Monday, January 3, 2011

Knitting 2010

When 2010 began, I decided and publicly declared in this blog to spend the year with Elizabeth Zimmermann. I intended to knit only her patterns and I seem to recall saying only with her yarns.

How did that go? What did I learn? Am I glad I did it?

I learned that exclusivity isn't for me. Although much of what I knit in 2010 was EZ related, there were some other knits that crept into my year. Abi's Vest,the Rabbit Fur Hats, my Yellow Summer Cardi, my Chic Knits Sit Com Cardi, Sally Melville's Shape It Scarf, Dorothy's Hat, and the socks I knit for the Need A Sock? book, all come to mind. Then too, there was my summer vest, my scarfette/mop thingy , Fred's Fisherman's Mittens and all that Black Coat Art.

But there were lots of Zimmermann knits. My Olympic project was
Elizabeth Zimmermann's Green Sweater. A fabulous sweater. A tailored, jacket-type sweater, I wear it often and get lots of compliments.

Then there was Lloie's Cardigan or the 50th Anniversary Cardigan. I love this sweater. The fit is perfect and the fair isle work has an interesting component - the background colour is the one that changes, not the pattern work. I love it!

There was the February Baby Sweater, Bonnet and Slippers, the Spiral Snail Hat - UGH! - and the Thick Woodsman's Socks.

Waterloo Fairisle
was a combo knit. I used a chart from one pattern along with Elizabeth's methodology. With the leftover yarn from Waterloo, I knit my first Tomten jacket.

When it came time to knit Peter's Avast, I knit the bottom, horizontal, cable band according to pattern, then switched to Elizabeth's raglan sweater design based on the percentage system for the rest of the sweater.

So. Am I glad I did it? You bet. Without the public, blog declaration, I would never have stuck with it. Stick-to-itve-ness is not my forte. I learned much. I will never knit blindly from patterns again. Ever! I know without a doubt that knitting the garment with Elizabeth's percentage system will give me a sweater that fits. Every time! Without fail! Or doubt!

I learned much about my own figure and measurements. I know the ratio between the upper portion of my sweaters and the overall measurement. I know how big I need to make my upper arms, and how deep to wear my yokes. I know the width of my shoulders for the perfect set-in-sleeve shoulder seam and I know where on my body to take it in a bit, or let it out a bit. And how to do that. Thank you Elizabeth.

I feel much more connected with knitters of old. The knitters that just 'knew' how to knit the sweater. How to size the sweater, how to correct their mistakes and how to know which mistakes didn't need correcting. Thank you Elizabeth.

I learned much about steeks. Not just the straight, plain, centre front steek, but the kind used when the end result is a square neckline or set in sleeves. Thank you Elizabeth.

In some ways, I feel the year was not long enough. There is still much Elizabeth I want to knit. The Three-In-One Sweater, the Mitred Garter Stitch Blanket and another 'Green Sweater' to name a few.

In other ways, the year seemed too long. I am READY to knit some trendy designs, current fashions and silly, fun stuff. Will I follow a pattern? Not likely. Show me a picture. Walk past me in the street. Describe your vision. I have Elizabeth in my head. That's all the pattern I need. Thank you Elizabeth.


LaurieM said...

It was a interesting year and an interesting post, but sadly, your links didn't work for me.

Needles said...

Once you go there you cannot go back and I rejoice in it!

Deb said...

Elizabeth has so much to teach us it's a shame she's not trendy anymore. I've enjoyed watching you work on her designs and make the changes so that the sweaters will fit you. Wonderful.