Knitting Nature Review
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Every once in a while—maybe once a year or so—someone will publish a knitting book that’s so artistic and so beautifully done that it deserves to be placed in a prominent location on the coffee table. Last year, it was Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop. This year, it’s Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature.

Knitting Nature features designs inspired by six shapes that are frequently found in nature: the hexagon found on a turtle’s shell, the pentagon shape of a sand dollar, the spiral of a ram’s horn, the phyllotaxis of a pinecone, the fractals found on the leaf of a fern, and the waves of the ocean. And Gaughan would know about these natural shapes—because before beginning her career in knitwear (currently serving as Berroco’s design director), she earned a degree in biology.

The 39 designs in this book are, in a word, stunning. Gaughan’s creations have beautiful lines and curves. They’re often asymmetrical—or designed using unusual shapes and fun stitch patterns. Each one is a wearable piece of art.

Often, artistic knitting books tend to offer patterns that are so different and so unusual that—while they’re pretty to look at—only the most artsy of knitters could actually get away with wearing the finished products in public. Not so with Knitting Nature. Many of the designs are elegant and classy. And while they make use of out-of-the-ordinary designs or stitches, they still have a classic look. So while there are a couple of unusual wraps, a cowl sweater with a strange puffy sleeve, and a top with a wavy cutout that shows off a little more belly than most of us would like, there are also a plethora of gorgeous jackets and cardigans and hats and scarves and tanks that even the most reserved knitter would be proud to wear.

Even the most experienced knitters will be pleasantly surprised by the unusual constructions and techniques used in this book. You won’t find any of the same old patterns here! And while Knitting Nature doesn’t contain a lot of designs for beginning knitters, knitters of all levels will find it inspiring. Pick up a copy, and you’ll find yourself flipping through it so often that you may wear out the pages.

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