Elizabeth Zimmerman yoked sweater knit along – the stunning results

I have been waiting, with a huge sense of excitement, to reveal the results of the knitalong.

First let’s start with Sue Stoney. Sue is a master knitter, and highly productive across a range of craft interests. I love her blog and her work. I met Sue in the flesh last year and she really is the kind of person you would love to have as a friend. Open, generous, funny and creative.  A true artist and expert she created a pattern in the yoke (having quite enough colour in the sweater itself). I love how she got her sleeves to coordinate and the jumper is roomy enough to wear over other clothes for walks or camping. My only disappointment was that she didn’t pair this with her lime green flared cords (only joking – her grey skinnies are perfect!). All the details of her experience on her blog, of course, over in Perth, Australia.

Sue in her Opal Fruits EZ sweater

Karen @super77karen is based in Scotland (I think), and is a very witty person. She chose a grey yarn, although she swears this is a departure from her usual colour, which is navy. “I am navy, with navy, accented with a spot of navy. I’m a bit colour clueless. Mostly I would like to look invisible, but a bit stylish”. While she shied away from doing the colourwork, she did consider a band of light grey at one point. She nevertheless created a really nice jumper. She says her’s is “the polar opposite of Sue Stoney’s ‘fabulous, joyful sweater'” (above). Karen isn’t quite sure she has finished yet, but wanted to be included in this post. She is thinking about the ribbing at the neck and if she should redo it (why? it looks fine to me!). She is planning to leave the cuff and hem unfinished, allowing a little roll. But she is not finally decided. I think this is a nice finish and want to try it myself at some point. She worked really hard on those underarm seams, providing five close up shots on her instagram account (she only has 18 posts overall). She said that the “current, underarm, fresh air arrangement is quite comfortable” and I think she has done brilliantly.

Karen’s blue-grey-green EZ yoke sweater

Now let me introduce you to Felicia. She is an intermediate knitter from Vancouver, Canada – very able but needing a little reassurance. I was so glad to be able to show her how to do an EZ “make one”. She also found a great solution to the neckline by increasing less than every other stitch on the final round. Well done Felicia. I know you are pleased with your jersey. I would be too. I really like the way the decreases become a simple but dramatic design feature. I also love the garter stitch finishes at neck, hem and cuff. She is already making progress on a second one!

Felicia in her beautifully simple sweater

Helene, who is also in Canada, is another expert knitter. She also sews wonderful clothes and has excellent taste. She is kind, generous and active on Instagram. Here is her lovely sweater. You can’t go wrong with the primary colours – red, yellow and blue – but the touch of toffee really gives an extra bit of interest. The moss or seed stitch and red edging also shows a woman very confident of her style. Lovely work!

Helene at home

The next one has never been seen before on the internet, but it is a beauty. Michelle writes “the interaction and involvement have been fun…it’s interesting to see people’s different interpretations – I’ve stuck fairly closely to the original”. I just love this sweet pink sweater which I know will be fun to wear with so many different skirts and trousers. I think Michelle’s colour scheme is great. She has used just two colours with her pink – a deeper red and white. The combination of deep, medium and light is always successful and she looks so pretty in this shade of pink with her gorgeous grey hair, don’t you think?

And one from me. It actually looks better with jeans than gym kit, but I love this. I am not sure about the neckline which doesn’t really work – the pattern is a little light for a hem finished edge, but I am leaving it like that for now and may go back to it. I have worn this jumper alot as it is both neutral and lively. Personally I love the strong teal, with the red and lemon – but I think the red needs to be more dominant and defined. Nevertheless it came out nice and I am enjoying it. I really like the strong line around the shoulders – reminiscent of all the off the shoulder and Bardot style tops that are in the shops at the moment, without the embarrassing slippage or bra strap reveal.

Kate in beige EZ colourwork yoke sweater
Kate in beige EZ colourwork yoke sweater

We have more sweaters in the works. I am looking forward to hearing from Giorgia, Maggie and Kerry. There will be a part two to this post. One or two lovely people are thinking about it – Kim, Helen, Nina, Shelagh, even Lois who gave me the idea of a knit along! If you would like to make something like this – really it is not difficult, everyone even beginners managed it, and it is fun to knit – here are the instructions.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

41 Responses

  1. Shelagh

    Everyone’s jumpers look amazing!! Well done team! I started the jumper but it is 4 inches bigger than I want it to be so I gave up for a while. This has given me the push I need to unravel it and start again. I was on very small needles but I thing I might go a few needle sizes bigger with fewer stitches so that I make quicker progress.

