Monday, April 30, 2007

Starting today!

I picked out my yarn and I am on my way to my first SBJ. What I want to ask is... if I want to make it with stripes... can I put them anywhere??


Another February Baby Sweater Variation

Made using self patterning sock yarn. I left out the lace and knit the body in stockinette. It turned out to be the size for a newborn. It will be a donation for Afghans for Afghans. This was the first time I made this sweater. I have since made two more and love the pattern.



Baby Surprise Jacket

Well, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and finally knit a Baby Surprise Jacket. I've been searching for some appropriate yarn, and would like to make the jacket in a variegated cotton yarn. I am wondering what all of you who've BSJ'd before me would recommend for yarn? I read a post at one point on this blog where someone mentioned setting up a spreadsheet of yarn choices and what size bsj it would yield and wondered if anyone ever made such a spreadsheet?

Otherwise I would love to hear about whatever yarns anyone else used for the BSJ.

Oh--the Baby Surplice Jacket--is it only available as a Spun Out design or is the pattern available in one of EZ's books?

Thanks all!

Colorwork questions

I have done just a bit of colorwork so far~ EZ's first hat from Knitting Workshop.

My son wears it all the time and it was very easy to do up ( one evening!)
My problem is this,,,,
I am currently studying the top down method of knitting as well as bottom up , at this point I am much more used to the bottom up method.
I wanted to ask some questions before I get started with a larger sweater.

I cant quite figure out how to chart out a top down sweater in the round, because it throws me off for some reason~ but ,,,,I have been told that a top down sweater guarantees the wearer the best fit.
I don't know if that is true or not,,, but I can understand the logic of this statement.
What do you do when you want to add a bit of fair isle to your sweater then?
Is there more difficulty doing up a chart?

It seems that I can think bottom up better,, but have great difficulty doing any cable or colorwork top down.

Am I the only one that thinks like this?

Second question,,,if you do a top down sweater , and you wish to steek it for a cardigan what do you do?

I noticed that there are instances of both on this website, so I am asking the pro's and cons of either method.
I really don't like knitting back and forth in stockinette stitch (as they do in top down) but will do it if thats the only way to insure a good fit.( OK I am being honest, I really dont like to do all that endless purling,,)
I am hoping to get some good insight on this from you.

Thank you all for your help ahead of time!
Happy Knitting to one and all!

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I made the sweater too big because I wanted it loose and sloppy for Ben to grow into. It did however turn out a little MORE too big than I planned. The stranded knitting and attempt at sizing were a la Zimmerman. My son is thrilled with my first ever sweater. I am just glad its finally done!;oD



Hallo from Germany,

Last saturday I got my EZ almanac and on thursday I started my first february sweater. I read the pattern and was very confused. But now I know how I can knit this wonderfull sweater. I knit it out of Lana Grossa Point print in Pink on size 4 mm needles. I will knit two of this fantastic sweaters for two little premie girls both born in february.

Finished Object- Handspun Baby Surprise Jacket

The Facts:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: My own worsted weight (12 wpi) handspun Merino wool, about 5.5 oz., 350 yards
Gauge: 5 sts. per inch
Size: 17.5" around, 17.5" cuff to cuff, so, taking into consideration the thickness of the fabric, to fit about a 6 month old baby according to standard sizing
Needles: size 5 Addi Turbo, 40" long
Buttons: cuties made from coconut (many thanks to the woman at Windsor Button who helped me yesterday)
Started: April 19, 2007
Finished: April 28, 2007, including most of the spinning (The dark brown was a leftover.)

See all BSJ posts for more info.
See my Flickr set for far too many photos of this, including yarn and fiber.

The Yarn:
I spun up three different colorways of Merino wool for this jacket, approx. 140 yards of green, 80 of blue, and 100 of the brown, and used all but a few yards of each. They're all 2 ply worsted spun from commercial top that I hand-dyed.

The Knitting:

I did what I was told. No mods, except the increases. I used my preferred method of picking up the strand between stitches and knitting into the back of it. I liked the way the decreases looked from the wrong side, so when I sewed the jacket up, I did so with the wrong side (well, there is no wrong side, but the side I didn't increase and decrease on) facing out.

From this view, you can see the cast on edge across the bottom.

Here it is flipped over, with the cast off edge at the bottom.

Starting to inch things into position.

Folded and ready to seam.

I was taken by surprise by how thick the fabric is. It's also super cushy, as the yarn is already bouncy and lush and adding garter stitch to that makes it feel beyond wonderful.

