Coraline contest

by ysolda on October 30, 2008

A couple of days ago I saw Neil Gaiman at a local theatre. He read from The Graveyard Book and managed to be very entertaining while answering questions. Afterward we managed by sheer luck to find ourselves near the front of the very, very long signing queue.


He signed my copy of The Graveyard Book, but that’s not what you can see here. Look!


He signed the Coraline pattern, and he actually remembered linking to it ages ago and seemed very pleased with the copy I gave him. Why two copies though? Well one for me and one for you. It was too perfect an opportunity for a contest to pass up.

So if you would like to win a copy of Coraline signed by Neil Gaiman and (if you want!) me leave a comment on this post telling me which character you think I should design something inspired by or named after and why. Your suggestion can be from anything, it doesn’t have to be from something by Gaiman. You have until midnight GMT on November the 6th to enter, just over a week. I’ll draw a random winner and will happily mail it to wherever they are.

I will ask one thing though – I’d really like this to go to someone who will love it so if you could care less about having something signed by him and just want to win a pattern please wait. I promise there will be a contest that’s just about my stuff soon!

p.s. This may be a sign that I’m finally getting somewhere with the wholesale patterns thing, maybe.

Thank you for entering the contest is now closed.


Josie October 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Wow, that must have been amazing to meet him! I’m a big fan of his, and I love to listen to his audiobooks whilst knitting. Another favourite author of mine is Marion Zimmer Bradley, and she writes really strong, intelligent women and I think it would be wonderful to see a design named after or based on Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon. I enjoyed reading the women’s point of view in the Arthurian legend, and I know you could design something really beautiful and fitting for this wonderful character. Sorry if I rambled! :)

Malia October 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm

In the middle of reading your post, before I got to the contest part I was thinking about how you should design a pattern for, get this, Morgaine from Mists of Avalon. Josie, I guess great minds and all that! I love Marion Zimmer Bradley’s work as well and the character of Morgaine is one of those great characters that makes mistakes, makes decisions, lives with consequences, is not perfect and feels very human the whole time you are reading about her while all the time being a main character in a fantasy book. She was a woman stuck between real life, with real consequences and a magical world with often worse consequences. She is inspiring while being real and fallible.

How’s that for rambling?! :)

Tor October 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm

You are so so lucky to have met him :) I was so desperate to go, but things didn’t work out.

On a Gaiman theme, I always think about “Wolves in the Wall” whenever I look at your bunny pattern :)

As for a design…It’s probably easy for me to suggest something from Stardust (or even just called Stardust, I love that name!) but the Sandman’s Death. What would you knit for her? Something black and broody or something for her more, uh, feminine side. I love death – totally fell head over heels for her when I first read the Sandman.

I have images of her all in black with delicate socks with intricate lace or colourwork. Hmm.

*goes off to order the new book on audio*

sarah October 30, 2008 at 5:16 pm

won’t be entering the contest, but just wanted to say crossing everything for the PS part of the post, would be stoked for you if it did happen! x

Andrea October 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm

This is such a lovely and lucky contest! Coraline is one of my most favourite books (and sweater patterns)!

I suggest Sayuri from Memoirs of a Geisha (main character). This is another one of my favourites to read. It’s very inspiring how she overcomes the obstacles set in her path to find happiness in a profession that does not yield for love.

Sayuri is able to be both a strong and clever woman and maintain a delicate and feminine exterior. I think working with both the strong and soft theme might be a good challenge!

Lisa October 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Gaiman has a marvelous way of bringing out the different characters’ voices when he reads his books. Graveyard Book is wonderful – and it is all available online for free to listen to. I’m impressed that he is willing to release all this for everyone to enjoy. The link is

Samsara October 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Wow! Neil Gaiman? I’ve loved his work since the Sandman Days! That’s so cool you got to meet him!
I think you should design something for Arwen, who was prepared to sacrifice everything for love- something beautiful, ethereal (cos that’s what you do best eh?) and Elven. Or maybe even Arwen, a totally cool character, fiesty and headstrong and doing what she felt was right, even if it meant going against what others wanted her to do. LOTR is amongst my favourite books and there’s so many great characters in it, something warm and rustic for the Hobbits (Frodo maybe?) would be good too. Yes, I can ramble too…

Shannon October 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Ooh! I’d choose the Basanos from Lucifer (which would be tough as the character is more of a thing than a person), or Nuala from the Sandman: Seasons of Mist. What a great reading that must have been!

Jennifer October 30, 2008 at 6:05 pm

How exciting! I am not entering as I haven’t read his books, but I will now look him up at the library. I just wanted to let you know that I think this must be very exciting for you and I’m so happy to hear about it!

Breanna October 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

My goodness, how lucky to have met him!

In relation to Neil Gaiman’s books, I would really love to see a Stardust design–lots of fun with Victorian shaping and fairytale elements. Or even an spider-like design for Mr. Nancy!

Linda Carrillo October 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

I’m so happy you are having this contest. And I am so very pleased to know that other people are as big a fan of Neil Gaiman as I am. That book, Coraline, I have been reading to my students every October for the past six years. It is a favorite of mine and my students love it as well. (5th graders). I was thrilled to see your pattern for it. Alas, I have yet to make it :( I have made other patterns of yours and I think the sweater is brilliant!!

I think Yvaine from Stardust is a lovely inspiration for another romantic garment. Something barely shimmery in a pale bluish greyish lavendery silver?

Jodi October 30, 2008 at 6:16 pm

How cool is that? I suggest designing a pattern with Emily Bronte’s Catherine in mind — something to keep her warm out on the moors.

GeekKnitter October 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm

How about something designed for Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird? Tomboy-ish, teetering on the edge of growing up into a young lady?

Brittany October 30, 2008 at 6:22 pm

How awesome! That must have been such an exciting experience!
I think you should knit something based on Mary from the novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. To me, it would go with your overall designing aesthetic well. I really love that book. :)

Kim U October 30, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Squee! Neil Gaiman! How cool. I’ve listened to a lot of his books on tape (in addition to reading them) and he’s got the best reading voice.

I think it would be fun to see a pattern inspired by Yvaine in Stardust. It would be interesting to see what kind of design would work for a fallen star (fallen yes, but still a star).

Lady Radagast October 30, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I’d love to see a pair of designs based on the ladies of Ivanhoe, Rebecca and Rowena. I think the pair of them were fascinating in the book and would be awesome as a pair of complementary designs – the dark, beautiful Jewish healer and the fair, equally beautiful Saxon noblewoman. That would be great!

I love that Neil Gaiman is still able to be a real, good-humored person who’s tickled to see people inspired by his work, even though he’s famous. It’s so cool that he was happy to sign knitting patterns! As if his writing wasn’t a good enough reason to love him!

Natalie October 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm

My husband looooves Neil Gaiman. And I guess he used to live around here cause his kids went to high school with some people we know? Something like that? Anyway, I think he’d be thrilled if I won a pattern signed by him :-)

Steve October 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Someone already suggested Yvaine, and my favorite characters – Delirium from Sandman and Anasthesia from Neverwhere – don’t exactly scream “knitted thing”…well, Delirium might, but that’s another thing entirely. Hmm…how about Molly from Books of Magic? Something earthy, firey, a little fey, but solid…

Very jealous you got to meet him – I was too sick to make it to his last reading in D.C. :)

Helen October 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Fine silk stockings for the Marquis de Carabas or a key-themed jumper for Door, both from Neverwhere. Very glad he remembered the pattern. NG is awesome!

cheriwan October 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Ooooooo….mmmmmm. Love love this idea.
I think you should do a tri-fecta from Good Omens- and such characters they are!:
Agnes Nutter-a modest witch-shawl
Aziraphale-a gleaming man-scarf (something off-putting and celestial at the same time)
Crowley-something fabulous and outrageous, like a smoking jacket…something he’d be totally vain in.
Sorry, I love Gaiman, and he and Pratchett together just “sing” with laughter, play and devilish goodness.
I’m so psyched you got to meet him and he remembered Coraline! You should be so proud! I’ve been wanting to knit that…

Beth October 30, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I loooove him! How incredible he was so cool!

As soon as I read the question, I instantly thought of the (fantasy!) character of Dulcinea from Don Quixote. The name is so weirdly poetic, and his idea of her is of the epitome of beauty, purity and nobility. Maybe it could be a sweater to impress on a first date! :)

katie October 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm

That’s so cool, I found your website thanks to Neil Gaiman’s link and have read you both regularly ever since…

For me a great character to knit for would be Aziraphale from Good Omens – a pair of warm snuggly socks.

Jes October 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Anathema Device, from Good Omens. She’s just a fun character. Plus, she’s earth-friendly, open but not too nutty :)

Or, Crowley. Because, well, he’s just cool like that.

emilyjoy October 30, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Well my favorite book is Neverwhere…have you ever considered doing any sort of mens patterns? You could do something off of the Marquis De Carabas? He’s pretty flashy. There’s also the Puss in Boots reference from that which seems to go along well with the current slippers/mouse/fairytale-ish trend. It might be a horrible idea, but that’s my input. :)

Moriah October 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm

This is so exciting – I love Neil Gaiman and your patterns, especially together.

