Thursday, December 25, 2008

Knitting Contrisstmas Day 25: Norah Gaughan

Norah, thanks for taking the time to be part of Knitting Contrisstmas--- AGAIN! I’m really excited to have you as a returning ‘guest’. Although we laugh that I call you THE Norah Gaughan, you know I still think of you that way!

KC: Norah Gaughan Volume THREE! Wow! It is fabulous………… the volumes just keep getting better as time marches on. Do you have other volumes in the works?

NG: Volume 4 was photographed in October. Check out the sneak peek on my blog. All will be revealed on the Berroco site in mid January. I may be adding more sneaks soon too, since the full reveal is almost upon us.

KC: What has been your favorite design this past year?

NG: That’s so hard – I like the visual pun in Portrait, the highly dimensional cable of Cire-perdue and the wearablity of Calvert. Maybe Calvert is the one I should knit for myself. (after Christmas).


KC: I was going to knit “Manon”…….. it was in my queue and then the famous Stephanie (of Yarn Harlot fame) knit it and I just couldn’t. Not that I have not fallen into the sheep’s path, but in this case it just wasn’t going to happen. I am planning to knit Manon (well) after the holidays. Unless of course I fall in love with another one of your designs to knit and there is a lot of competition. Any suggestions for a knit that looks great on almost everybody? I love Violette-le-duc as well as Eastlake from Volume 3 and think that Ellis from Volume 2 would be pretty great knit in black! I can’t decide!

NG: I think Eastlake looks good on a lot of people. If you’ve got great light to knit by, go for black – cause you’ll wear it. Everything looks good knit in black! You could knit Manon, but replace the cable with one of your choosing. That would be un-sheep-like. P.S. If you’re busty, I recommend adding a few inches above the peplum before the armhole.


KC: You don’t seem to do a lot from the “mindless knitting” category. At least to the outside observer. Are there times when you only want to knit things that are simple and without much complexity?

NG: Have you seen my “almost garter” scarf. That’s the kind of thing I have to do for myself post photo shoot.

Most of the time, I prefer to have something to propel my knitting along – goals- like just one more cable twist or just until I finish the next repeat of this pattern…

KC: You are well known for shapes, designs, texture and interest in your knitwear. What has been the most complicated thing to design?

NG: I had to think a lot when I designed many of the pieces from Knitting Nature and when I do odd shapes like Kaari from NGV1. Even with those though, I try to make sure that there is an underlying logic and structure that makes the design possible to write.

KC: What has been your “most knitted” design?

NG: That would be the Tilted Duster in Interweave Knits.

KC: Because you are a crazy knitter as well…………what is your favorite thing to knit.

NG: Something I haven’t knit before. But maybe that’s a glib answer. I like to knit a pattern that can me memorized but still has a bit to keep track of. I am really stuck on dk weight yarn right now – perfect to wear, nice in my hands.

KC: It has become well known that I am the only traditional, throwing knitter left on the planet these days. Does speed matter?

NG: The faster knitter’s on record are throwers (although I can’t remember where I read that) I pick and I am fast. It’s fun to be fast. My Friend, Grace Judson, taught me to knit 33 years ago. She’s even faster.

KC: I would love to watch you knit!

KC: Are you a process or a product knitter?

NG: Although I design because I am motivated by the product, when I knit, I am all about process.

KC: You are a knit designer of much acclaim, do other designers inspire you? If so, who rings your bells?

NG: I don’t like to answer this question. I don’t want to leave anyone out. It’s exciting to me that there are many folks out there doing unique and beautiful work.

KC: Is there anything in the world of knitting that you have not done and wish to tackle?

NG: I know I’d learn a lot if I tackled a very fine lace shawl, say from Marianne Kinzel. I’d need to go on sabbatical to do that though.

KC: Ahhhhh, desert island knitting. Can we make a reservation now? Because you know I’d want to go and I think we’d have a lot of company!

KC: I know you are very involved in the Ravelry world, do you spend daily time on the web Ravelizing? Can you please share your Ravelry name for those who haven’t found you yet?

NG: I’m on Ravelry almost every day. Sometimes I fear what new pattern problem may have cropped up, but most of the time I love getting to chat with folks and see what they are knitting. My Ravelry name? You are so funny – it’s Norah!

*Note from KC---- silly girl, I know that you are NORAH, others may not. Unbelievable, but true!

KC: What else do you do to feed your inner creative muse?

NG: There are other things one can do? I am picking out all of the furniture and fixtures for the house John is building for us – does that count?

KC: Oh yes, that definitely counts!

KC: What will you be doing during the holidays 2008?

NG: Visiting Mom in Ohio – and my brother and niece too!

KC: What is coming up for Norah and Berocco in the coming year?

NG: I am head of the department now. So, the big challenge is balance art with responsibility! I’m looking forward to the first full season with Cirilia Rose and Donna Yacino on board. We’ll keep the pattern books a rollin’ on in.

KC: Thanks so much Norah----- you are the best! I’m sure you will blend the art and responsible thing well and we will all be the winners with those new pattern books. Keep ‘em comin!


The end of Knitting Contrisstmas has sadly (and very quickly) come------ my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed their time, it was GREAT!

And thanks to you all for reading, commenting, sending those fab emails and your smiles. They were very much appreciated.

Happy Knitting Contrisstmas
to ALL! May you knit like the wind those things that make your heart light.


Virtuous said...

Wow! I can't believe Contrisstmas is over! And what a great interview to end on. It was great to hear from Norah again too! (and you are right I wouldn't have guessed her Rav name to be that simple! May have to "friend" her now! Haha ;op)

You did another AWESOME job on all of your hard work of getting the interviews, pictures, and links together EVERYday for 25 days. Really appreciate you doing it!!

Hope you are having a blessed Merry Christmas Tina!

yoel said...

I was so sure her Ravelry name would be THEnorahgaughn. That's how everyone thinks of her!

What a wonderful Contrisstmas series! Thanks, and happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

How fun to find this - and what a great interview.

I hope it's okay for me to contradict THE Norah Gaughan. :) The fastest knitters are generally pickers (Continental) - which would include me, the one who taught Norah to knit. Even faster are those who use knitting belts, which I believe is the style used by the current world record holder.

I've taught a lot of people to knit over the 35 years I've been knitting. Norah remains the most amazing student I've had. Her first project was a Fair Isle hat!

Jenny Girl said...

That's all I can say. I have already obsessed over NGV3, now I have V4 to look forward to. OMG.

What a fitting finish to this year's Contristmas.
Wonderful job, just wonderful. Loved every minute of it, and learned at least one new thing a day.
Thank you.