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Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) Paperback – October 1, 1981
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From the Back Cover
"One of America's most ingenious and creative knitters."Barbara G. Walker, author ofTreasury 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.
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I crochet far more than knit, and I dearly wish the crochet world had books like this.
Elizabeth Zimmermann's writing style is warm & friendly, without being over the top. She doesn't spell out every little thing for you, but I found that by just re-reading when necessary & not worrying about every little mistake I might make, the knitting just flows on.
Some of these patterns have been adapted into other patterns by other designers for their techniques. The Pi Shawl (July) is an innovative way for designing a circular or half circular shawl based on the mathematical pi. It is one of those "Ah ha" moments when you read the instructions. And then you realize that knitting a round circular shawl does not have to be that difficult.
Another favorite is the February Baby Sweater. As a baby sweater, it is a cute quick knit. This has been adapted for an adult pattern, and is a favorite on the knitting website Ravelry.
For a long time, I discounted the EZ philosophy, but once I started reading her down to earth writing and instructions, I realized that this is what knitting was about. It is a practical art. Knitting should not be made so hard as to cause anyone heartburn. EZ was all about taking a lot of the mystery and complications out of knitting with her frankness and honesty.