It would be great if you designed a pattern based on Smilla, from Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. She’s fashionable, smart, rebellious, and has a natural affinity for snow and ice – perfect inspiration for gorgeous, warm knitwear.

Mouse October 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I would love to meet Neil Gaiman but I’m sure that I would end up saying something particularly nonsensical to him if I were face to face. I think its wonderful that you were able to meet him and that he remembered your design! I have also been a fan of his since the Sandman comics and I also love MirrorMask & Stardust.
As for knitted designs- I think I’d like to see something inspired by Yvaine or Lamia from Stardust.

Margarita October 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I’d love something inspired by the Raven King in Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Something with tangled cables and knit in Blue Moon’s Raven series, of course!

Jaime October 30, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Wow! I’d love to meet Neil someday.

The first character that I thought of was Anansi, from American Gods. I immediately thought of something with lots of twists and turns, and maybe a punch of color, like his lemon colored gloves.

Joeli October 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I’m a huge Neil Gaiman fan and am quite jealous that you got to meet him. I think it’d be cool to design something based on Door or The Marquis de Carabas.

Emily Dee October 30, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Am trying very very hard not to read what everyone else has written so that I am untainted. What about Yvaine (something twinkly, or with the suggestion of twinkle) or (my new favorite character) Silas?

D October 30, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Ooooh, I love Neil Gaiman, and love reading his blog as well. I just finished Anansi Boys, which was great as usual. I’m going to restrict myself to Gaiman characters, because too many options can overwhelm sometimes. I had two thoughts — if you wanted to design something for a guy you could choose Anansi since he is described as being well-dressed and has a particularly interesting style. If you wanted another girly design, then Yvaine from Stardust would be perfect. I mean, what girl doesn’t want to be a star?

GREAT contest by the way! One of the best and most creative that I’ve seen in blogland for awhile.

Annika October 30, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I would love to see something named for Pinocchio or Geppetto (and I love the Neil Gaiman-related suggestions you’re getting, too).

marianne October 30, 2008 at 8:26 pm

The disadvantages of living in a corner of the world. And not even an english speaking corner. All the great readings we miss, and the concerts. But it sounds great…

As much as I would love to see you take on Death, with all her gothic glory, I really think you should design something for Pippi Longstocking. It may be my scandinavian background, but I think that all the lovely 50′s looks and Pippi’s humour would come together nicely with your touch.
But there are already so many great suggestions, the fallen star, a key themed sweater…. I am sure it will be great, whatever it ends up being.

Sariannac October 30, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I squeaked when I saw the picture. I’m kind of jealous, because the last time he was in my neck of the woods I was, like, eight.

I think you could do great thing with Yvaine from Stardust. There’s a whimsy to her that I think would go really well with your style.

Christina October 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Oh that is so cool! I would love to meet him one day – of course I’m deathly afraid I’d say something incredibly stupid and beat myself up for it for the rest of my life :)

My first instinct was Door from Neverwhere because it’s probably my favorite Gaiman book, and for a guy pattern, Shadow from American Gods. However, there are some great suggestions up here, and any of them would be awesome to see :) Crowley, the Marquis de Carabas, Anathema Device… or what about Susan, Death’s daughter from the Discworld novels?

shimelle October 30, 2008 at 9:35 pm

oh goodness, how absolutely lovely. :)

she’s already been mentioned but my first instinct was door from neverwhere. i think it would have to be something with amazing little pockets…possibly that others wouldn’t realise were there.

and you are clearly much braver than i. it turns out i was much too chicken to say hello to you at i-knit day! so hello from here instead. :)

bells October 30, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Oh wow. Fantastic. What a thrill. I think you should design something called Delirium. That would be cool.

--Deb October 30, 2008 at 9:47 pm

How cool is that?

Okay, it’s not a Gaiman character, but … Rachel from Sharon Shinn’s “Archangel.” She’s described as having massively, golden, curly hair and a totally eclectic style of dressing with multi-layers of skirts, vest, shirts, scarves, and I always want to SEE her clothes. So, yeah, you should design something for her. (And, at the very least, read the book, because it’s amazingly good.)

Vivian October 30, 2008 at 9:53 pm

I love Neil Gaiman! I cannot describe how awesome it is that knitting and Neil Gaiman have somehow been combined.

character suggestions? Gaiman-centric idea is easily Door from Neverwhere. otherwise, I’d have to say either Ginny or Luna from Harry Potter. I kind of love them. :)

Christie October 30, 2008 at 10:04 pm

How about Mary Boylen? I just finished The Other Boylen Girl by Phillipa Gregory.

Or Yvaine from Stardust…

K October 30, 2008 at 10:05 pm

How about Alice (of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”)? I’m sure she could knit, since at the beginning of “Through the Looking Glass” she’s engaged in winding up a ball of worsted that the kitten has been playing with.

I saw you in the signing queue, but was too shy to say hello…

Mikaela October 30, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Neil Gaiman’s original link on his blog to your Coraline sweater pattern was what introduced me to your wonderful blog in the first place! I met him at a San Diego Comic-Con, and even though there was only five seconds per person, he was so engaging and friendly and drew a rat on my copy of Coraline.

I would like a design based on the character of Amelie in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s French film Le Fabuleaux Destin d’Amelie Poulain, played by Audrey Tautou. In the film, she’s a quirky and highly imaginative waitress who dedicates herself to making others happy in the most eccentric ways. Much of your other designs remind me of her colorful and feminine wardrobe, and she sports a lace sweater or two in the movie. A striped beret or eyelet skirt in vibrant colors would fit perfectly. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it – I think you would enjoy it. Happy Halloween!

Vivian October 30, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I forgot to tell you why – sorry!

Ok, Ginny is such a bright and vivid character. She’s spunky and passionate, and she’s such a warm person. She’s loyal and brave and I wish I could be her.

Luna is such a whimsical girl. She’s got so much faith and she believes so much. She lives in her own world. She doesn’t listen to others. She’s so empathic and she’s never cruel or derisive.

And Door…she’s just magical.

Sandy October 30, 2008 at 10:14 pm

I’m seconding the suggestion of Alice in Wonderland (can I second a suggestion? I swear I thought it up on my own, and just happened to check to see if someone else agreed).

Why? Because the Alice books are so fantastic, and full of imagination, it seems like any aspect of Alice’s curious character or her strange adventures would make for intricate details on a knitted item. Plus, I like the name Alice.

Linda October 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm

You are so lucky! I’ve yet to attend a reading, but I have heard clips and Neil Gaiman somehow makes his awesome work sound even more amazing. Thanks for holding the contest; it isn’t too often that two things I love as much as knitting and Gaiman come together.

As much as I love Death from Sandman, I’m not entirely sure how we could incorporate her character with your design aesthetic. So I was thinking either Franny from Franny and Zooey (something simple yet lovely and comforting) or Jane Eyre (maybe a wrap of some sort to keep out the draft you inevitably find in a large English mansion).

Alexis Richter October 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm

How awesome!

My favorite characters are Susan Sto Helit and her grandfather, Death, and Tiffany Aching from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

Susan Sto Helit I love because of her no-nonsense way of life. She’s typically dressed in Victorian gear.

I adore Death and how humanity rubs off on him. (And I thought it’d be funny to design knit wear for a walking skeleton.)

Tiffany Aching is a young witch from Chalk country, who loves making cheese and puts the care of the sheep first. Seems fair that she get a little love from them back.

This’ll be fun.

Clare October 30, 2008 at 10:39 pm

I just went to the shelf where I keep my “special” books. You know books are special when I own both the softcover (for lending out and holidays) and the hardcover (for good). I thought about Blue, from Special Topics In Calamity Physics, but I’m not so sure her over-educated, precocious self would be interested in knitwear unless it referenced Tolstoy and the Beach Boys and Jayne Mansfield somehow.

So my dibs are on Sugar, from The Crimson Petal & The White by Michael Fraser. A depraved prostitute who’ll do what others refuse, but is educating herself on the side and manages to become a sham governess for the child of a client. She is so strong, so determined, so angry, so clever. Plus she has waist length orange hair and a skin condition that means she looks like she has tiger-markings all down her back.

Not terribly popular, and hence probably not good-in-the-long-term choice, I’m afraid. Prostitute themed knitwear strikes me as having a limited market…

Lia October 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Oooh…I’d really like it, I admit. I’ve been planning on buying the Coraline pattern, because I have tickets to see the musical version in New York at the MCC this spring, and I’ve decided that it’s only proper to go to the musical Coraline wearing a Coraline! I’ll admit, if I don’t win this pattern, I’ll probably buy it myself after I get birthday money…but this’d be extra awesome, and would mean I’d get to start knitting sooner. This will be my very first sweater!

Pattern wise, I agree with everyone else who’s mentioned Yvaine. I’d love an Yvaine shawl or shrug or other not-quite-standard-sweater garment. Other than that, but still Gaiman, I’d love a Zorya (from American Gods) related knitted garment…or three styled matching set.

Phoe October 30, 2008 at 10:58 pm

How cool!

