Tag Archives: Norah Gaughan

Green Mitered Tank Top Done!

My Green Mitered Tank Top in 100% cotton with slubs is finished. I used Norah Gaughan’s pattern in the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and love the shaping as I have mentioned before. I can’t recommend this pattern enough. Like many of Norah Gaughan’s patterns, the shaping is unusual. It starts with almost twice the number of stitches that there are in the bottom of the average sweater. By making a double decrease at two strategic points, the material drapes wonderfully. Of course, you need to be careful with the decreases since they need to be decorative.

 

Norah Gaughan's Mitered Tank Top in Green

Norah Gaughan's Mitered Tank Top in Green

 

Norah Gaughan Mitered Tank Top in Green with Extend Skirt

Norah Gaughan Mitered Tank Top in Green with Extend Skirt

 

 

I adjusted the K1P1 rib to ensure that the line from the double decreases was followed up the garment. Further in the front, I moved the increases to build on this line to form darts. Since I inadvertently decreased too many stitches on the back, I didn’t change needles for the ribbing. 

My major change was that I didn’t use any metallic yarn or beading to highlight the trim as shown in Vogue Knitting. Further, I just followed my instincts on the neck decreases. If I were to make it again, I would make the neckline square to imitate the bottom of the garment (both front and back using mitered stitches to match.)

Unlike many of my knitting friends, I like to sew my knitted pieces together. I think that the clothes fit better and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Sunset on a Knitting-filled Fire Island Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

 

The end of vacations is always bitter sweet, especially summer ones on Fair Harbor’s car-free beach. While the weather wasn’t sunny and bright every day, it allowed us space to re-charge our batteries and get away from the everyday routine. 

One great advantage of vacation knitting is that you have a tangible reminder of your joy-filled hours of sitting by the beach adding stitch after stitch to your projects.  As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different projects to keep me busy and depending on other factors some may not be appropriate. For example, I brought the Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl which I’m making out of Malabrigo sock yarn. It was too thin to knit in the oceanside wind. (So much for finishing it on vacation!)

Some of the sunsets we experienced during our vacation. Sunsets in Fair Harbor are spectacular even if the weather has been poor. The third sunset occurred miraculously between thunderstorms.

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Here’s the progress that I made during our Fire Island stay:

– Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl – Using  Malabrigo Sock Yarn bought at The Point NYC.  Source: Interweave Spring 2009. Finished 6 out of 10 repeats. Although given how the yarn is being used, I may add 1 or 2 repeats (if I have the stamina.) This pattern is relatively easy with only one nupp per 16 row pattern. It borders on being boring.

– Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl – Using cobweb weight cashmere yarn from Silk City Fibers and a free online pattern. The pattern is interesting in that there is no center spine. It is probably better done with a single YO in the center but I decided to keep mine consistent. I like the way that the patterns expand and squeeze in. If the yarn wasn’t so TINY, I would probably be done with it. It hurts my eyes to do.

– Hemlock Ring Blankie – Using the pattern by Brooklyn Tweed, I am having fun with this project (although it out grew the needles while I was on vacation!) It turned out to be the perfect yarn for the weather. Thick enough to with stand the wind. I had fun changing colors. I finished 6 out of the Feather and Fan repeats. I think that it will look good once it’s done. It lays flat (unlike the sample in The Point).

– Heirloom Doily Placemats– I finished 1 1/3 of the Liz Snella Heirloom lace pattern using Cesari Wool. I think that this wool will hold up for this use. I find it rough on my hands. Also, since it’s not a very processed wool, there are bits of stuff that haven’t been cleaned out of the wool. (The plus for those who want to wear the yarn is that it has lanolin which helps for rain protection. (I also finished 1 1/3 of the Two Color Lace Doily which I frogged.)

-Green Mitered Tank Top – Out of a 100% cotton with a slub (which is great for those of us whose knit stitch isn’t perfect!) It’s a hospital green that seems to be in all of the windows along Fifth Avenue this spring/summer. The pattern is a Norah Gaughan from the Vogue Knit Summer 2009. It’s an under rated pattern since it is great for all types of figures. I finished the main knitting portion (I didn’t do any sewing, etc. on vacation.) I was very proud of myself for making the increases in the front following the mitered corner to look like darts. 

– Long Sleeve Linen in Grey, Beige , White – I think that I finished the front of this long sleeved ribbed sweater and plotted out the sleeves. It’s been taking WAY to long to finish but I’ve lost interest and keep plodding along. 

