What do you see in this cardigan?

Published on Saturday May 5th, 2007

Rorschach Jacket is ready for the spotlight. She’s painted New York City red (seriously… she did the East Side bars with a cowboy showing his concealed handgun permit to bouncers… but that’s for another post) and now she’s ripe for her debut on the internets:

rorschach_greenery.jpg rorschach_frontal.jpg

rorschach_back.jpg rorschach_portrait.jpg

Click for bigger, as always. This is, as far as Google and I can tell, the very first Elizabeth Zimmermann Rorschach Jacket to model live on the web. I hope it won’t be the last, because this excellent pattern deserves a renaissance. Specs:

Rorschach Jacket from Knitting Workshop

Unspun Icelandic wool, two strands held double, most of four 300 yd-wheels cream and most of one blacksheep

US #8 needles, 4 stitches per inch

I cast on the number of stitches given for the 40″ size, but stopped when I reached the body width for the 36″ size. In other words, I have a long torso and a medium bust and I wanted a slimmer, less boxy fit. After weighing the many opinions you offered about buttons, I went with the smaller, square-within-a-circle choice. And I’m happy with the effect. I did make some slight modifications to the sleeves, working them over 80 stitches (decreased over 10 ridges to 70 for a small gusset) instead of the suggested 1/3 of the total for a blousey look. Then I nipped them back to 38 stitches for a snug cuff. I can’t tell whether EZ’s version had full length sleeves, but I made mine 3/4 length. I also sewed the two halves together inside-out, intentionally creating a raised seam to emphasize the construction. It’s a pleasing detail, I think.

I didn’t get any pictures of Rorschach in NYC, as we killed our camera card on our friends’ wedding ceremony and forgot to bring the device to dump the photos onto the laptop. But this afternoon the sun came out, and after I guzzled a mint Dewlep (no bourbon in the house, but some leftover Dewar’s from my grandmother’s memorial party did the trick handily) while cheering Street Sense to his Derby win, I gussied up and made Mr. Garter take pictures of me with my bicicletta. It’s fun to play that you’re in an Anthropologie catalogue. There are some little girls down the street who like to dress up and play Fairy Princesses… this is my interpretation. And Portland is a great location for a photo shoot right now: spring is at full throttle.

Next time I’ll have a report and a few pictures from my New York sojourn. Teaser: Of all the wedding dresses I’ve ever seen, I coveted this one the most.

46 Comments to “What do you see in this cardigan?”

  1. Elena Comment Says:

    It’s such an adorable jacket, I definitely could think of wearing one too! Thanks for the details about how you’ve interpeted and adjusted your version of Rorschach Jacket. Now I’ll head over to my e-book shop and see the availability of the book ‘Knitting Workshop’ 😉 Have a great Sunday!

  2. pamela wynne Comment Says:

    This is the first Rorschach I’ve seen finished — I love it!

  3. loribird Comment Says:

    Oh Miss Lady, you do look delightful in your new sweater!
    Kudos on covering such un-charted territory, and you did it so stylishly! I’m totally impressed, very enthused about this pattern. Thanks for sharing details of the modifications you made – I’m another long-torso’ed, medium busted one, and hadn’t thought of doing such a thing to a pattern (lack of experience…)
    By the way, you MUST share the cowboy-handgun story – it sounds quite amusing…

  4. tiennie Comment Says:

    You look fantastic! Very very nice knitting!

  5. Karma Comment Says:

    You look so fabulously mod with that jacket and your haircut… well done, chica!

  6. Veronique Comment Says:

    Wow!! Love it!
    I think I’ll add the Rorschach to my knitting list 🙂

  7. Megan A. Comment Says:

    Very chic!

  8. kathy in juneau Comment Says:

    It’s a beauty! Gorgeous! I’m sure this will have started a Rorschach frenzy!

  9. Tracy Comment Says:

    Looks FABULOUS!!!! I’ve had my eye on this sweater forever. With your added notes, it’s onward….thanx! Rorschach is next on the needles…the trend has begun. lol

  10. pen & purl Comment Says:

    Looks fabulous on you, congratulations 🙂

  11. gleek Comment Says:

    i totally heart that sweater! excellent job!

  12. Sandra Comment Says:

    my gosh, you are adorable! 🙂 lurve the jacket.

  13. Gigi Comment Says:

    The sweater is just lovely and oh so feminine! Well done!

  14. john Comment Says:


  15. lisa Comment Says:

    Love the Rorcharch! I’m so glad I got to see it up close and in person. You did a lovely job on it. It was great to have you back in the city, albeit all too briefly!!

  16. schrodinger Comment Says:

    It looks wonderful on you, great job.

  17. Lauren Comment Says:


  18. laura b Comment Says:

    It came out so beautifully! Really lovely work!

  19. Elli Comment Says:

    That’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve seen all day! I’m curious…how does the unspun Icelandic feel next to your skin?