My first thought was a character out of The Orphan’s Tales by Catherynne M. Valente. The Firebird’s daughter comes to mind. However I like both ideas of something designed around Morgaine or Yvaine. :)

Jessica October 31, 2008 at 12:29 am

My first thought was Door from Neverwhere – she’s smart, courageous, magical and you just know that amidst her layers of clothing is some gorgeous victorian lace… But since several commenters beat me to the punch, I suggest Anne Elliot from Persuasion. She just deserves something elegant and beautiful.

Michelle October 31, 2008 at 12:37 am

I got to know Neil Gaiman through Tori Amos’ songs. She is one of his dearest friends so maybe you could design around her. Her last album was titled American Doll Posse and it included four characters besides Tori. I think I would like to see Clyde (aka Persephone of the greek myths)designed for or ‘Yes, Anastasia, from her second album which was about the Tsarina Anastasia and Neil did write about Tori in her tour book for that album’s Under the Pink tour. So happy you got a chance to meet and greet him!

michelle October 31, 2008 at 1:08 am

Mmm… how bout, The Little Prince?

Or… Nuala. Like a cute little elven hat that showcases most elven ears and little curls all about the forehead. I know you could make it really special!

Heather October 31, 2008 at 1:16 am

Ooh, I love Neil Gaiman, so my first suggestion is Nada, the lover the dream king confined to hell for spurning him. I love their story because she, a human had the strength to refuse him – while the dream king – who should be wiser – couldn’t accept that they shouldn’t be together. It also shows the dark and selfish side of Morpheus.
My other suggestion is Lyra Belacqua from Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. The Lyra of the books (not so much the movie) is one of my favorite literary character of all time. I love her fierce and sly character.

Kate October 31, 2008 at 1:19 am

Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle. She’s one of my favourite fictional characters ever–I love her spirit, and certainly, if anyone was ever in need of a good, warm, handknit it would be she.

Madame Purl October 31, 2008 at 1:22 am

I saw the picture first and I’m so jealous. I would love to meet Neil Gaiman. I just bought his Graveyard book and I can’t wait to read it.

My first thought was Door too and then Yvaine. Both are beautiful in their own way. How about something different though… how about something designed for London Below. I loved reading Nevermore because you didn’t know what was around the bend next in London Below. I think London Below was a great character in itself.

Cabbage (Jennifer) October 31, 2008 at 2:25 am

I feel you should make an Alice sweater or knee-high socks. Alice as in Wonderland, of course. The sweater or socks should be kind of fuzzy and fairly warm while still retaining girlish qualities. I have been an Alice fan since I was two and I’ve been a Neil Gaiman fan since I read Coraline for the first time a couple of years ago and I am now *desperately* awaiting the movie (February in the US!). You could also take another turn to the darker side of literature (though it’s not too much darker) and make a Clary sweater (Clary from Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones trilogy). I’m itching in anticipation for the third book in that series (out in March. Yes, I’m a librarian serving teens, why do you ask?)!

Ana October 31, 2008 at 2:31 am

The character that immediately popped into my mind was Susan Sto-helit, from the Terry Pratchett novels. She’s so sensible and no-nonsense, but can beat up monsters and is so mysterious. I loved the portrayal of her by Michelle Dockery in the BBC mini-series.

The other character I thought be great to design for is one of the Bene Gesserit women from the Dune series by Frank Herbert – like Lady Jessica.

Rebecca October 31, 2008 at 2:43 am

I think something for a Lady of Grace Adieu would be lots of fun to see you design. Something to wear as you incite your friends to serve as owls and eat the potential murderers of your orphaned charges, all in a delicate, ladylike way.

Or just take inspiration from the lovely production values of the hardback, with the vaguely threatening but delicate moonflowers.

bob October 31, 2008 at 2:49 am

I think a Terry Pratchett character might be a good subject for a pattern. Maybe Tiffany – a strong willed girl, in touch with nature and her own power, and someone he writes so well about.

Thea October 31, 2008 at 3:07 am

Gah. I love Neil Gaiman and I haven’t even read many of his books. I love him and he loves Tori Amos and she loves him and I obsessively love Tori Amos so this is wonderful all around.

As for designing, I’d love to see something from The Sandman, particularly in the character of Death. She’s so fabulous with her eighties style and wonderful attitude.

That’s so cool, though. Dude.

Eklectika October 31, 2008 at 3:15 am

Oh, how I ADORE Neil Gaiman!!! And I love the Coraline design as well…what an amazing prize…*covets*

If I were to choose a Gaiman-esque character, I would love to see a pattern based on a Mirrormask character – perhaps the Queen of Light/Queen of Shadows! And even though it’s already been “taken”, I would also be interested to see what you’d come up with for a Lyra / His Dark Materials design – or even one based on Will … or how about Iorek?

Lis October 31, 2008 at 3:25 am

I already have a copy of the pattern but I can’t pass this up because Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors! It must have been wonderful meeting him. He seems like such a great guy.

As for the character, the first book that introduced me to Neil Gaiman was Stardust so I suggest Yvaine. Something pretty, light and whimsical perhaps?

the Lady October 31, 2008 at 3:48 am

How awesome!

What a fun idea! – How about Amy from Little Women? I like the idea of Yvaine from Stardust too. Or any of the Dracula characters? Or a Jane Austen character, I think that could be fun.

Keli October 31, 2008 at 4:25 am

OH MY GOSH, how lucky, I can’t believe you got to meet him! I would suggest Princess Eilonwy, the strong willed heroine from Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain.

Mia MacHatton October 31, 2008 at 5:08 am

Neil is a lovely gentleman, and I hope someday to meet him directly instead of just seeing him at San Diego Comic-Con.

As for a character, I think you’d have a lot of fun designing something inspired by Mazikeen from the comic book series Lucifer. A fierce warrior woman with only half a face? I bet you can come up with some interesting ideas for her.

Anna October 31, 2008 at 7:28 am

One of my favourite novels is “The Neverending Story” so I would suggest the Childlike Empress. Bastian names her “Moon Child” and I’m sure you could design something breathtaking inspired by her.

amelie October 31, 2008 at 7:31 am

Oh you lucky girl…Gaiman is one of my favourite authors.
I would like to see something inspired by Agnes Nutter in Good Omens. There’s something really sympathetic in her. And the book is written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett…if I had to choose from all the writers in the world, those two would be my choice. No doubt.

Eeva October 31, 2008 at 9:36 am

Oh, Neil Gaiman! And I’m stuck here in Finland. Some have already mentioned this, but a work inspired by one of Tolkien’s characters – especially elves woud be marvellous. The fantasy theme has always been a wonderful source of inspiration to me. Another good idea could be the story of king Arthur. Why not Guinevere?

Brittany October 31, 2008 at 10:03 am

OH MY GOD. That is so freaking cool. As far as character suggestions though, I draw a bit of a blank. Perhaps something darker, like the stepmother in Snow White? You could do a themed pattern collection! ;)

Jane in London October 31, 2008 at 10:25 am

I was going to suggest Death of the Endless too.

Actually, I’d like to see something new for The Doctor…. enough scarf knitting!


P-la October 31, 2008 at 11:14 am

Oh my gosh!!! I am green with envy!!! I think you should design something for Death of The Sandman series by Neil.

Gina October 31, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Oh, I’m jealous! I have yet to go to a Neil signing. One of these days ….
I think Yvaine from Stardust would make a beautiful pattern.
If you’re looking for something a little more funky, Tiffany Aching from the Terry Pratchett line would be fun, too.

Debbie October 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Oh! What a great idea for a contest! I love Gaiman, as well. I would love to see something designed from The Lord of the Rings, something for Arwen, perhaps. I also love the idea of something from the Mists of Avalon!! Great idea! Thanks!

Cornflower October 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I’m new to Neil Gaiman but I absolutely loved The Graveyard Book.
As for a character, Northey in Nancy Mitford’s Don’t Tell Alfred is delightful (as well as having a very unusual name which we almost used for our first daughter!)

Kate October 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm

How fantastic! I had the opportunity to have a few books autographed in Baltimore a year or two ago, and to hear Niel read from Fragile Things. It was fantastic. He’s a great sport about dealing with fans. :)

I’d love to see a design around Alice in Wonderland, something inspired by Alice specifically. Not because I’m particularly enamored with Alice per se, but because you have always reminded me of her. Gosh, I hope that doesn’t sound odd!

Thank you for thinking of your readers at the signing. It’s delightful of you! I hope you have a very good week.

Elizabeth October 31, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Wow, that’s amazing, I can’t tell you how jealous I am! I’m a giant graphic novel dork…and Coraline is one of my favorites.

I would love to see something named after little red riding hood (because I’m a fairy tale dork too). Or if we’re going to go with graphic novels how about Silk Spectre, the female superhero in The Watchmen (quite timely since they might actually release the movie).

Totoro October 31, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I’m sooo green with envy – I simply adore Neil Gaiman. He and Terry Pratchett are my two favourite writers. I bought an audio version of Coraline, because he reads it himself. How about designing something for Yvaine from Stardust? What knit could a star wear?

