Showing posts with label Elizabeth Zimmerman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elizabeth Zimmerman. Show all posts

03 December 2015

Designer resources

In yesterday morning's Periscope broadcast I mentioned some resources I turn to when writing and grading patterns. As I mentioned, I usually follow Knitty standards, as I like how wide-ranging they are (seven sizes from XS to 3X in 4-inch increments). Most magazines I've worked with publish patterns in five sizes, but I do prefer seven -- it's not too much more work while giving more knitters the opportunity to knit a pattern from the instructions.

When grading my patterns I often refer to:
I love all the measurements included in Ysolda's chart -- it's very thorough, although it does not contain a key number for my pattern writing: sleeve length from wrist to underarm. Since I write patterns from cuff and hem upwards to join body and sleeves together and work yokes seamlessly, this number is of more use to me than the given sleeve length measurement (from wrist to shoulder). Happily I can find that number in the CYCA standards.

As for the books I mention above, Ann Budd's book is a great starting point, even if I find the amount of ease included to be much larger than I generally design for. The proportions are helpful, though, as are the impressive spectrum of pattern grading from baby to large adult man. And EZ's books are so helpful in thinking about the body in a three-dimensional way, as well as the interconnectedness of our parts thanks to her EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System). I couldn't do without Knitting Workshop and re-read Knitter's Almanac on a regular basis.

I hope you find these helpful/interesting. Let me know in the comments if you have any other knitting design resources you turn to regularly.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

30 October 2009

*U*FO: Mohair Pi Shawl

Apologies for the mediocre photography on this one, but what's a girl to do? I knit this Pi Shawl out of two skeins of hand-dyed mohair yarn I bought at the 2007 Shepherd's Market in Door County. I just loved the color and was intrigued by the adult mohair. It is not next-to-the-skin soft but it is a lovely yarn and would make a good shawl. Unfortunately, there is no more of this yarn, and still about a third of the edge to bind off. I already frogged back once to before an increase round when it became clear that I wouldn't have enough yarn for the edging, so I'm not doing that again.

I supposed I could frog back the edging, keep going around and around with this yarn and then start the edging with a different yarn when I run out. But this yarn is so unique (how much two-ply adult mohair have you encountered in your knitting career?) that I'm not sure what would pair well with it. Or I could frog back the edging and redo it as a simple garter edge, which is one of the options EZ suggests. But this edging is so pretty!

Right now this lovely thing is sitting in the time out basket. Think I'll go work on my mitten.

FO: John's Yoke Sweater

Pattern: Seamless Yoke Sweater lessons from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann, colorwork patterns from Sheila MacGregor's Traditional Fairisle Knitting [Ravelry link]
Yarn: Wool/Tencel blend sock yarn from Foster Farm in blue and natural, purchased at the Columbia Farmer's Market
Needle: US4/3.5mm
Recipient: John, my one-year-old nephew
Mods: Well, there aren't really any, since I was following a recipe, rather than an exact pattern, but I did try to make the arms long-ish, so the sweater could be worn for a while.

Now, I've knit seamless sweaters before (mostly raglans), but this was my first yoke-style one with colorwork, and it turned out pretty well, I think. Getting five stitches per inch, I cast on 130 stitches for a 26" chest and went from there, following EZ's guidelines. This was all in Part II: Two Sweaters, Lessons One (Seamless Yoke-Sweater Body and Sleeves) and Two (Yoke Patterns, Weaving and Finishing). I threw in a couple of short rows to lengthen the back before starting the yoke and did the Casting-On Casting-Off at the neck, which was a little tedious but came out nicely. The only thing I didn't do was the phoney seams, which certainly help a grown-up sized sweater hang better but seemed not quite necessary on a sweater this size.

In more EZP news, I'm taking a break from her sweaters for the moment and have the Stonington Shawl on the needles, with the lovely red merino Mom and I brought home from the Door County yarn crawl. I've knit the body (a square on the diagonal) and the first side and am now wondering why I can't knit the edging on this side before going on to pick up the next side -- EZ has you knit up trapezoids on each side and keep all stitches live before you knit them all off in one long go for the edging. Doing the edging on one side would eliminate holding all those stitches, since they'd be done. I guess the question is linking the edging from one side to the next. It just seems like an unnecessary step to have all the stitches OTN around the shawl, when you work the edging perpendicularly. So, I've stalled as I ponder. And I have to choose an edging pattern, as this version of the shawl is from the book recipe, rather than a pattern (it was published in pattern form in Knitter's and a Spun Out, later).

