by Lee Louise
I have recently been digging old projects out from odd corners of the house (including my daughter’s closet), photographing them, and documenting them on Ravelry, that wonderful social medium for knitters and crocheters, spinners and weavers. I’ve made lots of friends there, joined several groups, and found sweaters that I had almost forgotten about, but not quite.
Let me state that I am, unequivocally, a self-confessed Kathy Zimmerman fan. Back in the 1990’s, my earliest cabled sweater was a Kathy Zimmerman design, and my first lace sweater was also a Kathy Zimmerman design. Then there were some cabled and basketweave vests for the men in my life… K.Z. designs, all. Whenever I looked through a new issue of one of the knitting-themed magazines, if there was a sweater that made me think, “I MUST knit that,” about 2/3 of the time it was designed by K.Z.
A few days ago, I had Sarah bring down the aforementioned blue-green cabled Knitaly wool cardigan (true color is the blue green in the top right picture):
and the deep red lace cardigan, which is decidedly not-wool and also decidedly a mystery yarn after all these years (true color is much deeper red than depicted in any of these pictures):
I no longer had any idea what they were called, or which issue of Knitter’s they were from, but I had just joined the Kathy Zimmerman group on Ravelry, and the ladies there offered to play “Name that sweater” with me. I was amazed at how quickly they solved my mysteries! The consensus (and I agree) was that the cabled sweater is the Diamond Cable Classic pattern (there were versions for both pullover and cardigan; I made the cardigan variant) from Knitter’s #45 Winter 1996 issue, and the lace sweater was the Cool Coral pattern from Knitter’s #50 Spring 1998 issue.
They have been worn, to the point of being worn out today. Sarah wore them to college in the mountain west. She wore them when she lived in England for a year and a half. She wore them until all the buttons came off the red sweater (none sewn on again, and missing for years now), and until the cabled sweater’s wool sprouted holes. Unwearable? Yes, but so well loved I don’t think she has ever considered recycling them when my back was turned. They were made with love, and have been worn with love, and are now preserved with love and rich with memory.
K.Z.’s most recent design that just came out in the Interweave Knits 20th anniversary issue (Fall 2016) is called Neota, and is high on my list of wannaknits. I mean, just LOOK at it —
So classic. So cabled. So Kathy Zimmerman!! Neota Cardigan — You are MINE!!!