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The Opinionated Knitter Hardcover – January 30, 2005

84 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Opinionated Knitter
  • +
  • Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes
  • +
  • Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop (Updated and Expanded Edition)
Total price: $58.49
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Schoolhouse Press (January 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942018265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942018264
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Joanna D. #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Good things about "The Opinionated Knitter"

1. The "lost manuscripts" are assembled for fans of Mrs. Zimmermann's excellent writings on knitting

2. There are patterns you've probably not seen before unless you were a long-time subscriber to the Woolgathering Newsletter, such as a baby blanket, a saddle shoulder sweater knit in the round and some hats and mittens.

3. There is the full set of baby and adult surprise jackets, kimono-style garter stitch jackets knit as an ungainly object that magically assembles itself into an attractive and utilitarian garment.

4. The equally good children's "Tomten" or hooded jacket is in here.

5. There are a few more snippets of Elizabeth's autobiographical musings, not much but a bit more to add to the successful "Knitting Around."

Bad things

1. Lots of photos, but not professional looking. (minor quib)

2. Some of the quaintly typed newsletters reproduced as is, so the text is somewhat mixed.

3. The patterns were done in the pre-charting age, so they are written out in some cases and not charted. This bothers some knitters.

4. The patterns are a bit homespun-looking. Personally, I love the rustic style. But this is not gourmet, fashion knitting. Some people find that is not their cup of tea. This is for the ski-sweater, manly utilitarian and baby knitter.

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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Janet Dwyer on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are new to knitting and don't know EZ, this book is not the place to start. However, I strongly urge you to start buying all her books, read them cover-to-cover (knitting all the while) and when you know her better, then buy this book and get to know her a little more. In other books, she refers back to these "early years" of her first newsletters/wool gatherings. I had often wished that I had started knitting back then and could see the old newsletters. I even bid on some on ebay!! No need now, because they are here, in all their homespun, original typed glory. Seeing her pencilled-in corrections makes me feel like the recipient of a personal letter, like hearing from a grandmother or aunt who helps with my knitting. Thanks, Meg, for putting all this together, and yes, I'm sure she loves the title.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Steinlage on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I waited a long time to buy this book. Knitting without tears revolutionized my approach to the craft (after trying to copy a sweater from a magazine using acrylic yarn--yes, I cried), and I've been knitting on and off now for five years, tackling increasingly complex projects. I am a person who tends to be impatient with conventional knitting directions. I can never quite trust them; staring endlessly at the many trees of abbreviated instructions, I could never quite see the forest.

EZ frees you from pattern instruction slavery: for the bold, ambitious knitter who wants to learn some techniques and then strike out on her own, EZ's books are perfect. I recommend starting with Knitting Without Tears and ending with The Opinionated Knitter. What you put in the middle is up to you.

Opinionated Knitter is, as I see it, Meg's tribute to her mother. Published after EZ's death, it includes lots of notes about how she got started, how she built up her business and garnered such wide exposure that her death was remarked upon in the major media (as well as some touching remembrances from fans and those who knew her).

This is not a design book; although the letters contain some designs and instructions, and the book includes photos, only hard-core EZ knitting geeks will really break out the needles. The book's appeal is in the feeling of getting that much closer to knowing EZ as a friend and a guide, as well as a knitting guru. The perfect topper for your collection--and a fun read on a cold winter's day when you need a break from actual knitting and just want to get re-inspired.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Doris Moore on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The most influential knitter of the 20th century ironically is heard from at the earlier part of her career. These newsletters predate "Knitting Without Tears", "Knitter's Almanac", & etc. I enjoyed the facsimile reproductions. We get a glimpse of her groping towards eps, instead of the fully armed version in her later writings.

Of course, we have patterns in the EZ manner. Allowing the knitter to make choices & decisions. While EZ is opionated in her knitting philosophy she is empowering to the knitter.

I hope members of the "Stitch & Bitch" crowd discover EZ. Imagine what they could accomplish is they loosened their death grip on line by line, stitch by stitch, place marker, make an increase this way, type of boring patterns.

EZ had an interesting life and I enjoy the excerpts from her journals. We get to know EZ not only as a wonderful knitting teacher but a warm, friendly, funny, woman.

As always these days, I think hardcover books are overpriced. I would love to see EZ's books in digital format.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Donna S. Tritz on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I love, love, love this book. It is true that most, if not all, of the patterns are probably available elsewhere but it is os convenient to have them in one place. For EZ fans, a large part of her appeal is her chattiness & anecdotes. You feel like you have a friend sitting at your elbow instructing you. As for the reviewer who was hoping for more definite instructions (perhaps with specific needle size, yarn & more explicit instructions?) - EZ was largely about helping knitters to understand the structure & anatomy of knitting & people so one can devise (or "unvent" as she might have said) one's own designs. This is definitely not a book for rank beginners (altho I would encourage any who think it interesting to buy it & read through it - you'll probably learn a lot & may be ready for the projects even before you know it) or blind followers but clearly for the thinking knitter. Lord knows there are plenty of the other kind - I wish there were more of this kind!
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