Episode 271



In the third part of  an eight-part series with Dr. Lilly Marsh, we learn how Elizabeth Zimmermann’s desire for quality materials evolved into a business opportunity. We also hear about her participation in the Wisconsin State Fair and her ongoing (and ever-shifting) membership in the Wisconsin Designer Craftsman organization.

There is an ongoing discussion on this Ravelry thread, where Dr. Lilly chimes in.  We have begun a Baby Surprise Jacket knit along and will continue knitting and chatting about this very clever design until the series concludes.

Many of you have expressed your gratitude for this in-depth exploration of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s life and your wish to make a contribution to our efforts.  A donation to the Hudson Valley Textile Project is an excellent way to honor our work and to promote sustainable textile production in the region where we live and work. At the top of this episode, Dr. Lilly shares some exciting news about the passage of NYS Legislature Bill s3396, which establishes  that the New York state animal and plant fiber program will now be part of the New York state Grown and Certified Program! Your contribution to HVTP will be a means of promoting the efforts of fiber producers in the Hudson Valley.

Studio Craft, Professionalism, and Instituted Identity

images provided by Dr. Lilly Marsh

An advertisement in the October 1956 New Hope Gazette.

Program and entry cards from the Wisconsin State Fair.

1961 recognition of award and invitation to the opening reception.

The image Dr. Lilly muses about at the conclusion of this episode, in which Elizabeth poses with entries to the 1960 Wisconsin Designer-Craftsman Show.  The page is scanned from The Opinionated Knitter.

Episode 270

EZ and BSJ

This episode is chock full of finished and new projects, plus I’ve added a new post-apocalyptic life skill and some quilting to my list!


Glynn by Whitney Hayward in Harrisville nightshades (vinyl)

Curlew Hat by Linda Shearer in scraps of J&S and MW British Breeds

shortie socks in KnitSpinFarm corriedale sock (cherry blossom festival)


The beautiful colors of Berroco Vintage I’ve chosen to knit a Baby Surprise Jacket.  Join in the fun and check out progress of fellow YAYH listeners on our Ravelry thread, where there is lively chat about my conversation with Dr. Lilly Marsh.


I first encountered this Nordic method of woolen washing on the Yarniacs’ podcast.  After finding a bit of advice from WJ Johnson, also known as Sagahill, I decided to give it a try with some knitted pieces that have been getting a lot of wear this winter.  First, I spritzed everything thoroughly with SOAK.  Then, I left in the snow for one hour, shook out, flipped, left in snow for another hour, shook out.  The pieces were NOT wet, just damp and they dried quickly once inside.  The result is freshened garments — not exactly cleaned ones.  Given the time and effort, though, I would say this is a success and I will use the method again to make the most of a snowfall!



TATTER’s Whole Cloth Quilt class with Aaron Sanders Head was an opportunity for me to learn some techniques and try my hand at quilting, as I use some fabric from a failed eco-printing project!  Check out the class offerings at Tatter and consider giving one a try.

In this episode, I share my tips for sashiko mending of jeans.  This is a pair of VERY worn stretch jeans that my mother had just about given up on.  Now I hope she will enjoy getting some additional wear out of them.




Episode 269



In the second part of  an eight-part series, Dr. Lilly Marsh helps us get to know Elizabeth Zimmermann.  We get to hear EZ’s knitting origin story, learn about three aspects of her knitting identity, and dig deeper into the terms critical knitting and cultural production.

There is an ongoing discussion on this Ravelry thread, where Dr. Lilly chimes in.  We will begin a Baby Surprise Jacket knit along in March and continue until the series concludes.

Many of you have expressed your gratitude for this in-depth exploration of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s life and your wish to make a contribution to our efforts.  A donation to the Hudson Valley Textile Project is an excellent way to honor our work and to promote sustainable textile production in the region where we live and work.

Domesticity, Professionalism, and the Artist Housewife                (with a nod to Usula Le Guin)

images provided by Dr. Lilly Marsh

Busy Knitter 2nd Series

Walrus Club news clipping 1957

News clipping featuring EZ decorating for Walrus Club event, probably from the Shorewood Herald

Article from Woman’s Day January 1955

Television appearance 1961 (in COLOR)

Shorewood Herald clipping about EZ knitting for her daughter, Meg

European aristocracy wedding photos….these were in EZ’s scrapbook and must have been a family she knew, perhaps worked for in the past.  But it is an excellent look into those who were employing her as an English speaking companion. –LM

Scarf Girl– the story behind this is funny—EZ sent items to either Woman’s Day or Vogue (I think Vogue) for photo shoot and this was included in what was returned to her. The story was told to me that Arnold was ‘never able to feel the same way about his scarf’! –LM

with a nod to Ursula K. Le Guin

  • article about Arwen Curry’s 2018 documentary The Worlds of Ursula Le Guin, which was first screened at SanFrancisco’s Litquake Festival
  • The Worlds of Ursula Le Guin can be rented on Amazon




Episode 268

Winter Storm Uri is only hours away, so here’s the latest in knitting, kal, birding, and spinning news! Look for spinning progress on my supported and suspended spindles as I add photos to my IG stories as part of the #100daysproject.

