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Harrisville, NH


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An Akita For Me

Norah Gaughan

The past year and a half was such a whirlwind of activity. Teaching at festivals and yarn shops had me flying as far west as California and Oregon and as far east as Denmark. During my precious time at home I designed for Brooklyn Tweed, produced a collection for The Fibre Co, designed pieces for Interweave Knits, Creative Knitting and Vogue Knitting AND wrote a big honkin' book on Cables. There will be much more on that as the October publication date draws near. This was all a very longwinded way to say that I haven't had much time to knit for myself.

With my schedule a bit more under control I've decided to knit the Akita pullover from my Fibre Co. collection. I have 2 goals in mind. The first is getting a comfy warm sweater to take me through these last few weeks of winter. I have lived in big sweaters and skinny pants since it got the least bit cold last Fall. The second goal is to show my fellow size 14 and up knitters that Akita looks good even if you aren't the size 2 model in the photo. BTW – I'm a size 14/16 and only 5' tall.

Here's the original Akita, knit in The Fibre Co. Terra, modeled by a professional.  (It was fun for me to see her in photos of Gucci's Fall collection.) Yes, she is very slender.

Akita in The Fibre Co. Terra

Akita in The Fibre Co. Terra


Since this design was published The Fibre Co. has introduced a new yarn called Cumbria, same gauge as the Terra, but less dense, and since it has less precious fiber, less expensive. I'm knitting my sweater out of Cumbria. it feels great in my hands. 

I'll be making a few minor changes to customize my Akita to my personal tastes. So far:

1. I'm knitting the size to fit bust 46, even though I am closer to 42".  I like my sweaters roomy.  

2. I decided to make the neck higher – good for nestling my chin in as I pound away on my computer.  You have to add to the neck in 16 row repeats, so my collar is 16 rows longer than the original (about 2 1/2" longer).  

3. I cast on with an alternating cable cast on, which gives a rounded 1/1 rib edge. It looks a floppy now, but I know it will block beautifully.

The beginning of my Akita:

The higher neck and alternating cable cast on.

The higher neck and alternating cable cast on.

It's easy, logical knitting,and easy to work on while I catch up on Project Runway and Jessica Jones, so I think it will go quickly.  More soon.

– Norah