I seamed this with backstitch from the inside, after a couple of failed attempts to crochet and knit it together. I just didn't like the results from those methods. The result from the back stitch is clean and makes a nice strong seam.

When I picked up along those 10 lengthening ridges, from the right side I picked up the front half of the edge stitch, twisting it as I knit it. When I picked up from the wrong side on the next row, I picked up the back strand of the edge stitch and twisted it. The resulting stitches look the same in the right side of the work.

I didn't do any edgings. With this particular yarn, which has a rustic, organic feel, I thought plain was best. I love the i-cord edgings I see on some. Next time.


Hallo from Germany,

Last saturday I got my EZ almanac and on thursday I started my first february sweater.
I read the pattern and was very confused. But now I know how I can knit this wonderfull sweater. I knit it out of Lana Grossa Point print in Pink on size 4 mm needles. I will knit two of this fantastic sweaters for two little premie girls both born in february.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


May I present to you - my yellow modular Tomten!
I love this pattern, it's absolutely brilliant! I love it so much that I want to knit one for myself!
I have to find a suitable zip or, alternatively, knit a border for buttons and button holes. I altered the sleeves slightly and knitted them on double pointed needles, to break up the plain yellow colour.
I've left a few more pictures on my blog. The picture quality isn't great, as I took the pictures with my mobile phone.
I'm really pleased with how the Tomten turned out and now have to make up my mind whether I allow myself to knit another Tomten or whether I start rippling...

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New to the Blog

Thanks Sarah for the invitation. I recently found EZ's books and patterns and can't wait to start on my very first Surprise Baby Jacket.
I do have a quick question for you that know the KNITPICK brands. They have Ambrosia
Content: 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Cashmere , Sport Weight On sale. Would this be a good yarn to use for this project? If not, what do you suggest?


Basket Cap (Entrelac)

I will be co-teaching an entrelac class at my LYS next month. While we plan to teach an entrelac scarf as the starting project, I thought it would be fun to bring along some other entrelac items. I've made a couple of felted bags, but decided to branch out and make EZ's Basket Cap from Spun Out #31. All was going well till the last row of rectangles, when the directions sort of petered out, with no advice on how to finish things off to make the lovely 8-pointed star at the top. I eventually had to call Schoolhouse Press to find out the last steps, and had the pleasure of talking with Meg Swansen! Since I had just watched the Baby Surprise Jacket DVD, I felt like I was speaking with a movie star, and was tickled pink. With her help, I was able to finish up the hat. The BSJ just needs the shoulders sewn, but first I'd like to test my knitting friends on what it is. I've enjoyed seeing the other BSJ pictures posted here, and will add mine soon.

The yarn for the cap is some older KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (color: mulled wine) that I picked up on a swap table at the Knitter's Review retreat last fall.

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have a sheepish weekend

i mess up every time i blog. the pics i post seem to vanish and i am no master blogger. as a compensation i give you sheep.. it is a painting by danish artist, michael kvium. i love it and i guess all of you have a faible for sheep.
happy knitting

Friday, April 27, 2007

Red/Pink Tomten

EZ's fun Tomten Jacket is way more difficult to photograph than to knit, at least when the colors are bright, and the model and young lady full of energy.

I have posted a couple of images on my blog, and some more in flickr. I still hope to give this jacked a complete FO post with notes one day, but as I finished this in march I wanted to show it to you before may!

This jacked has a long (pre)history already, but I enjoyed it all the way to the end. Now if only I could get nice buttons for my tomten... nevermind, my daughter wear it closed with a special keyholder, and it works! As you can hopefully see, she has plenty of room to grow within her tomten jacket, which is good. It is made with one thread of red alpaca and one thread of pink cotton. I hope you'll like it.

---edited to add----
go to my blog: filambulle


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Baby Surplice Jacket--Done!

I finished my Baby Surplice Jacket today, and I think it turned out great! I knit it out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Iris Garden on size 8 needles, with a gauge of about 5-1/4 stitches. I left the sleeve stitches on a piece of waste yarn, picked them up and added 20 rows of k2p2 ribbing for an ample cuff, and I love how the cuffs look turned over. I tried it on my 4-month-old daughter, and it is so cute on her. I think it will still fit this fall, since it crosses over quite a bit in the front and garter stitch is sooo stretchy. (This is another reason I added ribbed cuffs--I want it to fit as long as possible!)

