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CH 80: with Norah Gaughan

Helen —  June 24, 2015 — 32 Comments
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Episode 8o with Norah Gaughan

Photo © Norah Gaughan

This conversation with Norah Gaughan is a really special one. Norah is an incredibly accomplished knitwear designer who has been sharing her patterns with the world since the age of 17. After a long time on staff at Berroco she has recently gone independent, but her workload has not slowed down even a little bit! She is constantly partnering with some of the biggest names in the yarn world to bring out a steady supply of amazing designs which play with shape, colour, and construction. Having her on the show was such an honour. She talks about developing her new collection with The Fibre Company and shares so many insights into how she conceives, designs, and creates her ground-breaking patterns. If you’re anything like me, I think you’ll find this conversation incredibly inspiring.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their very wonderful Acadia yarn.

 

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Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

One of my Whispering Island Shawl samples was knit in Acadia, and it’s just a wonderful yarn to work with, on every level. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

Just a little while left in this one, but people are still adding beautiful FOs every day! If you’ve somehow missed this one, but have ever knit one of my patterns, you can still enter until the 5th of July. Just post a photo in the FO thread, and you’re in!

Muse 2 KAL

The KAL is about to wrap up – be sure to get your entries in by 30 June.  I’m still working on my Rachel Coopey Oleum socks. I don’t know if I’ll make that deadline, but I should have them finished for the Summer of Socks KAL in the Coop Knits group! Double dipping in KALs is the best.

Show links

The patterns we discussed in detail from the Norah Gaughan for The Fibre Company collections were:

Times Square

Skyscraper

Oporto

Atonium

Metropolis

District

You can find the entire gorgeous collection on Ravelry here.

Norah is also designing some really special pieces for Brooklyn Tweed these days, and we specifically mention her pattern

Chainlink

She’s always busy with yarn shop appearances and teaching engagements, which you can find on her events page. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby any of these opportunities, I highly recommend you check them out!

We’re also giving you a chance to win pattern of your choice from Norah’s new collection with The Fibre Company. Be sure to listen to the end of the episode to find out how!

As I mentioned, tomorrow I’ll be doing a little trunk show for Pebble Beach  in Brighton  at YAK with The Uncommon Thread. June 27th from 2 to 5.

That’s all our notes for this episode! Thank you so much for joining us, and happy knitting!

Dream Big Collection: FO Focus

Helen —  October 30, 2014 — 2 Comments

As the final release for my Dream Big Collection draws near, I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing projects that people have been knitting from the Collection. When I launched a collection of knitting patterns, I was inspired by my word for the year, “Dream”. I planned a pattern a month with a selection of knitting patterns for knitted accessories, mainly shawls as well as cowls, stoles and blankets. There are 8 patterns so far and looking through FO’s has been really inspiring to keep designing more and more in 2015!

Colourful handknit shawls

Colourful handknit shawls

The first pattern that started the collection was the Frangipani Shawl that was inspired by tropical flowers, will bring a ray of sunshine to a cold winter day. I love how bold both JenCollect‘s and ChellieAnne‘s versions are so different and striking at the same time.

Single skein shawls

Single skein shawls

The Fireflies Rising Shawlette came just in time for the softer sunlight of Spring and inspired a lot of projects- this one really captured knitters wanting fast, easy to knit lace with great results. This was the perfect single skein shawl pattern, as shown by Matejam and Hmgtt.

Bright Global Nomad cowls

Bright Global Nomad cowls

The Global Nomad Cowl is a great little accessory for wearing everywhere from music festivals to the weekend farmers’ market. It’s a light and airy cowl for those slightly cooler trans-seasonal days. I feel like both Patsy55 and Sunrisedawn really got the vibe of the cowl!

Handknit blankets for babies, children and adults

Handknit blankets for babies, children and adults

The Georgie Blanket went live in time to celebrate the first birthday of Prince George and has had lots of versions knit in so many bright and bold colours. With thanks to RiderCub (and Penguin) and Malorie for these bright beauties.

Beautiful Single Skein Shawl projects

Beautiful Single Skein Shawl projects

The Sunburst Shawl was the sixth design in the Dream Big Collection and put a modern spin on beautiful 1920’s fashion. I love these two versions by Camilliaknits and Knittengurl that really capture the luxury, glamour and exuberance of the Art Deco era.

Contrasting Colours of Lace Summer Shawls

Contrasting Colours of Lace Summer Shawls

The Velvet Rose Shawl is a feminine summer shawl that has sparked lots of dramatic versions- it was so hard not to want to share them all! With thanks to DynamiteTrujillo and ToryJane Knits for these stunning versions.

Quick to knit handwarmers

Quick to knit handwarmers

The Global Nomad Handwarmers were only released a few weeks ago but there’s already some great projects showing just how quick to knit this project is- perfect for gift knitting in a hurry! These handwarmers come courtesy of Aymr on Ravelry.

 

With thanks to all the knitters who gave permission to share their wonderful projects today. Stay tuned for a new pattern release next week and don’t forget, you can buy a copy of the Dream Big Collection and it will automatically update when the new patterns are released!

 

Curious Collective Giveaway Prizes

Helen —  October 2, 2014 — 1 Comment

The Curious Collective DKAL is in full swing and there are so many gorgeous shawls appearing which is always so great to see as a designer. There has also been lots of eye candy on Instagram thanks to people using the #CCDKAL. As we start to enter the final stages of our Collective efforts, here are all the goodies you could win by taking part, with special thanks to our sponsor for the DKAL, Juno Fibre Arts.

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Prize 1: Finished Object – Random selection

This will be a prize for a random draw from the FO thread in Ravelry for all finished shawls posted by 19th October 2014. The prize will be a skein of Milly Sleek Single (70% Merino, 30% Silk Singles Fingering Weight base) in the one of a kind exclusive colourway, ‘Flow’. This prize is sponsored by Juno Fibre Arts.

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Prize 2: Finished Object – Best Styled FO 
This will be a prize for the best styled shawl in keeping with the theme of the Tribes we have been participating as. I will choose one of my favourite FO pictures which is always a really tough choice. This prize is a skein of Juno Fibre Arts Alice (70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere) in the ‘Gunmetal’ colourway and is sponsored by Curious Handmade.

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Prize 3: Social Media Maven Prize
A Curious Handmade Project bag made by me containing a tin of stitch markers that I picked up on my recent trip to Tangled Yarns in Australia, vintage buttons from my recent trip to Paris, 3 heat transfer patches in a cute Matryoshka Doll design and two mini skeins of Juno Fibre Arts Alice in Cherry Blossom and Ethereal which are the design colourways.

If you like what you see, it’s not too late to join us over on Ravelry where you’ll also find plenty of tips and suggestions for how to make this shawl really work for you. You can find the Curious Collective Shawl Pattern on Ravelry here.

Don’t forget that shout outs for the Curious Collective DKAL posted on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram with the hashtag #CCDKAL will go into the draw for a the Social Media Maven Prize. You can join me in with the with conversation as Curious Handmade  and you can find some inspirational pinning over on the Curious Collective Pinterest board. Use the following Tribe hashtags for some friendly competition between the tribes!

#CCDKAL

#spacechictribe

#frenchvintagetribe

#englishrosetribe

#enchantedforesttribe

#artdecotribe