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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2007
Norah Gaughan approaches the design brief for this book in an interesting way. A scientist by profession, Gaughan explores the principles of Mathematics in nature, and lets that outlook be her guide in constructing the patterns.

The beauty is in the detailing: the outline of the kotch formation on the bottom of the skirt, the curve of a ram's horn making a shawl collar for a jacket, a skirt made from the hexagonal shape on a tortoise shell and a leaf motif snaking around the body of a blouse.

Gaughan's musings are no less interesting as she writes about what inspires her, and shares the basic premise behind the subjects that attracts her.

The measurements are good, starting from a 34" bust (and even then it's on the bigger side) and runs up to about a 52". The garments more skim the body than cling to it, so if you were say, a 36" bust, you could sneak into the 34" measurement at times.

In terms of the yarn used, I'm pleasantly surprised to see the variety of the yarns. Not all of them are American, some can be gotten on this side of the pond as well.

A good book, one to have on the shelf - patterns that are stylish, but not trendy.

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on 3 October 2006
If you like textures and imaginative shaping in your knitting you will love this book. I haven't entirely made up my mind about this book - I love browsing through it and it gives me loads of ideas, it is just that there is nothing I actually want to grab my needles and knit from it! (yet)

The book is broken up into six sections based on 'nature' shapes/elements - Hexagons, Pentagons, Spirals, Phyllotaxis (think pine cones and pineapples), Fractals and Waves. Each section has several garments featuring or based on these themes. There is a large selection of jumpers, some jackets, cardigans, three skirts (two straighforward tube skirts, enhanced by textural elements. There are also scarves and shawls, hats, tanks, and kids mittens. There are stacks of patterns in this book, and there are some great cable patterns.

There is a beautiful and delicate camisole and skirt which I would love to make except I know I don't have the figure for it, but largely the garments end up a bit on the bulky looking side, due to the cables and bobbles and waves and hexagons on them, which just doesn't appeal to me for an allover look, although I am now inspired to use these elements in other projects.

These patterns generally are for the experienced knitter as some have an unusual construction or else are made up of lots of individually knittes shapes which are then assembled in a fairly complicated manner.

I have only given this 3 stars because I have not knitted anything from this book, so cannot say how good the instructions are or how the finished size/shape turns out, but for inspiration and getting your imagination going this book is a winner. I feel pretty much the same about Loop d Loop, another book I am yet to knit from, but am glad nevertheless to have in my collection.
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on 26 February 2007
I wish I could give this book six stars. It is absolutely stunning. There is not a single item in it I wouldn't want to knit and wear. The idea that inspired it is fascinating, the book design is superb, the photography is magnificent. The garments are innovative, but they have a timeless quality and classic beauty that will make them a pleasure to wear for a very long time. I would like to thank the author for her amazing creations, and I hope she has more of the same planned...
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on 24 January 2008
I have been a fan of Norah Gaughan's designs for some time now and bought this as soon as I saw it. I was not disappointed. The book uses basic designs found in nature and interprets them to make unusual and eye catching garments. It is also easy to develop some of the ideas further or to use elements of them in other designs. I have used her 'sand dollar' on a different top, extended the pentagon poncho and adapted the pattern on the spiral scarf. Imagine a longer version of the turtle skirt...
This is not a book for the novice knitter, but should provide lots of ideas for anyone, like me, who wants more than a 'cast on at the bottom and work up' approach to knitting.
For more examples of Norah's stunning and original designs, check out some issues of 'Vogue knitting'
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on 30 May 2014
Provides a number of original stitch possibilities based upon a botanical theme, with a range of explicit garments to knit, Probably most suitable for an intermediate knitter - someone with some experience of stitch variations.
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on 30 April 2010
Intended for more advanced knitters, this is definitely a classic.
The explanations of the author's inspiration are as captivating as the patterns themselves.
A must have for your knitting library.
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on 17 August 2010
Loved the use of shapes and colours and textures. Not only did I knit from the book, but it also gave me some inspiration to try designing things for myself.
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on 4 September 2015
So many patterns I want to knit. Just need to find the time.
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on 31 October 2015
A brilliant gift for my best friend
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