Saturday, January 13, 2007

EZ meets the computer age

Dear fellow EZ enthusiasts,

I am in the process of knitting an EZ Fair Isle. Now I've noticed a couple of things about EZ -- her Knitting Without Tears has the old way she used to do things and books like Knitting Around have been updated with her edits ...

For instance, a Fair Isle in KWT has you decrease 33% three times after the half-way point to the yoke. In KA, she has you dec once 25%, then 33%, then a final 40%. Does this fit the average wearer better?

Now her percentages are legendary, but when you're getting ready to do a patterned yoke, you want to make sure:
  • you have enough yarn in the main color
  • you know what the multiples are for the dec rounds
  • you want to ensure that all patterning will fit properly
So, I spent one hour of knitting time last night setting up an Excel spreadsheet to ensure that all these goals would be met: plugging in her percentages, my gauge and my desires for length, etc. This spreadsheet helps me tweak numbers and avoid the pencil/eraser or calculator to make sure I'm still on track. I'm able to adjust lengths (to ensure I have enough yarn -- after first determing how many rows x sts used up a skein) and things like underarms because as someone mentioned earlier, the underarms (at 8%) seem a bit tight.

Since I'm doing a solid color body and sleeves (except for the 5-color contrast at the ribs) I have lots of time to chart the actual pattern I'm going to put in; and now I know exactly how many stitches I'll have at every point on the sweater!


  • In OK, Meg explains the updates are to prevent the yoke from puckering due to the sudden, slightly severe decrease. I made a yoke the 'old' way (following the decrease instructions in KWT) and can testify that it does indeed require blocking to smooth out the pucker. Should I make another yoke, I'm planning on using the updated decrease percentages. Knit on!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 AM  

  • Becky, thanks for mentioning Meg's comment. Also, someone just posted that the underarms (8 percent) were a bit tight so I was able to increase that a bit on my Excel chart ... much easier than relying on my brain to compute the changes and my memory to remember what I needed to do differently!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 PM  

  • Another reason for the updates is that when KWOT was published, slimmer-fitting sleeves were the style. In the 80s I'd guess is was, people went in for a roomier fit and wider sleeves. Now the trend seems to be back to a slightly narrower fit. So you can tweak the percentage to your liking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:22 PM  

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