Book Review: Vampire Knits

So, I’m finally done my grading and am now moving onto frenetic packing, tidying, and collecting up ALL the knitting to take with me (I can finish 5 projects before 2011, right?), before leaving on a bus tomorrow for a series of 2-or-3-days-at-a-time-in-one-place also known as the Christmas holidays. Which is going to be great, but then, there is the packing. (Also, I’d like to say thanks to reader Becky who thought that when I said I was ‘grading’ I meant grading knitting designs for sizes in a written pattern, as opposed to exams and essays which is what I was actually doing. Admittedly, I’d probably have preferred the patterns I think.)

Naturally, I thought this was a good time to finish up the last of my 2010 book reviews. Because when else would one sit down and clear a few careful thoughts for blog readers curious about knitting books? Well, during insane gift-shopping season, of course! (Unless of course, you already did all your gift shopping. In which case, I have some errands for you to run if you’re not doing anything.)

VampireKnits

Vampire Knits presented me with a bit of a challenge. On the one hand, I love vampire stories. Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Absolutely. Dracula? Yeah, bring on the gothic. True Blood? well, the books sure made for decent commuter reading, I’ll say that much. And I am big-time in support of fannish knitting. Heck, a large portion of my recent design repertoire came from fannish inspiration. Viper Pilots socks, anyone? For goodness sakes, I’m working on a Buffy-inspired collection of mittens and gloves. I’ve knitted my own Ravenclaw scarf and love the fact that there are thousands of knitters who have found their entry into the world of knitting by making their own Harry Potter house scarf. Bring on the fannish knitting, I am all over that.

On the other hand, the author of this particular pattern collection makes no bones about being directly inspired not so much by vampire texts in general, but by the Twilight series of novels and films, specifically (there are patterns with intarsia-letter motifs for pillows spelling out “team Jacob” or “team Edward.”). I absolutely loathe the Twilight series. Come on folks, as if it’s not bad enough that there are flocks of young people steamrolling past actual literature to get to Stephanie Meyer’s books to the tune of millions and billions of dollars, it makes me weep to think that there are enough people now who are holding up Twilight as the best vampire stories EVAR OMG and haven’t even given BtVS a fair shake because, okay fine, the makeup and production values in Season 1 were pretty crappy. I mean, they should at least be going off to read Dracula first, but since they’re probably not doing that, the very least they could do is watch the entirety of Season 2. And 3. And 5. And the last 2 discs of Season 7. And the musical episode. And the silent episode. And, you know, the WHOLE SERIES.

::cough:: But I digress.

All in all, I have to say, this is a decent set of patterns. The cover sweater, the ‘Lore’ hooded cardigan by Cirilia Rose, has been getting a lot of attention for good reason – it’s an effective but not overly intimidating sweater knit in bulky wool (Peruvia Quick) that also looks pretty comfortable. And really, most of the patterns are like that. If you’re looking for a set of advanced beginner patterns for someone who might not otherwise be inspired to take up knitting but likes vampire things, or someone who likes vampire things but might not have bought this book, it’s worthwhile.

I quite like this “Under the Cover of Midnight” cowl/hood (below), a chunky cabled knit which looks extremely cozy as well as stylish. And tempting given the current chill in the air.

Dec17-VampireKnits1

Dec17-VampireKnits2

The ‘Bloody Socks’, above, are also pretty approachable for someone new to sock knitting, essentially a cuff-down heel-flap sock with a simple motif down the front. (Though I scratch my head at making them ankle socks, especially when the chosen yarn comes in 420-yds skeins. Does removing most of the leg make them easier? I don’t know.)

All in all, it’s a collection mostly meant for women, with a few patterns for men including a sweater and a couple of scarves. There are sweaters, shrugs, cowls, gloves, socks, and home accessories – even a corset. The yarns used in the samples are mostly recognizeable labels, from Knit Picks or Bernat to Louet and Berroco. And where it is warranted, there is a range of sizes. The cover sweater, for example, goes up to 48″ in bust circumference.

So, if you’re looking for something fun for a vampire-fan who would or could sink her teeth into knitting, this offering would be just fine. And at the end of the day, anything that helps more people appreciate knitting is just fine with me.

Stay tuned, when I’ll offer this book and one more from my previous reviews as a blog giveaway for the new year! And, as usual, keep the knitting close by!

