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Archive for the ‘Zimmermann’ Category

The week Nikolai spent on crutches is certainly not something I wish to repeat (especially the doctor’s bills), but the sedentary lifestyle we were forced to adopt was perfect for lots and lots and lots of knitting.

My aunt came into town for a visit the day Nikolai got his cast on, and while she entertained the boys, I entertained myself with her knitting!

My aunt had been slowly knitting and knitting and knitting on a seamless yoked sweater for her mom for over a year, and being the impetuous and impatient knitter that I am…

In 3 days re-knit the yoke, steeked the front, knit on the button bands, and wove the armpits.  My aunt got to weave in the ends which was just fine with me!

It ended up that there were 300gms of wool left over from my aunt’s sweater. She very kindly gave me the extra yarn and I knitted a little vest for myself.

Check it on Ravelry here.

I’m calling it “Hobble” because it was knit entirely during the time Nikolai was in a cast.  I wore it to the doctor the day the cast came off.

Yarn: Donegal Tweed by Tahki, royal blue tweed, 3 skeins.  Wool of the Andes by Knitpicks, Beryl Heather, 1 skein.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 6 /4.0 mm yielding 4 sts per inch.

There was no pattern involved, it’s just a simple pullover V-neck vest with garter stitch edgings. I’ve been interested (fashion-wise) in longer styles lately, as they seem to both look good, and keep your butt warm.  I was also interested in experimenting with the visual impact of a hip-level decoration.

I chose the simple diminishing zigzag pattern because it was appropriate to my stress level during my son’s week on crutches.

Because I have very little personal shaping, I like finding garment styles that create an impression of shape.  The actual difference between my hip and chest measurements is only 4 inches, but this style seems to make the most of what (little) I have.

Edgings: Ribbing seems like a logical choice for this type of simple vest, but I didn’t want anything clinging around my hips.  I chose garter stitch because it looks so wonderfully clean, but it also suits rustic tweedy yarns so well. I toyed with the idea of knitting the whole yoke in garter stitch a la Cobblestone, but this yarn was too bulky in garter, and the silhouette needed to be sleeker.

At the armpit split I bound off 8% and then decreased by another 5% on each side of each armpit.  I decreased by binding off 2 sts each time I was at the underarm, which results in pretty good 45deg angles. When picking up and knitting the garter stitch edges I did a half-miter at each corner which turned out beautifully.

The V-neck: I wanted this to be quite deep and rather more dramatic than anything I normally wear.  Before splitting the front to begin the V-neck I worked the center stitches in garter stitch for several rows before binding them off.   I decreased for the V-neck by one stitch every 2nd row, then worked straight to the shoulder where I wove the fronts to the backs.

I makes me feel tricky to make seamless garments.

The neckband was worked back and forth in garter stitch, starting and ending at the center front. At the end of each row I worked the last stitch together with one of the BO stitches.  In retrospect I would leave the neck edging loose and sew it down, as I think a neater, more symmetrical result could be achieved.

All in all, I’m very pleased with this vest.  I think the shape and style suit me pretty well, aside from being very functional!  The thing that pleases me most about this vest is how well the shoulders fit.  I really dislike wide-shouldered garments, the narrow fit is just divine.

I’ve already worn this several times. Oregon finally got summer, but I still like some wool when the wind picks up!



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Greta Rose

Skip the twaddle and check it on Ravelry

Pattern: Printzess by the Berroco Design Team, found in the Berroco Comfort booklet #269

Yarn: Berroco Comfort, 1 skein each Dutch Teal, Kidz Green, Bitter, Primary Red, Cornflower, and 2 skeins Turquoise.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 6 / 4mm – yielding 5 stitches per inch.

Recipient: Miss Greta Rose – a classmate of Nikolai’s and a balletmate of Gabriel’s. Big sister of this sweater.

Time Frame: Started April 16, 2008 – Finished April 28, 2008

Now on to the interesting stuff.

Modifications: Do you really need to ask? I made it in the round, and seamless. I steeked the front. Worked a V-neck instead of the U-neck. Got rid of the ruffles on the sleeves and bottom. Knitted the button band instead of crocheting. Added length to the body. Tweaked the shaping a bit so the bottom would bell slightly.

And now after my pig-headed destruction of this design I get to cut myself a large slice of humble pie and say: You folks at Berroco know what you are doing. I should have followed your pattern a little better. Forgive my blatant disregard of your advice and instructions.

For you see, this yarn was is an acrylic/nylon blend. It is multistranded and works up into a soft, smooth supple fabric. It is not wool. It is not meant to be steeked. I reinforced the steek with 2 lines of machine stitching, and 2 lines of crochet, and I’m still worried. Pray it holds.

Lets move on to more positive things.

