Je suis ici! Tuesday, Oct 4 2011 

Hello! It’s been awhile. You may know that I spent 3 years at Berroco…and that I recently made a big leap, from the East Coast to the Western one! I’ve just been hired as a Creative Director at Skacel, and I am also working on a book that will be published in 2013. There is a lot going on and I am blogging about it at Bricoleur Knits. I hope you’ll catch up with me there, or via Twitter where I am tweeeting @bricoleurknits and @skacelknitting.




Breakthrough into exuberance… Wednesday, Aug 6 2008 

A couple of months ago I applied for a job. In July, I learned that I was hired! You can’t imagine how exciting it is to look down at your phone and see ‘Norah Gaughan’.

The last month has been absolute insanity, figuring out where to live (Providence, RI), going from happily carless to owning a car and a 20 mile commute (still working on that one). There were a few happy highlights, including the release of “my” issue of Knitscene (as I mentioned before, I have a pattern and profile in this issue, very exciting) to a lovely goodbye party hosted by the Elkins and attended by many lovely Webs friends (at the bottom of this post.

I’m already incredibly homesick for the Pioneer Valley but the work itself is the sort that makes you think “I’m getting paid for this??” I especially get excited when I watch this video and imagine what it will be like to be a kid in the Wonka factory of yarn (speaking of Wonka, I sort of feel like Mike Tee-vee at the moment, slowly transitioning via televisual waves, in little bits…)

Like Webs, it’s the sort of thing I feel I’ve been preparing for my whole life. If only my high school guidance counselor had known…I’ll be blogging at the Berroco Design Blog soon and I’m working on a new personal blog where I can record little musings and non-knitting crafting.


P.S. This is what I wore to the interview. It was a scorcher (the weather that day, not the interview), and I took this after the interview, looking a leetle frazzled, but excited. It’s grellow!

=) Monday, Jun 30 2008 

I’m so happy right now! I’m spending a ridiculously nice day indoors, on the computer, taking care of all manner of adult-y chores. I’ve been obsessively checking for the Fall 2008 preview. I’m thrilled to say it’s finally up!!

Why am I so thrilled? I’m profiled in their One Cool Knitter column (past Cool Knitters: Eunny Jang, Wendy Bernard…I’m more than a little flattered), AND I have a design appearing in this issue! I can finally share with you a project I finished ages ago. Meet Matryoshka!

Matroyshka Stole

This was my original submission sketch, which I sort of love. I can’t sketch bodies yet, which is something I have to fix post haste. In the mean time, I quite like collage:

Matroyshka Stole

And congrats to my friend Gudrun as well!

Sluggin’ out Tuesday, Jun 24 2008 

It’s been very, very weird here in Western, Mass. The past three days have been filled with rain and thunder, unnaturally dark days with little tenuous bits of sunshine. It’s like ‘The Happening’, which I happened to love, but I’m pretty sure 60% of my love for it is a desire to be contrary and a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel (anyone want to go see this with me? Anyone?).

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting of course, mostly for the store. Knitting for the store like mad is a bit of an addiction, I’m afraid. We’re compensated in store credit which feels like Monopoly money, and though I really, really don’t need the yarn, I just can’t pass it up!

My latest contribution also marks a bit of a milestone for me–I finally figured out how to make a PDF and put up a pattern page here on the blog. I made a cozy scarf with Cuzco, a scrumdiddliumptious new Berroco yarn, 50/50 wool/alpaca with a nice bouncy twist. I’m totally digging Crotona, but it might just be the outfit in general, she reminds me of these fashionable sheep, still clinging to the ‘dark leg’ trend. I can see why, it’s a classic trend, if there is such a thing.

You can find the pattern for the Brûlée Scarf on my new pattern page!

Brulee Scarf

Also there is a link to a pattern I did for J. Knits that I think I forgot to blog about! I’m calling it the Downtown Clutch and it will also appear in an upcoming book from Storey Publishing. The yarn is called Charming and well, it is! I actually can’t describe the feel of knitting with it, but it is good. The last time I was this flummoxed by a yarn (Socks that Rock in this post) I started talking about it’s mouthfeel, so yeah. You’ll just have to see for yourself. There is already an adorable finished Downtown Clutch over at Ravelry, I simply love her mods. I am certainly planning to embellish mine similarly, hopefully before fall!

Downtown Clutch

Time to make the donuts,


Father Sunday, Jun 15 2008 

Meet my Dad.


