Sunday, June 26, 2011

Knit One, Knit All Review

Cross posted from my blog:

Here we go with the Knit One, Knit All review. I'm so excited to do this review, a new EZ book is a real event for me.
This review is meant as a positive look at the work of EZ, Meg & Cully Swansen.
All pictures are taken from the book. The quality may not be great, I took them with a camera on a rainy Friday night.

First off, let me say this book is great. Filled with pearls of EZ wisdom, wonderful, practical garments and intuitive design features. As with all EZ patterns, there is lots of choice for you to make the garments unique to you, and most of all to make them FIT. There's a lovely intro and throughout the book there are watercolour pictures painted by EZ.

But let's get to the meat of the knitty sandwich. There's a TON of patterns in here. The book is divided into sections, the first of which is Head, Hands & Feet.

The first is the Chambered Nautilus Tam which is also the cover picture:

A short row spiral hat. Love it. I think it's very chic.

The next hat is a bit quirkier, Brimmed Hat - Panache:

To quote EZ: "Here's a ridiculous hat - but worn with panache by a self-confident young woman; this would look gorgeous." Well said, EZ. Reminds me of Robin Hood.

Next we have Single Border Cap:

I can see Alice wanting one of these for school. She loves hats with strings.

Next is the Brimmed Hat - Horizontal:

I love all the different ways this can be worn, a few simple folds and it transforms into a totally different style of hat!

Brimmed Hat - Vertical:

I think this would be a cute sunhat in a cotton yarn. Reminds me of a floppy sunhat Alice had when she was a baby.

Another one that reminds me of a baby bonnet is the Diamond Back Bonnet:

Not so sure I'd wear this one to be honest, but if it gets as cold as it did last winter I'm sure that will change! It reminds me a bit of the headscarf worn by Kelly McGillis as an Amish woman in Witness.

The Katmandu Cap or Bonnet is next:

There's something a bit catlike about this one. Maybe it's the pointed "ears"? Quite cute.

On to the Pillbox Hat:

Love this one. There's another version in the book that's striped & looks like a circus tent. Brilliant. Short rows rock.

On to hands now, first is Ambidextrous Mittens:

LOVE these as they can worn on either hand. No more mistakes for me in putting the thumb on the wrong side!

On to Mittens from the Top:

More lovely mittens. I love mittens. These are worked from the top down. I like the flared cuff.

Sideways Gloves are next:

These are really clever. Doing fingers in the round is a total pain. These are done sideways using provisional cast on. Can't wait to try these. There's also a variation given for Fingerless Gloves:

For the Fagin in all of us.

On to the feet. The name of these is Add-a-Booties. Great name!

Basically, there are multiple layers of soles for padded comfort and they never wear out. Yummy toasty feet. I think I might make these for myself.

The next pattern is a quirky one, Knitted Clogs:

Not so sure I'd wear these, but I can be pretty sure Alice would. Plus I bet they'd be fun to knit. On little kids feet they'd probably be adorable.

Next is Garter Sole Slippers:

These are fab! They look so snuggly! I bet they are mega comfy. Mmm.

Socks now, and Sideways Socks. I love trying new sock construction ideas.

Mosaic Socks:

Striped Socks:

And Clock Socks:

They're socks. I'm gonna knit them all.

On to a new Section, Babies, and the cuteness factor escalates dramatically.
First up, my previous blog post of Star Booties:

You all know how I feel about these already. LOVE!

Next is my next baby knit hopefully, Tie Booties:

AWWWW! Look! Widdle cutie booties! Divine.

Baby Surplice Jacket:

This is one I was looking forward to, having seen sneak peek pics of it before publication. Isn't it lovely? So easily customized for little boys or girls, or different closures. I love it.

2-Piece baby Jacket:

Super cute. versions for babies & small children are given, with a v or round neck.

Flared Baby Jacket:

No-one does baby jackets like EZ. So many different versions and so easily customized using stripes, edgings etc. Love.

I-Cord Sampler/Potholder/Baby Blanket:

I think I remember Meg doing something similar on the Knitting Around DVD. A great way to learn I-Cord edging and have an FO at the end. As EZ says, "A pot holder? A Baby Blanket? The difference is only in size."

The next section is for the grown-ups, Vests.

First is Cully's Vest:

I like Cully's designs. He's come up with some interesting ones over the years. He did a really cool brick jumper in a previous Wool Gathering, and some quirky hats too. This vest is lovely, it looks really comfy and practical, plus has some nice pattern detail on the bodice that you can't really see in the picture. Not something I'd wear, but I know my Dad would.

This one is nice too. V-Vest:

This looks really interesting, you cast on at the neck and knit on the bias. Can't wait to try this one!

When I saw this I immediately thought of Wyvernfriend (a knitty friend who likes waiscoats). Waistcoat Vest:

Cute! The back looks cool too, but you'll have to trust me, I didn't take a pic. ;)

Yoked Top:

I love this one. Nice and plain and simple. The different directions of the knitting do all the talking. I'm thinking like EZ and immediately wanting to alter it to suit me, a mantra she always had. I'm going to add sleeves.

The next section is Sweaters, and the first is New Zealand Sweater:

Apparently the yoke shape matches the silhouette of the NZ volcano, Rangitoto. I love how EZ got inspired by maths & nature. This can be easily altered by adding a pattern to the body:

Looks like a totally different sweater, doesn't it? I think hubby might be getting the plain version for his Christmas jumper; although knit in a lightweight yarn, it could end up on me instead...