I also have my first Selbuvotter OTN, having charted my initials and the year -- I'm doing NHM #10 with some modifications. The stranded work takes some concentration, going back and forth between Terri Shea's charts and mine for the front and back of the mitten. I'm excited about them -- it's been a long time since I had a pair of mittens.

And I just whipped out a little vest with the lovely Madeline Tosh Worsted from the NYC Yarn Crawl. I'm not sure it's finished yet, and then I'll need to grade the pattern. This will be my first grading experience (yay, no sleeves), so I'm excited and a little anxious.

08 October 2009

Staying for the Yarn Crawl

Looks like we're going to stay in NYC this weekend, so I'll be able to check out the yarn crawl in person. I'll have to plan my itinerary, which I'd much rather focus on than the job market and the 10% unemployment rate in NYC and the patterns I need to write up and and and ...

If Isobel were reading this she would now inform you that the three dots mean "something's coming, mama" - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing :)

EZ hat from Knitting Workshop

Anyway, here is the hat I completed for Part I, Lessons 1-4 of Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann [Ravelry link]. It was fun to do; I'm pleased with the colorwork, actually; but it came out small, which was OK as it was also a gauge swatch for Nick's birthday hat (all dark grey, 2x2 rib). I learned casting on, increases and gauge, colorwork, and decreasing and blocking. Things I already knew, but it was fun. And Isobel has acquired another hat, as it's too small for the grownups, Penelope has a quantity of hats handed down from Isobel, and Stephen wants something more colorful.

K2tog decreases

OK, off to plan my crawl itinerary amongst other things.

17 September 2009

The Job Search

So, I'm looking for a job, most likely outside the house, that pays money. Not too much to ask, but, you know, it takes time to find the right thing, both from my perspective and that of an employer. I check various job sites that focus on book publishing, since that's my area of expertise (mediabistro, Creative Hotlist, Publishers Marketplace), I've got my searches set up on Indeed, and I continue to expand my "network" on LinkedIn. It takes time, and it's not the most fun I've ever had, but every once in a while something good comes along, or at least something plausible. And then there are the clunkers: responsibilities include "creative ideation" - at least they've stopped mentioning that we should "think outside the box" (when was English replaced by Business-speak?); my Indeed search on "knit" that mostly comes up with nannies wanted for close-knit families or the frightening-to-a-handknitter "cut and sew knits". Something will happen, eventually, and I appreciate you, my Purly cheering section, for all your supportive comments and pleasant distractions.

And today it's better that I only have mommy employment, as Penelope is home with a fever (she's going to daycare two days a week now, which gives me time to search for a job and gives us a leg up on care for her when I do go back to work). Never consciously think how great it is that she finally sleeps through the night! Inevitably she will wake up with a fever and need a lot of Mommy in the middle of the night. I'm going to do some more searching while she's sleeping and work on the garter-stitch center of a Stonington Shawl - knitknitknit is about all I can handle today.

04 September 2009

The Elizabeth Zimmermann Project (EZP)

As I have immersed myself more and more in knitting, I have become more interested in Elizabeth Zimmermann and her books. She was a clever woman and a generous teacher. One of my dreams is to go to Knitting Camp some day. Until then I have decided to apprentice myself to the knitting projects of EZ, working the projects of Knitter's Almanac (KA) in the appropriate month for the next year. I also plan to knit through Knitter's Workshop (KW).

September is the KA Nether Garments project, so there will be a pair of longies/knit pants, probably for Penelope, as she is the smallest member of the family (there are four birthdays, not counting my own, in the family in September, so I have to cherry-pick where I can).

For KW I've already knit the first project, which is a basic hat with some colorwork thrown in for excitement, knit in cozy Ultra Alpaca from Berocco (a leftover from Nick's Cobblestone Sweater two years ago - love marinated yarn from the stash) and a smidge of light grey Alpaca from Plymouth Yarns (a leftover from a February Baby Sweater). The hat took just two nights and will make someone warm - Nick wants his new hat plain, no colorwork, please.

