theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 8, 2010

From Susan — A Living Tribute

Filed under: EZ Green Sweater,One Day Hat,Updates — lv2knit @ 9:42 am

When this article appeared in Twist Collective, I was thunderstruck.  I knew I had to make this wonderful sweater: a tribute to one of the greatest knitting legends of all time, Elizabeth Zimmermann.  So, I was thrilled to learn that the pattern was being deconstructed by Sunday Holm, AND that there was a stash of the original yarn still left in the Briggs and Little vault.  The sweater could be recreated as originally intended.  My own little piece of history!

Wrong, Optimistic One!  The original stash sold out faster than you can say computer meltdown!

Schoolhouse Press

The original yarn sold out within a couple of hours, leaving some of us desperately sad .  But then, because of the high demand, B&L decided to dye another batch.  Yay!    And happiness ensued.

So, many of us received a shipment of the new batch, which actually seems better to me than knitting with 60-year old yarn. 

I started the sweater last week and it is kind of going slower than I anticipated, considering that it is straight stockinette.  The yarn itself is very thin (430 yds/113 gms!) though the pattern gauge is 5 sts to the inch.  I am knitting mine at ~5.5 sts/inch. 

The construction of the sweater is really the interesting thing about it: mitered front facings, deep armhole with gusset, squarish neckline, mitered sleeves.   The folded facings and mitered corners are a little unusual and gave some knitters pause.  I had to draw it out to figure it out:

In the original pattern, Sunday accidentally included the width of the facings in her overall finished measurements, so they are shown as 2 inches bigger than they really are.  There is errata available that describes this and other minor corrections.

The sleeves are described as dolmans, but I think a more accurate description is a modified drop shoulder with an underarm gusset.  The appearance is that of a dolman, but it really isn’t.  EZ was brilliant.  As you knit the sweater, you “cut out” a huge chunk at the armholes, but then add it back in (gray section in illustration below):

Once the gray area is added back in, the armhole is fairly standard, but the look is dramatic.  The drama continues with the mitered sleeves and flared gauntlet at the wrist.

The sweater is very cropped.  I do not wear cropped.  I am too fat tall to wear cropped well.  I am adding about 6.5 – 7 inches to the overall length and doing some gentle waist shaping.

Here is a picture of my EZ in progress, though I am farther along than this:

I am enjoying this immensely!!

Back a few weeks ago, I shared a free hat pattern: the One Day Hat.  I knit one up for my DH and he LOVES it.  I mean he really loves it!  It fits his huge head perfectly and is very soft and rich looking:

More accurate color here:

The yarn is Geologee from Knit One Crochet Two Yarns (120 yards per 50 gms).  Because the yarn is smaller than the weight of the original pattern, I used the Size XL numbers, a US 7 needle and it ended up perfect.  In fact, the XL size was actually included for this purpose.

Now I am going to go knit on my EZ Green Sweater!!

PS: Jody writes, “I have several skeins of Briggs and Little that I picked up in New Brunswick 5 years ago and I can’t imagine ever using it. It’s just too scratchy.”

In response — the yarn IS scratchy, but softens when washed.  I happen to love wooly wool.  It wears like iron, hence the fact that the original sweater got so many years of active use.  I don’t know that I would have chosen this yarn if it was on a shelf, but I am really happy to be able to use it to recreate this particular sweater.


  1. I have several skeins of Briggs and Little that I picked up in New Brunswick 5 years ago and I can’t imagine ever using it. It’s just too scratchy.

    Comment by Jody van D — January 8, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  2. Love your EZ sweater! Thank you for the schematics and mention of errata, too. I hope you will blog how much yarn you needed for your longer version. I plan on knitting a longer version too, because I am taller than you are, for sure :).

    Comment by NewJerseyLarua — January 8, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  3. Hi Susan, Thanks you so much for your wonderful chart of the Green Sweater. A perfect explanation to all my questions about this pattern. I love it but those “dolman” sleeves were giving me pause. Don’t need more fabric adding to the existing bulk if I can help it. Now you have made up my mind and I am off to order the pattern. Thanks.

