday

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