Thursday, March 10, 2011

Elizabeth's Almanac: February

Have I mentioned that I'm working my way through the year of patterns from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac? I'm sure I have, I probably mentioned I cheated a bit and didn't make the big aran jumper for January, instead substituting it with a Baby Surprise Jacket, one of EZ's other patterns.

February, however, I stuck to the schedule and knit the garment allocated to the month; the Baby Sweater on Two Needles; better known as the February Baby Sweater. Only I didn't really make mine baby size, more like a five year old size. A lean five year old, but yes, a tad bigger than baby size.

It's a fun knit, quite an easy one when it comes down to it but written in more of a directional manner than instructional, as is typical of EZ's style.

It is a pattern where you do need to read ahead so you have a good grasp of what's going on or you may miss crucial aspects of the garment; like creating buttonholes in the garter stitch section of the yoke.

The knitting group at my LYS is doing a bit of a Knit-A-Long with the Almanac this year, and this was our first project.

I made a few simple mods to the pattern; mostly with some of the basic construction aspects and narrowing the sleeves. I also knit the sleeves circular rather than flat as per the pattern. If you want to know more about the mods I used, I took fairly scrupulous notes about the pattern and added them to my Ravelry Project Page.

The yarn for this is a lovely New Zealand yarn, Wadsworth Alpine Merino/Possum in an 8ply weight. It's good to see the New Zealanders are making good use of all those feral possums we so nicely sent them!

It was a lovely yarn to knit with, with just a touch of guard hairs present. But this yarn really comes into its own after a wet block. Oh my gosh!! It is so lovely and soft, with a beautiful fluffiness to it. Totally divine and quite a surprise!   My good friend Fiona brought it back from New Zealand with her quite a few years ago and it has been languishing in my stash awaiting the perfect project. I used 200grams pretty much exactly, I love getting such a large garment out of 200grams!

To get this one to fit my five year old, who is lean by the way, I used the dk weight yarn on 4.5mm needles. This is quite a plump dk weight and in US terms would definitely pass as a light worsted, so I knit it as such.

And you know what, I do so love this pattern so much I'm knitting a second one; this time in the perfect yellow. Stay tuned for that as I have just the sleeves to go.

The Almanac's project for March is the Difficult Sweater, a stranded sweater knit in worsted. The swatch for this pattern, quite handily turns itself into a hat. Guess which option I might be taking here.

What are your knitting plans for March?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Lovely :) I enjoyed knitting mine yarn too.
    Considering most possums I see these days are dead on the road, or taunting my cat and dog, I like this use of their fluff too.

  2. I do like that pattern and it's a lovely colour. It goes so well with her dress. She's a little smasher!

    I love your idea of following a year with Elizabeth Zimmerman. Tried the library for the book but no luck. I'm determined not to buy any more books and just support the public library. Don't know if I can stick to this though.

    I'm into lace knitting at the moment and I managed to order one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's lace knitting books. I'll pick it up tomorrow for some lovely weekend reading.

    Just finished my first shawl, the Aeolian Shawl from Knitty. It's lovely but it didn't turn out as lacy as I expected. I used Malabrigo Lace which is beautiful but maybe I should have used a larger needle. I haven't blocked it yet so maybe it will look a little different after that. Just bought two lots of Filatura di Crosa Centolavaggi (I think it's called that) and it's lovely, very soft and much finer. It feels like knitting with thread! I'll do the same pattern again as I love it so much.

    Look forward to seeing your next project.

  3. It looks beautiful. I cant wait to see the one in yellow. Great to see that they are using possum's fur for something good!

  4. So delightful! I just purchased your 'Milo' pattern at my LYS yesterday and learnt of your blog (and patterns). So lovely. I can't wait to knit it up! Also keen to do some EZ knitting. I have had the 'knitters almanac' and 'knitting without tears' in my possession for the last few weeks and can't decide where to begin....perhaps I'll think about following along with your '1 and month' idea. Such lovely work. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Majorly gorgeous!

    My March plan was to make your Fratello and I figured that my 10-month-old wouldn't let me finish it any time soon but once I cast was done within a week despite being sick and all because I couldn't stop knitting once bub was asleep! Can't tell you how much I enjoyed knitting it! (if you wanted to see how it turned out, I'm "Tatterz" on Ravelry) :) my goal is to finish the last lace-section on your Bloom design so I can gift the cute dress before April, and then finish a beanie knit using NZ Waikiwi yarn (also with 10% Possum!!!).

    Can't wait to see your new designs!!!


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