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Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes Paperback – July 1, 1971
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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
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Like 3 other books penned by her: TOK ([Please read my review https://www.amazon.com/Opinionated-Knitter-Elizabeth-Zimmermann/dp/0942018265/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 The Opinionated Knitter ]; KW ([Please read my review https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Zimmermanns-Knitting-Zimmermann-1981-12-01/dp/B017MYPOCA/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann (1981-12-01) ]; and KA ([Please read my review https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Zimmermanns-Knitters-Almanac-Knitting/dp/0486241785/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Zimmermanns-Knitters-Almanac-Knitting/dp/0486241785/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 ], KWT is written in a charming and witty personal narrative style, just begging you to listen to her and do what she suggests – as if she were in the same room with you! It is a highly-endearing style for an author to use, but it makes you want to personally befriend her and learn from her at the same time.
Notice that the first chapter title head is the same as the title of one of her most popular later hard-cover books (TOK), which was published after her death. Chapter 2 (and onward are titled as follows): Gauge: Required Reading; 3. Ski Sweaters in Color Patterns; 4. Seamless Sweaters; 5. Other knitted Garments; and 6. The Washing of Sweaters.
Following these 6 chapters is the Bibliography and then the Index.
(Note that many of the chapter heads in this book are discussed in more detail in later books because they have fomented discussion and problem solving from its readers in THIS book. For example, WHO DOESN’T WORRY ABOUT knitting GAUGE problems? Also, all of EZ’s books could be read according to their publication dates because these were the most important topics to her to write about at those times. [She already knew about American knitter’s problems because she used to publish her patterns in Vogue Knitting, McCalls, and other US magazines before she started writing her books and holding her annual HK conference on her farm in WI.] TOK was co-written after her death by her daughter Meg and some other people to celebrate EZ’s life but to also showcase some of the main HK topics that people wanted to know about. Conversely, TOK could be the perfect book for EZ followers to commence their HK journeys because it is, in many ways, a grand re-cap of EZ’s teaching and life philosophy – and the color photos and many black and white stitch and pattern graphic help keep readers’ attention.)
One of EZ’S bons mots AND pragmatics in KWT is: “A well-made sweater, knitted and with Good Will and Good Wool, is beyond price; why try to solve a dollar on the material?”
One of her remedies of ALMOST perfect dye lots or colors is absolutely stellar: Read the book to find out what she says and how to do it.
Continuing, EZ gives ways to use up different remnants of yarn – a problem from which all knitters suffer. Read this book to find this out.
Read the book to understand EZ’s discussion of needles: what materials they are made of; their sizes (both US and Continental); gauge; her love of circular needles and teaching her US audience how to use them (and what sizes she uses to make everything) instead of the US ‘2-stick’ needles; and how she begins a round.
Afterwards, she discusses tools, fabric and texture, problems with curling edges and how to solve this problem. Read the book to find out about these, too.
After the 6 chapters is the Index.
Much of the book deals with creating items and while doing so, solving problems that crop up, including: creating and following specific color patterns; knitting seamless, patterned yoke sweaters; knitting hooded garter-stitch jackets for babies, and more.
Here is another EZ bon mot on knitting: “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit, either.”
In sum, KWT is a wonderful addition to EZ’s other books: TOK, KW, and KA. All of them should be part of a serious HKer’s library for reference, for inspiration, for problem-solving, and for learning how to HK from a guru.
My only complaint is the actual pages are not of the same quality as the original. The paper is much thinner, and the printing looks like it had been "photo copied" and then printed on each page. The printing left huge right margin, while if the font had been larger, would have filled the page in a more pleasing image.
Top international reviews
I bought a new copy for myself at £12.99 but then wondered why I had not bought a much cheaper second hand one. That’s no criticism of the book just of my own lack of budgeting.
Having recently knitted a sweater with set-in sleeves I am very interested in patterns with minimal seaming. Seams are hard work! The icelandic yoke sweater looks like something I could do, though I may not be brave enough to tackle the colourwork. I've only been knitting for three months but I do understand the principles of construction, fit and fibre because my mother was a dressmaker. I guess it gave me a head start.
What this book could really do with is a little TLC to make it more palatable to modern tastes - colour pics, step-by-step photos of works in progress, updated formatting, nicer paper. Hence, one star deducted as it's not as attractive as it deserves to be.
Still, you can check out lots of pics of finished projects on Ravelry.