I call him Daddio, because he is a jazz musician and because he is just plain hip. He was into yoga and Netflix and a million other things long before I was. In a lot of ways, you know my father simply by knowing me, a) because we’re really similar and b) he introduced me to a lot of the things I value most in the world. A few other gems from Dad:

Food: This is a man that puts food on a pedestal, and he raised me to do the same. We both love all things tomato based, but can’t really stomach raw tomatoes on their own, a rare food aversion! He makes a mean bolognese sauce but my favorite food memories are from childhood. Once when he was watching my brother and I for the day he made us some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They were so salty they were inedible and he finally figured out that he had used miso paste instead of the all-natural peanut butter that comprised 89% of my diet as a tot. It just might be the reason I have such a sodium habit now!

When you ask him for “just a little” ice cream, cereal, whatever, he will give you a very literal, very microscopic smidgen. The joke never gets old. The best was when he bought a set of those little glass measuring bowls that are used during cooking shows. The miniature serving size joke reached new heights that day.

The very best move dad has in the kitchen is a dish I still make when I’m feeling down or sick. It’s just pastina or spagetti with a little butter or olive oil (I like a mix of both), Parmesan cheese and garlic, your basic aioli but also magic in a bowl.

Reason: In every trial I’ve been through my dad has remained calmed and reminded me to do the same. He reminds me that worrying does nothing to solve a problem, that it is a wasted of energy. I think a lot of his material must come from this one book he recommends over and over, Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer. Long before Oprah and Dr. Phil and the Secret and all that, my dad was telling me that I was in charge of my life.

Laughter: One of his favorite comedies is Dodgeball, which might be a low point for him. He also made me watch all of Woody Allen’s classics and once when he was driving me back to Amherst after a winter break, “The Jerk” was on TV and we postponed the drive to watch it. We both tend to cry when we laugh really hard, and I can remember at least a few holiday meals that ended this way.

Appreciation for other cultures: When we lived overseas, we almost never lived on military bases. Instead, we lived in tiny towns in Germany, once above a bakery that has ruined me for life with cravings for Germany candy and bread. We traveled as much as possible, driving through Switzerland one summer to get to Italy. I cried in Italy, thinking that I wouldn’t remember every last detail because I was only 12 or 13, but I do. Besides the gorgeous art, architecture and food, the trip seemed enchanted. In Lucca, a small dog followed us through the entire town. While out for gelato we stumbled upon a concert that was taking place in a small village, folding chairs on cobblestone, a spotlight and Andrea Bocelli. Who, coincidentally has a birthday on September 22, my father’s is the 21st and mine is the 20th. Maybe I should try to plan a reunion birthday party!

Purpose: He is making a transition from a career in the military to one in the medical field–I think it’s so cool that he’s going from the most insanely regimented uniform in the world to one of the comfiest and loosest. He was really excited to buy his first set of scrubs and I don’t blame him.

When he retired from the military a couple of years ago, I found myself strangely moved by the whole thing. I realized it was because my father had done what so few people do–he had a dream and he made it happen, in a really methodical way. He was a musician and he found a way to make a living doing that. As I’m trying to figure the whole creative career thing out, I’m inspired by his success doing what he loves.


I admire him for so many reasons and feel very blessed in the whole dad department.
CR, aka Boo Boo

Lazy! Wednesday, Jun 11 2008 

Mosaic Meme

Fun photo meme borrowed from Katywhumpus.

The rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker).

The questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

We just had a little heatwave here in Massachusetts and I’m still recovering. I have a million photos to upload and if I put it off much longer my camera will puke. Poor Currer and 28thirty are SO CLOSE to doneness, but they keep getting pushed aside for gift knitting, store projects, beer, DVDs and books, fun jaunts in Jeeps, etc. Soon!


OMG, what’s happening?! Tuesday, Jun 3 2008 

Clinton Madness



Webs Wednesday, May 28 2008 

ETA: A title, for one–did you know that a definition of “web” is “a fabric, especially a fabric in the process of being woven”? Now I can say I’ve got a web on the loom and a UFO on the needles! I also forgot to include a totally cool weaving sample that Leslie-Ann (carpeyarnum wove for the store), details below!

SO, I ❤ weaving! I wear this thing ALL the TIME. And this whole simple woven wrap thing is making the rounds in Blogland. Laura generously and wisely offers up the sort of info you need to make a nice stole of your own. My interest in rigid heddle weaving started with Kirsten and Mary’s beautiful pieces, with some help from the Rigid Heddle Looms group on Ravelry.


I finished a second piece, a simple scarf in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It’s a gift and I’m not sure I love how it came out. Using my favorite Willy-Nilly methodology, I bought three skeins and definitely anticipated having to purchase a fourth. Sure, I could have done the warp and weft calculations but when you’re following the Willy-Nilly method…there’s something so gratifying about NOT being fastidious with this, I feel like it sort of flies in the face of a well-established “weaverly” persona.