This one is great. Striped Blouse:

Maybe it's the navy & white, but I think it's such a classic look. Really smart. Not one I think I'd be able to wear, sadly. I think the stripes would make me look ridiculously larger. Not sure. I think it would look fantastic on Alice though, maybe in black & white with a pair of jeans.

Bias-Sleeve Sweater:

This is knit lengthways. Lots of stitches! But, the end result is fab. A great vehicle for making the most of hand dyed yarns I think.

This one has me excited. Mitered Cardigan:

ooooh. Look! Isn't it just gorgeous? This is DEFO on my list. I have the perfect Autumnal coloured Cushendale wool. Mmm. This is going to be by Autumn cardigan this year. Absolutely.

Icelandic Overblouse:

This is great because it makes the most of the colours of the yarn and the stitches. The shoulder is really unusual too, another one that would be really interesting to knit.

Striped Jumper:

Another vertical sweater, with short rows. The stripes are a great way to break the monotony of the knitting.

Suspender Sweater:

This is a great contemporary design. The neckline is really cleverly done, and the "suspenders" look great. The choices for the type of suspender you could add are endless, you could make a fab unique cardi.

Next section is Jackets and the first is Long Collared Jacket:

Jackets are brilliant, but a real investment of time and love. I'm not sure I'd ever get round to making one, but I would like to think I would. The collar on this one is great, you'd be lovely and snug against cold breezes. Knit plain, this would be lovely.

Next is Adult Bavarian Jacket:

Isn't this a great photo? A traditional German garment given a make-over. This garment uses the bent-elbow technique, a great idea for thicker yarns to allow your arms to move.

Of course, there's a child's version too, Childs Bavarian Jacket:

How cute is that.

I love the name of this one, Ribbed Dirndl Top:

Dirndl is a great word, I think. Evokes images of the tv show Heidi I used to love as a kid. I think this is really pretty, and would look great over a blouse with a floaty skirt. The shaping at the back is really interesting, creating a fab texture.

On to the Zig-Zag Jacket:

Isn't this great? Look at the way the arrows flow around the corners at the bottom. This looks super comfy. I think I might break the no-jacket rule and make this one for me...

Hand-toHand Cardigan:

This comes in adult and child sized versions. The cable on the sleeves is lovely. Again there is interesting uses of direction to create texture in the garter stitches, and the curved bottom edges are lovely. The kids version is really nice too, using different coloured yarn to emphasise the sections.

So there you have it! Isn't it brilliant? I want to knit everything really, all I need is the time. Thanks so much Schoolhouse Press for all the hard work in deconstructing EZ's notes and giving us lots of lovely new knits!

Good knitting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Star Booties

I recently acquired a copy of the new Schoolhouse Press book, Knit One, Knit All. Apparently this was the book EZ always wanted to publish, but never got round to, so her daughter Meg and her grandson Cully have done the honours for her.

I plan on reviewing it very soon, but I couldn't wait long enough to cast on for these:

Pattern: Star Booties by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumperweight, scraps of three colours

Needles: 3.5mm Addi circulars

A super quick knit, they only took a couple of hours each.

At first glance, it looks a bit of a mess, but with a little EZ magic, all becomes clear:

Aren't they fab? I was concerned that the foot looked a little long, but I'm sure once they're on chubby baby feet they will look great.

I love them. They remind me of the Baby Surprise Jacket due to the little bit of magic at the end, but mostly I love them because they're cute.

Good knitting!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finished Mitts

The mittens are finished!

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Baby Me Boo Aran weight.

Needles: 4mm dpns.

Pattern: 36 Stitch Mittens by Elizabeth Zimmermann, in Knitting Without Tears

Mods: The results are fine - very wearable - but with some not so great points. They are too baggy (I did get gauge). The thumb is that awful restrictive unnaturally positioned one at the front of the palm. The weaving at the top is a little awkward. I would tweak this pattern a lot if I were to make it again. I would do it in DK instead of aran, to get snugger mitts. I would add a thumb gusset. I would try different grafting methods at the top, to see if it’s tidier.

Friday, March 18, 2011

36-Stitch Mittens

This is the first of the pair of mittens I'm knitting - the pattern is '36-stitch mittens' from Knitting Around. I like the pattern - it's pretty simple, and very well explained in the book. There's a nice detail whereby you decrease sharply for the cuff so that it sits snugly on your wrist. I'm not a fan at all of this type of thumb - I do like a good gusset! - but it's fine here because the mitten itself is baggy enough so that it's not claustrophobic. The yarn is Misti Alpaca Baby Me Boo - I looooove it! It was a souvenir from California. These mittens are to keep my knuckles warm while cycling, as even in this spring weather the wind can be biting, especially at night, and when you are charging into it! I'm up the ribbing on the second mitt, and looking forward to wearing the FOs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Famous Following

Look what I got in my mail! :D

I'm looking forward to posting here myself soon - I have all the yarn and needles ready to cast on for an adult Tomten. Just looking at the pattern now - I'm a bit scared. Jared Flood's mods seem to have been spread out over a few blog posts, and I'm also going to be knitting it as a gift for someone who isn't locally available for me to measure. But it will all be fiiiiine, right?!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

slowly but surely...

It may appear to some folks, that there has been no further progress on my EZ mitts. This project had many false starts, then there was an issue of working out the numbers, I really should have paid more attention in math class. So, once I figured out how to count, these mittens are starting to take shape.

The next challenge will be the thumb gusset since it involves more math and more counting...