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Norah’s Knits: Women Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 11.21.25 AM

Many of you have noticed that I make it a point to photograph sweaters from my booklets on a variety of body types. This gets a bit tricky since the majority of professional models are a size 4 and 5’10”.  Things have started to come around though and most modeling agencies now have plus size divisions.  Try not to laugh too hard,  but in the modeling world, size 8 is the beginning of plus size.

Norah Gaughan vol. 11 featured an amazingly beautiful size 14/16 model, seen here in Connate & Tanta.

ng11_connate_lg ng11_tanta_lg

In volume 12, a different but equally lovely model shows off half of the pieces in the book, including Lacuna & Pause.

lacuna_lg pause_lg

Last year, I chose a slim and busty model for the entire booklet (vol. 13), seen here in Gibson & Silverberg.

ngv13_gibson_lg ngv13_silverberg_lg

Several garments in Norah Gaughan vol. 14 were shown off by size 10/12 model.  Although she’s wearing the size large sweaters, seen here in Careen & Shim, many folks didn’t seem to realize that she wasn’t the same size as the other model.

NGv14_careen_lg NGv14_shim_lg

My goal is to have any model in my book perceived as a beautiful woman, no matter what her size. My hope is that by showing sweaters on a variety of shapes and sizes, knitters will more easily be able to picture themselves in the pieces.

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Merna #

    Women come in different heights too — any short models?

    February 3, 2014
    • Working within the confines of the professional modeling agencies – no, not really. Unless you consider 5’6″ short. There are real advantages to using professional models who know how to work in front of the camera. I’m 5’0″ so I can sympathize! I still think it’s a big help to see the different sizes and proportions.

      February 3, 2014
      • Merna #

        Thanks Norah, I do understand. Toward that end, the trunk show videos you do every once in a while are very informative. Your designs are wonderful.

        February 3, 2014
      • Thanks Merna!

        February 3, 2014
    • A few of Norah’s earlier booklets, including her first collection, do have a lovely brunette model who is 5’2″. I think I especially liked those booklets in part because the model was so much closer to my own proportions.

      February 3, 2014
      • You’re right. We were lucky to have connections to an actress who made a great model.

        February 3, 2014
  2. This is brilliant – thanks for taking a stand, and for sharing about it! This should be the standard everywhere, and especially throughout all of the ‘make-your-own-clothes’ industries. So often, a contributing factor to the decision to make is that we are *not* all shaped like typical models, and knitting our own sweaters provides an opportunity to customize.

    February 3, 2014
  3. Linda #

    I have always appreciated that your patterns also come in larger sizes. I also appreciate the patterns that come in XXS, too! A lot of patterns that are sized 34 to 46 leave me out of the equation AND leave my daughter out as well (she’s the XXS, obviously).

    So – thank you Norah – for thinking of all of us.

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks! While it’s impossible to be all things to all people – we are trying.

      February 3, 2014
  4. Kathleen Dainton #

    Knitters everywhere would rejoice if they could
    envision what a sweater would look like on them
    through the use of “normal ” sized models.Thanks for leading the way!

    February 3, 2014
    • I am very happy that there is a broader trend towards this end as well.
      Thanks!

      February 3, 2014
  5. Jackie Cauthron-Schafer #

    Your models are lovely and I applaud your choice in using different sized models, but I’d love to see more diversity of color, too.

    February 3, 2014
  6. Good for you! I am a TKGA Master Knitter, and love Cast On magazine, except for their most often use of a very very slim model. The latest issue features dog sweaters, delightful models of all sizes there!

    February 3, 2014
  7. jessica #

    Bravo! Thanks for reminding everyone that beauty is not determined by a number. It’s for this reason too that I’ve loved your “What to Knit” series.

    February 4, 2014
  8. Jentala #

    I love this practice! It’s so much easier to envision how a project will come out since I’m a “normal” size 14. I also think women in would be happier if there were less pressure to be thin from pictures we see everywhere so I think what you’re doing is fabulous for those reasons too.

    February 4, 2014
    • Thanks for everyone’s positive feedback. I’ll be using a size 12/14 model for the Fall ’14 shoot as well.

      February 4, 2014
  9. Lynn Paul #

    Awesome! I love to see real people, not stick figures. They are all gorgeous!!!

    February 7, 2014
    • Thanks for your support!
      (Remember slim models are real people too :)

      February 7, 2014
  10. Mary Evans #

    Hi Norah,
    You are the first designer whose designs I liked that included the larger figured woman. And, my favorite!
    And, I believe, that you have brought some other designers along with more to come..
    It is brilliant to be able to open a book(let) or pattern and know that you can make it if you want to without having to make any changes. We want to knit, not do math, LOL! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    February 7, 2014
  11. Laura Gunderson #

    Thank you for including all shapes in sizes when dreaming of your beautiful patterns.
    Perhaps you could also speak to the drape and gauge that looks best on different size bodies when overviewing the patterns. It would be a big help as I hate to put to much time and effort into a project that I have to give away because it “just does not look right” on my frame.

    Perhaps you have written an article on this and I just have yet to find it in the archives.

    February 7, 2014
  12. Blue #

    Thanks very much for showing regular sized women. It really does help me visualize how I might look in a garment and is very useful when I am choosing a pattern!!!! you are one of the few who does this.

    February 8, 2014
  13. Thank you for bringing curves back into fashion! Looking at knitting mags is both wonderful and painful – designs are spectacular but while they make sizes for the more voluptuous, they still show flat-chested girls so it is hard to picture it with someone who can actually fill out those sweaters, if ya know what I mean! Women knit. Women have curves, knit to flatter curves and you will have a friend for life.

    April 8, 2014

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