This blog entry carries straight on from my post yesterday.
The One Great Knitter who inspires me is Elizabeth Zimmermann (there is lots of stuff on the Internet, I like this article remembering her). I have her Knitter's Almanac and I enjoy the mix of very different projects.
I cast on on 31 December lat year. Imagine my amazement when I was done three days later! Well, make that three and a half days to be scrupulously honest. But it was very quick. I love the way the wishbone pattern works and gives your torso a lovely shape even if you are a bit bustier. It is a great pattern! I would make this again as well but would start to decrease slightly earlier for the shoulders because the Wendy Viva yarn I used stretches quite a bit row-wise (if that makes sense) and therefore the sweater hangs just a little heavy from the shoulders. Decreasing a little earlier (3-4 rows only?) and then over a few more rows should easily take care of the problem.
What I love about Elizabeth Zimmermann's way of writing is her voice that you can hear in her books: I love it that she writes about how she developed her patterns, some stuff about her life, and that she then gives her 'pithy directions' to follow if you do not wish to re-read the longer description. She coined the phrase 'to unvent' something which I believe stands for not actually inventing a thing because it was probably invented by someone else long ago (nothing truly new under the sun) but that she unvented it: as if unearthed and re-discovered. It is an interesting phrase.
Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes
I also have her 'Knitting without Tears' but have not studied it in detail yet - the few things I caught sight of, when glancing through it, are all concepts and techniques I know about. It would have been useful to have had this book when I picked up knitting again late last year - after a break that possibly lasted about ten years or so. Those ten years back I had put down the project at the time, just for a bit, and didn't come back to until February this year. The result was the Black and White top I blogged about in March. I would not have been able to carry on with this raglan seamed top at all ten years ago. I was making up the design as I went along and got stuck on the underarm shaping. It was Elizabeth Zimmermann's Wishbone sweater project (Hurry Up/Last Minute sweater) that put me back on track: I just had to cast on three inches worth of stitches for the bit under the arms, and off I went! It meant no further problem or delay and I could finish this top in a few weeks.
I love to learn new things and knitting (or any kind of craft) is very rewarding when you want to discover and try out new things: there is so much to learn! And you can keep going as much or as little as you like. Elizabeth Zimmermann's writing encourages me to try things I don't know how to do yet. I feel encouraged to try my hand at designing more items, and to look out for techniques I hadn't even heard of a few months back. I am very likely to buy another one or two of her books and will definitely be looking out for further patterns by her.
Fridica blogged about a little dress which came out extremely gorgeous! This also an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern (the February baby sweater project from the Almanac!).