There is great conversation going on the Ravelry thread for Episode 267, Part 1 of a series with Dr. Lilly Marsh. Thank you for all of your praise and participation!  We’ve had the suggestion for a Baby Surprise Jacket knit along — which we will begin on March 1!

I’m so pleased to have my designs included in The Woolly Thistle’s #TWTcolorkal2021.  Use the code on Ravelry for a 50% discount on either of my colorwork hat patterns (One Dark Blue Night above / Distelfink below) through February 20th.


I got a very handsome result on the Cabled Cushion kit, a gift from BarbLynn of WildRoseTextiles.  She has kits in several sumptuous colorways in her shop.  Yarns at Yin Hoo listeners can save 15% by using the code YINHOO15 until April 1.  

New Year’s Eve themed yarn made a great pair of Valentine’s Day socks for Mom.  Three x one rib is becoming my go-to sock recipe. I’m also fond of a rounded toe.  I provide an overview of my technique for this sock on my Ravelry project page.


One finished pair of socks — one new cast on.  This is the Cherry Blossom Festival colorway from KnitSpinFarm and I adore it!

I’m making steady progress on the Glynn pullover in Harrisville nightshades yarn.  Taking liberties with the design as usual, I’m knitting on the recommended needles, in one size smaller than specified for my measurements.  So far, I like the fit.  I’ve kitchenered the front and back together instead of performing a 3-needle bind off, and I’ve seamed up the sides and have picked up stitches for the sleeves.


Notes on the Peanut” by June Jordan


Episode 267



In this, the first of an eight-part series, I talk with Dr. Lilly Marsh, who examined the influence of EZ in her doctoral thesis at Purdue University.  In this episode, Dr. Marsh explains the genesis of her project, and shares details of the sources that provided context for her research.  We spend some time talking about the state of knitting in the United States during the mid-century (1950’s) and the need for a knitter to speak for herself and thus encourage other knitters to speak for themselves.

Dr. Marsh has shared some photographs of materials from her own collection.  There is an ongoing discussion on this Ravelry thread.

We begin our conversation with a discussion of the timeless image of the knitter.   Here is an image of a pre-industrial knitter.

Here is an image in the modern style, but we can see that the posture and hand placement are much the same in both images.  Despite this, Dr. Marsh argues, “The act of knitting, and the individual knitter, is, like any activity, highly contextualized within the framework of culture and history.”

Vogue Knitting Lake Placid issue Spring 1958

Woman’s Day January 1952

Woman’s Day EZ byline Norwegian Sweater 1952

EZ’s beret image in 1957 Woman’s Day

Bernat 1957 cover Fashions and Fun for the “Almost Teens”

Suspender Sweater featured in Bernat

The Work Basket (for pleasure and profit) 1950

Number Knitting by Virginia Woods Bellamy 1952

Number Knitting pattern example

Knitting Dictionary translated from French Mon Tricot


Episode 266

It’s a quick episode, with some announcements and updates on knitting projects!  I will work on coming back with some photos later this week!


Our knit & chat will follow a free online seminar about the Backyard Bird Count hosted by the Appalachian Mountain Club at 7pm EST on Thursday, January 28th.

Link to ZOOM INFO (RAV link post #17) on the Birding Chat Ravelry thread.  Everyone is welcome to post to this thread.  We are united by our common interest in becoming more proficient birders and making the most of our time in / observing nature.


  • Glynn by Whitney Hayward in Harrisville nightshades VINYL


This recipe uses one 15 oz. can of pumpkin and makes 18 moist and delicious cupcakes.  I am really impressed with the result!

NOTE: I reduced the oil in this recipe from 1 cup to 1/4 cup.  Next time, I might consider adding only a tblsp or none at all.  The egg and pumpkin in this recipe do the work of oil, in my opinion.

I also reduced the white sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1/2 cup.

a podcast about the fiber arts and other post apocalyptic skills