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November 13, 2006

EZ Obsession

Excuse me, patient reader, but nona's momentarily obsessed with Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I like to think of EZ as the first knit blogger -- opting for paper in lieu of a computer.  To quote the woman herself,

I fondly hope it to be of general interest and exemplary of the fact that if you really have something to say about which you feel strongly, some of the people will listen some of the time.

But what does one do when obsessed with EZ?  Besides pouring over her books, I've embarked on my own version of a circular yoke sweater based on Elizabeth's EPS system.  Being opinionated in my own right, I've tweaked the EPS system to make a more fitted version with a modernized neck -- well that's the theory anyway. 

The body of the sweater -- knit in the round -- allows for lots and lots of mindless knitting.  What a perfect opportunity to stew about the yoke's Fair Isle patterning and to listen to an audible book.  To this nona asks, "Is is cheating to listen to your bookclub's book instead of reading it?"  To help create the illusion of a waist on my square frame I've added waist shaping using paired darts front and back.

A hem -- knit on the inside with a contrasting color -- forms the edging for my sweater.  Although EZ instructs us to add the hem after the sweater is completed, I've opted for "Knitter's Choice" and have knit it with the body.  Continue reading if you want to know how I knit the hem...

Knitting a Hemmed Edge in the Round

  • Using circular needles 2 sizes smaller and the main color cast on the number of stitches required for the body of your sweater. 
  • Knit 1 round. 
  • Knit for another 1 - 1.5 inches, changing to a contrasting color if desired. 
  • Knit 1 round, switching to larger needles and the main color.
  • Purl 1 round to create the hem's turning edge.  If you're feeling sassy and would like a picot turning edge instead -- k1, *[yo, k2tog] repeat from * to last stitch, k1
  • Continue knitting until the body is the same length as the hem
  • Fold the hem inward along the turning edge and knit one cast on loop together with each stitch.  If this is agonizing for you, forget it and sew the hem to the inside of your sweater when you're finished.

November 13, 2006 in Project - Elizabeth Z. | Permalink


I like the look of a contrasting color on the hems and plan to use that in my next sweater. Thanx for sharing your technique. I look forward to buying my first EZ book soon.

Posted by: punkin | Nov 13, 2006 5:17:52 PM

the tweed is gorgeous, and the ham is lovely! thanks for the tech. definitely try it next time!
listening to the book is great, but your mind can wonder and the tape keeps rolling, if you are reading, you have to stop and go back to read- but I still love books on tape!

Posted by: hPNY knits | Nov 13, 2006 6:11:56 PM

i loved knitted in hems. doing a provisional cast on works well too... if you like working the three needles at once! i love tweed!

Posted by: margaux | Nov 13, 2006 6:46:41 PM

I agree with Margaux, I like a provisional cast on when adding a hem, it's easier than trying to pick up cast on loops the right way.

Posted by: Whitney | Nov 13, 2006 7:43:30 PM

Reading, listening, it's all good. Just keep the rewind button close in case you need to re-listen to something.

Posted by: kmkat | Nov 13, 2006 9:19:27 PM

I tried to do that knitted hem with a sweater I'm doing now, Hourglass sweater and I got the hem all jacked up by being off by a stitch or two. So I'll be sewing it down afterward, but I may try it again in the future. Definitely a good tip.

Posted by: Wanda | Nov 13, 2006 9:31:34 PM

I not only listen to spoken word books, I've
gone the ultimate step. Our library subscribes
to Net Library, where you can download books to
a MP3 player. My Rio Carbon is smaller than
the pager I wore as a nurse manager! Woo-hoo!
It's perfect for mindless knitting, and I say it

Posted by: Barbara-Kay | Nov 14, 2006 5:56:21 AM

De-lurking, because I love a turned hem. I learned a great trick from Katerina Buss's book, "The Big Book of Knitting." Cast on using needles about 2 sizes larger than called for in the body, then work the facing as Nona directs. When ready to turn the hem, pick up the stitches on the cast on edge with a fine needle - the loose cast on makes it easy to pick them up and once they're on the back needle, it's easy to check if your stitch count matches and your stitches are aligned (or not...). Knit one stitch from the front needle with one stitch from the back needle all across the row, and your hem is done - without sewing!

Posted by: Isabelle | Nov 14, 2006 8:23:52 AM

I love EZ for being a ground-breaker who encouraged independent thought in knitters, and enjoy her writing immensely. I have to admit, though, that I'm not as enamored of many of her designs as I'd like to be . . . clever, definitely, but not always all that attractive (grin).

Posted by: --Deb | Nov 14, 2006 1:06:00 PM

That looks great! I am thinking about my first sweater. I'm a chicken knitter. hehe

Posted by: Arleta | Nov 15, 2006 6:43:55 AM

I love EZ. I was re-reading "Knitting Without Tears" the other night in bed and woke up my husband cause I was giggling.

Posted by: Jenny | Nov 18, 2006 12:07:35 AM

I did a hem like this last night, however it is flipping outwards. Any advice?

Posted by: Tania | Dec 7, 2006 10:04:09 PM

That is gorgeous. What yarn are you using?

Do you know how to knit a hem if you're knitting a sweater from the top down? if you have time to post a tutorial, that'll be great! Or just tell me!

I love your blog.

Posted by: Kenny | Dec 14, 2006 8:06:34 AM

thanks for the tips and photos! am contemplating the EZ book knitting without tears, also looked at her other books, but agree with Isabelle there, the designs aren't to my taste! which of the books would you recomment if i want all the advice but am not too bothered about the actual patterns?

Posted by: PĂ©itseoga | Feb 9, 2008 3:40:27 PM

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