23 February 2009


So, I get to spend a lot of time thinking these days. While nursing Penelope quietly in the rocking chair in our bedroom, since she's too distractible to nurse around the rest of the family or in front of the computer or TV. While trying to fall asleep, knowing that she's going to wake up for her first nightly feeding right after I conk out. While walking home from taking Isobel to school in the morning or walking to pick her up in the afternoon. Anyway, there is a fair bit of time in my life these days where I can't have knitting needles (or graph paper and pencil) in my hands, so I get to think. And I've been thinking about some knits I've only seen in my head. At some point I'll have to turn these theories into practice. Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about waist-shaping* and just rediscovered Knitting Daily's Waist Shaping Calculator.

*And cables, and in-the-round construction, and various seamless yoke options (EZ offers some interesting variations), and if my theories work, you will hear all about them!

19 August 2008

FO: Baby Surprise

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in Firebird (2007 Sock Club)
Needle: US4
Notions: Red Flower Buttons from MJ Trimming
Model: Penelope, born 11 August 2008, 7:07pm

Surprise! Part of the thinness on the ground of posting chez Purly for the last few months has been due to pregnancy. There was a lot going on for us. Luckily, the pregnancy was uneventful, and Penelope's debut to the world was quick and tidy thanks to being induced by my wonderful OB. But our lives have been eventful, which led to us keeping my pregnancy pretty quiet. Plus, the second time around things aren't that different from the first, but you suddenly remember the heartburn and annoyance of sleeping only on your left side all over again. The excitement of pregnancy isn't there and you just want to have your baby.

And now we do. She is a wonderful little one so far, and Isobel just adores her. Stephen is interested, though not as much, and that's pretty much what we expected. Nick is a wonderful father (and deserves a post of his own on that subject). We feel very blessed with our little "Birdie" (she pecks at my shoulder if I'm holding her in the classic burp position and she's still hungry).

We had hoped to announce a marriage here first, but Penelope (and the divorce courts of Massachusetts and New York) had other plans. Soon enough, and this way I won't have to wear a tent at our wedding.

And, of course, knitting up a BSJ was fun as was Isobel's and my adventure to acquire buttons down at MJ Trimming. When I have a chance I'll knit up the other Saartje's Bootie to complete the outfit.

07 May 2008

FO: February Baby Sweater & Magic Slippers

Pattern: February Baby Sweater from The Knitter's Almanac and Magic Slippers from Sock Pixie
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino Potluck in Water (aqua and magenta)
Needles: US4 (sweater) and US2 (slippers)
Notions: Three magenta mother-of-pearl buttons from M&J Trimming

This is the second of three FBSes I've knit thus far but the only one that's actually baby-sized. The first was knit with a worsted weight alpaca and is more toddler-sized. And having learned from my mistake, I knit one up in Rowan Calmer to be toddler-sized on purpose (post on that one some time soon, once I sew on the buttons). EZ's pattern is great, but you do need to read through it carefully, as she packs a lot of information into a few sentences and buries the lede on buttonholes. I only did buttonholes in the yoke of this one, and I placed them too close together having read "eight garter ridges" as "eight rows" (i.e., four garter rows). But I think it works in the yoke-only instance, as there would have only been two buttons otherwise.

The Magic Slippers are so cute - I'm pondering knitting some up for grownups in worsted or bulky yarn. Picking up the stitches around the base is a little tedious but nothing I can't handle.

There will be more of these in my future, especially now that I've gotten toddler sizing down. I think the version in Calmer will be a great summer sweater.

04 March 2008

Moving Forward

We've accepted an offer on the house. Assuming the inspection goes well (we fixed pretty much everything our inspector pointed out when we bought the house, so can't imagine any big problems will come up), we are to close at the end of the month. Yes, this month, which means I will be spending a bit of time up in Gloucester going through things and deciding what to do with them. Isobel and I are headed up there this morning to start working on a game plan and bring back the rest of my cookbooks and her toys and whatnot.

It is a bittersweet moment. The buyer plans to turn the house into a museum, which is good because (hopefully) lots of people will get to see the house and appreciate it's history. But it's also sad because this house had been lived in continuously since 1739. That's the way the cookie crumbles, though.

For you Massachusetts folk, I will give more advance notice for the next visit, which may very well be next week.

In knitting news I'm working away on the Swallowtail Shawl, having taken a break from my brother's sweater, as it's taking a toll on my wrists now that the whole shebang is on one needle. I appreciate seamless garments, but once the sleeves and body are united, it can be heavy, especially when it's for a tall, handsome fellow like my brother. I think my next sweater may be pieced, now that my finishing skills are somewhat improved. I'm considering that Drops sweater jacket that everyone's been knitting - "they" say it's a really quick knit.

