Friday, September 3, 2010

I stand proud in my underpants

The commemorative edition of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac has just been published to celebrate the centenary of her birth. On page 94 is a color photo of my Nether Garment—my knitting in a book by my knitting hero!!
On the left is my treasured original copy vintage 1981 and on the right is the new edition with color photos. I am so proud to be included that words can't express it. Although I never met her, Elizabeth Zimmermann continues to be an inspiration to me in knitting and in life. One important thing I learned from her was that you can make any project truly your own and not be what she called a Blind Follower.
  I knit my nether garment quite some time ago—I think it was the 90s or it might have been the tail end of the 80s. (Below are all the notes I have about how I did it. ) Until this year it had never been out of the house but it has now journeyed out and back in a box to be photographed for the book. I wear it often while sitting around on cold winter nights. Much as many people have advised me to wear it with boots and a skirt, I just don't do skirts in the winter, no matter what nether garment I have on. It gets really cold in Wisconsin!

 I never showed it to many people, but I noticed right away that when I did, they tended to giggle. It just seems to strike people's funny bones even though it was (ahem) a Serious Study of Fair Isle Colors and Patterns. Okay, it was actually more of a result of ordering scads of different colors of Shetland yarn from Schoolhouse Press and wanting to play with as many of them as possible. I sometimes consult it when thinking about what color combination to use for a new garment as it functions well as a sampler. And if I'm feeling a bit down, a quick frolic around the house in it is good for my mood.
When I posted it as one of my projects on Ravelry I was taken aback by it's popularity there and all the nice things people said to me. (One of the messages had the subject line "Your Underpants!" which I found charming once I realized it was from a non-native speaker of English.) It won a Bobby award for Most Colorful Project the first year of Ravelry. So far, over 23,000 people have looked at my version of the Nether Garment on Ravelry and now the book is out so I'm sure many others will see it. It makes me very happy and immensely proud to be part of the book. Knit on.


Anne said...

Congratulations -- indeed this is an honour! I found your photo on Ravelry one day and was so amazed - what a wonderful fun project. Maybe with the new edition of this book we'll see a whole lot of "nether garments" out there -- I too think they would be spectacular under a skirt with boots -- come on - go for it!

Carolina said...

Thank you so much Anne! I would love to see more nether garments knit in more colors! Maybe I will need to wear them out in public (but not in a warm place!)

ColorJoy LynnH said...

This is SO exciting!!! Congratulations on being recognized for your true creativity. You followed the EZ philosophy in a way which I am sure would make her happy.

Go, Grrrl!

evelien said...

Congratulations Carol! I think it's worth wearing in public, but now at least it survived up until today and I don't think so many people would have seen it if you had worn it to shreds in the eighties. I used to have beautiful leg warmers in the seventies in pink, purple and green colours in patterns I invented myself, but there is not even a photo of it left. What I like about your garment is also the fact that both legs are different. That's what makes it so special.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your project being included in the EZ commemorative Almanac! How exciting!!

Grand Purl Baa said...

do do do do (sung to scary movie music) Ah ha! Zeez eez YOU! I would know those pants anywhere.

And my own copy of EZ KA is due any day now.

Congrats on getting that gig. Well done you. Your underpants will be the thing I'll look for first.