Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Elizabeth Zimmermann Birthday Tea Party
August 9, 2009 (Sunday) would have been Elizabeth Zimmermann's 99th birthday. My local knitting guild, The Sunflower Guild, celebrated by having a wonderful tea party at The Victorian Trading Company. This was the PERFECT setting for the gathering. We had, gosh, maybe 30 knitters from our guild in a little old-fashioned Victorian furnished parlour inside the store in a private tearoom. The furnishings were wonderfully authentic, and our guild members had all dressed up in their summer dresses and many wore shawls or Elizabeth-inspired knitting projects.
What can I say? It was a delightful afternoon. While we drank tea and homemade lemonade, we enjoyed treats prepared by several of the members.
We heard Elizabeth stories, about events from her life and her books. We discussed projects that were made from or inspired by her books. We had an Elizabeth trivia game and prizes were awarded. There were dainty little hand made notecards, handspun and/or hand-dyed yarn.
It was just delightful! This is the second year they had the event. I didn't get a chance to go last year, but will definitely plan to attend next year.
This lovely afternoon reminded me of an Elizabeth story I heard from Davis Xanakis during his Double Knitting class the first year I attended Stitches in 2003. He told of how Elizabeth used to be knitting constantly, including while her husband drove the car or motorbike. Whenever she would go to dinner at someone's home, she would often bring them a gift, and often a knitted gift. One day, he said, she was on the way to dinner at someone's home and she knitted the host a double-knitted pot holder so that the table would be insolated from hot pans. She just whipped it up and hurried to finish it on the way to dinner and presented it as she walked in the door, barely off her needles.
My own personal "Elizabeth" memory is one of my craft-loving grandmother, Ferne, (now 93 and still with us) watching EZ's PBS TV show. Grammy would never let us turn the station while EZ was on. She stayed glued to it the whole time. In recent years, she's really enjoyed us being able to view EZ videos from the library. It brought back a lot of warm memories from the times we watched it together during the 1960's during the PBS years.
So in closing, as Elizabeth would say, "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."