I'm also thinking about knitting a Pi Shawl, since I've been re-reading Knitter's Almanac before bed, adding in some lace patterns to make it exciting. I've been combing my Barbara Walkers and have found some likely candidates that meet stitch and row count requirements as well as having purl-back rows. I am finding lace, the structure and balance of it, more and more intriguing.

13 September 2007

Feathers and Fans

Crazy feather yarn I purchased at Whitefish Bay Farm. The Turkey Feather Yarn was crafted by Fiber Artist Laurie Boyer in Wisconsin and consists of turkey feathers, Salish x English Leicester wool, and cotton thread. I have ten yards and am thinking of some sort of scarf/necklace thing to wear to a charity fashion show next month with a grey wrap dress.

And here is some 100purewool yarn for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter in Pasionaria for my brother-in-law-in-law's new baby girl (that would be my brother's wife's brother's baby). I haven't done one of these yet, but the yarn has been sitting in my stash for a while and needs knitting, and I think the variegated yarn should look lovely in this pattern.

And here is the Zephyr DK (which I consider more of an aran or knitting worsted) at the start of my Slouchy Cardi. First sleeve is complete, and I cast on for the back last night. I've come to the conclusion that for me, now, knitting stockinette back and forth is sometimes easier on my wrists than in the round a la Cobblestone. Knitting in one piece means you have the weight of all the yarn on your needles, even though it's distributed along the circular needle. Some knit-bloggers extol the virtues of top-down raglan knitting, but with Cobblestone I realized that I like knitting the sleeves and then attaching them to the body, rather than knitting the sleeves once the body is complete.

Loving the yarn! The sheen! The texture! I foresee more Zephyr in my future.

As for fandom, the new Knitty is up! Neiman would give me an outlet for the two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in Turquoise sitting in the stash. And it's a bottom-up seamless raglan. How apropros! And I haven't done any stranded colorwork yet, so this would be good. The other appealing pattern at first blush is Cinderella. I started a pair of socks recently using the Yankee Knitter family sock pattern (#29 at the bottom of the page) and some nice sock yarn from Laughing Rat Studio. I started out OK but got bored (sorry, sock knitters of the world!). But Cinderella may kindle an interest in socks again. I really like that heraldic pattern and had tagged it in my copy of BW's Second Treasury. Plus these are knit on US4s!

05 May 2007

I'm in love

And it's not with yarn. Well, I'm always in love with some yarn and am very keen on O-Wool at the moment having just ordered some (last two skeins of sky, sorry, and six skeins of oatmeal for I know not what) from Webs (closeout, people!). But I'm in love with a person this time...

Elizabeth Zimmerman is so great! I just finished Knitter's Almanac, She combines darling Anglicisms with Midwestern common sense. And I started reading Knitting Without Tears last night. More EZ goodness.

There are many knitters who want to make exactly what they see on the page, down to color of yarn. But from the moment I picked up the needles, I've been wanting to do my own thing. I still remember going to a certain yarn shop near the Green in a historic town (you locals will know which one) with my spiffing copy of Weekend Knitting and telling the woman who was trying to help me that I wanted to make the poncho but didn't want to use the yarn called for (wanted to use Manos instead, my first yarn love) and didn't want to do the baby cable, just 2x2 ribbing. Well, I think I broke her brain. She just could not understand why I didn't want to follow directions.

It's been the same ever since for me, and so far (knock wood or click bamboos) I haven't made too many absolute disasters.

Well, I have one at the moment. Not really a disaster, but I'm not feeling the love for the cardigan I just knit up for Isobel. Finishing isn't going well. What do you think of the frog pond? I was thinking of doing a February cardigan from the Almanac in a kid size on larger needles, since the Mission Falls is worsted, and I believe the February sweater calls for DK or fingering.

As for the Double Wedding Ring quilt (my blocking surface du jour), Sandra, I did not make it, my mother acquired it at some point. She has a passion for antique quilts and my parents have quite a few in their home. I haven't taken up quilting yet. Somehow it seems to much like my graphic design/art direction day job. Just like Pilates seemed too much like ballet class, so I stuck to yoga. And good eyes, Sandra, for seeing the quilt between the drying sweater pieces! BTW, I love that you raise sheep! At a previous art directorship I always said that I was going to quit and go raise sheep.