Saturday, July 07, 2007

What IS it re: EZ?

So, what IS is exactly? What is is about Elizabeth Zimmermann that continues to draw knitters in? Her language fresh and earthy, her spell of encouraging optimism, the patterns and non-patterns that are so unique and sensible, the un-venting that is nothing short of breathtakingly inspiring?

EZ passed away in 1999 and the fascination (sometimes bordering on fervency) continues, and actually grows every year. You can still purchase her books, DVD's, patterns and the like because they are truly timeless. Even the company she started, Schoolhouse Press is still operating and run by her daughter Meg Swansen. Elizabeth Zimmerman will always be a focus, the touchstone of the passion of Knitting. I have no doubt that all Zimmermanian's will heartily concur. I had a class with Elizabeth and Meg, many many moons ago, it was a highlight for me. The EPS came absolutely alive and I cherish the memory. I know that for me and countless other knitters around the world there have been so many Lightbulb Moments when reading or knitting EZ we could light up a small country! It's true that we all run across knitters frequently who say "I had never heard of EZ until now and I can't get enough!" We're out there in droves on the web knitting Baby Surprise Jackets, Pi Shawls, were Knitting A-Long, or we're just knitting. The thing is that we just don't tire of EZ, we keep her memory alive. Not because it is noble, or even the right thing to do but because it fuels us and makes us Better Knitters.

The button below is from a vintage Grumperina blog entry and I pass it on with thanks to her, she's a huge fan as well. It is in EZ's own handwriting and advocates what we all know and love, to KNIT ON! She created the "knit on" buttons a couple of years ago with a nod to Elizabeth Zimmermann and Schoolhouse Press with the hopes that EZ's own signature in the button didn't violate copyright law. I think a resurgent interest in the button is a timely reminder for all of us who respectfully dwell in the land Zimmermania-either full, or part-time, thanks to Grumperina, a woman who (through her incredible knitting) obviously Gets It.

I may be the Knitting Contessa but Elizabeth Zimmermann is now and forevermore the Queen!


  • I think what makes Elizabeth Zimmerman so timeless is not only her enduring wit and cleverness, but the way she empowers knitters to do things their own way. Neat button :)

    By Blogger Suze, at 7:30 AM  

  • I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman this year. Her basic, down to earth approach has helped me in many ways. With her basic instructions "the light bulb" finally went on and I now understand. She has impowered me to create on my own.

    By Blogger Suzie, at 6:39 PM  

  • My lys told me they aren't carrying her books anymore because they are 'old fashioned'!!
    You can read the full story on my blog...i've emailed them today as i can't believe anyone thinks that! knit on!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 AM  

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