ONCE UPON A TIME there was an old woman who loved to knit. She lived with her Old Man in the middle of a woods in a curious one-room schoolhouse which was rather untidy, and full of wool.

And so begins Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter Almanac and my New Year!
Now I never really thought I had much in common with EZ but after re-reading this passage I have determined that like many knitters we may indeed be kindred spirits.

  • old woman = old fashion
  • love to knit = addicted
  • old man = I had better leave this one alone
  • middle of a woods = by the quiet shores of Conesus Lake
  • curious one-room schoolhouse = curiously built tiny cottage
  • rather untidy = well that is an understatement!
  • full of wool = full of wool, fabric, and beads…

I am so very glad that I started this voyage of working my way through a year with EZ in September and not in January. For the January project is an Aran Sweater, and I am afraid that I would have given up in frustration because there is no way that I can knit an entire Aran Sweater in just a month. I am sure this sweater will become a year long project if not a life long quest.

EZ suggests that you start out this Aran Sweater by knitting up a hat to practice your pattern work and determine your gauge. What excellent purls of wisdom.  So that’s where I will start,  a hat should be a reasonable sized project to test out my level of commitment before jumping into the entire sweater. For the very busy or timid knitter you may choose to practice on an afghan square.

EZ knits her Aran Sweater in the round and divides up the sweater into 4 vertical quadrants so that the pattern repeats should be quite easy to follow. She also suggest making up your own pattern and she refers to Glady’s Thompson’s book Patterns for Guernseys, Jersey and Arans for her inspiration. Well if a book inspires EZ then I must find this book. A few days later, this book actually found me at Rhinebeck as I just stumbled across it on a sale table. I just stood there looking at it amongst the piles of out of date 1980s knitting books. I looked around for the vendor, as I thought to myself, “try to contain your excitement!” The vendor replied, “Oh that old book you can have that for $4.00.”  SCORE!

So if I find EZ’s Fishtrap Pattern too complicated I am sure to find a pattern more to my liking and ability in this inspiring book.


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