Monday, May 18, 2009

EZ Does It

"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crisis"

Elizabeth Zimmerman (EZ)

I must admit that when I've thought of this quote by Elizabeth Zimmerman over the years I thought she meant to use knitting as a distraction from one's troubles. A kind of "Grannie on the Bugs Bunny Show" approach where one knits blissfully as the world crashes down around you.

I now know exactly what she really meant.

It's been a challenging year this 2009. On top of all the global issues, in February I learned of the tragic loss of a former co-worker in a plane crash. Then last month a dear friend and next door neighbour of twenty years died in a car accident. Both were men in their forties with families and communities depending on them. It just doesn't make sense.

It's times like these that make us reach for our knitting as a way to soothe ourselves and when I found myself thinking one day "I have nothing to knit" - I knew something was wrong. Like any rabid knitter; I'm rich with projects. Upon closer examination, I realized that all of my projects had hit a transition point. All of them required me to step out of my comfort zone and shift to the next leg of the journey. I suspect that this is what causes many projects to languish So - I embarked upon a "pushing through the transition" binge.

I sewed up the shoulder seams and picked up the neckline for the hood on Roam. I've never knitted a hood before. This baby is in the home stretch.

I started on the sleeves of the Americo Simple Cardigan in lovely grey Alpaca. This is a store sample. The yarn is wonderful and the pattern is very straightforward. I am looking forward to finishing it.

I cast on for Bijou by Marnie McLean. This will be a combination of my friend Hope's hand spun (merino/tencel) blend and my hand spun in a merino/tencel laceweight in Indigo from Tactile Fiber Arts. The braid of merino/tencel there is from the Sweet Sheep and will be spun to match Hope's hand spun to blend in with hers.

I plied the Shetland/Pygora/Silk blend from Hopeful Shetlands. This is a 3 ply chained ply that should knit up to a worsted weight. I'm thinking of either Amanda or Espresso from A Fine Fleece.

I even pushed on to thread the heddles of my Baby Wolf to make this lovely scarf. This is my first project.

It's clear to me now that Elizabeth Zimmerman knew that knitting is a metaphor for life. If we can tackle a short row or tricky collar pick up then maybe, just maybe those small successes can spill over into other areas of our lives and we can push on through.

I like that it's never too late to have an "Ah, ha" moment.


Cheryl from Creemore said...


I am very sorry to here this sad news.

We also have experienced a tragic loss of a dear friend this month and you are so right about finding comfort and solace in fibre.

Like you, I have projects languishing at transition points. You have reminded me to get them out and move forward. To focus on something other than sadness and grief, I am reminded, is the path to healing. Your post has helped me get a grip. Thanks.

vanessa said...

life does seem to be ratty.

michelle, i am looking forward to seeing what comes off your loom.