Meet Designer Rilana Riley-Munson (9.11.10)

There’s so much going on right now!! THREE days til the book release! There’s also a contest going on at Knitpicks to win copies of the book. They’re drawing 7 names from those who comment on the post – try your luck!

And if you look at the designs in the Contest blog post, you’ll see the gorgeous Countess Bathory Scarf, designed by Rilana Riley-Munson. And without further adoo, here’s a bit more about the designer herself!

How long have you been knitting and how’d you get started?
I’ve been knitting for over six years now. My mother taught me to crochet in my teens, 20 years ago. I stuck with it over the years. So, I was already yarn-crafty to begin with. In February of 2004, my husband was due to leave on a two week business trip. I did not want to be bored, sad and missing him the entire two week period. So, I decided to buy myself a How-To Knitting book, a ball of yarn and a pair of US # 8 straight needles. I was determined to learn how to knit while I had two weeks of evenings myself. I made a really awful lavender garter stitch scarf…and the rest they say is history. I taught myself to knit. I have been knitting ever since. It also turns out that I prefer knitting to crochet. I knit and crochet right handed, despite my being a lefty.

> How did you start designing?
It was quite by accident. I began posting free hat and sock patterns on my blog, to share with my knitting friends. I wasn’t too serious about designing knit patterns, at the time. I was working as a Website and Graphics designer, instead. In 2007 I discovered Ravelry, and it sort of “blew up” from there. I think Ravelry opened a lot of doors for me to connect with other knitters, designers and opportunities. Currently, I am designing knit patterns for KnitPicks as an independent knit designer. I am open to other design opportunities as well…

> What was your first design?
My first published pattern was the Vintage Girl Cloche in the Stitch ‘N Bitch Page-A-Day Calendar 2008, by Debbie Stoller. It is now a free pattern on Ravelry.

> What did you design for Vampire Knits? What inspired you?
I designed the Countess Bathory Scarf for the book. The history of the “Blood Countess” inspired the scarf. She was very human, but likened to a vampire for drinking and/or bathing in human blood to remain young. She was one of the most prolific female serial killer in history. There aren’t many “vampire” stories about females. I also like the vintage ascot-style scarves and wanted to create one of my own.

> Who’s your favorite vampire, or what’s your favorite vampire story?
As a kid I loved the classic Dracula tales. I loved reading scary stories. Bram Stoker’s Dracula has always been a favorite novel. My most favorite vampire of all time…the Viking babe, Eric Northman, from the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris and HBO’s True Blood. Go Team Eric! I obsessively watch True Blood these days. Love that show…

You can find more of Rilana’s designs (vampish and otherwise) on her Ravelry projects page:

MKL Cowl

Alice Chic Beret

Urban Bat Sweater

Canis Lupis Scarf

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