Booktalk Saturday: The opinionated Knitter

opinionated knitterI mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I bought this book. I wanted to go into more detail on it for you. Really, it can all be summed up to: I love it! I don’t know why I waited all of these years to buy it. It is a true gem, especially if you love Elizabeth Zimmerman. I’m probably preaching to the choir here. I’m sure all of my knitting friends already have it and know what I’m talking about.

The book is a collection of All of Zimmerman’s newsletters from 1958-1968. The newsletters came about when EZ saw the printed version of her (now famous) knit-in-the-round fair isle yoke sweater published in Women’s Day. The pattern called for the knitter to knit it in pieces and then seam it up! (can you believe that?!?) So she decided to print her own patterns and send them to people as newsletters. The book contains all kinds of fantastic patterns that include the Baby Surprise Jacket and the Tomten jacket. And they are published as they originally appeared, with EZ’s handwritten notes, and all. They are wonderful.

Included in the book are her writings about all kinds of things from her love of skiing, to camping, and many more that I have yet to read. She was such a wonderful writer. I love her style. There are also really fantastic photographs of the knitted items from the newsletters as well as photographs from various stages of her life.

And I have to say, I cried at the end of this book. Yes, I did. I cried at the end of a knitting book. The last piece of the book is the Wool Gathering letter that was sent out reporting the death of EZ to her subscribers. And then a list of notes from her readers telling how much Elizabeth meant to them. It is so incredibly touching that it brings tears to my eyes right now.

I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I learned how to knit from reading Elizabeth Zimmerman books, specifically Knitting Workshop and Knitting Without Tears. I feel very at home with her style and I love it. Zimmerman is like my knitting grandmother. Her writing just makes you feel like she is in the room with you teaching you how to knit, chatting away with you and telling you stories.

I decided to start knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern from this book. It truly is an engineering marvel. I’ve been knitting along, sometimes questioning the pattern, but knowing that there is no way there is a mistake in it. I’m just knitting this thing on pure faith right now. I’ll show it to you on Monday.

have a great weekend!

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