Chunky Zimmermann

Hey folks,

Just thought I would check in and say hello - I've been on knitting rest for a while with some too-much-knitting-too-much-playing-too-much-computer induced hand/arm strain...and after some hilariously expensive treatment at the musician's hand therapy centre (very good and worth every penny) I'm back on the pins.

I was rushing to finish a cardigan for a friend's birthday last April with Rowan country wool (2.5 stitches to an inch on size 13 (UK9) needles) and, hadn't really banked on how big it needed to be to account for the thickness of teh wool. So I've un-picked it and started again. Because it's so thick, I wanted to make it seem-less and have started out with a body with 130 stitches.

I have Elizabeth Zimmerman's book, 'knitting without tears' and was planning to use her guidelines for a seamless, saddle shouldered sweater. I'm sure there's a Zimmerman enthusiast or 2 amongst you so I have a couple of questions:

Am I right that her percentage calculations for arm cast ons are quite narrow (1 fifth of body stitches increasing to 1 third)?

If I make a wider arm, will all my percentages be wrong?

Anyway, any help /thoughts gratefully received.



I, too am an EZ devotee---I think if you want a wider sleeve, just adjust the armhole to accommodate---I don't think this will mess up the body stitch count.

Kerry's picture

Hi David, I've just started EZ's Seamless Hybrid Sweater and I like her idea of percentages. She certainly uses the percentages you mention on the Seamlesss Yoke Sweater but I haven't really got my head around the sleeve directions on the one I am knitting yet as I am only about a third of the way to the underarm. Good luck with yours.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I haven't done much with EZ's percentage system - other than what's outlined in specific patterns - but if you use the formula and adjust your stitch count to what you want you should be fine as long as the ratio stays the same. Her later books expand on Percentage System and explain it more fully. You may also find more on it on the internet. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

ivmanrob's picture

Love EZ! I think that in some of her earlier works, like Knitting Without Tears, some of her percentages were in accordance with the way sweaters fit at that time. You could follow her directions until you get far enough of the sleeve to try it on. If you don't like the fit, rip it out, and start over with more stitches. You can just adjust things farther up the sleeve.

WillyG's picture

I don't know about percentages, but I used Knitting Without Tears to knit the raglan sweater pictured here:
First raglan sweater

Hope that helps!

Kerry's picture

Looks great.