 

About these ads

16 Comments

Filed under book review

16 responses to “Book Review: Vampire Knits

  1. Michelle

    I definitely agree. There is so much more to the vampire world than twilight!

  2. I love the review — thank you. Also, watch Vampire Diaries. It seems to start with Twilight in mind and then about six episodes in, it gets super awesome. :) This is coming from someone who believes season 3 of BtVS was one of the best on Earth.

  3. Totally with you on Buffy. Except that I love even season 1. It’s just so campy! If you can embrace that, you’re set. (And my husband and I, if we ever hear anyone say “I have a theory!”; one or the other of us will follow that up with “It could be bunnies!” We are giant geeks.)

  4. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. every 2 or 3 years i rewatch the whole series. my favorite season is season 2, my heart fell into pieces when angel lost his soul and in the finale, when buffy had to kill him. (sorry for the spoiler alert). and whenever i rewatch the series, i never skip the theme song because i bang my head along with the music (how very 90s of me, i know).

  5. I just ordered this book and can’t wait to get it. I am a beginner, but I wanted to order this book to get some inspiration. I always loved BTVS and was depressed for three days when the series ended! Boo hoo! I loved the men’s sweater in this book, I think it had a split at the cuff with a button. Can’t wait to get started!

  6. We are rewatching BtVS right now. :) Well, no, not *at this exact moment*, but it’s current evening fare since so many other things are on hiatus for the moment. LOVE Buffy; am horribly upset that I didn’t get into it when it was actually on, but the movie was *terrible*…. Anyway, I hear you on the Twilight series — I’ve heard too many feminist reviews of it to even consider picking it up. And really — SPARKLY vampires?!!? I mean, I get into “vampires are sexy” as much as the next fan girl, but c’mon — SPARKLY?!!? Yeesh….

    Have a good Holiday Progress, Glenna! Yay for grading being over!

  7. Barb

    Twilight was, without a doubt, the worst books I have ever read. And yet I couldn’t not read them. It was agony.

  8. Vampires should not sparkle. Period. End of sentence. I saw someone wearing a t-shirt about a year ago that said “Then Buffy staked Edward. The End” It was brilliant.

    I LOVE BtVS all season. I just started rewatching season 1 last week and I often just put on Once More With Feeling, because I love it so much.

    Quite honestly, I’ve looked at the patterns in this book, I saw a preview of it last summer, and I liked many of them, but I just couldn’t get over the Twilight inspiration.

  9. pip

    well done for rising above your hatred of the Twilight series and writing an excellent review… I’m impressed ^..^

  10. This book had so much potential. Dark, Victorian designs; lacy details; ancient styling. Instead it’s a bunch of effing Twilight pillows, some boring socks and dumb cowls that do not say anything about vampires or even spookiness in general. This book gave me a sad.

  11. Jeanie

    Purely entertainment! If a teenager picks up a book to read, that is a good thing:)

  12. I’m totally NOT into Vampire books of any kind but that hooded cowl does slay me — I might just have to break down and make it.

  13. We found this book at work (I work at a bookstore) and my immediate reaction was But because it’s a knitting book, I couldn’t help but flip through it, and to my shock and slight dismay, I actually really liked quite a few of the patterns. So yeah, I’m with you. Pretty much hate the premise of the book, but kind of love the contents.

  14. Oh bloody hell. I used angle brackets in my previous comments, which it tried to turn into html, which of course it wasn’t… Anyway, my initial reaction to this book was “BLEAGH!”

  15. I’ve been torn about this book as well, thanks for the review. It sounds like it’s not a bad book, but maybe I should only get it if I really decide I like one of the designs enough to acutally knit it.

    I completely agree with you on Vampire stories vs the Twilight saga. It’s not even the sparkles that really do it for me (although, really? really?!) but the weakling heronie, I just want to slap her and tell her to grow a backbone (and I haven’t even read the books, because I refuse to support that weird mormon propeganda) but if you’re looking for a good vampire book with a STRONG heroine and creepy vampires, I can’t recommend “Sunshine” by Robin McKinley enough. It’s a great book!

  16. LOVE BtVS…your rant hits the nail on the head. I’m a fan of Twilight, except for the sparkly thing. But BtVS will always be first in that world. Always. I know the musical by heart…the soundtrack was the story of my life this summer!