  2. Annieloveslinen

    Amazing, so many lovely versions and colour combos. I’m tempted and I live quite close to Colourmart and I have EZ’s book. Get thee behind me Satan, I’ve got things unfinished and yarn unknit, but ohh, colours are seductive.

    • fabrickated

      It would be great to visit Colourmart. I would be very excited to do that one day. And I know what you mean by temptation. I have so many knitting and sewing projects lined up and a couple of unfinished ones so I need to exercise self control. But on the other hand it is our excitment and imagination that sees us through to the end, isn’t it?

    • Sue

      Ooh, I’ve been buying from Colourmart for years and would love to visit there. Added to my bucket list. I would love to see you produce one of these jumpers!

  3. helen

    Wow! All these are great. Last night I attached my sleeves to the body and this evening planning to start on the colourwork so hopefully I’ll be done by next weekend. This series has been really inspirational and seeing the finished garments has made it even more so.

  4. Chris

    Fantastic results and a great variation, considering everyone was working from the same starting point. I bought the book after you mentioned it and am really keen to make one too. Well done to everyone who took part ?

    • fabrickated

      Oh Chris – my knitting mentor – I would love you to put your spin on this simple but delightful jumper. I agree the finishers have all done fantastically. I want to do a series for the grandchildren, but then life is short….

  5. Kim

    I have severe sweater envy! I’m almost finished my current knitting project so may start a catch up sweater soon. Any latecomers want to join me?

  6. Hélène

    What an impressive collection of yoke sweaters! I am admirative of everyone’s versions ? Thanks for guiding us through this project, Kate! I would have never tackle this freestyle kind of jumper without you. Such an empowering approach to knitting. It really changed my vision. A million thanks to you xx

    • fabrickated

      You are too generous Helene! You really knew what you were doing and it showed in your great design and excellent knitting. Thank you for being such a great sport, encouraging me and everyone else. You nailed it!

  7. felicia

    What a great post Kate, thank you for collecting them all together here. I hadn’t seen the pink one, but it’s also fabulous. I’ve noticed something about fit. Your and Michelle’s fit very closely, giving them a sophisticated urban look. Sue’s is over-sized slouchy, which is a look I tend to love. Helene’s and mine seem to be the “normal” size sweater that we would buy here in northern North America. Not tight, but not loose either. I was drawn to knit one of these because of your sophisticated urban close fit. Why do we all have different fits? I think because the only measurement used is bust size. You and Michelle are smallish in that area, but I’ll bet your physical frame is the same size as mine. So if you knit to your bust size, your sweater will be tighter in the sleeves, upper chest and shoulders. I think I will omit one of the sleeve increases this time, giving me 4 stitches less (just about an inch) across the upper chest and shoulders. I don’t want it smaller in the bust/abdomen area, and that won’t happen with that adjustment. Here’s to experimentation 🙂

    • Sue

      Oops, sorry, Felicia, not sure what happened here. I was going to say that I was also quite intrigued with the fit. EZ suggests measuring a favourite jumper and using those measurements to knit this one and that’s what I did. I clearly don’t have a more fitted jumper! I am going to try and knit a smaller one next time.

    • fabrickated

      Yes! Experimentation rocks.

      I am not sure it is all about the bust measurement Felicia. I knitted my sweaters so they measure about 34″ around the bust (and as you say its a tube so its 34″ at waist and high hip too). With the long line sweaters that come to the hip they would need to accommodate the fuller part of the body, so in my case I would have to do a 38″ jersey that would give me 5″ ease on the bust, which I would not want.

      I would say the fit is about choice. If you want close fitting try knitting to your actual bust size by using less stitches for your cast on. I have just done a really close fitting one recently with only 130 stitches, although I have used 150, 160 and 180 – all with DK and all coming out OK for me. So Felicia, if you use similar yarn and needles just use less stitches – 5 less is not much of a decrease. I suggest you knock 10 off your starting number and see what happens.

