Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweaters For Geek Babies!

First Elizabeth Zimmermann project... DONE!! And it was an awesome good time. It was a quick and easy knit for the most part. All things considered I will say that I am 98% happy with the final product. I would have been done with this in far less time, but I put it down a couple of times to work on other stuff... and just procrastinate in general. I have swatched for the me-sized February sweater. I will be knitting it along with a friend... Knitsonya and I will be casting on together next week. I will be using Rowan Cocoon... see three posts ago for photos of said luscious yarn.
Notice the vast span from neck to armpit....
First issue: in her "pattern" she says to knit the yoke in garter stitch for however long... then "change to" lace pattern... add buttonholes (which despite reading other people gripe about it... i screwed up the first time around). Then it says at 4 1/2" divide for sleeves. Now the part that grabbed me by the girly gonads was 4 1/2" from WHERE? 4 1/2" from the beginning? 4 1/2" from the lace pattern? 4 1/2" from the Moon? I looked and looked... Ravelry, Zimmermann blogs, all kinds of resources... I Googled my ass off and couldn't find anything. I asked around and a few people suggested that it would be 4 1/2" from the lace pattern. Now the rough part here is that my instinct told me that it should be 4 1/2" from the beginning edge. I feel super silly now when in retrospect I think how simple it was to figure it out.... duh... measuring from the neck edge to the armpit... on a baby will not be more than 4 1/2". My sweater ended up being almost 7" from neck edge to armpit... which is more than the measurement from my neck to pit. Lesson learned. And what was the ultimate lesson? It sure wasn't anything to do with knitting... but to listen to my own instinct. So the sleeves look like they were designed for a baby with flippers instead of arms. I should call this the Geek Love Baby Sweater.

Issue Numero Two: Row # two of the lace pattern! Could this lace pattern BE any easier? Probably not. I am not sure what in the heck the deal is, but row #2 tripped me up almost every time... for a while at least. Eventually I worked out a system using a stitch marker every 3rd repeat of that row. I did feel better after talking with others who had similar experiences with good ole' row # 2 of the gull stitch pattern. Because of my struggle warming up to row # 2 there is an off-set to the lace pattern on the back. It's not really that noticeable so I left it.

despite this photo, taken pre-blocking... the yoke DOES line up.
There is NOT a jog in the color change.

This yarn was pleasant enough to work with. I would definitely use it again. No complaints, no excessive fuzzing, no splitting... just super dooper lush-ness. It held up very well to me frogging the yoke a bunch of times before I was happy enough to move onward. I do like EZ's pithy way of writing. I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out what in the F**K she means when she is less than vague. Today I bought the Knitters Workshop, came directly home and started knitting the Heart Hat. I guess I am an EZ girl at last.

The little details of this sweater make me smile!
  • Yarn: RYC Baby Alpaca DK
  • Pattern: February Sweater from Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  • Needle: US # 6 & US # 8 (bind off)
  • Cast On: 2/22/08
  • Bind Off: 3/20/08 (ends woven in & buttons on 3/25/08)


  1. After finally laying eyes on an EZ book (I was recently gifted a copy of The Opinionated Knitter) I salute anyone who can make ANYTHING from her "patterns" (oh what a loose term THAT is)that look like a human could wear it.. flipper arms or not.

  2. Now I don't feel like such a complete knitting dork. That yoke gave me SO MUCH FREAKIN'TROUBLE! Almost, but not quite as much as the lace pattern. Where to end the yoke was such a counterintuitive thing for me, I swear I ripped my sweater out 4 times. And with all this we are jumping into an adult size. It's revenge knitting at its very finest - "You're not going to get the best of me EZ!"

  3. i am so glad you have come to the dark side! i love that heart hat and have dreamed of starting it many times. btw- the buttons look great if i do say so myself.

  4. So pretty! I love the color change border at the bottom, and the buttons are PERFECT.

  5. Thanks sooooooooo much for this post! I came to the computer tonight looking for the answer to the 4 1/2" question, and I found it on your blog in about five minutes. I guess it makes sense that it's from the cast on edge, but logic sometimes has a way of escaping me! Thanks again