Leslie-Ann, a co-worker at Webs, is teaching a rigid-heddle class this summer and it’s filling up like crazy. she weaves and/or designs a lot of the samples you see in the catalog and ads. She wove a sample for the class that is hanging in the store and it ROCKS. It’s just plain ole’ plain weave but check it out, it’s so PLAID!

Plaid Scarf

She used the gorgeous to begin with Misti Alpaca Handpaint Sock yarn, one skein of color #10. I’ve seen the sample sock we have an I hate to say, it doesn’t come close to how cool this scarf is. I think this yarn was made to be woven, especially at this width. Since I’m a total weaving copy-cat, you can bet you’ll be seeing a version of this project here. Thanks, Flip Loom early adopters!

My camera just doesn’t do red, so this picture is sorta useless. Note the crispness of the fabric–I think I beat a little too enthusiastically and it ended up a little stiff, even post blocking. The silk really dominates here, and it’s almost a little rough, much rougher than any knit-up piece I’ve ever felt in the Silky Wool. Not the soft drape-y wonder that is 2/14 Alpaca Silk. It’s fantastic to rediscover yarns this way, I have to say.

Red Red Scarf

Well, I’ve got to get back to my breakfast and Firefly…I’m finally watching it and it’s AWESOME!


Conundrum! Friday, May 23 2008 

Decisions, decisions here at Chez Skrillaknits…

ETA: I’m just APPLYING, btw. The picture below is from a Stitches convention. I was pretty darn stoked to be standing with those ladies!

I’m thoroughly liminal these days. Not my favorite state of being but par for the quarterlife course, I’m told. The only things keeping me grounded are a) my very cute but messy bachelorette pad, still a little gem of a sublet, b) Webs, my yarn alma mater, my home nest in the Valley, c) my therapist! and d) last but not least, a certain level-headed hat wearing hottie.

Looks good, no?

Norah, Me, Margery

Thanks for all the weaving love! I officially have a new favorite comment. I’m thinking of coming up with some sort of formal “thing” for the No Dud Duds in 2008 idea. Sort of loose, like Project Spectrum. I’ve been wearing the crap out of that simple grey stole I made and it really has me thinking differently about what I’m knitting. I like to read a lot of dorky fashion self-help books like What Not to Wear, etc. because I am a real klutz at dressing myself and I also like to learn about proportions of other bodies (I’ve been training for this design position all my life, I’m telling you 😉

Anyhow, the same way Color Me Beautiful forced me to rethink and ultimately edit my closet and yarn stash, I’m hoping to knit judiciously in the future. Jenna would probably point out my lax commitment to this initiative so far as she practically begged me not to rescue this disheveled $2.00 bin ball for a Bandwagon Cowl.

P.S. Guess who was at Webs today? None other than Adrian, Jess and Jared. Practically the knitting A-Team!

Kool Thing Sunday, May 11 2008 

Did you know that Kim Gordon lives in Northampton? I had a spotting the other day between Haymarket and Masonic Street Laundry, it always tickles the crap out of me to see her or Thurston Moore just hanging around town.

I have a lot of kool things to show you. The first is a store sample, the Petal Tank knit in Terra by the Fibre Company. Good Lord, I love this yarn. It is so unspeakably pretty. This color is Cochineal, it looks like pink lemonade. It has all the rustic beauty of tweedy wool with the luster and softness of alpaca and silk. I wax rhapsodic about it more here. I will definitely be making one of these for myself.

Petal Tank

Petal Tank

Also, I wove something! It’s a very simple, gray scarf that I’m calling the Mithril Stole, yeah, I’m a big dork. I used Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk and a bit of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Night, woven on a Schacht Rigid Heddle Flip Loom, 25″ with a 10-dent reed. Someone said it was very Banana Republic and I think that fits. I had a fun time weaving it, I love being a total beginner again. I can’t see myself getting really into the technical side of weaving (at least any more than I have to to wind warps and get a nice finished project), it’s the same way I feel about spinning. I’m very product driven at the wheel and the loom, not so for knitting. I’m still hoping this will be the year of boring, wearable, expertly executed classics. Call it No Dud Duds in ’08!

Ghost Stole

Ghost Stole

Me at the loom

I’ve also started a Shetland Triangle with some Sundara Yarn Silky Merino Aran in Ruby Port. This was Autumn’s Seasons Club offering. I love it! I was in Autumn and Spring this round; I’ve signed up for Winter for the next round. Good stuff.

Shetland Triangle in progress

Shetland Triangle Back


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