New needles, new style of knitting, new knitting guru

This is my new set of needles from fabulous Prick Your Finger. By a circuitous route of internet, I realised I couldn’t live without them. Here is the long version:

A month or two ago whilst perusing the knitwear in the V& A Collection online in an idle minute, I found this jumper, which you may have seen on the House of Elliot (top tip from my Mum – buy the series from Amazon in the Dutch version second hand, it still plays in English and is a damn sight cheaper; top tip from me, the V&A also has free knitting patterns for toys and designs from the 40’s).

This Elsa Schiaparelli jumper seems to be famous enough that a very vague description to a lovely lady in a wool shop was enough that she knew exactly what I meant.

In spite of my previous attempts at intarsia (multi colour knitting) being an aborted rabbit design (on the previously blogged knitted rucksac) so awful it didn’t even get it’s picture taken, I decided I wanted one of these jumpers. A quick Google brought me to the pattern online here at the Schoolhouse press, and so fortuitously I also discovered a great lady in the world of knitting, Elizabeth Zimmerman, who started the Schoolhouse press.

People may slag off Wikipedia for inaccuracy, but in most things that people really have a passion for they tend to share a lot of details enthusiastically and I really don’t care if it isn’t in proper impartial encyclopaedia speak. So I’ve learnt from Wikipedia that EZ as she is well known and  revolutionised knitting. Read it yourself if you don’t believe me.

Having gone to Prick Your Finger to buy wool for the above bow jumper, I left with some JC Rennie 4 ply for an entirely different project, which often happens. Anyway, having discovered EZ and just how popular she is – books in print constantly since the 60s, a whole Flickr group just for finished projects with over 1,000 pictures and 41,733 projects on Ravelry – I treated myself to a her knitting book called Knitting without Tears from Amazon and completely forgot about my bow jumper plans.

Last week due to an invasion of lovely but tiring step-children, I was in bed at 9pm reading my new book. Unlike most pattern books, this is one to read and savour. She doesn’t just give you the instructions, but her view of knitting and how she learned, how she came to knit in her unusual style and how to to knit her patterns for any wool and any sized body. The patterns are all for seamless knits made with a circular needle, so even with my wool stash overflowing I couldn’t get started without new needles and an hour after waving the step-childrens off on their journey to Granny’s house (really she is known as Nano, thus making her easily confused with an over hyped MP3 player), I bought the aforementioned set of needles, in enough sizes and lengths for any wool I chose. I’ve cast on & will post as soon as it’s finished, telling the tale of learning to knit in a whole new way.

Being old enough to remember when the internet was rubbish unless you were an academic, Amazon and Google and online wool shopping didn’t even exist, it still amazes me the way one random thought or random click leads to something new. Hopefully this time it will lead to a lovely, and very easily made jumper with hardly any sewing up after (a task so hated that some knitters pay other people to do it). So often a random click only leads to this:

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