  20. stacey Comment Says:

    Fantastic!!!!! I love the construction and the fit – I love seeing knits that are “rare” out and on the web!

  21. filambulle Comment Says:

    It is a delightful as I hoped it would be from your last post. Now please tell us: how does the icelandic wool feels on the skin? It is vera beautiful.

  22. Katie Comment Says:

    Those photos are just divine ~ but the sweater was even BETTER in person! I’m so glad I got to see you and your fabulous buttons while you visited. And I don’t think I got the full handgun permit story? More please! Miss you!

  23. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    This is beautiful! Well done! I like how the slightly poufy sleeves gives a nice contrast to the other linear details in the sweater. Really gorgeous!

  24. Mia Comment Says:

    Hey girl, you look HOTT! Two t’s because its extra spicy. I love the sweater, and the button tabs and the whole shebang! I can’t wait to see you in 1 month and 2 days!!!!!!!

  25. Brenda Comment Says:

    The jacket turned out so well! It fits you perfectly. Congratulations!

  26. Christy / Not Hip Comment Says:

    Rock the Rorschach. It looks great.

  27. carrie m Comment Says:

    beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! i love when something old-fashioned can be made hip and modern. stunning photos.

  28. Jennifer Comment Says:

    Beautiful job, it has such a great mod look!

  29. Emily Comment Says:

    I love the Rorschach! ANd you sport it so well! I’m hoping to make one in the fall–I’m giving myself the summer to recover from a Bog Jacket disaster. How did you like working with the icelandic wool? Was it as dreamy as we’ve heard tell or was it a pain?

  30. Daphne Comment Says:

    Again with the Hepburn-like knowing smile and allure! It’s wonderful.

  31. Ingrid Comment Says:

    I love the accessories! You remind me of Audrey Hepburn or someone tres elegant and chic

  32. Katy Comment Says:


  33. Asaknitter Comment Says:

    Yey for bringing back patterns – aboslutely lovely jacket.

  34. James Comment Says:

    That has to be the most mod thing I’ve ever seen hand knit. High-five!

  35. Debby Comment Says:

    Yes, the first thing I thought of when I saw your photos was Audrey Hepburn. The sweater looks wonderful on you and I love the accessories you added for the photos!

  36. Becky Comment Says:

    That is so lovely! It looks really stylish and modern. Brava on wearing it so well and keeping the classic alive.

    P.S. Your hairdo is so adorable!

  37. fluffa! blog Trackback Says:

    E.Z.’s Rorschach…

    If you haven’t seen it yet, you must. Please take a look at Blue Garter’s Rorschach cardigan. A classic E.Z. design that is being worn with a stylish and modern flair. Lovely!……

  38. luv2knit Comment Says:

    I love the Rorschach SO much ,,,that I ordered the Spun Out from School House Press in order to make one for myself.

    I read it over.. and am still somewhat confused, I was wondering this~

    As you knit ,,,,and knew which points and sides you were knitting, did it seem to make any more sense?

    I am looking at the Spun Out and am really having a bit of a hard time envisioning this ,, and I am an intermediate knitter ( have done sweaters before)
    I hope that it makes more sense as you knit along!
    Thanks for any help you may be able to give~
    I plan to knit mine in the opposite colors you did yours in ,,but am thinking that one over very well,,,as it may be difficult to do the weaving in black vs white
    Great job , very inspiring !

  39. meg swansen Comment Says:

    Dear Sarah,
    How handsome you look in your lovely new garment; congratulations.
    When asking about buttons, you mentioned the L- R- side question re buttonholes.
    Several years ago I learned an unforgettable tip for this query (if one cares about such things, that is):
    ‘Women are always Right’.
    Knit on,

  40. cari Comment Says:

    Great job modernizing the shaping. It looks terrific.

  41. cari Comment Says:

    Holy crap, I commented after MEG SWANSEN.

  42. Kristen Comment Says:

    Sarah, that’s a fabulously stylish cardigan and you rock it like nobody’s business! I adore the sleeve shape. Great work, as usual!

  43. Sue Comment Says:

    That jacket turned out wonderfully well, and looks fantastic on you too. A perfect make!

  44. knitting in the dark » Blog Archive » knitting books Pingback Says:

    […] I also read her KNITTING WORKSHOP, which has an excellent tip for Long-tail Casting-on – you don’t need the slip knot at the beginning; you just lay the yarn over the top of the right hand needle! Why didn’t I think of that? It has the recipes for the Babies’ Surprise Jacket and the Rorschach Sweater, which I’ve only ever seen here, and it is lovely. […]

  45. meg Comment Says:

    Gorgeous, both of you! I must knit this, too 🙂 You know, you bear a certain resemblance to Audrey Hepburn?

  46. I just want to knit | Old Made Pingback Says:

    […] A gorgeous version of the Rorschach Jacket from Blue Garter. Read more about it here. […]