5elementknitr October 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Coraline is one of my favorite books! When Coraline came out, I read a review that compared it to a modern version of Through The Looking Glass and I jumped up and went to buy a copy. After I read it, I remember thinking, ‘What sick F’er thinks this is remotely like Alice??’ It’s dark and creepy and spectacular! Gaiman is genius.

I won a copy of The Graveyard Book and am currently reading it. I think a pattern based on Silas would be fantastic.

How amazing is it that he remembered/linked to your pattern?!

mel October 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm

What a great encounter – and what a great way to remember it, maybe frame your pattern!

Door from Neverwhere is one of my favorite fantasy characters… Maybe a design for her?

amy [knitty] October 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Door from Neverwhere. Oh, the layering possibilities! [and i ADORE Mr. G. ]

Jewelie October 31, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Neil Gaiman is amazing. American Gods is one of my Top 5 Desert Island reads.

Buttercup from The Princess Bride. Something almost rustic, but still elegant from her days on the farm, or something light and lovely from her time at the castle.

I was going to suggest either that, Stardust or The Neverending Story for inspiration, but I see people beat me to the latter two.

Janet MF October 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Have you read Ysabel by Guy Avriel Kay (Canadian writer)? All his books are great (some more so than others). I have to admit that I have never heard of Neil Gaiman – better look him up on the internet, and wait till the library reopens..Still haven’t knitted Elijah.
Janet MF

Teej October 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm

How neat!

I think it would be very very kuhl to design something for Phaedre from the Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey. Either something she’d wear (which might be too exotic for most of *us* to wear) or something incorporating her marque would be nifty. Or something for Agatha from Girl Genius.

(The comment just above mine talks about Ysabel, which I *just* started reading last night! How fun!)

Thalia October 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm

That is awesome.

Several people have made great suggestions! My suggestion… Neil Gaiman makes me immediately think of Terry Pratchett, since they are friends and collaborators, and I love Mr. Pratchett’s work.

I would love to see what you would design for one of the witches, some of my favorite characters… perhaps something for Tiffany Aching, in blue or green? She is a sensible witch, but I’m sure would treasure something that would be functional but also decorative. I would suggest Granny Weatherwax, but she might not lend a lot of decoration to a garment. But maybe, if it was a gift that should be accepted, she would grudgingly take it (and secretly love it).

Sarah October 31, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Hmm.. I’d vote for something based on Serpentine from Neverwhere. Perhaps something corsety-ish, with white and grey lace in unexpected places – in a ripped and resewn sort of way.

That’s so cool that he signed your pattern.

Jody October 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Awesome!!! I love him :)

As for a character – how about The Lady of Shalott from Tennyson’s poem. She conjures up wonderful images of tapestries and lush colors.

Arlette October 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Oh! Oh oh oh! I got to go to a reading from Gaiman’s new book and it was so amazing!

I would love something inspired by Sophie from “Howl’s Moving Castle.” She reminds of of Coraline a lot, actually. Have you read that one? You should!

Cher October 31, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I’d go with something classic, but I’m a big Shakespeare-loving nerd. I like the lovely ladies of Much Ado About Nothing as inspiration: Hero and Beatrice. Smart, funny women who are able to find humour in a serious yet silly situation.

chemgrrl October 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Holy crap, I am SO jealous that you met Neil Gaiman. He is one of my favorite favorite favorite authors ever. Lucky duck!

You already named something after my favorite character of his–Coraline. She’s so brave. I think every kid should read that book. Another every kid should read is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. Such a beautiful story. And a sweater named after the heroine, Francie, totally would be something I would knit. I can just imagine, a vintage style double-breasted cardigan with slightly puffed sleeves. Or something. :)

Bree October 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm

When I read this post, the first thing that came to mind was Door from Neverwhere. And if I were designing something for her, I’d say some kind of coat or something that you could layer probably in a muted color. I think that’d be awesome!

Margit October 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm

I love the Neil Gaiman I’ve listened to (I’m big on audio books). I think you should name a garment after Helena from MirrorMask. Not only was the book lovely, but the movie was good too!

Susan October 31, 2008 at 5:18 pm

I love it when my interest worlds collide, such as Neil Gaiman, his works, knitting, your blog and the American holiday of Halloween today. How about something very moody for Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar from Neverwhere? Very much enjoyed the BBC series.

stariel October 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I think the Lady on the Grey needs a pattern – probably something lacy.

And how cool that you were able to meet him and get your pattern signed!

gunter October 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm

You saw Mr. Gaiman? In person? How exciting!

I started considering some of my favorite stories and perhaps a long cardigan/coat for Margaret Hale in North and South? It seems very chilly in Milton.
Maybe a little something for Trillian as she hitchhikes around the galaxy?
Or a lights cabled Hoody for Éowyn to wear under her armour in The Return of the King?

Merete October 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Wow! Gaiman in person! So wonderful that he remembered your pattern.

A character to compose something for? The lady in the lake, the one in the Arthur-mythology.

moiraeknittoo October 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Hey, did you see that BPAL has a new Gaiman line up?

victoria may October 31, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Autumnal Greetings from the chilly Cornish coast!

I’d like to suggest the name LORELEI – (a lovely word to say!) who was one of the nymphs of the Rhine and according to folk-lore, lured sailors to their doom with beautiful song.

michael October 31, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Oh my, so so jealous! I met Terry Pratchett once at a speaking and he was also a riot. In that vein, I would love to see something named after/for a character from Good Omens (by Gaiman and Pratchett). Offhand Im not sure who, but any reference to that book rocks my socks!

Dani October 31, 2008 at 7:20 pm

OOoh, as I just finished Good Omens (again), I would love to see something Aziraphale-inspired – it would be a little old-fashioned, but immaculately tailored, with all of the details just so. Or Victoria, from Stardust, who suggests a fussy, pretty, highly detailed piece (with lots of fun Victorian styling!). So jealous, and so pleased for you!

Rachael Switalski October 31, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I ADORE Neil Gaiman’s work, the character I like the most is the main character in American Gods, but I’m not sure how that would work for a design, so I would go with the witch in Stardust.

Susan Sharpe October 31, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Please give the autograph to someone that would love it, but I’d like to suggest a character from a book.

It’s Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Doddie Smith, I love her narration of what is going on round her. And what a wonderful opening with her sitting on the draining board with her feet in the sink. What wonderful knitwear does this book bring to mind!

Danielle October 31, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Susan, you beat me to it! My suggestion is for Cassandra Mortmain as well! Something classic, with a touch of class, in a muted colour – Cassandra all over.

I want the pattern to go to a Gaiman fan as well, but I would love Cassandra to be knitted for!

Sarah October 31, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Hooray for Neil Gaiman! I went to a reading of his a few years ago, and he was lovely. A lot of his characters are worthy of knitwear incarnations, but I do like the idea of a Tristran Thorn sweater, and the world does need more good patterns for men!

Wendolene November 1, 2008 at 12:54 am

How lucky of you to meet Neil Gaiman! I (along with 100-some other readers) am so envious!
Apparently we all have the same taste, because I was beaten to the punch in suggesting something for Yvaine (Stardust) and Cassandra (I Capture the Castle). What about a sweater for Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm? Something stylish and thoroughly modern (for 1932), but warm and sensible enough to go about reforming one’s country relatives in ; )

thuy November 1, 2008 at 4:06 am

that’s awesome that you got to meet neil gaiman. my suggestion isn’t a literary one but i am obsessed with the television show pushing daisies. the main female character, chuck, has been brought back from death by her childhood sweetheart. the show is funny and smart and chuck is a great strong character with a bright, feminine style. i would love to see a design inspired by her. thanks for the contest!

Holly November 1, 2008 at 4:44 am

How neat! I love Neil Gaiman, love the book Coraline, and love your design so that’s like three times awesome!

I have to put in my vote for a design named after Lyra from Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. (It’s a trilogy, The Golden Compass being the first.) I think those might be my favorite books of all time, and Lyra’s a great character!

dee November 1, 2008 at 7:27 am

How wonderful that you got to meet Neil Gaiman! He is effortlessly creative, much like yourself. As many other readers have mentioned Yvaine from Stardust would be a lovely inspiration for a garment. For a non-Gaiman character I would love to see something inspired by Sophie, the main female character from Howl’s Moving Castle by D Wynne-Jones. The character is a young talented woman cursed to be old, but she manages to find purpose, love and eventually her youth once again. I also love the character Chihiro from the Japanese anime film, Spirited Away. Chihiro is a young girl who is forced to work for an evil witch in order to free her parents. Maybe you could design a kimono inspired wrap sweater. Thank you for hosting the contest. Best wishes.

Marijgje November 1, 2008 at 8:52 am

Hi Ysolda, what a very nice thing to do and how awesome for you to meet the person who creates Coraline. (At this moment I’m looking for the right yarn to knit Coraline)

I would like to see your idea for a design for Lorna Doone, from Richard Doddridge Blackmore. The novel is situated in Exmoor, a part of England I love to spent my holidays.

What a nice idea of a contest, I hope, you don’t get overwelmed by all these ideas above, I just read.