I thought about adding applied I-cord to the neckline, but I decided that the variegated yarn would make it look messy so I left it as-is. I think that was the right decision. This was such a fun knit, and the construction is ingenious, as always. I think a February Baby Sweater is coming up next, although with all the great Baby Surprises popping up all over (jackets, not real babies), I might have to do that one. I do love me some garter stitch! More details on my blog.

past and future projects

i went to a bookshop yesterday and looked in knitting books and thought that few people has made anything as timeless as elizabeth. last weekend was spent knitting another february sweater which the recipient's mother preferred to a debbie bliss matinée jacket for her daughter. this and the february sweater inspired pillbox hat is made of debbie bliss: cathay. a strange yarn. but it came out okay. i am a wool lover. cotton is so secondary to wool.

my next project is an alpaca fairisle yoke for the afore-mentioned mother, my lovely niece. oh, we zimmermaniacs do a lot of knitting for nieces. the main colour will be camel, and the yoke colours are to shades of brown, a dark olive green and a light pink.

it is my second go on an alpaca sweater for this particular niece. last time i met a man and somebody else finished the sweater... hopefully the next man i meet finds a knitter particularly interesting......

Which buttons for Rorschach?

Rorschach is blocking, and I knitted the belt last night. Now the time is ticking away: I want to bring this sweater with me on my trip to New York, and I leave tomorrow night. I need to make button tabs (EZ has a nifty design especially for Rorschach in Knitting Workshop) and decide which buttons to sew on.

Here are the contenders:

Button #1 is the smaller one. It has a square design inside the circle that neatly echoes Rorschach's mitres. It's a glossy black.

Button #2 is larger and also has a geometric design, but it doesn't remind me of any of the elements of the sweater. It's more of a matte black.

Here they are laid out on the sweater. Button #1:

And Button #2:

Please let me know what you think!

EPS Princess in Action

Thank you all for the kind words about the Princess dress. I'm happy to say that my niece likes it too. I'm guessing the dress is about a size 6, so a little large, but it'll last longer that way!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Baby Surplice problem

Has anyone else made the large size of this pattern? I cast on the 150 stitches and knit by the directions but I'm trying to decrease down to 100 stitches and am now at 7 inches of fabric and 18 stitches to go. Should I just start the sleeves now? The jacket is only supposed to be 9 inches tall. Is it taller before construction?

"Any help here would be hot" (Jar Jar Binks Star Wars- The Phantom Menace)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fishtraps and the Right Twist

Both sets of sleeves are done and I just started the body section of my first Fishtrap (I'm making them for 4 YO twins)... Wow. My utmost respect goes to anyone who does this pattern for an adult. Rather an involved project.
I really like how the Fishtrap pattern is progressing, but... My left and right twists are not symmetrical at all. Has anyone else had this problem?? I'm doing them as EZ instructs in KA but she says that her right twists not an orthodox method. Would the orthodox method be closer to symmetrical?? Or perhaps I just don't knit evenly. I'm not going to rip this one out and start over, but if anyone has any suggestions I can make the next one differently. Thanks!

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Is there any reason why I couldn't knit my raglan sweater from the bottom up, and then when I get to the sleeves, use provisional cast-on and knit on up to the top... THEN go back and knit the sleeves down from the now removed provisional cast-on? Is there something I'm not taking into consideration?


Monday, April 23, 2007

Progress on my Tomten

There is progress on my Modular Tomten, but it is slow. Not because it is difficult to knit, in fact, it must be the easiest thing to date, but what with a patient on the couch and a lawn to mow, it really doesn't leave much knitting time.

I have chosen to knit all three parts of the upper body at the same time. I think it's easier to hold the knitting that way, as it doesn't get side heavy.

I love the yarn and the fact that it's probably as old as the pattern. I think I'll have to knit the sleeves in white, as I don't think I have enough yarn. We'll see what happens. Also, I'm contemplating lining the jacket with some cute material I found in my stash. Any comments/suggestions as to whether that's a good idea?

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Corrected baby sweater

Well, the news that we are expecting a girl led to some yarn-buying, and I already had a girly pattern in the wings: the February baby sweater . The yarn is Rowan Cashsoft DK, a lovely soft washable yarn which I am hoping will not fuzz up too much with use (?). I'm also making a hat using the gull pattern to go along with it. I'm knitting this on #2s.

However, after finishing the sweater, I realized I'd misinterpreted the pattern in the same way that many others have, and cast on too many stitches at the underarm, making the body of the sweater oddly wide and squat-looking. So, I went back and redid the bottom from the arms down, no big deal.


Jack's Aran

Here I am at Stitches Camp, and talking about this amazing blog to folks, and I suddenly remembered I never posted about my very most favorite Zimmerman-inspired sweater. Sheesh.

