Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I heart EZ. Obviously.

Why do I love her so much? Well, she liberated me. Before I discovered her, I was a newish knitter, terrified to deviate from a pattern, and not truly understanding what I was doing. All I knew was that if I followed a pattern to the letter, my chances of my finished project looking like the photo were approx 70%.

Then I heard of EZ on Ravelry and everything changed. I had to find out more! I bought the Knitters Almanac whilst on holidays in the US and I was hooked. I loved her conversational style, and her "pithy" directions. Once you understood what you were doing, you were free! You could change anything, add anything and your garment would fit YOU.

I added to my EZ library fairly rapidly. I got Knitting Without Tears, The Opinionated Knitter, Knitting Workshop (book & DVD) and possibly my favourite, Knitting Around (book & DVD).

I remember watching the Knitting Workshop DVD and following her step by step. I paused the DVD and cast on for my Colourwork hat as a swatch for my sweater:

This was my first ever piece of stranded colourwork. It's not great, but it was a start.
I never got around to making the sweater at the time, but I watched the DVDs over & over.

The next thing I made was a sweater for my husband. I was so proud of this one, because I took the stitch pattern from another sweater and made up a sweater for him using EZs math and saddle shoulders:

Not the best picture, I know. I should really get a better picture. He loves this sweater. To quote him, "It fits like a glove".
There was no stopping me now!
I made him another one using EPS and the yoke sweater formula:

I'll be honest and say this wasn't such a success. I was guilty of racing ahead of myself. If I had had some patience, I would have read and watched Knitting Around and learnt of the 4 decrease yoke formula. This would have worked out much better for the larger size. The 3 decrease formula resulted in some "looseness" around the bust. Boobage if you like :) But he loves it all the same, and it's a firm favourite around the house during the winter.
Then I decided to tackle the ultimate mystery, The BSJ.
This pattern fascinated me. The ultimate piece of math coupled with ultimate trust. Follow EZ and everything will work out. I had to try it:

And it worked! I love it! What a magical garment, and no seams! I think that's my favourite part of any EZ garment, no seaming. I suck at sewing.

I made another one, but it fell victim to yarn that's too light. I used sock weight yarn and it turned out tiny. Although it is a perfect preemie size:
I also made a February Baby Sweater from Knitters Almanac:
I think this one was a bit of a disaster. Not EZs fault, but my own. I was guilty of lack of concentration. I really should make this one again.
I then decided to tackle the Baby Bog Jacket. I loved the story behind this one; it was based on a garment found on a preserved body that was found in a bog. It's all knit in one piece, again with minimal seaming:

I think my favourite part is the extra stitches to accomodate nappies. So thoughful!

I looked back on what I had made, and I realised I'd made nothing for me! How could that have happened! As Meg says on the Knitting Around DVD, "You are knitting to please yourself". Dead right. I rectified that quickly enough with a hybrid knit, the February Lady Sweater. This is based on the February Baby Sweater from Knitters Almanac that I had previously made.

I love this sweater/cardi, I wear it all the time:
This is my most recent EZ creation, and probably the one I'm most proud of.
It's my attempt at an exact replica of her very first published pattern, her Seamless Yoke Sweater. I made this using the same yarn & colours that she chose for her first version, and also the one Meg made with her on the Knitting Around DVD:

I absolutely love this sweater. I made this over the last few months, and during the finishing of it, I thought of her a lot, and her 100th birthday. How she would have been so happy to see people taking her guidance and ridding themselves of their fears of knitting & patterns.
I have been truly inspired by her and Meg, and thank them every time I start a new project of my own or by someone else, as I can understand what I can change and how I can make it fit me (or whoever) and most of all to be free with my knitting.
I was lucky enough to meet Meg in 2009, and it was brilliant. She gave a talk (where she had THE ORIGINAL BSJ with her !!), and afterwards a book signing. I'm very proud to say I have a copy of her book, Handknitting, signed by her.
I was like a gushing teenager at a pop concert when I met her.
She was nothing but gracious:

Phew! So that's the catch up on my EZ exploits so far. I hope to add some new projects very soon.
I'll sign off as I always do on my own blog, and as EZ did:
Good Knitting!


  1. I just love that picture of you with Meg! She looks so elegant and stately. Very jealous of you meeting her :D

  2. I'm exhausted after reading all your EZ knitexploits! Leave a few patterns for us to try, Missus!

  3. Wow. That's a pretty impressice EZ CV!

    Would love to see the DVDs. I'll invite myself over and bring snacks!

    Love the pic of you and Meg - jealous(1000)

  4. Wow- when you put them altogether like that, you've got quite a collection.

    I'm curious about the DVD too. You'll have the house full for a screening before you know it!