Thank you, Comic Con!

31 07 2011

Last weekend, I went down to San Diego for Comic Con. You might remember that last year, Random House was promoting my book, which was due out in September. It was a great experience for me, and I learned a little about promoting the book. I got to do an interview, and met a lot of people and got to talk about the book a lot.

This year, the book had been out for 10 months. My publisher brought a few cases of the book to sell and give away. (They sold two cases on Friday, so we gave some books away on Saturday.) I brought Vampy m&ms, 3 of the projects, and some magnets to give away. Potter Crafts Marketing Director, Donna, brought the books, lots of buttons, and markers for signing. Donna sported the Tourniquet scarf and walked around a bit, letting people know I was there for the signing.

I signed a LOT of books! It was fabulous! I signed for women, men, knitters, crocheters, people who had crafty friends or family, and people who just liked the book itself.

I signed a book for a man whose mother has used her own copy of the book so much it’s getting worn. I signed a book for a man who actually knew who I was and was familiar with the book and asked me to sign the Paw Warmers page, because it was going to be his next project. I have to say, this one blew me away the most. I was on Cloud 9 after meeting JJ.

Thanks to Donna at Potter Craft and thanks to all the people who came to visit me at the booth and sign the book. I hope you all love the book, and would love to see pictures of projects you’ve made (this goes for all of you – I may have to make a post calling for photos! :)!



Comic Con Book Signing

20 07 2011

Hi all! Sorry I’ve been a bit absent! We took a family vacation and I’m just getting back into the grind.

I’ll be back to doing Designer Spotlights next week.

For now, I want to let you know that I’ll be signing copies of Vampire Knits at the Random House booth at Comic Con on Saturday, July 23rd. Let me know if you’ll be there – come and say hello!



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.

Designer Spotlight – Tonya Wagner

23 04 2011

Today we meet Tonya Wagner, who designed the adorable Little Fang Sweater.

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

I started knitting when I was nineteen years old – five and a half years ago.  I had always been interested in learning how to knit; I love the old-fashioned aspect of knitting and the ability to make your own clothing.  My then-boyfriend/now-husband is a professional guitarist, and I thought it would be nice to have something to do with my hands while he was playing guitar.  One day in the midst of finals I decided to pick up Stitch ‘n’ Bitch and taught myself to knit.  Something just clicked.  Now knitting is a huge part of my life.

How did you start designing?

I began designing mainly because I couldn’t find patterns for the type of garments I wanted to knit.  I thought, “how hard can it be?” and figured it out myself.  In the beginning I reverse engineered commercially-produced items, but then I started reading books by Elizabeth Zimmermann, Barbara Walker & Maggie Righetti.  They helped me to learn what I needed to know to take my ideas from sketch to sweater.

What was your first design?

My first personal design was a cabled purse that I knit just a couple of months after I began knitting.  From there I moved on to publishing designs on my blog and in print.

What did you design for Vampire Knits?  What inspired you?

I designed the fang sweater for children.  When you contacted me about designing a child’s sweater, the first thing that popped into my head was the traditional yellow smiley face shirt.  I’m not sure why, but it was an instant visual.  I pictured two fangs at the bottom of the face, and then everything else kind of melted away. I decided to keep the sweater simple, with the intarsia fangs on the bottom front.

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

My favorite vampire is Alice Cullen.  She’s just so darn cheerful for a vampire!  Plus, I have to admit to being a little jealous of her ability to buy tons of fabulous clothes.

Tonya can be found at her website:

Designer Spotlight – Nikol Lohr

2 04 2011
Happy Spring!
First of all, I apologize profusely for neglecting this blog! I have no good excuse for it – just let myself get busy with life and kids and family. But I’m back, and I promise to do better with keeping updates to the blog from here on out!
Today we meet Nikol Lohr, the designer of the gorgeous corset in the book! She runs the Harveyville Project and is the author of Naughty Needles.
How long have you been knitting and how’d you get started?

2004–a friend bough me a copy of stitch n bitch, and I taught myself

How did you start designing?

I came up with the concept for Naughty Needles & had to figure out how to produce my ideas.

What was your first design?

Fembot nightie from Naughty Needles.

What did you design for Vampire Knits?  What inspired you?

Prim Reaper Corset. I was inspired by Drusilla’s undergarments in one of my all-time-favorite episodes of Angel, Dear Boy.

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

I’m terribly fond Buffy/Angel, but I’m also really really enjoying True Blood. I like my monsters with a heavy dose of humor and very little sulking.


Good News/ Bad News

12 01 2011

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to address something that’s happening right now in the Vampire Knits world and share a bit of good news as well.

First, the “bad” – Now, we all know that there’s a misprint issue and that several copies (though we’re not sure how many) were printed without several pages and repeating several pages. It seems that this is the reason why Amazon has decided to review all their inventory, so they no longer ship out faulty copies.  Hopefully this will be rectified soon and they’ll start selling them again. Until then, you can still find them at Michael’s, Barnes & Noble, and Borders, among many other sellers.  You can also buy the Kindle version.

The good news is that we’re heading into our second edition printing! Sooner than I thought we would, but perhaps this is happening sooner because of the misprints. Regardless, the new printings will have the Errata from the first edition fixed.

Thanks for your support, and happy knitting!