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Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac: The Commemorative Edition (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) Hardcover – August 19, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Go Big Knits: 20 Projects Sizes 38-54 by
"Go Big Knits" from the editors of Marie Claire Idees
Knit designs from the editors of Marie Claire Idées to ensure that women of all body shapes and types will look—and feel—fantastic. Learn more
$17.12 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac: The Commemorative Edition (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace)
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  • Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop (Updated and Expanded Edition)
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  • Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes
Total price: $51.90
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"One of America's most ingenious and creative knitters."--Barbara G. Walker, author of "Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
"Elizabeth Zimmerman once wrote, "So please bear with me, and put up with my opinionated, nay, sometimes cantankerous attitude. I feel strongly about knitting." Perhaps her passionate opinions, as well as her love of wool craft and her delightful style, hark back to her English upbringing or long residence in the Wisconsin woods; in any case, the "Busy Knitter," as she calls herself, is one of the most charming and informative, as well as "un"ventive (her word) knitter-authors anywhere. This book gives full scope to her tireless imagination through a year's worth of projects, fitted to the seasons, moods, and needs of knitters who would like to design their own work.
The year begins with an Aran sweater and proceeds to February baby things, a March Shetland, April blanket, May mittens, and so on through the months, completing the zodiac with November moccasin socks and a December last-minute wishbone sweater. Projects are completed in the midst of canoe trips, fishing expeditions, travel, and snowstorms. The author continuously comments on the project, its history, other ancient and modern customs, and personal beliefs.
Mrs. Zimmerman works step by step with the reader, suggesting alternative methods and ideas as she goes. Her patterns are "classic," historically suited to wool, thus remaining ever-fashionable as well as tasteful and attractive. The knitter may easily adapt the designs at will, creating new, individual projects. Mrs. Zimmerman's hints (such as how to measure gauge when working a pattern and tips for baby's items) help ease the way and will instruct even the most experienced knitter. This corrected edition of the "Knitter's Almanac" will provide at the very least a year's worth of knitting pleasure to intermediate and advanced knitters and may even help stimulate a knitting passion.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Zimmermann is famous for revolutionizing modern knitting with her books and for an instructional series on American public television.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; The Commemorative Edition edition (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486479129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486479125
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elizabeth on January 24, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful deal. The projects are interesting, the text is witty, and I am actually setting out to follow the Almanac for the entire year of 2002 (it is January and I am almost done with the January project). This is a knitter's paradise. HOWEVER, there are two things you should know before buying:
1) I would be lost if I did not also own E Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears. Her instructions in the Almanac are somewhat abbreviated, and I need the other book as a cross-reference. Knitting Without Tears has the pictures and the more elaborate descriptions to help me understand what she means in the Almanac.
2) The binding of this book is extremely flimsy and cheap. I purchased my book new in October, and, by December, pages were already falling out! It is now not even four months old and it is full of tape (I used clear packing tape to bind the pages in so that I did not lose any of the precious instruction!)
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Format: Hardcover
I already have the older edition of the Almanac, so I was of two minds whether it was worthwhile to spend the money on the commemorative edition. I am so glad I did! Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's intro is exactly what I would want to say about Elizabeth Zimmermann, except that she says it so much better than I ever could. And the book itself is much better in many ways. The new color photos are gorgeous, and I love that they mimic the layout of the original photos. The samples are beautiful in themselves, and really show off what can be done with EZ's ideas with all of the wide variety of yarns we have available to us now. The larger format and larger print make the volume much more readable, and I find I am slowing down to actually enjoy EZ's writing and stories, instead of skipping from project to project.

I would recommend purchasing this book to anyone, even if they already own the earlier edition.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift from a friend, and it has really raised my enjoyment of knitting to another plane.

I am an intermediate to advanced knitter. I know lots of different increases, decreases and pattern stitches and I have made some pretty complicated stuff-mostly by following other people's patterns like a robot. I have designed a few simple things my own, with varying results, but I would never have thought that I could design something as complicated as a sweater on my own in a million years-that's something to be left to the "experts," or so I thought.

The Knitting Almanac has shown me that there is no mysterious, arcane knowledge or mystical formula required to design your own project. Knitting can be much, much more than just following a series of individual stitches row-by-row until, miraculously, you have a finished product sitting in your lap. Every project in the Almanac is visualized as a whole, and the reader comes to understand how those individual stitches are part of an overall design that gives form to the work.

Zimmerman provides a rough framework for making mittens, sweaters, and other garments, along with complete directions for a finished project. This gives the reader the opportunity to follow along, keeping the larger design principles in mind, and create the garment that's pictured, but one is also encouraged to try different design choices and create something unique. The text is sprinkled with helpful techniques and valuable insights into knitting as a practical hobby, a mechanical process, and a lifelong love.

The style is anecdotal, rather than technical, which has its advantages and disadvantages.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a small book that packs a lot of knitting punch. The Knitting Almanac is very useful for many types of projects. The book is arranged by season as Elizabeth knits her way through the year, making warm things for her entire family. There's some fun commentary, too.
Let me list some of the most useful patterns in this book:
Best baby sweater. This is a lacy cardigan with a round yoke, easy to make, and so pretty. I made so many of these I can't even count. The lace stretches a bit, so the growing infant gets a lot of wear out of the cardigan. And it's easier to dress Baby with something that doesn't pull over the head.
Leggings. If you want to make warm tights for babies, kids or even adults. It's HARD to find such a pattern.
"PI" shawl: this is a round shawl that folds into a semi-circle. Very elegant, you can add your own lace stitches to make it unique.
Shirt Collar sweater--good for summer, short sleeved with an open collar. Can be made in any size.
Mittens, socks, an Aran sweater, there's more. This book, packed as it is, still fits into even a small knitting bag or purse and is not expensive. This has to be the biggest bang for the knitting buck I know of. I'm on my second copy. I wore out the first one.
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Format: Paperback
I'd rate this book as a must have for anyone who wants to become a better knitter. Elizabeth Zimmerman inspires knitters to look at yarn in a whole new way...to envision what the yarn can become....and not be worried about what pattern leaflets are available.

I'm a large-size person, and have always been limited to the few patterns available which were written to include sizes large enough. At the same time, I have short arms, and the available patterns were never quite right. I'd learned how to "make do," by modifying the patterns which were available in large enough sizes, but this book helped me find a better approach. With Elizabeth's insights, I was able to design a sweater that was based on MY measurements, and on what I wanted. It freed me from limitations and opened up a whole new world of knitting.

It's also a great book for a new knitter (although it doesn't teach how to knit). The humor is contagious, and innoculates the beginner against taking knitting too seriously.
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