Do you keep track of your vacation knitting? Do you find that it gives you special joy? Please let me know in the comments section.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Beach Patterns-Knitting Inspiration on Fire Island

Fair Harbor Beach

Fair Harbor Beach

Patterns are an integral part of knitting. They are the instructions that we read and the sequence of stitches that we make to create wonderful hand made creations from various fibers. 

Spend time on any beach and you’ll see natural patterns emerging. Being in true sunlight can have a wonderful impact on the color and shadows that emerge. They can be sources of inspiration for new stitches and ways of imagining garments and other knitting projects. Norah Gaughan in her book Knitting Nature draws on naturally occurring patterns.

Here are some of the patterns that I found while on vacation in Fire Island. In particular, I was drawn to the way that wood was used and the patterns it formed. I could envision sweaters with ribs and/or colors translating these shapes.

Dune Fencing on Fair Harbor-Could be sweater ribbing

Dune Fencing on Fair Harbor-Could be sweater ribbing

Gate Design - Two Colored Graphic for a Sweater?

Gate Design - Two Colored Graphic for a Sweater?

 

Board Walk Pattern

Board Walk Pattern

 

Fence Shadow as Sweater Pattern Inspiration

Fence Shadow as Sweater Pattern Inspiration

What do you think? Have you used any of nature’s patterns in your knitting?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Mitered Tank Top on Fair Harbor Beach

 

Peaceful Knitting Venue on Fair Harbor Beach

Peaceful Knitting Venue on Fair Harbor Beach

Norah Gaughan’s Mitered Tank Top from the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting shows off Norah’s genius for designing tops with unusual shapes that are flattering for women to wear. At the bottom, the Mitered Tank Top starts with enough stitches on one side to make the bottom of most sweaters! It uses a decorative decrease to form a flattering line which I adjusted my knitting to ensure that it flowed through the waist band ribbing.

Among my modifications were:

  • Only used one color of cotton. It was a wonderful light green with slubs which are a godsend for those of us whose plain knit may be imperfect! I am not adding any glitter to the top as shown in Vogue.
  • Knit the waistband without changing needles since it made the top too small for my waist.
  • Made increases for the bust at the same point as the decorative decreases below the waist. I increased stitches on the outside of the stitch so that they form a decorative detail and look like darts!

Knitting on the beach in Fair Harbor, the wind and dampness hampered my speed but I had fun putting my knitting on the sand for pictures. Although for some reason, the colors are off in some of the photos.

Mitered Tank Top to Waist on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top to Waist on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top Back with a view of Atlantic Ocean on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top Back with a view of Atlantic Ocean on Fair Harbor Beach

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Origami Cardi Progress

The Origami Cardi has been a challenge due to the unusual shape. While I’m adept at modifying knitting instructions for  yarn and needle size, this project requires more faith since it doesn’t conform to routine sweater shapes.

Despite this, I’ve really enjoyed working on the sweater. Here are some initial shots of it now that I’ve finished the back and fronts. The pieces are pinned in place.

Origami Cardi - Initial View

Origami Cardi Pinned In Place

Origami Cardi - Front and Back Together

Origami Cardi – Back and Front held to show construction detail

Origami Cardi-Am I Up to the Challenge?

As my current projects near finishing, I’m at that point where I ponder my stash and patterns to determine which project calls out to me loudest. Norah Gaughan’s Origami Cardi in the Summer issue of Interweave Magazine kept intriguing me. The problem was that the  photograph of the cardi in the magazine didn’t reveal the true nature of this unusual top. Interweave was using that great line used by many men I’ve dated over the years “Trust me!” which as any woman knows means exactly the opposite!

Fortunately, I had started reading Sandi Wiseheart’s blog, Knitting Daily, where she decided to show the cardi true nature with side views and explanations. Further, there are links showing how the sweater fits on different size bodies! Given the sweater’s unique construction, this added input was the deciding factor for me!

Not being one to mind that I didn’t have the specific fiber specified in the pattern, I decided to use some antique green blue face leichster wool that I bought at last May’s Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival from a small supplier. It had been recommended by a member of my Upper Westside Knitting group. While a thinner gauge than the pattern called for, I had 1,400 yards.

Since the pattern calls for a cotton/wool combination, I figured that using a 100% wool would be fine. All I needed to do was the math. My gauge was 5.6 stitches to the inch compared to the pattern’s 4.5.

I was a bit intimidated by the berry in the box stitch and swatched that as well. I discovered that it looked more complex than it was in execution. So on to the next project which was good since I was headed for Chicago.