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Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes Paperback – July 1, 1973


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Frequently Bought Together

Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes + Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) + Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop
Price for all three: $36.80

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside Books; No Edition Stated edition (July 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684135051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684135052
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Vogue Knitting Elizabeth taught us to trust our instincts, revel in our creativity and above all, find joy in the simple act of knitting.

The New York Times [Elizabeth Zimmermann] brought a penetrating intellect and a sculptor's sensitivity to revolutionizing the ancient art of knitting.

About the Author

Elizabeth Zimmermann (1910-1999) was born near London, England, and attended art school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Munich, Germany, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1937. Frustrated by magazine editors who translated her conversational knitting instructions into abbreviated code, she started her own knitting newsletter and launched Schoolhouse Press, a mail-order business that still sells knitting supplies, books, and videos under her daughter Meg Swansen's guiding hand. In the mid-1960s she hosted The Busy Knitter, a nationally syndicated public television show, and by the early 1970s had become an icon of the knitting world. This and her three lively instructional books -- Knitting Around, Knitter's Almanac, and Knitting Workshop -- are treasured by knitters around the world.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for knitters of all levels.
Kathy Price-Robinson—Co-author of "Designer Knitting With Kitty Bartholomew"
I am a passionate knitter, I've knit since before I could read, but this was my first time owning a book by the famed and revered Elizabeth Zimmermann.
Salihah
It works very well in conjunction with Vogue Knitting or one of the other basic learn how to knit books.
Emily Cartier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This knitting book is ground-breaking. Instead of following a pattern line by line (nothing wrong with that, I like to do that) you learn how to create sweaters to fit any body, with any yarn. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, you might have bought 15 balls of yarn on sale and don't know what to make of it. Instead of waiting for a pattern to turn up for that amount of yarn, that weight, etc, you can create your own sweater in various styles to fit anyone, you, a family member or friend.

The Percentage System used in this book is easy to follow: knit a sample of your yarn, carefully measure how many stitches per inch or centimeter, then multiply that gauge times your chest circumference MINUS 10 percent for the ribbing. Increase up to 100 percent and off you go. Soon you will have a yoke style sweater, Norwegian drop shoulder or saddle shoulder, or even raglan style. Such freedom. You can go to yarn sales and as long as you have enough yarn, you can make anything from it.

Right now I am knitting a cotton summer top using this method with some bargain yarn. While this book doesn't have gorgeous color photographs of stylish knits, it does teach you to create your own. After I bought this book, my knitting really took off. Yours might, too.
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609 of 625 people found the following review helpful By Emily Cartier on July 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a beginning knitter. I bought this book because I am terrible at following directions and everything I'd read about it indicated that EZ would help you learn to modify patterns so they worked the way you wanted. They were right.

This isn't really a learn how to knit book tho. It's more an introduction to sweater design book. You are walked through several basic styles of seamless sweaters, given a good stern lecture on why gauge is important, and shown pictures and charts you can use as a jumping off point. I would expect a learn how to knit book to cover several styles of knitting, multiple castons and castoffs, and lots of techniques, all with extensive illustrations for those of us who aren't very good with written instructions. This book does not fit the bill. It is one I will consult frequently as I begin to knit my first sweaters.

It works very well in conjunction with Vogue Knitting or one of the other basic learn how to knit books. Don't buy it as the only knitting reference you'll ever need.

edit: 8 years later, I'm still knitting. I still use this book, and have knit several sweaters based on the ideas in it. They're the ones that get *worn*. It is still an entertaining read, despite rereading large chunks 4-5 times a year over the last 8 years.
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245 of 250 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. VINE VOICE on May 5, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd repeatedly read and heard about Elizabeth Zimmerman (or "EZ" as she was/is fondly known) but never read any of her books. I was, however, skeptical that her books could be as wonderful as they were reputed to be. The photograph on the cover of "Knitting without Tears" did little to entice me; the sweaters looked, well, a bit dowdy and boxy for my taste. Eventually I gave in and bought this book. Now I am a believer. EZ won me over with her very first sentence: "Most people have an obsession; mine is knitting." Somehow she managed to take knitting very seriously without ever taking herself very seriously. The book is full of practical tips and tricks for improving your knitting, conceptual ways to create your own patterns, and EZ's very decided opinions about the craft (worth considering whether or not you agree with them all). Best of all, anecdotes and humorous, often ironic commentary abound. Even if you never knit a seamless sweater, you'll be glad you bought this book.
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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Salihah on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book through Amazon without ever having seen the book or leafed through it in-person. When it arrived at my door, I eagerly opened the cover and flipped through the pages with giddy anticipation. I am a passionate knitter, I've knit since before I could read, but this was my first time owning a book by the famed and revered Elizabeth Zimmermann. But my initial response? Sadly disappointed! Afterall, where were the bright glossy photos and the fun, bold typesetting found in the garden-variety of knitting books today? What I found was pages and pages of continuous text. Well, it is a book afterall.

My curiousity got the best of me, later that night I found myself curled up in bed reading the book. My initial response of disappointment could not have been further from the truth! After immersing myself into just a few pages, I felt like I had sat down to knit with an old friend. Zimmermann's candid and frank writing style brought me a smile and more than a knowing laugh or two as she shares her knitting wisdom. Yet, there is a sophistication to her writing that leaves the reader drawn into the pages, finding each new tip or bit of advice as something to savor.

Even the rudimentary skills of knitting come into new light within her chatty, and sometimes unabashedly opinionated, pages. I loved and applauded her stern lecture on the importance of gauge. (Yes, an entire chapter all its own, and rightly so!) Gauge is the golden key to the door of knitting design. Yet it is something so often overlooked by new or impatient knitters, and often with ghastly, disappointing results.

Step by step in a narrative, familiar style, she covers the tools of the knitting trade, needles, yarns, skills, and of course, her passion for knitting.
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