September 27th, 2013

EZ

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No, not “easy.” EZ as in Elizabeth Zimmermann, knitting touchstone, uninhibited free spirit, master knitter, mother of Meg Swansen, and most importantly for this blog post, prolific author. Elizabeth Zimmermann wrote numerous magazine articles and patterns, four design books, Knitting Without Tears, Knitter’s Almanac, Knitting Workshop, Knitting Around, hosted her own PBS television series, and founded Schoolhouse Press, which purveys books, yarn, patterns, and tools.  The Opinionated Knitter, is actually a collection of her newsletters over the course of 10 years. She was also the first knitter to ever be honored with an obituary and article in the New York Times when she died in 1999 at the age of 89.

EZ is beloved by knitters and designers for her innovations which are less overthought ideas and more like common sense. Knitting back and forth on straight needles is slow and tedious; her insistence on knitting in the round on circular needles is fast, eliminates the need to purl, and makes seamless garments. While Zimmermann’s patterns have always been relevant, her garments and clear mathematical formulas that re-invent how to design based on measurements and gauge have experienced a resurgence over the last few years. If you look on Ravelry you’ll see thousands of TomTens, Pi’s, and Baby and Adult Surprises.

Beautifully, mathematically proportionate!

Beautifully, mathematically proportionate!

Here at WEBS, our classes have included EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket and her Pi Shawl design. These classes ALWAYS sell out.  This fall’s EZ classes are almost sold out (Well, the Pi Shawl class is sold out. Run like the wind to get the last space or two in the Baby Surprise Jacket). Have you knit an EZ pattern? What did you love? What would you like to see next semester? Give me your ideas in the comment section below.

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Amy G.

Education Manager at WEBS - America's Yarn Store
I've worked at WEBS (on and off) since 2003. I'm one of the employees that Steve and Kathy refer to as "The Hotel California" crew (you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave). I've been knitting for about 15 years, I also sew and am an avid yogi. I'm hoping that the better I become at yoga, the less problem I'll have with reading charts!
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  • Virginia Voelker

    I’ve done a couple of the Baby sweater on two needles. They’re a lot of fun too. Although not as famous as the Baby Surprise jacket. It’s a simple lace pattern that looks impressive.

  • Kelly H.

    I did a Rib Warmer last spring just for kicks. I normally don’t like the look of garter stitch but was curious about the construction. I’m amazed at how much warmer it is and wouldn’t have soon found that out without this interesting design.

  • Kirsten Suhr

    Are you looking for EZ class ideas, or class ideas in general? Here’s my thought on non-EZ ones: I live near several LYSes that offer great classes for beginners, but it’s understandably difficult for them to run a class with more advanced or unusual techniques as there are just fewer advanced knitters out there. So I’d love to see classes on things like two-at-a-time toe-up socks, brioche stitch, colorwork with more than two colors and/or instarsia, or more complicated cable techniques.

  • Bonnie

    I’ve made several of the Baby Surprise Jackets. I love how they can be knit in one piece and then, when folded – surprise, you have a jacket.