Monday, March 30, 2009

Trying to keep things simple...

It was my birthday in September and my dear John and my parents gave me a lot of Elizabeth Zimmerman books. There is a lot of zimmermaniacs out there and I totally understand that. I am not a big fan of knitting instructions in general. To me it seems like they lack a lot of information and leaves me not very strong in my faith to the designer. That combined with the fact that there is always something I want to look a bit different, has made me come to the conclusion that I just have to make my own patterns. But then there is Elizabeth Zimmermann... she is a friend and one to turn to in bad times. She was not a designer but more of a scientist. I have always been most drawn to people who designs very deep down in techniques. It is as if the design makes a full circle. As if you have to solve the most complex matrix equation to truly understand why one and one is two. A lot of scientist gets glossy eyes when they talk about the beauty of math, and I believe that even if we might not understand it all, we will be drawn to these things, because they have some kind of universal truth and beauty.

I was a little late making a nice warm sweater for Seth to be used this winter, so one weekend I let E.Z. be the scientist providing me with the few formulas to make the Raglan seamless sweater in two strands of nice warm wool. This was certainly knitting without tears, and Seth has used the sweater a lot. For someone like me who normally spends a serious amount of time planning the design it was so refreshing to just decide on the few features colours and so on... and then just go ahead... certainly not the last time...

In one of her books she writes about how silly it is to give little kids and babies gloves on for sleeping in the pram and so. It is a much better idea to make real long cuffs and then pull a cord through the edges. Just fold those cuffs down and tie a knot on the cord... Baby will be warm and will not lose the gloves.

If you want to start knitting, buy these books and let her guide you... Strong faith is a good thing but I rest my case - now I know... God is a woman. At least in knitting heaven...

Elizabeth Zimmermann:

Knitters almanac
The opinionated knitter
Knitting without tears
Knitting around
Knitting workshop

Also check out Schoolhouse press