I've always had a soft spot for vampires ... ever since I was a kid, the tales of Dracula, Lost Boys, Lestat and other soul-less bloodsuckers have been my 'go-to' movies and preferred books (one winter, I read EVERYTHING by Anne Rice).
So when I got the new book, "Vampire Knits: Projects to keep you knitting from Twilight to Dawn" I was very excited, but, I have to admit, a bit at a loss as to what might be in it aside from capes .... I mean, really, vamps are undead, coldblooded fiends - not really prime candidates for knitwear. I was also a little scared - nervous that it would be simply a tribute to the movies in the Twilight series (I was envisioning a bunch of reproduction knits of the mittens worn by Bella, scarves worn at the vampire ballgame, fingerless mitts worn by Alice or another character) ... and I've seen all those on Ravelry already (and am not a big Twilight fan - I prefer my vampires not to sparkle, thank you very much). I wanted something new!
This book is totally cool - it is not a tribute/reproduction book!
Written by Genevieve Miller, the book has 28 patterns created by a wide assortment of knitters (and a few crocheters - but not so many crocheted things as to turn off this die-hard knitter). It is laid out in such a neat way - the patterns are broken down in chapters devoted to different subcultures - Chapter one is called "Protect Me" and features patterns for protection from the undead (and I don't mean garlic infused scarves!) -- it has really cute fingerless gloves, cowls, and scarves to protect the pulse points. There is a chapter for the newly turned vampire (most feature homages to blood and bites - but are done in such a way that most casual observers wouldn't think it was unusual), there is a chapter on vampire dress (cloaks, long lace stockings, elbow length gloves ... and other dramatic fashion), there is a chapter that has household items and bags that serve as a holla to the movies (are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Or just dying to say Bite Me?), and even a chapter that has some shape shifter patterns (I gotta say, the werewolf inspired hat is adorable, for adults and so cute for your little cub!).
Before I read the book, I wasn't sure if there would be anything I'd like to knit (I am a fan of vamps, but not a 'shout it from the rooftops' fan gal, and am not Goth, so had concerns that it would have nothing for me), but am so happy to say that there are so many projects that I'd love to make in this book ... the werewolf hat being only one - the pulse protectors are on my Christmas knitting list, and I WANT the Lore Hoodie. (isn't it pretty?!)
The photography in this book is fantastic ... the knitwear is flawlessly displayed and every project has more than one picture of it. As I was reading, I kept thinking that the designer of the book chose the perfect models, as each of the 3 or 4 models in the book has an old world look to them, beautiful and nearly deathly pale .. it all added to the illusion of the vampire. I also really enjoyed the "Tid-Bites" that came with nearly every pattern (bits of information about movie and tv vamps through time) and also lots of vampire folklore, which was interesting.
One other thing that I really appreciated in this book was the patterns' use of 'common' yarns ... a lot of books use yarns that aren't always easy to get, but most of the patterns in Vampire Knits use yarn that is both easy to get, and easy on the budget (Knit Picks, Bernat, Brown Sheep Lambs Pride, Cascade, Lion Brand, and other easy to get yarns). This helps to make the patterns a little easier to recreate at home.
From Spike of the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Dracula, Lestat, the Lost Boys and Dark Shadows, to the current favorite fella with fangs - Edward, this book takes the reader into the realm of vampires (and features some very nice knitwear). I enjoyed the book, and am anxious sink my teeth into a few of the patterns right away.
(Pictures are from the book, via Ravelry project pages)
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