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Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature [Hardcover]

Norah Gaughan , Thayer Allyson Gowdy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.50
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Book Description

June 1 2006
"Knitting Nature" is "geek chic" at its most fascinating and beautiful. Imagine a woman's pullover born of a fascination with logometric spirals (the spirals you see in rams' horns, seashells); a shawl inspired by the atomic structure of quasicrystals; and a man's pullover whose central motif resembles the patterns formed by chemical waves. In "Knitting Nature", Gaughan draws knitters into her creative process by explaining - in friendly, layman's terms - how she uses patterning in physics as inspiration and challenge, then hooks them with her sophisticated, classic designs, ready for them to reproduce following her step-by-step instructions.

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About the Author

Norah Gaughan is the design director for Berroco Yarns, and has been working as a full-time professional knitwear for the past 18 years. She was named one of Vogue Knitting's Master Knitters of the 90s, and she was also among the top designers featured in Vogue Knitting.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but errors! Feb. 9 2013
By Jan
Format:Hardcover
This is a beautiful book. The Sunflower Tam worked up gorgeous, perfect and fun. The hexagon Basalt Tank ran into problems with the second hexagon -- I can figure it out, but no posting of corrections available from the publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great results Jan. 9 2008
Format:Hardcover
norah's patterns are inventive and interesting. they aren't super complicated and for a relatively new knitter (with no mentor to show me how to do things), i have been able to challenge myself but not feel totally discouraged. if you have knitted in the round and/or made socks, the patterns make sense. i love the bubble pullover (almost finished) and i modified the hex afgan into a baby blanket for a friend with good results. i love her discussions at the beginning of each pattern about science and knitting. she's interesting and thoughtful. i find myself flipping through just for inspiration although i wouldn't make quite a few of the patterns - they are a little too out there for me!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous and stunning book! April 20 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a stunning book. Beautiful designs inspired by nature. Thank you to Norah Gaughan for bringing us such a great pattern book. Similar to Teva Durham's "Loop-d-loop," this book pushes the boundaries of design to the next level. However, unlike Ms. Durham's designs, which are more cutting edge and sometimes over the top, Ms. Gaughan has contained her beautiful designs within garments and pieces that are classical in shape and styling and ultimately wearable by people of various shapes and sizes. Some of the garments mimic natural objects, such as the cowl sweater that has a beautiful fluted sleeve mimicking the shape of a snail's shell. Other designs are basically simple sweaters decorated with beautiful and innovative design elements.

I was afraid this book may be a shill for Berroco Yarns (Ms. Gaughan is the design director for the company). However, the designs incorporate yarns from different companies to stunning results. The techniques may be too difficult for a novice knitter; however, the instructions are so clear that anybody, including a novice, can knit projects from this book. Ms. Gaughan used a lot of textured knit stitches, such as cables, in her designs; thus, her designs remind me a lot of Elisabeth Lavold's or Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton's.

Get this book; the photography is beautiful and the stylings are minimalist but eye-catching. I can't wait to start knitting the mind-boggling star fish shawl. Thank you again to Ms. Gaughan for bringing us knitters this wonderful book.
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does publisher or author care about errors? Oct. 11 2006
By dam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The garments are beautiful. I am eager to start on several. However, a close friend knit one garment and found tons of errors. Since then errors in this book are described all over the web, but no way to get corrections from publisher. Consider this before purchasing.
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but filled with errors Aug. 10 2006
By R. Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My initial read of the book wowed me. I've long combined my own love of math with a passion for knitting so I felt instantly at home with Norah's approach. The book has inspired me to incorporate some of the concepts into my own designs. However, I don't recommend attempting to knit directly from the patterns. They contain so many errors that it's clear no one tested the patterns before publication. This is very disappointing for such an expensive and beautifully designed book.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book Sept. 25 2006
By Stringy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm a bit of a science geek and a hippy, so this book is well suited to my tastes. It has lots of unique designs based on nature's patterns, with interesting construction methods. Fans of textured knits will be happy, but there's very few colourwork patterns.

Drawbacks are a) the lists of errata I've seen online, so check your patterns carefully before you start on them, and b) the photography. The photos themselves are truly beautiful, with stunning scenery, but many don't show the garments' necklines or sides, and it's difficult to tell how they were constructed. It often looked as though the models were too small for the clothes! Given the size of models these days, I'm not really surprised, but it doesn't really show how flattering they are. A quick search online shows pictures of what people have made from the book, and they often look more attractive when shown on a 'real' person.

Because of this, I wouldn't recommend the book to beginner knitters who aren't sure of how to choose a good size. However, intermediate or adventurous knitters looking for something different from the usual sweaters and shawls should definitely check this out.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars errors aplenty! June 17 2009
By cinportland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A beautiful, but very frustrating book due to an abundance of errors. Buy it only if you have tons of time and money to burn from these errors. By the way, if I, an average knitter can easily discover these errors, how come the professional knitters and editors can't fix them prior to putting out their defective product? Not for a beginning knitter unless you want to turn them into an ex-knitter.
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