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Get to Know Berroco: Norah Gaughan

What I’m about to say may shock you. Before I started here at Berroco, I didn’t know much about Norah. Sure, I had heard her name and even queued a few of her designs on Ravelry, but I was mostly a crocheter and I didn’t pay much attention to those kinds of things. Looking back now, I’m grateful for my knitting industry ignorance. I would have been way too nervous starting a new job with “THE NORAH GAUGHAN” as my boss!

So what have I learned from working with Norah? I’ll start with the obvious. Yes, she’s totally creative, talented and generally awesome. She’s also super nice and really smart. She actually studied biology at Brown University – then she wised up and focused on knitting! Despite her rock star status in the knitting world, Norah is also really humble. Though she has been known to jokingly ask friends, “Don’t you know who I am?”

Norah with her mom, Phoebe, at TNNA 2013.
Norah with her mom at TNNA 2013.

Of course, one of the people who knows Norah best is her mom, Phoebe.  I met Phoebe (an impressive woman in her own right) at TNNA and I couldn’t resist asking her to share some Norah stories.

Here are some other fun facts you might not know about Norah:

1) She lives in two different states.

She really calls New Hampshire home, but the commute is too far to do every day, so she also has an apartment in Rhode Island near Berroco.  She typically works at home one day a week so she can spend time with her husband, John.

2) She learned to knit when she was 14.

Ironically enough, her friend taught her during a heat wave because it was too hot to go outside.

3) She sold her first design at age 17.

It was a seamless cable yoked sweater that appeared in the Spring/Summer issue of Ladies Home Journal Needle & Craft in 1980.

4) She’s a grandmother!

Her grandson, Loki, is almost two and her granddaughter, Edie, is a year and a half. She’ll have three more grandbabies by the end of the summer!

5) Her favorite color is orange.

Even her car is orange.

6) Both of her parents were artists.

Her dad was a science fiction illustrator and her mom created the first short-row shaping illustration for Vogue Knitting!

7) Her favorite shape is a hexagon.

You’ve seen her “Knitting Nature” book, right?

8) Her husband’s mother owned a yarn shop.

Which is one of the reasons John is such a good match for Norah – he gets knitting!

9) She’s a trained soprano.

She has a beautiful voice, but it can be scary when she suddenly bursts into song!

10) She follows a Paleo diet.

That basically means that she mostly eats meat and vegetables, but she’ll indulge in sweets on special occasions.

9 thoughts on “Get to Know Berroco: Norah Gaughan

  1. I am new to knitting and knitting design. I LOVE Ms Gaughan’s designs and I am glad to know that she is genuine person. I am especially encouraged by the fact that she switched careers to do something that she obviously loves. If more of us choose something that we had passion for as a job the world would be better place. Be encouraged Ms Gaughan and keep it up!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I never really switched careers. I studied biology, but never worked in the field. I quickly came to terms with the realization that my love was with art and knitting.

  2. Thank you Ashley, You did a great job, your excellent editing actually made me seem coherent. Attending the TNNA in Long Beach and meeting you, Amanda and the rest of the Berroco team was delightful.

    1. I didn’t do much editing, Phoebe, you were great! It was so nice to meet you, too. I hope you’ll make it out for TNNA in Columbus!

  3. Thank you for the info re Norah. She is one of my favourite knitting designers. Sadly, in Australia her pattern books are not easily accessible: if they were I’d have the lot. So far, only volume 3, which I love, and which I purchased from the US. and from which I have knitted three of her designs.

  4. Hi I just got the Tipperary. Following the chart I’m not sure how to do the 5 (k1,yo,k1,yo,k1) in one stitch. Thanks for the design love it.

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