12 05 2011

Hey folks! Just wanted to let you know there’s a giveaway contest going on right now! Go to Crafternews’s facebook page. Click on “like” then click on the “Vampire Knits Giveaway” under their name, and voila!

They’re giving away 10 copies!!

Also, I keep another blog, not related to the book, over here. Come check it out!

Happy Thursday, and good luck!!


Designer Spotlight – Stephanie Spiers

9 05 2011

How long have you been knitting and how’d you get started?

I started knitting when I moved onto campus at college, around 6 years ago. My mother had tried to teach me on and off years before, but for some reason I just didn’t have a grasp on the concept until I was 19. At college I had a lot of spare time in the evening, even after I finished my homework, and needed something to keep me busy. My kind mother once again lent me a pair of her needles and a random selection of yarn for a garter stitch scarf. I worked on the scarf at least three hours a day for about seven months, until I ran out of yarn. It wasn’t a very long or wide scarf, overall, except for where the gauge of the different sized yarns had disagreed, and the colours did not compliment each other at all; in fact, it may have been the most hideous scarf in Canada, but I loved it. I loved the holes where I skipped stitches, and where I sloppily tried to add more. I loved the big mess where I tried to join on a new ball of yarn, and how I would get my strands so tangled in my ‘knitting bag’. I did not once wear the scarf, but I kept it for years, to revisit and brag about to anyone within earshot. Amazingly, I had become quite proficient at basic knit and purl by the time I finished the scarf, and discovered that everything I knit after had a natural perfect gauge. I immediately dove into my next project, a simple mohair scarf for my boyfriend. The scarf turned out perfectly, and he loved it. He did lose the scarf on an airplane only a month after I gave it to him, but I married him anyway, and I still knit him scarves.

How did you start designing?

I did not design anything fully until I heard of the Vampire Knits book. Before, I would make a few sketches, and maybe knit a swatch or two, but nothing ever came of it. I mostly had ideas on scrap pieces of paper that would get lost or binned. I did do a lot of pattern modification, but for simple things like afghans and sweaters and only for my own personal use. I did once in awhile see something either on television or in a magazine that I quite fancied and would try to replicate it with a similar pattern. I came across the Vampire Knits project on Ravelry while searching for the palm stitch pattern on the pair of mittens that Bella wears in the Twilight movie. At the time I thought it was an ambitious idea, and I bookmarked the page to visit periodically because I was interested in whether or not the book would succeed. I also thought it would be really cool if I could design a pattern that would be published in a book; however, I did not have my design idea until around 8 months after I had discovered the Vampire Knits project. As it stands, I am determined to design again, and now I actually keep a proper sketch book and sharpened pencils at the ready to record any inspiration that comes my way.

What was your first design? What did you design for Vampire Knits?  What inspired you?

My design for the Vampire Knits book is a diary cover, and it is also my first design. I had been visiting the Vampire Knits project for months, and every time I would think what could I design or what could I contribute, and I would usually come up blank. There were already a lot of really nice scarves and fingerless gloves, and I didn’t have enough time or money to try designing something large like an afghan or sweater. I was also trying to make a pattern relevant to the Twilight books, as the project was called Twilight Knits at the time. What actually got me thinking on the right path was when I saw that someone had submitted a felted Renee cell phone cozy. It got me thinking about the character, who is essentially a bit scatterbrained, which led me to her need for a diary and a diary cover. After that everything just fell into place, and it only took me three days to go from concept to finished design.

In order to make the design look like it belonged with the rest of the projects already submitted, I took a few established elements of the more recognizable pieces and combined them.  In a classic cream coloured wool, I took the horseshoe cable pattern from the Bella mittens, intersected it with the red ribbon from the cover of the Eclipse book, and set it on a textured linen stitch background.  In the end I found the pattern so easy to adapt and manipulate, that I also ended up adding a larger size version of the pattern made to fit over a hardcover copy of Eclipse. It is a pattern that I continue to adapt and manipulate for my use even now, because it is quite fun to knit I am very proud of it.

Who’s your favorite vampire, or what’s your favorite vampire story?

My favourite vampire is Count von Count from Sesame Street, because he was the very first vampire I had been introduced to, and it is also very fun to count my stitches in his manner. Recently I have gotten into the Vampire Diaries television series, as well as True Blood. I tend to enjoy the darker and dirtier vampire stories and movies, like Let The Right One In, 30 Days of Night, and the Hellsing anime. Currently I am keeping my ear to the ground for news of whether there will be a vampire-themed Quirk Classic.