If you’re a knitter, I sure as hell don’t need to introduce you to Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Hers is simply a name that people who knit recognize, much as people who love horse racing or tennis know Secretariat or Billie Jean King. Her bracing, empowering first book, Knitting Without Tears, has been continuously in print since its debut in 1971. Chances are you own it, or have at least read it. Fifteen years on from her death at age 89, Elizabeth continues to be omnipresent, her influence inescapable.

I found her, or she found me, during a moment of crisis when I had become utterly bored with knitting. I was, in fact, on the verge of giving it up.