Lota, finally

I’m not quite decided whether Elizabeth Zimmerman is a genius or a woman of incomprehensible logic. But one thing is for sure – it seems that making one of her designs is a sort of right of passage in the knitting world.

Understanding her ‘pithy’ instructions can be a real challenge. Without the clarifications (textual and visual) of wonderful knitters on Ravelry, I would’ve been completely lost. At moments like that, when my only response to her instructions was “she wants me to do what?!”, I was quite sure she was a woman of incomprehensible logic.

Then, on the other hand, when the final result came to look as seamless as this, I decided she might after all be a genius.

I loved the garter, but hated the lace (it bored me to death). I think next time I might take KathrynIvy’s idea and replace the lace with plain stockinette.

It took me forever to choose the buttons. As I was making this, I started hoping that it might be very well received, and, as Lota is a first child, that it just might become an heirloom. And you can’t just put any buttons on an heirloom! I envisaged dark metal flower buttons, but couldn’t find anything I really liked. Then I came across these wooden ones. As soon as I saw them, I knew they were perfect.

The parcel finally took off yesterday. And I think I’ve passed my rite of passage.

Oh, one more thing… The cardigan isn’t travelling alone!

But more on that tomorrow…

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

26 thoughts on “Lota, finally

  1. I so agree about EZ. I have just made this very same cardigan and discovered the buttonhole instructions AFTER I had knitted the yoke. Rip, rip – and I chickened out and only did three in the end. But as you say, the end result is so pleasing. Yours looks gorgeous – I am sure the proud parents will be really thrilled. And I can’t wait to hear about those adorable shoes.

    • I’m so glad you agree, there are so many fans out there that I was scared I’d be crucified for saying one bad word about her… :)

  2. Nice photo setting! That is a gorgeous little sweater that is sure to be treasured for years. I made the adult version – – February Lady – – and don’t remember as much trouble, but maybe Pamela Wynne filled in the confusing bits.

    • Thanks! The photos gave me such trouble though – I’ve concluded that any yarn with silk in it is ridiculously difficult to photograph – the color just wouldn’t come out right, no matter what I did…

  3. I have to confess that I hadn’t even heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman until a couple of months ago and don’t really know that much about her. I haven’t done any of her patterns but this one is really lovely. The yarn is a great colour and the buttons are just perfect for it.

  4. Ooh beautiful! Lovely color and the buttons are so cute! That is one very lucky baby :)

    I love EZ’s books, the patterns are pure genius but I enjoy just reading them too, she’s really funny.

  5. Oh it turned out beautifully and I love the color. I think I might knit my next one just plain too. I have to say that I loved reading the little stories in EZ’s books too but her patterns are very basic arent they.

    • Honestly, I’m not too crazy about her texts either, though I yet need to give them a proper try. In any case, it’s wonderful to delve into knitting history, imagining myself back in EZ’s day, with just that Almanac in front of me, no Ravelry, no blogs… :)

  6. I find that I love reading EZ, but I do not necessarily enjoy knitting with her instructions. You did a lovely job with the sweater!

  7. Pingback: tiny shoes « fridica

  8. This little dress is so cute, the colour is gorgeous, the buttons are adorable on it: it is a great project! The lace is very sumptuous, I’m glad you persevered!
    And you’ve topped it with wonderful photos! It is genius to photograph it against this beautiful gate! I bet you got some funny looks.
    It’s a lovely item and a brilliant blog post too. I am quite envious.

    • Thanks, Giselle! Actually, I was sneaky with the photos, I did them around 8 am on a Sunday morning, so no one was around! :) It’s the back side of the Royal Courts of Justice :)

      • Brilliant idea! And very good strategy. I think I know where you mean.
        I’ll keep an eye out for nice locations myself now! I have to repeat myself: I am so jealous of your wonderful photos. This will inspire me!

  9. Zimmermann IS sometime incomprehensible, BUT she also frees us to do the knitting the way we want. When I learned to knit from my grandmother I was taught German/Continental method. My dad, whose Scots-Irish family knit English/throw style, told me I was doing it wrong. He only saw me knit years after I had learned and the fact that I was turning out garments that were wearable didn’t seem to make any difference. I just didn’t knit like his mother did. Zimmermann’s notions came my way in the 80’s and I was thrilled that she seemed so much like my grandmother in her manner and so forth. But, it was her notion that we, the knitters, should “try stuff” (for lack of better words) that made me so thrilled to parse her challenging stream-of-consciousness style of instructing. Folks who knew her personally said that she taught just like her books sound.
    Anyhow, love the sweater and the color.

    Mary (imajypsee) in FL

    • Yeah I agree with you about the freedom to try things out – that was the one thing from her book that really stuck with me and I like it!

  10. This is wonderful! I love everything about it!
    I’ve stopped knitting a few years ago, but should I ever feel like getting back into it, Zimmermann sounds just like the kind of knitting instructions and thoughts I’d like to have (from reading the comment above)

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