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Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature Hardcover – June 1, 2006
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About the Author
Named one of Vogue Knitting's Master Knitters of the 1990s, Norah Gaughan is the design director for Berroco Yarns. She has been working in the handknitting industry for more than 20 years and her designs have been featured in all of the major knitting periodicals as well as in many books, including Handknit Hoilidays and Weekend Knitting from STC. She divides her time between Peterborough, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.
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Many of the patterns are eye-catching and lovely. In Hexagons, the Asymmetrical Cardigan in a lovely light blue hue is definitely a pattern I want to try. It is knit in cashmere . The stitch in this cardigan is modeled after the woven pattern of caned chair seats. The Hex Afghan is stunning. Knit in a rich brownish-red, half alpaca and half wool, it contains rows of elongated hexagons.
The Swirled Pentagon Pullover is luscious. Knit in an angora and wool blend, it is an almost turquoise colorway. The top of the pullover has swirled pentagons and the bottom of the sweater is knit in a classic stockinette stitch. The Bubble Pullover is knit in a lovely violet color out of baby alpaca. It has large pentagons as its motif.
The Spiral Scarf is very 'now'. Its contemporary feel is obvious to the knitter. It is knit with Mongolian Cashmere in a golden and blue hue and is comprised of spirals attached together. The Cabled Spiral Pullover is knit in a light blue colorway from extra fine merino DK. There is a spiral motif on the top and the bottom two thirds of the sweater is knit in stockinette stitch.
The Roundabout Leaf Tank is knit in an ivory hue with silk yarn. "The seater is made out of a spiraling strip, in the same way that leaves grow on a stem." The Phyllotaxis Scarf is perfect for a man or woman. Knit in a brown colorway with a wool, mohair and silk combination yarn, it is reversible. The scarf is knit in a tube to make its reversibility possible. "There are five spirals slanting to the right and eight spirals slanting to the left so the pair from the Fibonacci sequence is 5-8." I love the Sunflower Tam. There are two examples in the photograph. One is green and the other yellow. They are knit with Icelandic wool. "For this tam, I wanted to make a disk with two opposing spirals, like the phyllotaxis of a sunflower, daisy, or coneflower."
The Fractal section has several nice patterns. I really like the Branching Aran Guernsey knit with wool. "I purposefully incorporated some traditional elements of the British guernsey into this design - the drop-shoulder shaping and the simple ladder pattern between the columns of the cables - and like the way they play against the naturalistic, very modern, branching cables." The Serpentin Coat, knit in browns and blues with merino wool, is perfect for an autumn day. "The sinuous motif used on the yoke of this coat is a Dragon Curve, another mathematical fractal." The Triangle Scarf is in a dark beige and knit with a combination of nylon and rayon yarn. It features triangles based on a mathematical fractal called the Serpinski Triangle.
The Wave section of the book has several lovely patterns. I really like the Vortex Street Pullover in a green/brown blend knit with cotton. "A phenomenon of fluid dynamics, a vortex street is an organized pattern of spirals formed in the wake of fluid flowing past a solid object." The center of this pullover has a wave section with stockinette surrounding it. The Reflection Aran Pullover is knit in a deep wine color out of wool. "Inspired by the rule of wave reflection, the cables in this pullover 'reflect' off of the edges of the center panel." The Droplet Hat is another Aran pattern knit in a green colorway with wool yarn. "This design is based upon a photo showing a droplet of water speeding downward propelled by gravity, spewing off little droplets as well as a narrow trail of water. My interpretation is rendered in bobbles and embossed leaves."
Overall, this book is a real winner with clear photographs of the projects and easy-to-read pattern instructions. Some of the photos are a bit sexist for my taste but I can overlook that. They just seem silly. The book itself is a very welcome addition to my knitting library.
Having said that: I love this book and a few of the designs are so beautiful they made me speechless. Some of them far to eccentric for me to wear, but the Vortex pullover alone would be worth the money.
The book is beautifully designed and I find the patterns clear. Some may argue the photos are strange - some of them are indeed - but they are one of the things that makes the book different. Each project is preceded with a short explanation on how it refers to nature and the explanations make great reading.
One more thing: the book is for advanced knitters. The patterns are extremely challenging. Even so, less experienced knitters may want to consider buying this book to encourage them to learn more.
When I opened it for the first time, the book literally took my breath away. The designs are stunning and each design is so beautiful photographed, I kept paging through it again and again. "Knitting Nature" delivers page after page of beautiful designs that will make your fingers tingle to cast on. The look and feel of the book is first rate. Turns out Norah, in addition to being a talented knitter, is a math wiz and in "Knitting Nature" she takes you through her design journey using shapes and theories taken from Nature. The commentary of her design process is fancinating to read. I can't wait for the book tour because I would love to learn more about her approach to design.
The test of any knitting book is the quality of the instructions. The designs in "Knitting Nature" seemed a little daunting at first but as I read through the pattern instructions, I began to feel a little more confident because the instruction are clear, concise and easy to read. I can't wait to try my first project. I should mention that some of the recommended yarns are on the pricey side. For those of you who are looking for more than just another simple pattern book - who want to be inspired; this is the book to buy.
Most recent customer reviews
A few were odd, but the majority were pretty and worthy of knitting