Friday, April 2, 2010


Phyllotaxis is a botanical term that refers to the arrangement of leaves on a stem.  This simple definition belies the intricacy and impossible beauty of the actual thing. It's the Fibonacci sequence in visual form.  It's proof positive that geeky nerd math can be absolutely lovely.


It's also the inspiration for one of Norah Gaughan's sweater designs from her book Knitting Nature.

Pattern: Phyllo Yoked Sweater by Norah Gaughan

Yarn: Rowan Calmer (75% cotton; 25% microfiber)
Colorway Lucky
7.5 balls used for a size small

Needles: US 9

This was a relatively quick knit since most of it is in stockinette with the yoke being the only tricky part. Cables and yarnovers - it was fun to watch the pattern emerge row by row.

I love Norah Gaughan's designs.  She has a unique eye and creates lovely garments. This is one of my favorite sweaters to wear.  I love the yoke detail and the bell sleeves are a nice touch.  My only modification was to extend the yoke a bit so that the neck was a bit tighter than what the pattern called for. I wanted more of a crewneck than a boatneck.

I ended up using the recommended yarn - Rowan Calmer.  It's a great choice for this sweater since the yarn is relatively lightweight and has a "sproinginess" to it that I've never seen in any other cotton blend.  It may be one of my favorite yarns to date and after finishing this sweater, I immediately stockpiled some discontinued colors that I found on sale. It wears great too. I've washed it twice now in the delicate cycle and let it air dry.  No noticeable shrinkage or pilling. 

Just the perfect thing for enjoying a spring day.


  1. It's beautiful! and i love the color =D is "sproinginess" a technical term?

  2. I like the morning coffee (tea?) pics.

  3. Paula: I believe "Sproinginess" falls into the same category of knitting terms as "frogging" and "stashing beyond life expectancy". Otherwise known as made-up terms by knitters which have now entered into the communal knitting lexicon. How's that for technical?

  4. Ella,

    I am a tea person - coffee gives me ulcers.