I love the flowers. Ok, the embroidery skillz need some work, but the flowers are so cute. I was astonished with how the flowers really pulled the sweater together. Before the flowers were on I did not like the sweater at all – then hey presto! It was a magical transformation to have all the colors and sections tied together.

The red button band. I love red trim. When I have my own house I want it to have a red door – I’m just weird that way. Anyway, garter stitch band, 45 deg. miter at the V-neck. Cast off in knit on the right side (sorry EZ). Buttons from Jo-ann.

But, why, you ask, is there a line of Vs inside the buttonband?? Again, Knitter Peggy got a little carried away with her wool habits and when picking up stitches for the buttonband huge holes appeared. Not something that could be strategically felted, so I had to slip stitch crochet around each stitch I picked up to secure the band and cover the holes.

Really, it’s just another design detail. 🙂

Buttonloops cast-off.  Cast-off the the desired spot, chain 4, continue to cast-off twisting the 1st stitch after the button loop.

Surely I’m not the first to unvent this technique but I’ve never seen it before.  I really like it, and I’ll probably use the technique again.

A name tag and the extra button. I like to sew girls’ name tags inside the button band, in this case, on the steek facing. This is mostly to discourage kids from hanging handknits by the neck, and because grosgrain ribbon on the neck might be a bit scratchy.

The inside. This picture cannot express the ordeal of dealing with ends. They were copious and bred like bunnies every time I finished one off. Fortunately for me with my steek all the body ends were secured by machine and hidden in the facings. (Hey Berroco, maybe I am smarter than you!)

The sleeves however were a nightmare. Aside from the ends with no hiding places I had another problem… Again, Knitter Peggy with her wool habits thinks that a 5 stitch float on the back of the work is no big deal. And with wool, it’s not. However, as the pattern clearly states, colors must be twisted together frequently.

This yarn like small fingers – even small fingers in fists.

After identifying a very bad case of finger-snag, I had to go back and tack down every single float in the sleeves. The price to pay for idiocy. (Ok, Berroco you’re smarter than me.)

End of odessey.

Verdict: The result is fantastic. BUT, I would think very seriously before knitting this again. General note to self: I do not like multistrand yarns.

Aside from learning a few new techniques, I learned a lot about my knitting habits and assumptions. So it was a good experience, all in all. I just hope that steek holds!

…Would FrayCheck hold a steek?

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That title is just a sneaky way of saying “I don’t have time to write a full post tonight, but I need to post something before things get out of hand.”

So without further ado:

I got a drum carder for my birthday.  This is the Louet Jr. and it is fantastic.  Love Love Love it.  I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a drum carder, the batts are huge and light and fluffy, and you can card an unreal amount of fiber at one time.  Wonderful to spin from.

Advertising— This was ordered from HelloYarn, best price on the internet. —Thank You Adrian

The girl-y sweater is proceeding nicely.  I hate the green which ended up being very neon, but it will hopefully mellow out a bit when I get all the flowers embroidered on.  It should be finished by Monday- with a complete post.

I knit a Ribwarmer (here on Ravelry) The girly sweater was driving me batty, mindless garter stitch therapy was in order. This is an end of 2 years gift for one of Nikolai’s preschool teachers – she is slightly shorter and thicker than I am, so it should fit well.

My dad and I went golfing with the boys today.  It was their first time playing on a real course, and they had a blast.  Above is Nikolai with his impeccable form – consistently driving the ball upwards of 70 yards.

Below is Gabriel, who hasn’t much technique yet – but he sure had fun!


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Pattern: The Bog Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitting Around  Here on Ravelry

Knit for: Tyler – Mr. Maroon Fishtrap Twin.

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, 3 skeins Orange and 1 skein Dark Red Colorspun.  A bit of stashed white for accents.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 7 / 4.5mm  yielding 4.5 sts per inch.

Mods: Many!  Before I started this I checked out all the projects on Ravelry and my impression was that the bog jacket is a rather tall/skinny garment.  Now, most children’s clothing nowadays has lots and lots of ease.  I tried to knit this Bog to be similar to a boy’s modern sweater shape – nice and wide, and very boxy.

So: That meant shortening everything and eliminating most of the shaping details EZ talks about. My magic CO number was 128 for a 28″ finished chest.  The original Bog would be 64 ridges to the armpit, mine is only 52 ridges.  The original would have 64 ridges over the shoulders, mine has only 50.    Sorry if that makes no sense, you have to be familiar with this design.

Additions: Pockets. Since this is knit back and forth I thought it would be fun to try pockets in Double Knitting. They are a bit flimsier than the rest of the sweater but very very low fuss to include them.

Hood: Pretty much the same as a Tomten hood- increase up the back, weave the top. As you can see above I made a very shallow V-neck to cozy the front of the hood around the face.

Sleeves: I picked up all the stitches at the cuffs and worked K2P2 ribbing until the yarn ran out.

