09 May 2007

taking it EZ

I've been updating like whoah! My boss has been away for almost 2 weeks now, and today I'm left all alone in the office, so I figured this is prime posting time.

The weather gods sure hit it out of the park yesterday & the springy goodness followed me into Romni on my way home. I went in just to buy some contrasting wool in a nice bright, unexpected colour for the hem of Gord's sweater. I go totally ape every time I see a clever hem in a contrasting colour - I wanted to do the same.

These were the ones that spoke to me the most, and I bought them hoping one would also speak to Gord. (The green is actually called 'Spring Green' I didn't notice that until I got home)

and because it's literally impossible for me to not spend more money than I plan on when I enter into a yarn store, I also bought some sock yarn...

The Regia will probably become socks my my mom. She is allergic to wool, but likes hand knit socks - so when I see a nice non-woolly sock yarn, I buy it for her. As for when I'll get around to making my mother so many pairs of socks, who knows - but at least my heart is in the right place. Too bad most of the cotton sock yarns I come across are in decidedly femme colours, as I have another person in my life who is allergic to wool but is a boy.
The Lang Super Soxx is really super great colours - and I really love making socks with this stuff. I didn't realize until I got up to the cashier that these 4 balls of yarn have a bunch of the same colours going on. (not pictured, but also purchased, some 'suede' yarn for more baby Uggs & the new issue of Interweave Knits)

I came home & asked which Gord preferred - the Blue or the green. He said blue. Which made me happy, since that's the one I actually liked the best.

This is my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. I've often read of people who were unsure or nervous about following EZ's instructions, but take her word for it & end up thoroughly satisfied. I want to be one of these people. So when she told me to cast on & start knitting the body - with no mention of ribbing, or knitting in the hem, I did it. But I keep getting distracted by the rolly bottom of the sweater.

I re-read the instructions a bunch of times, making sure that I FOR SURE was not told to do any bottom work. Then I read her instructions for picking up the hem & sewing it up. I had my doubts about how it would look - I did a bunch of google searches but most of the results were about knitting the hem in as you go along. I started doubting EZ....I started wondering if I should frog it & start over with a knit in hem....

I decided to do a swatch. (I hate to admit it, but although I've been an avid knitter for many years, I hardly ever knit a gauge swatch. my bad.)

I knit a little test then picked up stitches along the back of the bottom edge, just as Elizabeth tells you to. And then I knit the hem using her 10% decrease method (which, by the way, is mother-freaking genius) and sewed it up just like she said - not casting off, keeping the stitches live & taking only a scant bit of the sweater stitch as I went along.

my swatch has a secret!

So there it is from the front - near to perfect.

And on the back, which will be the inside of the sweater, we have a splash of colour to show that Gord is a fashion-forward man, not afraid of colour.

And guy, look how totally stretchy it is. Awesome.

I consider this my first, gentle reminder to trust in what Elizabeth Zimmerman tells me to do. If she told me to jump, I would ask how high. Of course, her response would be "My dear, however high the right height for YOU would be."


.jay.dee.dub. said...

oooh. that blue and green are freaking cool!

Miss Muffy said...

I'm so jealous of you quick knitters that can just churn out sweaters like buttah! I've also come to realize I absolutely, positively need to get me a copy of Knitting Without Tears. I don't want to cry any more Elizabeth!

pamela wynne said...

Ha! Your EZ at the end there is spot on. Love the splash of color. :)

Miss13 said...

just awesome.
love the colors and the clever hiding . I would love to run off to toronto. You have officially inspired me to finish all of my projects that are left, and to start another sweater. I hope you are happy ;)

Laura said...

I'm baa-ack! Didn't I leave you a comment about how nice it is that you quit smoking? I think it was you.

I'm back again checking out your hem job. I started my sweater exactly like you - got annoyed with the rolling bottom.... and did my hem righ there without a swatch. It was all good until I started sewing it down and mine looks so crappy! I thought it was too loose to just catch the live stitch like you did. How is it now that you've finished the full size sweater and it's had some wear? Is it too loose? Would you do anything differently if you made another today? Thanks in advance for your response! :)

nicole said...

Laura! I thought the stitches would be too loose as well - but now, after a lot of wear (but no tear, thank goodness) the hem is sitting pretty & everything is hunky dorey. The hem has just sort of settled into itself - and it's nice & stretchy!
I honestly wouldn't do anything differently if (WHEN) I knit this again!