But I have discovered that math is the leitmotif in all of her designs. She loved garter stitch not only because of the lovely squishy texture it creates, or because there is no purling, but also because "it has a wonderful mathematical characteristic: 10 ridges of garter stitch (20 rows back-and-forth) measures EXACTLY the same as 10 stitches. Thus corners may be knitted at an exact 90 degree angle (made up of two 45 degree triangular sections) a thing which cannot be achieved -- as you surely know -- in any knitted pattern based on stocking-stitch." (Knitting Workshop, p. 91). Every EZ pattern I have knitted or read is based on series of simple repetitions based on mathematical equations. She uses these repetitions along with an ingenious use of simple stitches and knitting techniques to contour the fabric as it is knit, moulding it into a hat or a sweater or a mitten. The beauty of all this is that she has done all the figuring so you don't have to!
This week I have been experimenting with a roving from the Pecunia Collection purchased through Lanaquilana. Since this roving is very similar in weight to the Sheepsdown yarn that EZ uses for so many of her creations, I decided to use it to knit some hats from EZ's collections. While I have found that the Pecunia roving is a good substitute for EZ's sheepsdown, what has intrigued me most is the math in the simple repetitions used to achieve virtuously seamless hats, some quite stylish, some quite amusing, all quite warm!
I started off with the Conch hat in the 3 spiral version, of which I also inadvertently made a perfect 4 spiral version, proving that if you use the right percentages of stitches from the very start your hat will come out just fine!
This particular hat is as beautiful inside as it is outside. Here is it turned inside out - and it could be easily worn this way!
Here I turned it inside out and folded it onto itself to show off the swirls
I love this picture of the inside, you can really see why EZ called it the Conch hat!
The formula or recipe for this hat calls for casting on a number of stitches that equals the circumference of the brim. Once the brim is finished, the stitches are increased by 1 and a half. At this point the stitches are divided into even sections; then the characteristic spirals are formed by making a decrease at the start of each section and completing the section with a special increase to form the characteristic ridge... you will have to read the pattern for the rest of the story, but the results are fascinating... beautiful both inside and out, this hat is sure to get compliments each time you wear it!
My next hat was the Maltese Fisherman's Hat, which EZ "unvented" when a friend brought her back a fisherman's hat from Malta. Of course she added her own personal touch by shaping the back neck and ear flap section with short rows to make it hug the back of the neck and stay close around the ears, keeping your favorite fisherman or fisherwoman warm and toasty!