I believe I own every Elizabeth Zimmerman book out there. Perhaps I should say every readily available book out there. I adore her philosophy, her opinionated knitting, her "Just Do It" attitude. I was originally taught to knit by my Grandma Grace, but I was taught to design freely on my own from an EZ disciple in Brazil. Eliane taught us how to design for ourselves and create sweaters by looking and inventing - or 'unventing' as EZ would say. To this day, I prefer to follow patterns as guidelines rather than strict rules.
At today's knitting, when asked for my advice about a pattern, I first wanted to bow out of the discussion as I realize I am not technical knitter. I am not very good at following directions or taking orders. (For those of you who know me, please stop laughing now). But our techie friends had already left for the day. My advice is "Just do it!" But I realized after the fact that I was probably a bit opinionated about "Just Knit It" and it made me wonder where that came from.
Of course, you know it came from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I decided to do a search for her unusually long New York Times obituary from 1999. I remember that it was nearly a half page obituary.
If you haven't read her obituary before - please take a moment and do so now. You'll see what an amazing spirit she was. While I have never knit an EZ pattern before, I have learned from the master and have taken the tools she provides to knit my own things. It's much like my grandmother who first taught me to knit. I don't have any of the treasures she knit - but I have something better. I have the gift of knitting from her and that's the best gift of all.
Here's a toast to all those EZs and Grandmas and mentors who teach the next generation to knit, design and just march on in the face of a knitting challenge. Just Do It!
Now I think I'll go back and read some of these books. Who knows what new inspiration I'll find from the master herself.