EZ @ 100

Perhaps this has been said thousands of times before but, Elizabeth Zimmermann changed my life for the better.  Dover Publishing which published Knitter’s Almanac is located in Mineola, Long Island, not far from where I grew up and this book was the first of EZ’s that I purchased.  I think I drifted into the Dover facility and noticed the “Knitter’s” in the title and picked it up.  I’d never heard of EZ before.  It was (and is) unlike any other knitting book I had read.  It is a novel, with patterns inserted into the narrative.  I fell in love with Elizabeth.  My maternal grandmother was the only member of my family to knit.  She passed away when I was 3, so I never had a chance to learn from her.  Elizabeth was the grandmother I was missing — not only for her knitting talent, but for her spirit, her energy, her sense of humor, but especially her attitude — the “do what you want and see what happens.”   I felt like she was writing just for me.

I went on to Knitting Without Tears.  This book is a liberation of the mind (and needles).  Her EPS system is revolutionary — the Newtonian principles of knitting.  Finally when I began designing, I purchased the rest of her titles** — Knitting Around and Knitting Workshop.  The latter is my all-time favorite Zimmermann book.   If you have the opportunity to view/purchase the DVD that goes along with this book, DO IT.  It is more entertaining than most feature films and you will learn more in those few hours (about knitting, about life, about family) than you will in years of living.   I could watch this DVD twice a month and never grow tired of it.   I feel like I know her.  I miss her — isn’t that strange — missing someone you’ve never met?

Anyway, today would have been Elizabeth’s 100th birthday.  Happy 100th, Elizabeth!

“Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.”

** Also, read “The Opinionated Knitter” — even though Elizabeth is listed as the author, it is Elizabeth’s daughter Meg Swansen‘s homage to her mother.  Wonderful!

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Juggler: mother, knitwear designer, teacher

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