It's my huband's Aran, (I'm going to figure out how to post pics properly pretty soon, I swear.)and I used EZ's formula for making a circular sweater to figure out the stitch count for the whole thing. And I inherited the guts to steek from her, of course. And learned which wool to use, of course. The whole thing inspired by her, but especially the courage to understand I could just go for it, and it would all be okay.

It's my first adult sweater. And I actually miss knitting it, the yarn is so yummy. British Breeds in Manx.

Camp has brought me some new yarn (big surprise), and I'm casting on tonight for those twin babies. Very excited about that...

Baby leggings

baby leggings
Originally uploaded by the_crocheter.

I'm finished! This pattern is from E. Zimmermann's "Knitter's Almamac." I used Clover US 8 (5 mm) needles : one 16" circular and 5 dpn. Yarn is knit Picks Swish Superwash (100% wool). I started on April 3, finished yesterday. (I was knitting it on and off, not every day)

I'm very pleased with the results, especially with seams.

Originally uploaded by the_crocheter.

You know that seams shows if you are advanced knitter or just playing with yarn.

But the really pleasing thing was my husband's reaction. First he said "good", which in his jargon means "exellent." Then he thought a little bit and asked "Did you buy it?" "I knitted it" (Like he has never seen me knitting it--that's how he's paying attention to what I'm doing.)

The only confusing thing was what will be the size of baby leggings. EZ writes that "you shouldn't worry about it bacause babies comes in all sizes." Well, what if I want a particular size? It wasn't my case, though because there is no baby yet. I intended to use it for this fall and winter--we'll see how it will fit! When the baby will outgrow it, I'll be able to make leggings in larger sizes.


My Third BSJ... with buttons this time!

I had posted about this a few weeks ago, but hadn't found buttons yet. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the *perfect* buttons, so I settled for these. I think they work pretty well for a craft store purchase!! :-)

There's no frame of reference here, but I think it's probably a newborn - 3 month size range. I think it knit up at between 6 & 7 stitches per inch and measures about 18" around the buttoned chest. Honestly, I'm too lazy to pull it back out and measure it!! :-) I have another BSJ done but no buttons for it, so I'll wait to post that one.

I can say with confidence that EZ is addictive!! I have an EPS based sweater for my father's friend on the needles now. I haven't decided yet whether to try my hand at a fair-isle yoke or keep with what I know and do a raglan style. I'll be sure to post pics when I'm done, though!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

An EZ Princess

My EPS dress is done!! I'll be delivering it to my princess-obsessed niece on Monday. I've posted the first half of the formula on my blog, and I'll post the rest in the next day or two.

I must say an enormous thank you to Ms. Zimmermann and her believe that any knitter can design their own work. Thank you for giving us such a great foundation in knitting principles EZ!! I could not have attempted this without you!


Friday, April 20, 2007

finally, a respectable sweater

Hello there.

I'm happy to report that I have successfully re-knit the February Baby Sweater. To everyone who answered my cry for help, thank you so very much. Each time I wanted to give up on this pattern I came here and looked at all the wonderful versions you all have made and I found the inspiration to keep going.

I can't say I had a great time knitting this -- which I attribute to lack of experience with sweaters -- but it was oh so worth it. I love it sooo much and am excited to send it to my friend for her little girl.

Details and a few more photos on my blog.


Sob Story

So, apparently my Niece enjoys saying "No!" She is 3 years old and very stubborn. I wanted to do a test bog jacket before making an adult sized one, so I figured that a little girl in northern Vermont could use a nice bog jacket in superwash wool. I made it for her in brown (a good dirt disguising color) with stripes of fuchsia, blue and tan, did I-cord around the neck and down the front, and even made matching buttons. The problem is this - She doesn't say she dislikes it, but she absolutely REFUSES to try it on. She is anti anyone telling her what to do right now.

Anyone know how to entice her to see if it actually fits?

Avalanche Bog

Yes, I did finish. (Slow to post, easy to finish!)

I put some pix on my blog if you'd like to see how the square of April 5th metamorphed into this.

I'd like to say that I'm thrilled (I love the construction, I love how it turned out, but I'm a little fearful that it is too bulky for a small child.)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another BSJ... Because you can't stop at one!

This is my 4th BSJ (so far) and even though I really don't like the way the colors turned out, I like the wool and the weight of the jacket now that it's done. I'd guess it would fit a large 6-9 month old up to maybe 15 months, though the sleeves might be short for some tastes. I used JoJoLand Rhythm that I bought off the Destash Blog for no particular reason!! I'm guessing it took about 375 yards or so, as I used 3 complete balls plus a little blurb of leftovers. Knit at ~4.5 stitches per inch on size 7 addi turbos, the chest measures 21" around when closed.

