Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Tour! "Ghosts" by Teresa Gregorio

It's almost Halloween!! Halloween is my second favorite holiday (it loses out to Christmas because I like exchanging presents and because I haven't actually gone to a good Halloween party since I was a kid...but that doesn't mean I don't love it a lot. I really do.) 

And Halloween is a time for ghosts! Specifically:

(which I have kindly been asked to review! Wheee!)

This new ebook by Teresa Gregorio (aka CanaryKnits) is half fascinating research paper on the history of ghosts (or, rather, the history of people seeing ghosts) around the world, and half charming knitting patterns.

Did you know, for example, that "ghost stories" date back to the ancient Greeks? Or that ghosts didn't generally appear as white, transparent figures until Victorian times? Or that ectoplasm was NOT invented by the movie Ghostbusters (um, I totally thought it was. Oops.) I was one of those kids who absolutely devoured "True Ghost Stories" books when I was younger, so learning about this stuff from a slightly more anthropological perspective was very cool.

And then there are the patterns! I love how cleverly each is designed around one of the ghostly phenomena from the first section. Some are very specific- Athenodorus, for example, is a skirt that "fades away" (thanks to changing gauges) to imitate the way Greeks believed a ghost would fade over time as it forgot its identity.

And the "Hitodama" mittens literally feature images of hitodama- blue orbs of light reported in Japan and believed to represent a departed soul.

Other interpretations are a bit looser, but the garments no less charming. "Feathers" pays homage to the birds that so many cultures regard as spiritually significant.

One of my favorites, Galoshans (the Scots word for "guising" or dressing up in costume) is a terribly stylish sweater that has just a hint of old-fashioned-ghost-costume.

But my absolute favorite in the collection (and the one I would make right this very second if I had any time at all for non-work knitting) is the Calavera Catrina. I've loved Day of the Dead imagery ever since my fleeting affair with Grim Fandango many years ago, and this bonnet (inspired by an art print of an "elegant skull" by José Guadalupe Posada) is completely charming.

Overall, whether you're in it for the ghostly lore or the uber-cute patterns, "Ghosts" is a rather delightful Halloween-time diversion (with designs that won't look out of place the rest of the year.) CanaryKnits is well known for fashionable, flattering women's wear and this book doesn't disappoint a bit!

You can check the whole collection out on Ravelry
or visit the CanaryKnits website!

Teresa is going to GIVE one of you lucky sonuvaguns your very own copy of "Ghosts"! All you gotta do is comment here and tell me who your favorite ghost is. It can be anyone from Slimer to Devon-Sawa-in-Casper (back when he was dreamy) to the ghost that haunts your Aunt's attic. I'm going out of town for a few weeks, so we'll run this contest all the way until November 5th. Sound good? Wheee!


  1. My favorite ghost is the one in my Dad's old house. He was a Union soldier at Gettysburg who died while he was smoking a pipe. Sometimes at night the door would swing open and you could smell the pipe tobacco. It never happened when the dog was in the room though.

  2. I absolutely love the premise for this book! Conceptual knitting is one of my favorite things. My favorite ghost would have to be the old woman from the movie Insidious. She might be technically a demon, but she looks like a ghost and terrifies me more than any others I can think of. Thanks for bring this collection to my attention!

  3. My favorite ghost is Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter books. Can you imagine being a whiny teenager trapped in a bathroom for eternity?!?!

    1. I love Myrtle, too! She's a great ghost - and then there's Nearly Headless Nick, Rowling did a great job on her ghosts, really.
      But my favourite must be The Canterville Ghost! All his desperate attempts to be taken seriously... there isn't any other ghost trying for attention so adorably!

  4. Hm, my favorite ghost is The Jackal from Thirteen Ghosts! The movie is about twelve souls that are trapped for use by a man in the movie. Good stuff!

  5. My favorite ghost is the deliciously depraved vision of Quint in Henry James Turn of the Screw.
    [And, yes, okay, once and English major always an English major :)]

  6. My favorite ghost is the captain from the Ghost and Mrs. Muir TV show. I loved that show when I was a child (totally dating myself there). I had a crush on both the cute dog Scruffy and the handsome bearded captain. And I wanted to live in that beautiful old cliff-side house. I really ought to see if it's out on DVD and has held up to the test of time. I expect I'd be disappointed, might be better to stick to those fond childhood memories.

  7. It's gotta be Sam in "Ghost"...Unchained Melody still gets me!

  8. This is not my favorite ghost in a good way because I still get scared, but it's Bloody Mary. I heard about this ghost when I was young but then relived it all again watching the show Ghost Whisperer. That was a scary episode! But for cute non scary ghosts I like Casper!

  9. I would like to say it's either my dear mother or husband, but haven't seen them yet!!!

  10. Beetlejuice is my favorite...after all, he is the ghost with the most!

  11. Mine would be the ghost of Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison) in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

  12. My favourite ghost is totally Casper. He's just too adorable!

  13. I like to hear stories of people's encounters with ghosts. I myself have never encountered one.

  14. My favorite ghosts are from "The Others." I don't think any other ghost story has beaten that film for me!

  15. My favorite, or at least the ones that scared me the most, were the various ghosts in Alan Schwartz's Scary Story books! They are still creepy!

  16. My favorite ghosts are the medieval ghosts of Hellequin's Hunt, who rode around after dark trying to escape their miserable torments (like red hot nails in their saddles and demons who flogged them).


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