      • MIchelle

        Can I chip in here, too? I originally cast on 170 stitches based on bust measurement as per EZ method but having knitted the whole body up I panicked about the sizing. I know from experience that anything loose and baggy swamps me so I undid the entire body tube and started again, this time with 10 less stitches. There then followed some manic late-night knitting to keep on track! However, I’m really pleased with the fit – Felicia, I cannot tell you how chuffed I am to have achieved a ‘sophisticated urban look’, thank you a million times!!!
        I so enjoyed this knitalong, and I also have more EZ sweaters planned. I love the variety and options and not being tied to a printed pattern. It was such fun knowing that there were other knitters around the world working on the same project, and it’s great to see the finished results. Thank you again, Kate, for organising this.

      • felicia

        I am more interested in altering the percentage EZ gives for sleeves. It occurred to me — I thought I was being quite clever — that if you use a lower percentage and thus fewer stitches for the sleeves, the entire yoke will be narrower. That’s what I’m going to try. You’re right, 5 stitches is not enough. Will keep you posted.

    • Shelagh

      Hi Felicia,
      The difference in fit is caused by differing proportions between yours and Kate’s bodies. To get a similar fit to Kate I have a couple of other suggestions for you:
      – Start off the body with fewer stitches that are closer to your abdomen measurements then increase for the bust.
      – Or knit the tube closer to your size in the abdomen and have negative ease across your bust.
      Hope that helps, Shelagh

  8. Sue

    I have absolutely loved seeing all the different versions, all of which are totally inspirational. Thank you so much for hosting this KAL, Kate, and for your very kind comments about my efforts. I enjoy wearing my jumper so much that I am planning another one for next winter and I am going to use the fair isle style yoke and make it a bit slimmer and shorter so that I can wear it with a skirt.

  9. Kerry

    A great round up of jumpers – and all so different, and all using the same EZ principles – or as Hélène says – freestyle knitting. It certainly is very freeing. I doubt I will ever stick strictly to a knitted pattern again. I hadn’t heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman and I wouldn’t have tried her approach without your blogs and encouragement, Kate. Thank you so much!

  10. Ruth

    What a fabulous collection of EZ jumpers – all of them impressive and stunning in their own way.
    I’m still knitting (and may be for some time………)

  11. Karen

    Thank you Kate. You are a style, colour, fashion, sewing, knitting inspiration and I am sure these are just your incidental accomplishments. I am a bit embarrassed to have my amateurish effort included so front and centre. I had expected it to be a bit more, small picture in the ‘and here are some other sweaters section’. The sweaters above are all stunning. I need to confront colour! Should the Elizabeth Zimmerman people be considering reprinting Knitting Without Tears, I really think they would be missing a trick, if they didn’t nudge that mottled purple hat and scarf on to the back cover and put the sweaters above on the front, (I don’t mean mine!). Sales would rocket. Although I suspect they already have. I am in Scotland, Glasgow to be precise. I love that everyone is knitting all round the world. Thank you for all your ecouraging words. K x

    • Helen

      Karen, you are right about that photo on the front of the book. A simple ribbed hat and scarf doesn’t reflect at all what you can learn from the book. The jumpers are so much more impressive.

    • fabrickated

      Karen – you really make me laugh with your wry comments and funny observations.

      I agree the book is just fusty and dull looking and the front photograph has nothing to recommend it. The inside illustrations are home spun. EZ wanted a different title too – the Opinionated Knitter. This would have been much better as the book does contain lots of opinions, most of which are right up my street. But I still feel her product is very poorly marketed. The whole feel of her work is virtuous, dated, fusty, lumpy and hippyish. While I can relate to some of this I am older generation it isn’t aimed at exactly the younger, more inexperienced knitter who really needs her help and sage advice.

      In a way it is sad that people with very little talent have recycled her stuff without so much as a backward glance, produced some lovely Instagram images and are making money. While her family stick religiously to her early notes, without developing and modernising the ideas, basically self publishing the old stuff. I have been considering an annual EZ knitalong as both a tribute to her tremendous work, but also avoiding both blind faith and merciless rip offs.

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