Wednesday, March 14, 2007

pi (and elizabeth zimmerman or as she is affectionately known, ez)

today is 3.14.

Pi Fans Have Their Day


This is a story about love. About inscrutable complexity and remarkable simplicity, about the promise of forever. It is about obsession and devotion, and grand gestures and 4,000-word love letters.
It is about a curious group of people with an almost religious zeal for a mind-numbing string of numbers. Actually one number, made up of a chain that is known - so far - to be more than one trillion digits long.
They are the acolytes of the church of pi.................

and you may well wonder what the heck ez has to do with pi. well LOTS. i have heard much of ez but i never saw one of her books or saw her old pbs show on knitting. last monday, i got a copy of the old pbs show "knitting workshop" on dvd. two dvds. the first is four hours long, the second is two hours long. the first has two parts

part 1 is four half hour lessons. ez talks of wool and gauge and casting on and winding wool and increasing and decreasing. she also shows you how to knit a hat

part 2 is four half hour lessons. ez shows you how to knit two different kinds of sweaters. one is a yoke sweater the other is a norwegian dropped shoulder sweater (she even shows you steeks although that word never is uttered).

i have NOT watched the second dvd yet. i'm savoring it.

ez passed a few years ago but i LOVE HER. her daughter meg swansen is carrying on her work AND her knitting camp.

ez is rather like the julia child of knitting. she throws out a lot of conventional thinking and tells you to do what YOU want, what feels good to YOU. oh, as long as you follow just a FEW tiny rules.

and that brings me back to pi

ez had invented and/or refined many knitting patterns based on mathematical formulas INCLUDING her sweater formulas (proportions. yoke to body. sleeve width and length to body).

she is VERY famous for her
pi shawl

(picture above is from wendy johnson)

a poem for pi

Andrea Ausmus
All the world is in love with Pi
That infinite geometric measure
Its calculation has brought many a high
But many frustration and displeasure
Elizabeth Zimmerman was intrigued by Pi
She was known as the guru of knitting
She knitted a "Pi Shawl," but only she knew why
Her effort was unreimitting..............

for knitting books and dvds and the like visit school house press. they feature the work of ez and meg along with other names well known in knitting (such as barbara walker)

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