Modern Daily Knitting - Field Guide No. 9: Revolution

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For more than 30 years, Norah Gaughan has set our minds awhirl. She is a true revolutionary—a genius of construction, a master of cables, and a fearless innovator. These four designs are an extraordinary chance to play in Norah’s world.

Norah Gaughan’s inspiration is revolution, in all its forms. The twists of a tree, the ironwork of the Eiffel Tower, a curl of calligraphy.

Three of these cable motifs are interchangeable, making it possible to mix and match pattern and garment as you like. Freedom to choose—such a Norah Gaughan idea.

(Note: all cable directions are given in both written-out and charted format.)

Calligraphy Cardigan.

With its short sleeves, the Calligraphy Cardigan gives us a new way of thinking about the garments we make. Freedom from long sleeves means we can wear this cardigan with a T-shirt, long sleeved or short, or button it up and wear it as is.

The sculptural yoke shows us cable innovator Norah Gaughan playing with circles and curves, creating a yoke that looks as much like a calligraphy doodle as a knitting pattern. The scale is big—a juicy, dimensional design that is probably not like any cable you’ve worked.

Liberty Tree Pullover

A tree makes for a beautiful cable design. In designing this classic, body-skimming pullover, Norah was thinking about Boston’s famed Liberty Tree, the location of the first public protest against the British government’s Stamp Act in 1765. The cable’s branches intertwine, then fan out at the edge of the yoke, tipped in bobbles that are not too bobbly. They are just bobbly enough.

Elaine’s Capelet

We had a bit of a time classifying this garment. Is it a cowl? A ruff? A neck napkin? It’s long enough, and stylish enough, that we settled on capelet. Whatever you call it, it’s just the thing to wear under a coat, for warmth without bulk. It’s a versatile addition to any wardrobe, and a gift that is sure to fit.

We proudly present the world’s first yoke sweater that is all yoke and no sweater. The yoke is the fun part of knitting a yoke sweater, especially so in this case, with pairs of cables that undulate instead of twist; they are easy to work but out of the ordinary.

Ironworks Beret

In this stylish topper, Norah brings us the Industrial Revolution in hat form. It’s delightful how clearly Norah’s cables evoke the lattice girders of the Eiffel Tower; they stand separately at the brim, and join together elegantly at the top. The chart is simplicity itself, and Norah has done the knitter the kindness of shaping the beret from the bottom up, beginning with a cast-on of many stitches (hereby avoiding fiddling with a few twisty stitches at the start).