Other Details: The white has a thin band of stockinette between 2 ridges.  The front garter band was picked up at the very end, 6 rows white, 3 ridges red and bind-off.  I inserted the zipper with the sewing machine, not worrying too much about hiding the seams, and it was ok.  Still wavy, despite how many pins I used.  Grr.

Verdict: I can’t believe how fast this was!! I would love to knit another someday – perhaps for me with all the shaping and other details.

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If you want to skip all this blather just check it out on Ravelry.

Recipient: Holdon – a good friend of my sons.

Pattern: Seamless Saddle Shoulder Pullover by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitting Workshop.

Dinosaurs: This inspired me, but after searching the internet fruitlessly for the pattern I ended up knitting off a photo of DharmaRN’s lovely pullover.

Yarn:  Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Worsted. Colors Forest Heather and Camel Heather, plus some random sock yarn for the hem.

Needles, Gauge, and Size: US sz. 4 needles / 3.5 mm, yielding 5.25 sts per inch, yielding a 31″ finished chest measurement.  I calculated target gauge based on the size of the chart and number of stitches needed to accommodate it.

Without question it was the fun details that made this sweater interesting to knit.  Just above the armpit join I began a steek to open the neck.  I cast-off 2 sts and the next round cast-on 7 at the hole.  Seven sts is a really nice number for making self-facing crochet steeks.

I cut the steek before starting on the collar so it could be knit back and forth. After knitting the lining of the collar I cast of the front and side sts leaving the back sts to stabilize the neck and to write the recipient’s name.  The lining is sewn down all around the collar edge, and the name piece was sewn down afterwards.

This is one of the self-faced steek edges. With 2 lines of crochet, the paranoia is minimal and the edges fold so nicely and neatly under. After the facing it tacked down inside you could never tell it’s there.  I used the same technique on the Three Cable Sweater, also with great results.

For the record, I do not like installing zippers.  They put their ugly edges over my nice tidy edges and I have trouble getting them to lay flat. Harumph.  But I do like the little stopper I made for this one:

To edge the front zipper area I tried using applied I-cord, but it wasn’t working out the way I wanted. So I picked up all the edge sts and then used the I-cord bind-off.  It worked out perfectly. The line of picked up sts under the I-cord was a perfect place the hide the main zipper seam. I’d use this technique again.

Verdict and Final Thoughts:  I hope he likes it!


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If you have read this blog for any length of time you have probably heard of our friends the “Fishtrap” Family.

They are not actually surnamed Fishtrap –  I just call them that to maintain their privacy and because I’ve knit them 3 Fishtrap Arans to date.

It all started out quite innocently: Last spring I set out to make similar sweaters for the twin boys for their 4th birthday.

The boys became the Fishtrap Twins.

Then I made another Fishtrap Aran for the father.

The father was dubbed Mr. Fishtrap and from there I’ve called them the Fishtrap family ever since.

Now those Fishtrap twins are almost 5 and it’s time to knit birthday sweaters again.  I love knitting for other people. I think I’ll be knitting birthday sweaters for these guys until they’re 18.  Ok, maybe not that long.

Mr. Maroon Fishtrap asked for a sweater just like his first, but orange.  After a bit more discussion we decided it should be orange (but he likes red too), have white edges, pockets, a zipper, and a hood.

It sounded like a perfect excuse to knit one of EZ’s brilliant Bog Jackets.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore, a mostly acrylic wool blend, but washable and very soft to work with.  The pattern is the Bog Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitting Around.  I started this Thursday, April 10, and it’s going very very fast.   I need to go buy more yarn tomorrow, this thing is a voracious yarn-gobbler.

I love the brilliant construction of the jacket, it’s so simple, but no modern person with our limitless supply of textiles would think of it nowadays.  Its fun to find history in our hobbies.

I’m really excited about this “unvention” : Look! Pockets from Double Knitting!  Ok, I’m sure other people have done this before, but I haven’t and I haven’t seen it, so let me get excited.  And I really like to play with different textures when using garter stitch, there are so many ways to add detail.

Anyway, you can tell I’m having a blast. I’ll finish weaving up the first half tonight and finish off the sleeve and pockets until I can buy more yarn.  After this it will be on to a Lusekofte for Mr. Blue Fishtrap!

I love being a knitter!

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Bad bad blogger I have been. Sorry.

We were sick, and then we were out of town, and then we were sick again, and now I have no more excuses, just a lots of pictures- be warned!

Nikolai turned 5 – Happy Birthday!

I knit Gabriel a vest: Check it out on Ravelry

I knit a shawl: Check it out on Ravelry

A friend’s son needed a dinosaur sweater: Here on Ravelry

I was gifted 3 fleeces:

A favorite sweater underwent the knife with very satisfactory results: Here on Ravelry

And I knit a little baby vest, and have been spinning spinning spinning.

There you have the very brief version of last month, I’ll try to be a better blogger now!

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