Saturday, February 6, 2010

An Up and Down day

In January, Rebecca and I decided to knit the Elizabeth Zimmerman Green Sweater, which I found quite attractive, in addition to having such an interesting history. For those of my readers who don’t know, Elizabeth Zimmerman is the Julia Child of Knitting. When Rebecca was a baby, Dennis and I watched Julia every week, and she taught me to cook. We also watched Elizabeth, and she taught us to knit. The first week, she showed us the basics, and told us what to purchase for the sweaters we were going to make. This was a natural sheep colored white (in our case, anyway) raglan sweater knitted from the bottom up. We started out with the plain stockinet, and added the more complicated ribbing once we had mastered the middle. When we went to purchase our supplies, the knitting store lady was totally incredulous about this construction method. However, we persevered, knitting a new section each week with Elizabeth showing us what to do in the upcoming week. Finally, we both had nice matching sweaters. We loved Elizabeth – she was warm, witty, and as enthusiastic about knitting as Julia was about cooking. She did as much to change the rigid face of American knitting as Julia did to change the uninteresting face of American cooking.
Anyhow, Rebecca and I got our kits with the pattern and yarn similar to the original from Schoolhouse Press, run by Elizabeth’s daughter Meg who carries on the family tradition. I was gung-ho, and had the body nearly knitted up to the shoulders. I had made swatches from the suggested range of needles, and selected size 4.0mm as the one which worked best for me. Somehow, my sweater was not looking as nice as my swatch had. The stitches were oddly uneven – even more uneven than my usual. “Well, it will improve when I block it,” I thought. Suddenly, after having stared at the needles for quite a number of hours, I noticed that one end of my circular needle ends looked bigger than the other. I checked them with my needle gauge, and indeed, one was 4.0mm and the other 4.5mm. I could not believe that I could have made such a dumb mistake. Well, it was easy, since my kit of circular needles with interchangeable ends had three 4.5mm’s and only one 4.0mm. So now my sweater looks like the third picture. Well, actually, I have started again and it is about two inches long. I can’t believe it!!!!

5 comments:

Laura said...

Love the close up views of your lovely knitting and yarn. So nice to work with you last night!

Petra said...

The color looks so nice! I am glad you found the mistake. Had something similar the other day while knitting socks. One size 3mm needle had intermixed itself with the 2.5mm I usually use for regular sock yarn.

Knitman said...

Oh dear, I know how you feel when making such a mistake. Not pleasant is it? Look forward to seeing the completion.

FugueStateKnits said...

oh dear oh dear oh dear! This is a bit of a daunting experience, but I am such a trusting soul, I added the errata to my pattern (which had green, not the red, border) and knitted happily on, until I saw that there are still discrepancies. My biggest worry is that the sweater will be too short. And when one is (ahem) plump, that's NOT a good thing, LOL:)

FugueStateKnits said...

PS I second what others have said about the yarn - it's lovely! Cannot wait to see how you do with it!