Sunday, July 22, 2018

A better day, today. Not difficult, as yesterday I did nothing at all.


n  I tidied the kitchen somewhat. It’ll have to be more than somewhat, by the time James and Cathy get here on Tuesday to carry me off to Strathardle. It’s a start, however. I now have a dishwasher, which makes things easier, but still, a finger has to be lifted.
n  I watered the plants. That sounds easy, but I have a lot of pots out there on the step, and water is fearfully heavy.
n  I cleaned the litter trays. That’s easier than it sounds.
n  I got all the way to the corner shop to buy the weekend Financial Times and some Brillo.

And there will still be time, after my nap, to do a couple more things – pay an important bill and perhaps sweep the kitchen floor; plan the meal with which to welcome James and Cathy on Tuesday. And do some knitting, I hope.

I sit here surrounded by Zimmermanns, plucked from their place on the shelf, I think, to help me decide where to divide Alexander’s Calcutta Cup vest for the armholes. I find myself wondering whether my knitting life would have been different if I had stayed in the USofA. Would I have discovered her sooner?

I think I first heard of her through an article in the Sunday Times Magazine. One was invited to send an s.a.e. for a copy of the Baby Surprise. I still have the mimeographed sheet, now more than a bit tattered. The pregnancy code names of the various grandchildren I have knit it for are all recorded on it.

I think the first was Rachel’s daughter Hellie, now approaching 30. Therefore this must have happened some time in the late ‘80’s. But Woolgathering was launched in the late ‘50’s, not long after EZ started selling patterns to magazines. “Knitting Without Tears” was published in ’71. When were the Public Service television series? And would news have reached me? Until the internet entered my life, in the mid-90’s, my knitting was a very lonely business. And would I have had the wit to let her change me?


  1. skeindalous7:32 PM

    Wit in abundance you surely have!
    'Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.'
    ---E. Zimmerman
    There's some good advice.

    1. I have the bag with that motto on it - for holding knitting of course! I also have, preserved very carefuly, those Sunday Times articles - how I wish I had bothered to send for the pattern, as Jean did.

  2. I was in the USA then, and didn't find her, either. It was only when Knitters did a feature on her (as an obituary?) that I heard of her.

  3. I found "A knitter's almanac" in the library in my teens and read it from cover to cover. I haven't followed a pattern since then - and made plenty of mistakes along the way. Decades down the track I am beginning to realise how fortunate I was to find that book in the library!

  4. I discovered EZ Knitting Without Tears when attending university in Ottawa in the early 80’s - never saw it any where on public tv. Didn’t she and MEg have a column in the very first few Knitters

  5. Anonymous12:17 PM

    I found both Knitting Without Tears and Barbara Walker's Afghan Block Book at the Library. They never really "took." Until about 30 years later. EZ's words make so much more sense now. Chloe

  6. In just the same way that I can not follow a recipe, I have a very hard time following a knitting pattern. Somehow, there is always something I need to change. Or I am compelled to just start knitting, with no pattern at all, and just see what develops. It was so many years later that I found EZ, through the internet, and early knitting bloggers, and had my tendencies validated. Oh, and expanded! How wonderful to have her math skills to add to my repertoire.

  7. Our eldest grand turned 18 four months ago today and recently (5/19) graduated high school. Our youngest grandkid turns 18 in 2030 - I will be 76; the husband will be 80. Hope we will be lucky enough to be around then. I am so happy for you that you have been able to enjoy such wonderful occasions with your dear ones!:)