Wednesday 31 July 2013

Thank You Elizabeth Zimmerman

Mrs Zimmerman is a legend in the knitting world. She lived from 1910 to 1999 and her books and also a TV series have helped so many knitters to understand the maths behind the process, how those numbers can be made to work for you and also how to produce seamless garments to avoid all the sewing up(that I loathe).

Elizabeth Zimmerman

I had already made a couple of the Baby Surprise Jacket several years ago when Caleb was a's unlike anything else I'd ever made as it's knit in one piece with some brilliant shapings...this is it almost finished...

Then with quick top of the arm seams and some buttons...

I saw recently that the Book Depository had Mrs Zimmerman's book, "The Knitters Almanac" for $4 with free postage so I ordered that with haste. Her style of writing is most amusing with knitters encouraged to "turn up their noses at acrylic yarns" and her description of her pattern writing as "pithy"

I've long known about the wonderful I-cord or Idiot Cord as she describes it because of it's sheer simplicity and having followed Kate's blog Needled I've seen it used as a very neat edging on some of her jumpers...have a look at this top with the dolls on the yoke, can you see the edges are very neat with that narrow band of i-cord on them?
Well it's a very simple idea, for this wash-cloth I knit to last 3 sts, slip them off the needle purlwise on every row...

So I kept reading and giggling until the penny dropped again as she describes her circular shawl, based on Pi and simply casting on a few stitches(9),Knit 1 row then with yarn forward before each stitch she doubles the number of sts in the next row. Knit 3 rows and double the sts again, knit 6 rows, double the sts ad infinitum! Genius and perfect for travelling or mindless knitting while watching sport on TV! This is my first start using 8ply yarn and 5mm needles...

It was really so very exciting but a bit too thick so I went out and bought this beautiful variegated 4ply and using a 4mm needle started another to knit on the planes in a few's un-put-downable and at this rate will be finished before we go lol Watching the colourways develop is fascinating and I worked at least another 20 rows after this pic was taken!

Have also finished a Pebbles Vest for Jacob's baby brother, Reuben...this pattern is free at that link, I've made 5 in the last few weeks, it's only in one size to fit a 3 months old baby but by changing needle and wool size you could make a smaller or larger vest...

So that's all my exciting knitting news, I'm really loving the new challenges of the Knitter's Almanac but wondering how I never realised these things before. Watch this space because Sarah over at Unbought Delicacies is working on a Mrs Zimmerman lace shawl!

Have a wonderful Wednesday


  1. Sounds like you found a wonderful knitting book.
    Lovely baby sweater! Wonderful works.

  2. That baby surprise jacket is gorgeous as well as clever Sue. Love your knitting skills :)

  3. How I wish I could knit like you, Sue! Some of the Book Depository prices are really good aren't they? I have bought quite a few books for my granddaughters through them.

  4. Your knitting never ceases to impress me!

  5. Great knits! Looks like you've been busy.

    Glad to hear you're enjoying the Cosima products. You deserve a treat!