    Comment by Heidi — January 8, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  4. Thanks for the helpful diagram and link to the errata. I’m making this sweater too, in Ultra Alpaca, color beetroot. I love the yarn and the color. If the sweater turns out well I may make another in the original green. I was THRILLED to read the Twist articles, and now I’m THRILLED to be making the sweater. The boyfriend thinks I’m nuts.

    Comment by Leslie Marshall — January 8, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  5. I’m really looking forward to your progress. I haven’t even swatched yet, but I was definitely a little concerned about the loose gauge with that yarn (though obviously the original held up for a long time).

    Comment by Cheryl S. — January 8, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  6. Thank you for sharing your One Day Hat pattern! My husband also has a rather enormous head, such that the only hat I’ve ever knit for him had to be drastically altered. When I was done with the hat, I realized that the only thing that resembled the original design was the patterned stitch I’d used! I’m very much looking forward to knitting a hat pattern that already has an extra large option. I think my husband will appreciate it to…. he didn’t much care for me repeatedly chasing after him with a tape measure asking to measure his head “just one more time!”

    Comment by Julie — January 8, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  7. I ordered the exact same yarn and I don’t do cropped either! How are you making it longer? Did you order more yarn??

    Comment by Jewel — January 8, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  8. Thanks for the info re EZ’s green sweater. I have the pattern and the ‘new’ yarn and will start soon. SO your tips came at a great time.

    Comment by Brenda — January 8, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  9. I love Briggs and Little wool in all its scratchy splendor. I actually just received a large shipment of Tuffy and Heritage (worsted) for more boot socks which wear like iron. I knit Rogue with Heritage a couple of years ago which is wearing wonderfully. All my Briggs and Little wool knits are softening with every wash… even after a couple of years on some items.

    Comment by Fran — January 8, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

  10. Delurking to say thank you so much for sharing your drawings and analysis of the pattern here and on Ravelry. So generous and so helpful. I got some of the new B& L yarn and have been waiting to cast on until I finish a few WIPs — your analysis has made the logic of the pattern so much clearer for me.

    Comment by Linda M — January 8, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  11. Am so happy to see you are knitting the infamous green sweater! Will be lurking to watch your progress and tips. Trying to get the B&L yarn – so far no luck. Did get the pattern tho – and now the erratta. Thanks!

    Comment by Sheila — January 9, 2010 @ 10:30 am

  12. I am glad you are breaking the trail for those of us who also intend to knit this historic sweater. I’m going with the Ultra Alpaca – because of the color I wanted – but I do love yarn that knows it is wool, too. It looks like you are making good progress. I predict that you finish before I cast on!

    Comment by twinsetellen — January 9, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  13. I was scared when I saw the errata affected sizing – did I get enough yarn? But I do have enough yarn for the size I need, and actually, the new size is an improvement – I’d been contemplating tweaking the pattern to knit half-way between two sizes, and now, lo and behold, the pattern has been tweaked!

    I’ll be following rather far behind you, with the new crop of the old yarn — I’m finishing my infamous red sweater (Am Kamin) and am, I’m sure, the world’s slowest knitter.

    Comment by Pam — January 9, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  14. great post.. beautiful work.. I will be making the one day hat for sure.. Thanks?

    Comment by cici — January 10, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  15. Oh, I am so very glad I checked in on you! I had set this project aside, in spite of your email with the wonderful drawings.
    Wrong colour, too short and no pockets. But after reading your update, I’ve cast on again with a different colour, will make it longer by watching your plans and the pockets, well I’ll see.
    Thank you so much for the drawings you have posted and the links to the errata and the others. I appreciate very much the time you took!

    Comment by Esther — January 10, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  16. OK, I am starting to panic again! When I look ahead on page 2, under ‘Finish Sleeve Steek’ it says to knit to 13.5 inches from beginning of sleeve steek, but on the schematic that measurement is 12.5 inches. What am I missing?
    Actually, I should probably be contacting Schoolhouse Press, but I might be misinterpreting the pattern again.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Esther — January 11, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  17. Gosh, that EZ was clever! I am always in awe at her cleverness! Can’t wait to see your sweater. 🙂

    Comment by Kym — January 11, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  18. I’m making this sweater but I don’t understand what is : ” EZ’s phoney seam”, I have seen page 4 but must I do one row?
    I am French and my English is bad…
    Thank you.

    Comment by christine — March 1, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

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