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BOOK REVIEW: Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature by Norah Gaughan


When I first heard that Norah Gaughan was publishing a book of knitting patterns, I was very excited. Her patterns have always delighted me for they tend to incorporate her love of science, as well as interesting knitting shapes and construction. Knitting Nature: 39 designs inspired by patterns in nature did not disappoint, within moments of opening I had found countless patterns I wanted to start knitting immediately.

Knitting Nature takes its inspiration from the book The Self Made Tapestry by Philip Ball. Gaughan found it in a bookstore and as she explains “it was filled with patterns and shapes that I knew would relate to the shapes I wanted to use in my knitting.” The patterns in Knitting Nature, as the title implies, draw their inspiration from the natural principles. Gaughan explains it best in an interview found on the website: “I was definitely approaching nature from a physics point of view. Rather than looking to the things we associate with nature (like leaves, flowers, and trees), I found in natural objects the examples of physical principles.”

The patterns are unique and look incredibly challenging; however, as Gaughan states in her introduction, “I like things to look complicated, but have an underlying simplicity.” The patterns in Knitting Nature are organized by their underlying shapes: hexagons, pentagons, spirals, phyllotaxis, fractals, and waves.

Knitting Nature includes a wide range of patterns, from skirts to sweaters to accessories. The designs themselves range from fairly basic scarves to very unique outfits, sure to provide something for every taste. An added bonus is the truly stunning photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy. Knitting Nature is a recommended addition for any knitting library.

Norah Gaughan, is the design director for Berrocco Yarns and has been working in the design industry for more than 20 years. An internationally known knitwear designer, her work has been featured in all the major knitting publications. Knitting Nature is her first book.

Read the review at Armchair Interviews.

ISBN10: 1584794844
176 Pages
Publisher: Stewart Tabori & Chang
Publication Date: April 2006


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