Charis November 1, 2008 at 9:58 am

Hello Ysolda,

although it might a bit of a lame suggestion, I would so love to see some Harry Potter inspired designs… Especially some featuring Hermione. I think, over the course of the movies, she has developed a distinct style and I can totally see you designing something along that…

All the best, Charis :-)

Garnprinzessin November 1, 2008 at 11:56 am

I’d love to see a “A Song Of Ice And Fire” inspired Pattern… Perhaps inspired by the character of Arya Stark? Or by Daenerys Targaryen? :-)

Greetings from Germany!


rebekka November 1, 2008 at 2:14 pm

He just seems like such a nice guy, doesn’t he? :)

As for ideas – how about something inspired by Titania? Shakespeare’s or Gaiman’s.

Greeley November 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I named my cat Loki (American Gods) ! I think Marjane/Marji from Persepolis would be a great character to inspire a design.

Rachel November 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm

I would love to have a pattern signed by Neil Gaiman, but I am having a hard time narrowing down my ideas for inspiration, so I’ll toss out a few.

Lewis Carroll inspired knitting would be fantastic. I think the Queen of Hearts would be the most fun, but Alice would provide ample fodder for knitting fun.

I also keep thinking about the fantastic knitwear in the Anne of Green Gables movies. I would love to have an Anne, or even a Marilla, sweater.

There is an artist named Holly Hobbie who does these adorable children’s books about two pigs named Toot and Puddle who are best friends and live together in a house called Woodcock Pocket. They are just whimsical and charming and I think could inspires some really cute knitted items.

Okay, I’ll stop now. Love, love, love your work. Glad you got to meet Neil. He is just so wonderful.

ambermoggie November 1, 2008 at 5:08 pm

yes please:) How about making something for Margaret Pye from Charles de lints Someplace to be flying?(Magpie)

Cheryl November 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Oh, I love this story! I would love a signed pattern, but I’m just so happy you got to do this — how thrilling!

Your patterns are always so ladylike but not at all fussy, and I have a fancy that I’d love to see something by you on a theme of Jane Eyre. Something maybe a woman of will and simplicity, who enjoys pretty things as much as the rest of us, would want to wear.

Heather November 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Lucky you getting to meet such an amazing author! I’m glad he’s nice in person, interviews usually make him seem that way.

My first instinct in naming a character who really needs something knit for him would be Lee Scoresby of the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman, but I just don’t see Lee as fitting YOUR design style, so I’ll save him for another time.

I would love to see you design something for Easter from American Gods though. She needs something sweet but not overly cutesy, and I think that your designs would fit her well.

melanie November 1, 2008 at 11:24 pm

I think that Helena from Neil Gaiman’s Mirror Mask could provide you with some circus-y fun inspiration!!


Hailey November 1, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Oh. My. Gosh! I think I would chew off my left arm (sorry Lefty, I use Righty FAAAR more often) for this prize! *squeal* not kidding!

Chris November 2, 2008 at 1:22 am

What a very, very cool prize! And a lovely pattern, to boot. Hmm. I have a deep fondness for the Crow Girls in Charles de Lint’s Newford books – some sort of feathery shawl or cardi?

NeonGolden November 2, 2008 at 1:52 am

I am a Neil Gaiman freak, as well as a knitting freak, so this contest rocks my socks.

I think something inspired by the Dark Queen in MirrorMask, or perhaps the Zorya from American Gods. (Zorya Polunochnaya in particular.)

Christina November 2, 2008 at 2:08 am

I’m a huge Coraline fan, I’m currently writing an essay for uni on it and if I’d had the choice of doing a dissertation it would’ve been on that. What better then doing something I enjoy for uni? And whilst I’m a terrible knitter, I drop stitches constantly I would love the chance to win a Coraline jumper.

Hmm the next pattern: A long grey jumper dress for Delirium, similar to the one she wore in Brief Lives. Perhaps with some bright colours of patterns through it to make it truly Del like.

Kim November 2, 2008 at 2:29 am

What fun! I think something named after the queen in the story “Snow, Glass, Apples” would be a fun item. Why? The Queen is not just the one-dimensional evil stepmother, she is just so totally different.

Sue November 2, 2008 at 2:30 am

Oh, oh, please — the Lady on the Grey from The Graveyard Book! Neil describes her long grey dress “that hung and gleamed beneath the December moon like cobwebs in the dew.” Like never before, there are now yarns to capture both the gleams and the wispiness of that image so elegantly. It would be a lovely tribute to the gentle, charitable spirit of both the character and the book itself.

Rachel November 2, 2008 at 3:27 am

I had the pleasure of hosting a signing with Neil Gaiman about seven years ago at the bookstore I work at – truly one of the best experiences of my life, so I envy you getting to see him! Being that he is one of my favorite authors, I’ll have to choose something from one of his books. I would suggest something for Shadwell from Good Omens – he seems like he could benefit from a handknit. However, given that most of your patterns are for ladies, I would also suggest Anaesthesia (Neverwhere) – also very deserving of a handknit. :)

Sarah November 2, 2008 at 3:34 am

I’m so envious you got to meet with Neil! Even more so that you got his autograph I can never seem to get to any of his signings :( There is so many great characters that you could nit something for, but I think it would be cool to create something for Delirium from Sandman because she is so colorful and different you could create a wonderful rainbow colored hoody that maybe had cat ears on it and add little knit fishies all over it :) I think it would be really cute!

cate November 2, 2008 at 4:16 am

I’ve always thought that Sabine, from the Griffin and Sabine series, would have made neat scarves and hats and things for Griffin. She sent him all those postcards and letters with that wonderful artwork. I bet that could be applied to a knit piece for Griffin.

Ann November 2, 2008 at 4:22 am

I too have loved Neil since his Sandman days. I still pick up his comics, whenever he writes one.

I would love to see something knitted from Starlight, specifically for the tree that speaks to Tristran. In the illustrated version, she is a beautiful tree. I have a fondness for the tree of life, and feel that this tree could be made with some lovely colors. The tree is an inside “joke” between Tori Amos and Neil. She has a song with a line, “”and if there is a way to find you, I will find you. but will you find me if Neil makes me a tree” And he did. Tori is also the basis for some of the illustrations of Delirium. Perhaps a mixture of the two – wild colors for the coppery beech tree. I love the whimsy of these two characters.

I have always wanted to meet Neil, but due to a physical disability, waiting in line is not possible. I would give him some knitted sushi, but I’m sure that someone’s already done that before! :)

Rebecca November 2, 2008 at 6:04 am

If you are thinking of creating a series of patterns based on Neil’s YA fiction, you might think of something for boys inspired by Bod, the wonderful hero of “The Graveyard Book”. Perhaps invoking the mystery and peacefulness of a country cemetery, with a touch of boyish playfulness…?

scarletmote November 2, 2008 at 6:17 am

Have you ready any Philip Pullman? Lyra Belacqua, the protagonist in The Golden Compass, would be an excellent inspiration for a pattern.

I went to the signing for Anansi Boys when Neil Gaiman was in Toronto… it was so much fun, especially the reading and the Q&A. I hope you had a good time! I can’t wait for the Hugos in Montreal this coming summer, as Gaiman is a guest of honor this year…

Darcy November 2, 2008 at 8:46 am

I’d like to see a sweater designed for Terry Pratchett’s Captain Carrot. Something with lots of cables, either for a guy, or kind of a slouchy “boyfriend” sweater for girls to wear everywhere. Sometimes I just don’t feel like wearing a really fitted sweater, you know? Or maybe Vetinari. Not sure what you’d make for him, but it’d probably be black.

Although I really like the suggestion of Lyra, too.

Susanne November 2, 2008 at 9:37 am

Like many others who commented before me I found your blog, and design work through Neil Gaiman’s link to the Coraline pattern. I’m a really big fan of his work, and now I have become one of your work too.

As for literary figures as inspiration for patterns I have to admit that I’d like to see something for Miss Marple. At least she’s a character who actually knits. Not very gothy though.

But Yvaine and Death are marvelous ideas.

Cristina November 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

Oh, you are so lucky! I got to see Gaiman from afar at the last Eastercon (UK), and it was all I could do not to dive and hug him (restraining orders are no fun). He read the fist chapter of the Graveyard Book! I have a couple of books signed by him, as he came to my town once. However, I was busy working, so my then-unemployed boyfriend was the one that got to go and talk to him in person. I still get the books, though!

I would love to see something inspired either by Anansi or by Mr Wednesday. Or maybe Dream. Anansi could clearly play with a spiderweb, and I’m imagining Mr Wednesday and Dream of the Endless as something formal but with a very clever construction, or formal but with a twist.

Bryony November 2, 2008 at 11:00 am

I can’t help but suggest this – def. a comedy knit :D What about something for Brett from Flight of the Conchords? I’m sure he could use another tiger/eagle sweater :D

Anna November 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I think you should design something for Yvaine from Stardust: something pretty, ethereal, perhaps lacy. And how much fun was it to meet Neil Gaiman!?!?!?!

Nichole D. November 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I’m a HUGE Neil Gaiman fan! I’ve been to one signing for Anansi Boys, and unfortunately missed the last one, where I would’ve been able to have dinner with him. Sad, huh?

I’ve always wanted to knit other mother and other father dolls. i think they would be such a fun challenge!

