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Schoolhouse Press—Newsletter #10 Special Issue November 2009

"Needle size? I steadfastly refuse to guess what size you need; only you can know that. "

— Elizabeth Zimmermann, in Spun Out #32

a newsletter from
Meg Swansen

Dear Knitter graphic


from NL 9:

"Did you read about EZ's Green Sweater on Twist Collective? What a lovely story. The 'Sherlock Holmes' person, Sunday Holm (really), did a splendid job of dissecting the EZ-Green-Mystery-Sweater and we have arranged to have it available as a pattern in the near future. And - I think I can break this news now: The mill who had spun and dyed the actual Green Sweater wool used by my mother just happens to have a batch of it lying around. It will not be re-dyed in future (unless someone orders a ton of it), so I have to say, 'limited supply.' But I think only 4 skeins are required, so we will have enough wool for many dozens of authentic sweaters. We will send an announcement to newsletter subscribers when the pattern and wool are available. "

And here is the announcement. Sunday Holm wrote up her instructions and they are now available in SPP#13. (*Note: orders placed Wed-Sunday will ship 11/30-12/3)


The first batch of single-strand green wool sold out quickly. However, we are having a batch dyed specially for us.

What a testament to that wool; after over 50 years of wear; first by Joan Smith, for whom it was knitted, then by her daughters, the original sweater is still mostly intact (it could use EZ's Heart patches at the elbows).

However - before you order the authentic wool, I need to give you a bit of information. The wool is a single-strand and it may appear overspun (some doubling-back in the skein). We have knitted up two samples with the new wool; my tam seemed as if it was Thinking about Torquing, but I blocked it straight. However, Amy Detjen's hat (from the very same skein) has a perfectly straight grain right off the needles; so, apparently knitting-style is involved. The mill recommends winding the skein into a ball at least several days before casting-on, to allow the wool to 'settle down' (what a great mental image and fave Jon Stewart phrase). The wool feels a bit coarse while knitting, but softens and fulls beautifully after being washed - and wears amazingly well!

Joan and my sister, Lloie, were contemporaries and friends while we lived in New York (I was the tag-along little sister).

Once our family moved to PA, then to WI, we would visit each other occasionally; here we are at Jones Beach on Long Island -- which, naturally, I called, Joan's Beach.





Sunday Holm knitted her copy for Joan Smith in our very soft, Ultra Alpaca (color: Peat Mix).

With thanks to both Joan and Sunday for facilitating this new pattern.

SPP#13, 5 (5, 6, 7) skeins Ultra Alpaca @ $8.75 per skein.











Updates on new projects:

  • Jenny Bakriges' book, Spinning Around (dyeing, spinning and knitting) continues to move forward and we anticipate a Spring, 2010 pub-date.
  • Katharine Cobey is also nearing the finish line on her book, Diagonal Knitting and we hope to have it available shortly after Spinning Around.
  • My mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann, loved garter-stitch and wanted to write a garter-stitch-only book. Her proposal was rejected by all publishers to whom she submitted it and, gradually, most of the designs found their way into other books (the Baby Surprise Jacket, Tomten, Heart Hat, Roarschach Jacket, Mystery Mittens , Ribwarmer, etc). Michelle had the loving idea to scour through her grandmother-in-law's journals and files and round up both new (which we describe as, never having been published), as well as little-known garter-stitch designs to put a book together in honor of Elizabeth's 100th birthday (Aug 9th, 2010: 8-9-10). Cully has picked up the baton and is meticulously going over his grandmother's notes, scribbles, scraps of paper, etc., to assemble a nice variety of garter-stitch designs for sweaters, jackets, slippers, stockings, gloves, hats, vests, booties and baby jackets. As I decipher and knit up some of the scribbles, I am pleased to report that ma continues to stun me with her sculptural approach to knitting; wait until you see some of the amazing clogs, brimmed hats and sweaters... our fingers are crossed that we can publish the book by my mother's birthday.
  • We continue to produce new Schoolhouse Press Patterns (SPPs), with Bridget Rorem's, Lace Alphabet and Lizbeth Upitis', Fringed Sun Latvian Mittens (along with EZ's Green Sweater) as our latest offerings. We are also thrilled to announce that Ron Schweitzer will be publishing his stunning Fair Isle designs as Schoolhouse Press Patterns in the near future. We expect his first design to be available by the new year.


Our next Newsletter will resume our usual format of updates plus Q & A.




Meg's signature




Schoolhouse Press Patterns
Dale Long's
Christmas Past




Bridget Rorem's Lace Alphabet Scarf



Latvian Mittens Pattern

SPP 12 - $8

Latvian Mittens Book

Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis $25

Buy the pattern and book together: $33





EZ Books & DVDS 20%Discount

Code: NLEZD1009 must be posted in the comment section of your order to receive a 20% discount on any Elizabeth Zimmermann book or DVD until Dec. 8th, 2009.

Offer applies to newsletter subscribers only.
















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