Sunday, June 01, 2008

Acceptable Losses

I've always thought, rightly or wrongly, that I wasn't worthy of any book written by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Let's face it:  she's the Great One, the one who took it all to a whole new level through diligent "unventing" of the craft.  And I, being a humble sort of knitter and the kind who hasn't exactly discovered the basement level yet, figured that I'd best leave that to the more skilled of our tribe.  EZ is for the Good Knitters.

However, a number of people to whom I've made this observation assured me that this was really not the case.  The Zimmerman is for all.  We should love The Zimmerman, embrace The Zimmerman.  I fought it.  But who can hold out in the face of such reassurance?  Besides,  The Zimmerman and I do share a few qualities.  I, too, am a devoted Continental knitter and rarely use anything other than circs if I can help it.  Why, we are practically sisters if you don't take that whole "devotion to gauge" thing into consideration!  And, as it so happened, I was in possession of a gift certificate to a certain on-line bookstore...



So, I took the plunge!


It arrived in short order and, today, I settled down with Elizabeth for the first time.  Like anyone else who reads her work, I was instantly charmed by her way with prose.  Such a gift this woman had with words!  Clever, endearing...I was hooked.  Eagerly, I forged ahead to her first suggested project and the descriptions of how she made this work of Aran knitting happen...

And then my head exploded.

OK.  That's not really true.  I exaggerate.  How could I be writing this if my head had really exploded?  That's just silly!  No, it was really more of a small aneurysm, the blowing out of one or two smallish vessels near the back of my head.  And, as there wasn't really much being stored back there save the combination to my junior high school locker and a few questions I had with regard to the origins of pickled pigs feet, there was really no cause for alarm.  I wasn't using that stuff anyway and can call it Neuro-Housekeeping.  

I'm pretty sure that this is one of those "it's not you, it's me" situations.  The Zimmerman remains great.  I am just not ready for such greatness.  Maybe once the summer vacation starts and I have a little more time on my hands for knitterly reflection, this will all gel nicely.  Meanwhile, I've decided to set The Zimmerman aside for a bit and let my noggin heal up before I try to decipher it all again.

I an effort to re-discover my self-esteem before the weekend drew to a close, I did what anyone might do in these circumstances.


I made eggs.


Nice scrambled eggs, baked in the oven with tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs.  Sliced up, they will make for lovely breakfast sandwiches to take with me on the morning commute.  Just add a couple strips of veggie bacon and some cheese, toss it all between two halves of a toasted bagel...yummy!  And simple.  Which is within my skill set.  

I also did some spinning, knit upon the Airy Scarf and watched Shaun Of The Dead.  These are all things that I can do with ease and which make me feel like a competent member of society, one worth keeping around.  

Oh, and I took a nap.  But I think by now we are all duly impressed with my Napping Magnificence and to speak more of it would seem just a bit braggy.  Let's just leave it at that, why don't we?

But, rest assured, The Zimmerman and I are not finished with one another.  We shall meet again when the time is right and the planets have aligned in such a fashion as to make my brain more accepting of her words.  

I just need to wait for that buzzing sound in the back of my head to subside and for my right ear to stop bleeding...

SA

17 comments:

Bells said...

You know what I've found? Just read and re-read the sections of that book that draw you in. Eventually, something sinks in. Like the pi shawl. I read it and read it and still it sounded kinda tough. Then I made one. The rest is history!

That looks like am omelette - not scrambled eggs! But it looks very, very tasty!

Mel said...

You've really made more of a tortilla española (they don't have to contain potatoes, no matter what anyone may tell you), and a lovely one it is.

I love the Zimmermann, but bells has a good point. She's really meant to be read, and then maybe reread. She didn't do patterns so much as how-to's, which require a different sort of attention.

trek said...

If you think that The Zimmermann can muck with your neurons, try reading Cat Bordhi.

Anne said...

and the other thing about EZ is that when she tells you how to do something and you don't believe it could EVER work, just do exactly what she says anyway. It always works. I don't know how she did it.

Kath said...

I suspect if you go back to the Zimmerman over summer vacation you will find that you have many more brain cells to devote to her. It's amazing what not having to go to work each day can do for your knitting!

Julie said...

Those eggs look so yummy - now I'm hungry!

I have EZ's Knitting Workshop and have yet to actually read it (I've had it for over a year). Maybe I need a summer vacation.

Mia said...

Oh those eggs look GOOD and that's a great idea.. I'm gonna make some of those tonight!

And I totally agree with ya about the Zimmerman.. but they ARE nice books!

Karen said...

You are so ready for EZ. I will agree it is difficult having this brush with genius but in time it all falls into place. If you really want to blow your mind, watch one of her DVDs (or videos). I have picked them up at my local library and they are beyond excellent.

Anne said...

THAT m'dear is a fantastic breakfast idea - especially to take with us to rides for a quick bite before we go out. Thanks!!

Yarnhog said...

I've never read EZ. I have a first grasp of my personal reality and don't need it disturbed.

Yarnhog said...

I meant "firm". As in "firm grasp." The coffee grinder is broken, and apparently, so am I.

Cursing Mama said...

I am far too novice for The Zimmerman, she is scary. Almost as scary as zombies behind the dumpster.

kmkat said...

Having just finished watching the entire season 3 of Grey's Anatomy, I find myself focusing on your teeny-tiny aneurysms and wondering about how to relieve the intracranial pressure. Although that pressure is nothing compared to what you might feel if attempting one of EZ's not-quite-patterns before summer vacation. Wait. Your brain will be happier.

ella said...

Oh sheepie,
EZ is terribly difficult to read. Her ideas are sound and even brilliant, her explanations are impenetrable. Might I suggest heading over to Brooklyn Tweed (brooklyntweed.blogspot.com) and looking up either the seamless saddle hybrid or the cobblestone sweater? I swear EZ needs an interpreter.

Knitting Linguist said...

Y'know, as a person who also can't quite grasp how to actually *knit* anything that EZ has described, I recommend just reading her books for the pleasure of the writing. They're rather like a print blog from someone who knits far better than I could ever hope to, and whose brains clearly work sideways (in the best possible way, of course).

Alwen said...

Shaun of the Dead!

Good thing the undead are very slow.

catsmum said...

get EZ's Knitting Workshop - it has her 'pithy' instructions for the Baby Surprise Jacket - or Vogue International Spring 07 with the Surplice baby Jacket - I'm sure someone you know will need baby stuff one day and they are a good intro to how EZ's mind works.
or if you read ahead in the one you've got, you'll be fine. Why she started the book with the most daunting of projects I'll never know.
You are SO ready for her.