Eileen Ramsey November 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Mr. Nancy’s yellow gloves would be great- you could do all kinds of things with those. Or how about Mr. Silas’ long coat?? How very cool that you got to meet him! I hope that I win!

Raphi November 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm

It’s so cool that you got to meet him!! Man, am I jealous…. If I win (which I won’t. I seem to have terrible luck concerning anyhting involving raffles or drawings), I think a pattern based on Death (from Sandman) would be awesome :)

Julie November 2, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Wow! Lucky you :) I doubt Neil Gaiman will be anywhere around part of the world where i live anytime soon…
I suggest The Tenth Doctor, something farewell-themed for him… or maybe DoctorDonna :)
Ms. Teatime from Discworld would be fun too!

Maggie November 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm

I love Mr. Gaiman so very much! (And you, though this is my first time posting to tell you so). I work in a small bookstore in Massachusetts, USA, and I have been put in charge of the children’s section. One of my favourite books, and one that I think you’d love (if you don’t already) is “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”. It’s kind of an updated “Velveteen Rabbit” and it’s wonderful.

Congrats on the signatures, and all of the other wonderful things that you do!

Janet November 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I am so jealous you got to meet him! How exciting for you!

My two ideas for inspiration are Phaedra from the Jacqueline Carey Kushiel’s Dart books. Such a vivid character – with her marque, her vivid personality and the dark, dark crimson trademark color.

The other is Clare from The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Nefineggar. Tragic but there is a a depth to her character that you sense from meeting her as a young girl and “watching her grow up”.

Emily November 2, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I would love to have a Coraline pattern signed by Neil Gaiman! I got to see him at the LoC BookFest, and I wanted to give him a knit Morpheus doll that I’ve been working on, but I got bogged down giving him hair and it’s still not finished. It was great to see him in person, though.

It’s so cool that you got to show him your pattern!

Because I was already thinking of Neil Gaiman, the first thing that popped into my head was one of the white, lacey, layered garments that Door from Neverwhere wears under her leather jacket. It would have just the right mix of femininity, whimsy, and punk.

But since so many people already suggested it, I think that the heroines of the movies Amelie or Penelope could also inspire some great knitwear. They are both intelligent, dreamy, colorful, quirky characters with unique senses of fashion. I’m already working on a Penelope scarf based on the one she wore in the movie.

Leah November 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Hey that’s so amazing that you got to meet Neil Gaiman. By best friend and I are huge fans.. and the fact that he linked to your pattern earlier is super cool. Anyways.. I have just recently reread Stardust and so I think Yvaine or even Tristran would be good inspirations for something knit.. Just because it would have to be something entire magical to fit in with them.
My boyfriend also had a great idea that isn’t necessarily literarily inspired but he thinks knitting something for penny from Dr. Horrible would be awesome (and I kind of agree). Anyways, I just hope this post inspires you to make many more beautiful patterns for me :P kthxbye! cheers, Leah

MzTallulah November 2, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Neil Gaiman is sooo nice and cool in person! He autographed a battered copy of Neverwhere and commented that he loves to see his books like that, because it means that they were well loved. I think it would be great if you designed something inspired by the Snow Queen from the fairy tale by Andersen; I had a beautiful illustrated edition where she looks gorgeous, and I remember I couldn’t understand why the bot would ever return to his boring family and leave her…

Bronwyn November 2, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I’m so jealous! He hasn’t come by my neck of the woods since I’ve been a fan… Very cool. :)

I would recommend Angua, Susan, or Nanny Ogg from the Discworld books. Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Elphaba and Galinda in Wicked. Jane in Jane Eyre. Anne in Anne of Green Gables.

kat November 2, 2008 at 7:15 pm

How about Francie, the scrappy, wistful heroine of Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brookyln”? The novel starts in 1912 Brooklyn, which is a potentially excellent time for fashion inspiration.

I’d also like to submit Claudine, the headstrong French schoolgirl from Colette’s 1900 novel, “Claudine at School.”

Lulu November 2, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Ohh, I just love Neil Gaiman. I met him once at a signing, isn’t he such a gentleman?

I have to say, my favorite character of his is Delirium from The Sandman. She’s amazing. Death is pretty great, too. Something gothy and dark, but with a perky twist like her personality?

Kairi November 2, 2008 at 8:24 pm

What a lovely contest! I would love to see something for Nanny Ogg from Terry Pratchett- it would have to be a little on the outrageous side, impeccably knitted by one of her many daughter-in-laws, but still sturdy and practical for jaunting around by broomstick.
Another favorite brave-girl character like Coraline is Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time. Mrs. Whatzit would be a fun lady to knit for in human form, she is another character with layers and bits poking out all over.

Kairi November 2, 2008 at 8:40 pm

OH! One other idea- if you ever want to make babywear- Sophie from Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job. It gets very cold and windy in San Francisco, and a baby reaper of souls could get chilly.

Miss Ripley November 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Thank you for this contest! I’ve never had a chance to see Neil Gaiman in person, so I appreciate it!

Character inspirations… How about Franny from J. D. Salinger’s book Franny and Zooey? Think 50s American Ivy Leauge collegiate. In my mind, his books have the visual of a Wes Anderson film like The Royal Tenenbaums.

Another option would be to look to the pre-Raphaelites for lovely written and artistic inspiration, The Lady of Shalott character (Tennyson) and painting for example. Or Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci for something provocative?

Erica November 3, 2008 at 2:38 am

Honestly, I’d love to see something for Agnes Nutter from Good Omens, but I have a feeling most people wouldn’t want a medieval cardigan! Instead, I’d love to see a wisp of something for Yvaine from Stardust. She’s so ethereal and charming that I think she’d be fun to knit for. Congrats on the patterns and the signings btw!

Amy November 3, 2008 at 2:42 am

Ooh! You lucky ducky … Neil Gaiman. :) I love his work. Thanks so much for putting these up for the contest!

With regards to character inspirations, from the body of work, I’d go with Door, from Neverwhere. She’s got a wonderfully strong but haunted quality to her. Alas, others before me beat me to it, so I’ve got to think of another.

I suppose I’d go with Sabriel, from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. It’s just a really cool mixture of old-school magic and new-school reality. Ahh, the things that bring me back to being but a teenager. :)

Adrienne November 3, 2008 at 2:45 am

How very lucky!

I saw Neil at Philadelphia, though my seat was way in the back. It did give me an opportunity to wear my new Lou Reed shirt in public, though.

I’m a shameless Dr. Who fan, so any pattern not related to the 4th Doctors ubiquitous scarf would be interesting. But if we were discussion Gaiman characters, than I’d love to see something adorable made about the ever adorable Richard of Neverwhere. :-P

Congrats on being able to meet him!

veruca November 3, 2008 at 3:00 am

I’ve never read Neil Gaiman so I’m not here to enter the contest. However I think some interesting characters to design something for would be: Esther Summerson or Lady Dedlock, from Bleak House. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, River from Firefly Also there is this book called the Legacy of Luna by Julia Hill. Good luck everyone.

Mel November 3, 2008 at 3:22 am

How about Anne Shirley Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. I like classic stories and YA classics sometimes get overlooked. Anne is a creative. She’s a writer and believes in living life to the fullest.

Marsha November 3, 2008 at 3:37 am

Lucky you!

I’d love to win a copy of that pattern–both because I’d like to know it and because I just adore Neil Gaiman. (I missed him on his stop in my area, alas.)

What do you think about designed something inspired by Arya in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series?

Grace Sheese November 3, 2008 at 3:54 am

Like some of the other comments, I think a knitted garment inspired by Yvain from Stardust would be lovely.

Tori Amos and Neil are friends and I’m a fan of both. Tori’s Little Earthquake helped me through the turbulent teens. A Tori inspired something?

Finally, A none Neil inspiration from one of my most favorite book would be Clare from Time Traveler’s Wife. Her story is unusual and sad but she was an artist, which would add an interesting element to the design element.

Congrats on getting to meet Neil!

Ginny D. November 3, 2008 at 4:45 am

I really like the idea of designing something after Nuala, a side character from Sandman. She is a character who turns out to be much happier without the Faerie “glamour”, but as her more natural, stripped-down self. I think she has a sort of whimsy, naivete, and fairy tale quality that could work really well with your designs.

I’ve seen a lot of great suggestions so far though, what a great prize!

Kristi November 3, 2008 at 4:53 am

I think a deconstructed knitted tunic or pullover than Door would wear in London Underground would be awesome. Something with mismatched fibers and bits and pieces that look like they don;t quite mesh but work together as a whole. maybe with a keyhole loop at the center of the neckline (door, key..)
I love someone is inspired by Mr. Gamian to make knits. if I could design knits I’d do it! I have almost everything of his I own, signed. It’s pretty neat to meet the man in person don’t you think? =)

Cassie November 3, 2008 at 6:25 am

It is my true belief that there would be few things better than a knitted skirt inspired by Agnes Nutter, author of “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch”, and her death at the stake by the hands of a mob (because that’s what mobs did).

Also, HOW EXCITING TO MEET NEIL GAIMAN. He’s such a witty sort of fellow!

