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Stepping Out With Elizabeth Zimmermann

It all started with the spring yarns, or more precisely Kelley's podcast on the spring yarns. She spoke of the tonal yarns, the yellows in particular. Now my Mom loves yellow and all I could think about was what can I do with what sounded like the most buttery, sun-shiney, warm golden wonderfulness. I decided on a shawl, all her shawls are winter weight and mostly black so I decided to have a go at a PI shawl from Elizabeth Zimmermann's (from this point on known as EZ) Knitter's Almanac for Mothers Day. I ordered the yarn, Shadow Tonal in Golden Glow, and when it arrived it was just what I hoped for. So I had the yarn, I had the needles, and I had the book. I was ready to go.

As this is the first time I've followed one of EZ's patterns I went with the basics. No fancy lace patterns on this one, just simple mindless knitting. When I read the chapter on this shawl in Knitters Almanac I scoffed at EZ's talk of trouble with using four needles. I've been using DPNs with ease I thought to myself I won't have any problems. Well lace weight yarn, loose stitches and size 7 DPNs put me in my place let me tell you. The air turned so blue my dog left the room in disgust. I kept at it though and 3 or 4 cast ons and rip backs later I was gingerly moving along, afraid to stop until I got to the point where I could move the stitches to a circular needle. I was convinced disaster loomed if I stopped. Well I made the shift to a 16" circ. breathed a sigh of relief, apologized to the dog and went to bed.

I have since made the move to the 24" and am working on the 288 st. section. Lots and lots of stitch markers to keep count. I think I may start to jingle soon. (Just a thought, do the little metal stitch markers set off the detectors at airports? I'm flying down to TN soon and I am planning to take this on the plane with me. If anyone knows the answer please let me know) But right this minuet my biggest struggle is to keep the gauge loose. Loose is my new mantra. Shoulders loose, hands loose, stitches loose, loose, loose, loose.

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Comment by PJ Crafts in Austin on May 26, 2010 at 11:35am
You did the right thing to select a more seasonal type yarn. After doing pi shawls, I started wondering, instead of the heavy winter yarns, why not try other weight yarns. If you go on Ravelry, there are so many ideas that people have used and kind a gets you to be brave and try. I had trouble with double pointed for lace and had to try the magic loop to maintain the circular frame. But I do love the colors you chose. It will be so nice when completed. Valis
Comment by cherylbwaters on April 18, 2010 at 1:55pm
Kate, hope I'm not too late, but I don't think there should be a problem with metal markers. Even if they show up on the X-ray, it's nothing sharp and should be okay as long as they look at a the item to verify they are just little metal rings. It will be a beautiful shawl for your mom. ♥c
Comment by PickleSue on April 10, 2010 at 10:40am
What a terrific piece!! It's gorgeous.
Comment by Kate Moynahan on April 10, 2010 at 9:10am
Actually that's a large metal plate/shallow bowl with a glaze pattern. It has been on the coffee table for as long as I can remember. I don't know where we got it, but it's one of my favorites.
Comment by PickleSue on April 9, 2010 at 4:02pm
Really pretty! Love how you photographed it on the radiating batik fabric. That is beautiful, too. Tablecloth?
Comment by KnitterGirl39 on April 8, 2010 at 10:44am
Looks great! The color is so spring and warm and yummy! She will love it. :)
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on April 8, 2010 at 9:34am
Kate, That is going to be beautiful! I'm not a big yellow fan, but love the color you have selected - more golden. Can't wait to see your finished project! ♥s

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