And Halloween is a time for ghosts! Specifically:
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!
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
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!