Eleanor (undeadgoat) November 3, 2008 at 6:46 am

I really would love to see something inspired by Jonathan Strange from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Because we all really need a manly Ysolda pattern? Or something? Really I just find Jonathan Strange ridiculously sexy and his reationship with his wife the Best Thing Ever. Not sure what an Arabella pattern would look like, but Regency-inspired can be done quite well.

I suppose an interpretation of a larger set of characters from that book could be quite a fascinating artistic endeavor, though not all the patterns would be exactly wearable. Lady Pole’s finger could be amazing, though. Or something inspired by the gentleman with the thistledown hair? Or . . . Honeyfoot and Segundus! (They would probably fall into the never-worn category, though.)

Rachael November 3, 2008 at 9:18 am

What about Antoinette from Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and of course the mad woman in Jane Eyre?
I love your interpretation of Gaimans Coraline!

Emma November 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm

I’m so pleased you had a good experience with Neil. It’s so nice when you meet someone whose work you admire and they are gracious and friendly. I met Clive Barker and had a similar nice experience.
As for patterns based on characters, you’ve had so many great suggestions already. I agree with everyone who said Aziraphale. I love Good Omens, it’s one of my favourite books ever. For non-Gaiman related characters, what about Angua from the Discworld? She’s such a great, strong character, and even though she’s a werewolf I’m sure she could use a handknit. Also, one of my favourite characters of all time is Susannah Dean from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. She transformed herself from a horribly damaged person with split personality to the strongest of Roland’s (the gunslinger) ka-tet. Thanks for this contest, it’s made me want to revisit some great books!

Hellcat November 3, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Oh wow! I am so jealous! That is wonderful!!!! :)
Hmmm….now what character would *I* like to see a design for? My first pick would have to be Death mainly because she was what brought me to Neil Gaiman to begin with-waaaay back in college. Something for Titania would be amazing as well!

Terri Ash November 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Neil has provided us with many fine, strong women who could inspire many different things. But I’d like to see something from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy, either Sabriel or Lirael.

Lisa November 3, 2008 at 9:23 pm

I commented on your Flickr account, but I am now in fantasyland thinking of what you’re capable of! Dream would be fab, or any of the Fates – also, more historical, but Marie Antoinette would be someone you could do wonders with!

Brightsider November 3, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Wow, I adore Neil Gaiman, how lucky to meet him!

I would love a knitting pattern for a cardigan inspired by Lucy, from Neil Gaiman’s “Wolves in the Walls”. It would have to have some sort of wolfish aspect, maybe paw prints or wolf silhouettes. And somewhere would be a big elephant footprint too.

Marie November 3, 2008 at 11:11 pm

I have met him a couple of times, even managed to NOT spill tea on his feet while I served him a cup! Really nice guy too.

A pattern… how about a pattern based on his book “Fragile Things” incorporating motifs/images from those stories? I think that would be fun and very interesting to knit! Imagine a secret KAL… we’d never know what was coming next!

Megan November 3, 2008 at 11:41 pm

How wonderful that you were able to see him! I am fairly new to Neil Gaiman’s work, but I love what I’ve read so far and wonder how it took me so long to find out about him. I have not read Coraline yet, but I’ve been admiring your pattern for quite a while now.

As for designs, I would love to see something inspired by Mina Harker from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Mina is innocent, yet also intelligent and strong. The New Annotated Dracula, (which I just bought today!) has an introduction by Neil Gaiman, so you see, it all connects. Besides, I like to see anything with my daughter’s name on it. :)

Bobbi November 4, 2008 at 2:26 am

I adore Gaiman! Two favorites of his characters for me are Door (Neverwhere) and Yvaine (Stardust). For non-Gaiman literature, long before I learned to knit I loved Madame Defarge!

Sarah November 4, 2008 at 3:56 am

I agree with all the votes for Door. There are so many wonderful possibilities there for something unique.

I also love Janet from “Tam Lin” – defiant, determined, and fearless in rescuing her lover from certain doom. Lyrics at for those who don’t know it. November 4, 2008 at 5:37 am

I would really like to see something inspired by Yvaine in Stardust, or either Angua or Granny Weatherwax by Terry Pratchett. Pretty please. :)

Wakenda November 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

So, this got me thinking about my favorite kids books, which was lots of fun. My suggestions are: Claudia, from The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankfurter, Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or Lyra from His Dark Materials. (Never mind the movie, you could come up with something much more interesting!) Or something more crazy, like from Alice in Wonderland or the Phantom Tollbooth, which was my all time favorite book when I was little.

Heide November 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm

I just finished reading the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer so those characters are fresh in my mind. A simple, everyday sweater for Isabella Swan would be nice. Or, maybe a chic and stylish cardigan for a man named after Edward Cullen would be better. Most people have suggested female characters, but let’s not forget those men (or vampires) too. Cheers!

Turtle November 4, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I luv the suggestions of Morgaine from the Mists as well but another idea and one of my favorites would be The Witching Hour’s Rowan Mayfair. The patern looks great, would be a nice knit up this fall!

Mary November 4, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Gah! I can’t think straight…so excited for you to meet Neil Gaiman that my fingers aren’t working right.

As to who to knit something for….I pictured a durable shawl-wearing Mrs. Owens–but also a lacy cool shawl-wearing Liza; a very colorful pair of socks for young Scarlet…and/or Sleer socks…; Silas…something ascot-y…but not really anything knitted…and Bod…well, nothing too noticeable, but a serviceable scarf…

mrspao November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I’ve just been watching Neverwhere and would love to see a garment designed for Door. :)

Sara D. Domonkos November 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Neil Gaiman is super fabulous!!

my lame job goes by much easier when i am reading & listening to his gloriousness. i would much rather be sewing in a creeptastic graveyard…..though, i’m not sure where i would plug in my machine?

anyway, how about the characters from neverwhere? such as Door. she is such a fabulous character. that would be a good time!

hooray for you & neil!

Rieke November 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm

You should design something matching Lirael from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. :)

Naomi November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I think you should design a scarf or shawl based on Yvaine from Stardust. I’m envisioning something that looks like the night sky since she is a star. Perhaps a lace pattern in some sort of dark blue yarn? Perhaps a mohair or something with a little bit of sparkle to it?

Karen November 4, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Normally I find non-knitting blogs by reading knitting blogs… but I found yours by reading Neil’s! Worlds are colliding :-) I only wish I could make it to Vegas on Thursday for his signing there. I’m another who’d love to see a design for Door from Neverwhere.

Matthew November 4, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Well I know you said that the character didn’t have to be from a Neil Gaiman book but the first name that came to my mind was Marquis De’ Carabas from Neverwhere. I guess I chose him ’cause he’s an interesting character full of pomp and mystism….and there are never enough cool sweaters for guys!!!

kmkat November 4, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I am currently in the middle of a Neil Gaiman kick, having listened to Stardust and now Neverwhere. My suggestion is that you design a sweater in honor of Richard Mayhew, the description of whom in Neverwhere pretty much fits the author himself:

“He was a fresh-faced, boyish young man, with dark, slightly curly hair and large hazel eyes; he had a rumpled, just-woken-up look to him which made him more attractive the opposite sex than he would ever understand or believe.”

If you are designing something in any way related the Neil Gaiman, it probably has to be black, since he seems to wear that color exclusively. (I myself do not knit black, nor navy, nor dark chocolate, nor charcoal, nor any other dark color, because it is just too hard to see unless I happen to be knitting in really good light, which seldom happens.)

If I win the signed book I will hug it and squeeze it and perhaps donate it to the most excellent library in my teeny-tiny village in Wisconsin, which happens to be located about 100 miles north of where Neil Gaiman lives. Our librarian, although he excels in everything, is especially good with young people, and I know he would love to have a signed copy of Coraline in his collection.

Astried November 4, 2008 at 11:57 pm

I never thought that someone would beat me in suggesting Sugar from The Crimson Petal and The White by Michel Faber. It’s a bit complicated since despite her name she is the bitterest character I’ve ever read. For a garment I think it could be a two layer garment, something sweet and simple outside and something sexy and sophisticated inside.

Anyway, thank you for doing this contest. I really love Neil Gaiman and the thought of a chance of winning a pattern from a favorite designer with a signature of favorite writer excited me :)

Marji November 5, 2008 at 2:38 am

Coraline is the only one of Mr. Gaiman’s books I have actually reads. I took my class of freshmen over to the library to check out books and picked it up and was IMMEDIATELY engrossed. I liked it so much, I bought a copy for myself and my then 20-year-old daughter. I am stoked to find out that wonderful book inspired a knitting pattern.

Carolyn Ross November 5, 2008 at 2:51 am

What a great idea you had.
I love Gaiman’s work. (We just read Coraline to my daughters’ as a Halloween bedtime story for October.)
It would be wonderful to have a design for the Zorya’s. They are a maiden-mother-crone triune from Bohemian lore (which now part of Czechoslovakia.) I was very excited that Gaiman included them in American Gods, since Czech folklore seldoms gets brought forward. It would be interesting to try to bring the three aspects/ages into one design.

Diana T November 5, 2008 at 3:01 am

I’ve just recently discovered his books and love them. Maybe a design based on Door from Neverwhere?

