Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Remembering without Tears

Today is the anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Zimmerman (Nov. 30, 1999).  We owe Elizabeth a lot, because she gave us a lot.  In fact, probably her greatest gift was her belief in the talent of today's knitters. I am sure that few of us would have ventured as far, if it weren't for Elizabeth's encouragement. She felt that knitters' should create their own patterns, spread their wings and move beyond the limitations of the printed instructions.

I will always remember a line from Knitting Without Tears, which suggested that you had to find the mistake in every garment.  This was empowerment to me. I didn't have to throw a sweater away because I had found a small mistake at the beginning or somewhere that required ripping back a lot. You could just carry on and perhaps the "mistake" would never be noticed.

Stories abound of Elizabeth's cavalier attitude to knitting, such as, knitting while riding on the back of her husband's motorcycle or offering a knitting needle as a kingpin when an outboard motor on a boat had failed. She made knitting fun, entertaining enough to be on TV. She made knitting easy, especially with her percentage system. She made knitting clever with her Baby Surprise Jacket and I-cord.

We miss you and your enthusiasm for knitting.

No comments:

Post a Comment