"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit, either." ~ E.Z.
I had a dream recently that Elizabeth Zimmermann, Helen Nearing, and Tasha Tudor were coming here, along with my dearest girlfriends, for tea and shortbread (I was making this shortbread, to be precise). The ladies were arriving by horse (of course) - all together in one buggy. They never quite made it - something about the frost heaves on the paved country road being too much for those poor horses' hooves, and something about wanting to pick up Rachel Carson along the way, but getting a little lost trying to fgure out where she lived. (Yes, we were communicating via cell phones - Elizabeth had an iPhone, naturally).
And then I was abruptly kicked by one of my babies (from the inside or out, I'm not really sure), and the dream was over.
I may have had a little bit of coffee ice cream before bed. Ahem.
But wouldn't that be something? Oh my. Perhaps they'll try the visit again in spring once the roads thaw - that would be nice - those four amazing women chatting around a table. Yes, please.
"What? You can't knit in the dark? Stuff and nonsense; anybody can. Shut your eyes. Knit one stitch. Open your eyes and look at the stitch; it's all right. Shut your eyes and knit two stitches. Open them. Shut them. Knit three stitches. Falling off a log is no comparison." ~ E.Z.
I've been reading through Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter this winter. I don't know why I hadn't picked it up before - Knitting Without Tears and Knitters Almanac are such treasures to me. But this third book - The Opinionated Knitter is a collection of her newsletters published during the years of 1958-1969, printed just as she wrote them (with additional and later notes by herself and daughter Meg, as well as personal photographs). Each newsletter with a pattern in them, but oh so much more than that, because there is her amazing writing to pour over too. Her humor, her wit, her reverence for nature, family and knitting and keeping things practical and simple. I can't really stop quoting her...or reading pieces of it aloud when the whole family is gathered around.
"I deliberately keep my knitting notes vague, because tastes vary and your brains are as good as mine anyway." ~ E.Z.
They smile quite good naturedly, but for some reason, when you're a five year old child it just doesn't mean the same thing that it does to a thirty-four year old knitting mother of four. Oh well. I'll keep quoting.
And I'll keep knitting. When I came to Newsletter #22, I found "a bonnet, bootees and bunting; in the same idiom, but not quite so surprising...." as the Baby Surprise Jacket. It seemed perfectly necessary that I cast on immediately for the two additions to the BSJ I finished earlier. And true to form - they knit up beautifully and simply - "pithy" directions and all - right before my eyes. (Ravelry pages for the Bootees and Bonnet.)
She knew a thing or two, that Elizabeth Zimmermann. I'm grateful for her words in my own world - from patterns, in books, and over tea in my dreams, should I be so lucky for her to make it across those roads one of these days.
"Now, let us all take a deep breath, and forge on into the future; knitting at the ready." ~ E.Z.