Thursday, September 18, 2014


I've been on an Elizabeth Zimmermann kick lately.  Well, always, really.  I like her approach to designing and knitting.

The latest is Cully's Epaulet Jacket from Knitting Workshop.  I used the pattern in the expanded edition, since my original edition is so old that it doesn't contain the pattern.  I used handspun at its own idiosyncratic gauge and re-figured the numbers to work for me.

I really like how it turned out.  Thick-and-thin, fuzzy, bulky black yarn totally works for this pattern.  The I-cord trim is very nice, too.  It is handspun as well, from some old Beast roving that I had dyed in shades of green many years ago.  The black yarn is from an Icelandic sheep.  I spindle-spun the yarn from roving (cloud batts, actually) that included both thog and thel.

This pattern is interesting in that it gives numbers for a bunch of different sizes, but doesn't seem to have the totally generic, customizable pattern directions that many of Zimmermann's other patterns seem to have.  No matter.  A trace of percentages and modularity is apparent in the pattern.  It was pretty easy to re-figure the necessary numbers.

The sweater seems like a top-down, garter-stitch variation of some of EZ's hybrid-ish, saddle-shoulder-ish, Brooks-ish sweaters.

Epaulet Jacket

The garment looks good on most people who have tried it on so far.

I would make another one right away except that there are many other sweater designs of hers I'd like to knit.  Someday I'll make another.  It was great fun to knit and I love how it looks and fits.

Another EZ sweater I've knit fairly recently is her Icelandic Overblouse from Knit One Knit All.  That one seems closely related to her Nalgar sweater.  It is knit in two pieces (one front and one back), in garter stitch, then seamed.

Since I knit this sweater is some pencil roving of a totally different gauge from the yarn the pattern actually calls for, re-calculating of the numbers was necessary.

I like how the sweater turned out.  It is lightweight but fairly warm, at least for situations where there is no wind, such as indoors.

Icelandic Overblouse

It is not as universally flattering as the Epaulet Jacket is.  Part of that might be the yarn choice, I suspect.  I'm glad I knit it, but at the moment I do not feel any need to knit it again.

The next EZ sweater I want to knit will probably also be from Knit One Knit All.  Unless, of course, it is not.

Over the years, I've made several percentage sweaters.  I've made the baby bog jacket, the tomten, the ribwarmer, the February baby sweater.  No baby surprise jackets yet, but no doubt some kind of surprise jacket is in my future.  I've made hats and mittens and socks and shawls and many other things.  A very small selection is shown in the photos below.

Vertical Brimmed Hat from Knit One Knit All

February Square Shawl (or baby blanket) from Knitter's Almanac

Horizontal Brimmed Hat from Knit One Knit All

Pi Shawl from Knitter's Almanac

One thing I haven't done yet, though, is steeks.  I'm not afraid of cutting my yarn.  I simply don't want to.

Elizabeth Zimmermann is one of the biggest influences on my knitting career.  Back when most knitting instruction was on the order of "follow my directions exactly and too bad for you if it doesn't work out", she explained theory well enough to free me to design my own things, at my own gauge, to fit any body shape or size that I desired.

The most recent project I started is yet another EZ design.  I'm doing a Pi Are Square shawl (from Knitting Around) from handspun.  A friend of mine was wearing one at a recent knitting group gathering.  I had not yet seen one in person, so had been dubious.  However, the shawl turns out to be quite attractive and very wearable.  It hangs nicely in the front without slipping off.  The back is long enough yet shorter than a triangle shawl, which means that there is no point to hang below my butt and get in the way of everything.  So I went home, rummaged through the stash, and cast on.  So far, so good.

I'll probably sneak in a few more projects while the shawl is going on.  Maybe another Maltese Fisherman's hat or another Horizontal Brimmed Hat.  Or some slippers.  Or another shawl, or a vest.  Or I can start the next sweater from another batch of handspun.  So many possibilities!  Thank you, Elizabeth Zimmermann.