Wish me luck in finding the right buttons!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Hawser Sweater

This is my Hawser sweater from Knitting Workshop. Knit with Jamieson's Shetland Double Knitting in Eesit. I changed the yoke colors to Eucalyptus, Granny Smith, Sage and Ivy and I love the result. Everything else was knit exactly to EZ's specifications. This was the most enjoyable sweater that I ever knit and also the quickest. I highly recommend the pattern. I am getting a lot of wear out of it!
Happy Knititng,


Monday, April 16, 2007

Fishtraps for Twins

My sons are good friends with some twin boys who are having their 4th birthday party June 2nd. And I want to make them sweaters (it's Oregon- you need sweaters in June.) And I'm set on Fishtrap. As EZ might say "it smacks of madness" to start two big projects this late in the game, but I want to do it anyway.

Lucky for me a size 4 sweater cannot accomodate all the pattern repeats so I'm planning a simplified seamless version.

I have a question though for anyone whose ever made one of these. Because I'm going to have so much stocking stitch exposed on the sides I will need to do something about the bottom edge. Should I do some kind of welt on just the stocking stitch portions? Or should it include Fishtrap also?

I just don't know what will or will not disrupt the patterns. But that's still a ways away-- my needle is still making the princess dress for my niece.

I had some trouble figuring out the correct rate of increase for the skirt. I know EZ mentions skirts in KWOT but I don't have that yet... but she talks about increases and angles for baby leggings in Knitter's Almanac- and that saved the day. So now we're motoring along nicely.

But until it's done and off the needle, I'll be making lots and lots of sleeves!

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i have knitted more ez projects this weekend. i finally made a february cardigan for alba in green filatura di crosa: zara and a pillbox hat of the same wool with mulberry birds on from the opinionated knitter. i guess had i not been ill i would have been working on a saddle shoulder aran inspired by brooklyn tweed and elliphantom now, but i did have a chance to go to my lys so i had to use my stash. the february sweater is great fun. i am not sure about the colour which is a kind of granny smith apple green but i love the fit. the hat is a keeper. but next time i think i will make one in cotton that the little girl can use in the summer. i am taken with elizabeth's many ideas for hats.

' tina omme i london' has posted about a garter stitch bonnet a while ago. reading in the opinionated knitter (p. 104) i am finally able to understand how elizabeth got the idea for the bsj. from what i understand it was exactly this little hat that inspired her to do the bsj. i think it is great fun because i have certainly wondered how she figured out to make this ingenious pattern.
ps: the pictures disappeared. the little girl got her february cardi and the pillbox hat today. the mother who is a firm believer in tomtens and bsjs was taken with the sweater. and the fit is just so nice on a baby. brava elizabeth.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saddle Shoulder Sweater

Saddle Shoulder Sweater from Knitting Without Tears
Mission Falls 1824 Wool - Denim and Putty and Cascade 220 Superwash - Red - for hems
Actual knitting time - 9 days! (the finishing took a bit longer)

I loved knitting this sweater.

I actually had to reknit the sweater after finishing the arms and getting a couple of inches into the body. The yarn I had in stash was from before Mission Falls closed and reopened, and I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough to finish the sweater, with no way of getting another skein in the same dye lot. If I had been knitting a yoked sweater I could have added color into the yoke with no problem, but it would have looked very strange on the saddle shoulder. I picked up the putty yarn at a LYS and added some stripes to the body and arms. I’m glad I did as it would have been very close and I don’t think my heart could have taken it. Then again if I had knit the body of the sweater a little shorter, I prolly would have been okay, but I like the longer length. I did have to fudge a bit on the shoulder/neck decreases since I wanted a larger opening for his pun’kin head.

All in all, I would knit another EZ sweater in a second, loved the whole process, even with the ripping and the grafting.

You can see more pics on my blog.

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Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan

Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan 1

Pattern: Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan by Elizabeth Zimmermann/Meg Swansen
Source: Wool Gathering #63 (School House Press)
Materials: Classic Elite Skye Tweed in Spruce Green/1215.
Amount: Twelve and a half 50gm balls. Approximately 550 gms/1300 yards worsted weight
Needles: US8 Circular 32" Addi Turbos. US 7 for sleeve cuffs and garter band at base of sweater

Start Date: 10 March 2007
Finish Date: 9 April 2007

Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan 2

More photos and information on my blog here. Thanks, Elizabeth and Meg for such a great pattern!