Sarah J November 5, 2008 at 4:56 am

I love your idea and I love that Neil signed a knitting pattern! I think something on Delirium of the endless. I have an odd weakness for her out of any of Neil’s characters and I really do think she’d be fun to design with, and she’s seriously cute!

ikisti November 5, 2008 at 6:04 am

That is great that he signed your patterns and remembered linking to the pattern on his blog. * I’m gushing over here for you*

I love would love to see something for Death or Delirium. I really love Death and now hope that after I leave this mortal coil, she’s there with a smile.

Though Del would give you tons of lee way to let your dreams flow.

Heather K. November 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I’d have to agree with the other posters that Gaiman’s Death or Delirium would be great; also Ophelia, or — if television characters are allowed — Drusilla from “Buffy.” Any of them seem as if they’d lend themselves to something elegant yet quirky and dramatic.

Thanks for the contest! The combination of two of my favorite creative people is just amazingly cool.

Sieglind November 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

I would like to see something inspired by Cleopatra.

Jissa November 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm

When you mentioned designing a pattern after a novel’s character, I thought of Dolores from Wally Lamb’s “She’s come undone” straight away.
I imagine a wrap-over top, knitted in mohair with big needles, that would flatten her figure through all the changes her body goes through (and it will do the same to your pregnant customers, accompany them through the pregnancy). It will have some buttons and ribbons that you attach on the side, so she could feel the comforting hug of the fabric, gently holding her waist during her emotional journey. It will be blue, gray and slightly shimmery, and the collar on the right side will have lace edging creating one more asymmetric design. (I hope my English is comprehensible, I’m not at all a native speaker!)

Crys November 5, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I’d love to see a design for any character from American Gods, but especially Mr. Nancy. I love Gaiman, and aside from Coraline Mr. Nancy is probably my favorite of his characters.

Holly November 5, 2008 at 11:25 pm

That’s so cool you got your patterns signed!!! :)

The two things I would absolutely love to see you design are both from Tolkien:

An Elven inspired cape, complete with pointy hood ^_^


A flowy fairy-like skirt inspired by Luthien Tuniviel <3

I just know you could do incredible things with either of those ideas! xD

Siena November 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

I`m a big fan of Gaiman too, and would love a signed pattern. The first figure that comes into mind is Death (not very original, but still). I love her style and appearance, and wouldn`t mind her picking me up when it`s my turn to go.

Nada November 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I love his work, particularly sandman…

I’m going to name an obscure figure dear to my heart: Nada, from the first episode(prologue?) of the second volume in Sandman, the mortal who rejected Dream

Claire November 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This is just amazing. My two favourite things in the whole wide universe (well, you know, son, husband, I guess I should add them) – but KNITTING AND NEIL GAIMAN together is just awesomeness itself. I desperately wanted to go to the signing but as the one ‘near’ to me was on Halloween evening and I have a 4 year old who loves dressing up and spooky stuff, there was no way I could. Le sigh.

My suggestions? Can I have 3? First off is Howl – the amazingly dressed flamboyant wizrd Howl who steals ladies hearts, from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I’m not sure if I fell in love with him or with his outfits first, but he definitely needs something knitted. With big flowing sleeves, I expect. Next – Dream himself. Sure, Death is cool, Delirium is great – but it’s Dream who dresses best. Sure, colours would likely be pretty dark, but as far as style goes, you could just do *anything* at all and it would be amazing. Last suggestion – Neil himself. Okay, maybe a knitted black T-shirt would be a little odd, but even though I’ve been knitting less than a year and never made any kind of jumper for anyone yet, I want to knit him something he would wear, and feel the love, and know how important his writing is to so, so many people.
Sorry that was so long, I’m so very excited by the whole thing! :)

sarahJ November 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I’d love a Eustacia Vye (from Hardy’s Return of the Native) sweater. I think Hardy does a magnificent job capturing women’s character, and especially that of Eustacia. I’ve always imagined her having a simple, elegant, esoteric style.

melissa November 6, 2008 at 4:59 pm

This is so awesome – I haven’t yet read the Graveyard Book, but I love Mr. Gaiman’s work.

My suggestion goes back to Mr. Gaiman’s Sandman – Delirium. She’s my favorite Endless.

Maria November 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm

It must have been great to meet Gaiman in person, I really envy you! As for the contest, I would say “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” is a book worth giving a try. Lots of interesting characters, but I’d say Lady Pole(that is: a garment embodying sadness – a lace cardigan?) or the Gentleman with Thistle-down Hair (something very elegant and insane at the same time).

Cameron November 6, 2008 at 5:11 pm

This isn’t an official entry as I am not knitter enough to tackle such a lovely sweater, but I would love to see a some super nerdy sci-fi gloves ala “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. I also think there is some inspiration to be found in his helmet, but that might just be me…

Kristen November 6, 2008 at 6:06 pm

I love Neil Gaiman! I love knitting!

I’d like to see a pattern named after Valentine from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game — Ender’s loving, subversive, genius sister.

tigerlilith November 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm

wow, lucky you – that’s amazing!!

i’ve just finished reading “miss pettigrew lives for a day” by winifred watson, & it’s officially my new favourite book. i’d love to see a miss pettigrew-inspired design – maybe a beautiful lace shawl or wrap to wear with her borrowed finery, something vibrant & transformative, to finish off her new look & make her feel even more wonderful.

stefani November 6, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Neil Gaimen is if nothing else a yarn spinner. I feel that is why so many knitters, including me, devour his work. His stories unfold, unravel and we as readers can only follow the thread to it’s beautiful, amusing and sometimes heartbreaking end. Reading Gaimens work, to me, is always a journey and on that journey you meet new friends and make enemies. Always wanting more Gaimen, searching for it has lead me here. I would love nothing more than a physical representation on two of my passions coming together, a beautiful knitting pattern inspired and signed by my favorite writer.
Growing up as a reader and a knitter I was always fascinated by the Sheep Woman from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. She sits knitting and everytime Alice looks to her work she has gained another needle. Knitting, until they become inumerable. The tangle of yarn mesmerizes Alice, as it always did me.
Perhaps a utilitarian coat with pockets and compartments sutable for keeping your extra needles and notions. With a slide of hand you have an extra dpn or a stitch counter. Filling all those who look on with wonderment.

SuperM November 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Definitely Lirael from the book of the same name and Abhorsen by Garth Nix. Or if you want to do something for a boy/man Arthur from the Nix “Keys to the Kingdom” series. Can you tell I’m a Garth Nix fan?

Barbara November 6, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Neil Gaiman is an absolute genius. I devour every single book he writes.

As far as the characters goes, I was thinking the Little Red Riding Hood, but in the end I think it’s too cliche and obvious. So I had to come up with someone little more interesting so my suggestions is either Lyra from Pullman’s trilogy, Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda (I always associate book nerds and knitters for some reason) or maybe Cecilia Tallis from Ian McEwan’s Atonement (I remembered Keira Knightley’s green dress from that movie and thought it might serve as an inspiration from something elegant in the knitting world).

If I had to choose one it would probably be Cecilia Tallis.

TheKnittingBee November 6, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Definitely something for Meggie from Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series! Just imagine a lovely cosy cardie for a girl who loves books!

But if we’re going with a Neil Gaiman character then some awesome mad stripey or modular colourful creation for Delirium from the Sandman graphic novels :)

Bree November 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I’d love to see something based on a femme fatale from any of Raymond Chandler’s stories — maybe a neat, tailored asymmetrical sweater? Princess Cimorene and the witch Morwen from the Dealing With Dragons series are pretty great. And the Young Lady in Grey from Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells is a current favorite, an independent, Victorian idealist.

KathleenC November 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm

I know it was suggested by others as well but the first thing I thought of was the fallen star, Yvaine, in Stardust. Lace and romance and a true inner strength… I have always loved the melancholy image of her at the end of the book, after her mortal love is gone, climbing high to the top of the tower and gazing skyward where she will never dance again…

malaraky November 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

that is so great that you got him to sign your pattern! I haven’t read Coraline but will have to seek it out – I loved Neverwhere. I love the naming of patterns after fairy tale figures too – perhaps Rapunzel would be a good name for you to use – something with narrow cables suggesting flowing lines and drapey tresses…

Pamela November 7, 2008 at 1:33 am

I’m probably getting this in late, but I’d love to enter the contest! I love your Coraline pattern–I’ll have to read her namesake now. As for future patterns… I’d love to see something modeled (or just named) after Lady Una, in Stardust.

Kele November 7, 2008 at 3:54 am

You are so lucky! I am filled with envy. I didn’t get to actually meet Neil when I went to the reading of The Graveyard Book in Chicago.

I was really trying to think of a character from a non-Neil Gaiman book, but I am rather obsessed with him as a writer. So, how about The Lady on the Grey from his latest endeavor?

Renate Braul November 7, 2008 at 4:12 am

I’m so very jealous that you had the opportunity to meet Neil Gaiman. He’s so fantastically creative, and has such an amazing talent to bring power to words. I humbly suggest you create a sweater after Anansi, the trickster spider god. He’s just way too cool. Something unexpected :)

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