Friday, October 20, 2006

Uh, oh .... I found a cool knit-along blog

Now, I'm really in trouble.... through this blog and that blog, I found a blog totally dedicated to Elizabeth Zimmermann -- we're talking introducing newbies to her unventions and old pros to remember the thrill of the first surprise jacket....

Zimmermania is what's called a knit-along site -- KAL, for short -- where you knit and post as you knit. You show your challenges and your accomplishments; your WIPs (works in progress) and your FOs (finished objects). If you've never read any of EZ's books, run (don't walk) to your library or local bookstore and grab them up. Here are the titles, in case you'd like to order them NOW from Amazon.

  • Knitting Without Tears -- this is the book that got me started on the path to designing my own and having fun with my knitting. My mother bought it for my sister when I was 8; I stole it and used to sneak peeks at it; I taught myself to knit from this gem.
  • Knitter's Almanac -- this is a full year's worth of projects and great advice, much of it written while EZ was on camping/fishing trips with her beloved, Old Gaffer.
  • Knitting Workshop -- is a compilation of shows that EZ hosted on a Wisconsin PBStation. [Note: often public libraries will also have the tapes that go along with this book.] She goes through some projects, but mostly teaches some all important techniques in simple words and often humorous anecdotes.
  • Knitting Around -- although all EZ's books are somewhat biographical, this one delves more deeply into the family side of EZ's knitting. There are lots of great, fun projects that EZ's classic prose walks you through and you've feel like you've really accomplished something special when you finish one of these.
  • The Opinionated Knitter: Elizabeth Zimmermann Newsletters 1958-1968 -- was published in the last year or two by EZ's daughter (and knitting partner) Meg Swansen. EZ used to have a semi-annual newsletter that was packed with projects, book reviews, news, etc -- all things knitterly. Meg compiled these first newsletters (many of the later ones have been published already; these first 10 years were collectibles!) shortly after EZ's death. This is a great book -- one that I'm hoping to squeeze into the budget or talk Santa into giving me -- that fills in some of the biographical details missing from the other books. It's a real gem and fills out the published collection of EZ's writings.

Your whole knitting experience will be enriched by reading some of EZ's writings! Guaranteed!


Gina L said...

Thank you for the list and reviews of all EZ's books. I am just now starting a seamless hybrid sweater which is my first EZ. My library only had one of her books Knitting w/o Tears. I want to buy my own copy for my knitting library. In your opinion what other book should I buy? I can't buy all of them at once. :)

Mary G said...


I'd buy the Almanac second. It's got lousy pictures but it's classic EZ! She's got fun patterns in there and lots of little things that work up fast but show you a new technique....and I don't think it's very expensive (and it fits perfectly into a Christmas stocking in case you can't get it till then...)