Wednesday 8 October 2014

Day 1: A Bigger Life

Day 1:  Tell an inspiring story that invites us to live a life that is bigger than the one we're living now.

I am still in awe of the wonderful work Elizabeth Zimmermann did (Schoolhouse Press). I always think of a bigger life as a life spent out there, in the big world, not in a small town living in an old schoolhouse. From this schoolhouse she influenced many knitters to take a "look" at their knitting, take a chance, add a little something of your own to their knitting and knit without seams! Yes, I got hooked right there.

All her books, the Wool Gathering newsletters and especially the original Spun Out series have wordy instructions and percentages instead of line-by-line instructions, although she does include them in her books under the title of "blind follower" instructions. That always makes me laugh. I learned to knit using her books and many designers, including myself, still follow her percentage system to this day. If you want to begin designing your own sweaters there is no better place to start than the EZ Percent System.

Any time you step the littlest bit away from the line-by-line instructions we're all so used to now, something happens, the garment becomes yours. Go for it, change the ribbing, add a stitch pattern, add on a collar. You are now a co-designer. I invite you to proudly proclaim this title.

Do you have an inspirational story to tell?
Have you knit an EZ pattern? Have you used the EZ Percent System?


  1. I came across that Knitty article about two years ago when I first became determined to knit myself a sweater that fits. Being somewhat of a "blind follower" myself, I took those percentage numbers as gospel, slavishly following them to make a sweater........which didn't fit, of course. It took lots more trial and error to realize that percentages might work, but they had to be MY percentages. Now, two years later, I have a bunch of decently-fitting sweaters under my belt (and, yes, a few failures relegated to the recycled yarn bag), but generally feel positive about the whole process. The biggest lesson here is that nothing is sacred, and everything can be tweaked to be yours.

  2. I read Knitting Without Tears for the first time the summer before I started law school. We were at our cottage, and I stayed up all night to absorb it. My family thought I was nuts! Some years later, when Knitting Around was published, it became the first and only knitting book my husband, Bill, read cover to cover. It's hard to explain to young knitters today what these books did for the pre-internet world of knitting, or how they influenced people's live, but they did. Thanks, EZ.


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