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Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,256 ratings  ·  131 reviews
"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
Paperback, Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace, 160 pages
Published October 1st 1981 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1974)
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Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adore Elizabeth Zimmermann's work in general, as she was the writer who made it okay for me to own my own knitting and be my own designer.

But oh, have I learned so much from her!

This book is simply not a book for beginners, though. I'd strongly encourage you to read Knitting Without Tears first, and be pretty comfortable making one of the projects from that before you dive into this one. If you like and find KWT useful, then you can move on to this one and will find it a source of wonderful
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting
I loved this book. Zimmerman is a woman after my own heart and I aspire to be a skilled and free a knitter like her some day. Some of her designs I won't try, some I dream of trying and others I am itching to put on my needles now.

I look forward to returning to this book later in life when I am wiser and have more knitting years under my belt.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this woman. Funny, and handy. I might someday work my way through the patterns (dated as some of them are) because I've no doubt I'll learn some mad skills.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my bedtime reading. I'm still afraid of steeking but I love this book.
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in knitting and/or knit design
Any and all of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books are keepers, in my opinion. This book not only contains her usual humor and down-to-earth knitting wisdom, but is organized to give month-by-month ideas for things that can be knit each season of the year. I've appreciated the idea of knitting mittens, etc. in the summer when they can be done at leisure rather than in the height of their need. Additionally, her summer suggestions are easy to carry with you and don't create weight and heat.

As always
Sep 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, knitting
A little disappointing for me in the patterns department. I prefer more direct descriptions and I can see why some people have take it upon themselves to obtain (borrow?) the rights and rewrite the patterns in a more "modern" manner.

However, the designs are wonderful, as always. They're either complex and interesting or simple and open to each knitter's own embellishments. Elizabeth Zimmerman is no slouch as a writer and it was fun reading through even the patterns I won't try to get her
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first EZ I've read; she's a knitting legend. The patterns aren't why you read this book, but rather you read it for her wisdom, wit, and humor. I picked up a few helpful tidbits that I am sure I will forget since I didn't write them down, but here are some quotes I flagged as funny/helpful/insightful/etc.

--> THIS "Some may gasp and stretch their eyes, but knitting and reading at the same time is just a matter of practice. Of course you must love knitting and you must enjoy
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Oh my, I love this book. I picked it up almost by accident when Amazon refused to let me purchase a second pair of circular needles (small ones I couldn't find anywhere else) unless I'd purchased more. Well, very glad I decided to order this little book - an absolute delight to read. Zimmerman is funny, practical and joyfully exuberant about knitting. Yes, she was an expert knitter, but in this book, she encourages experimentation, trying something without a detailed pattern, trusting your ...more
Priscilla King
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: knitters
Before blogs were invented, Elizabeth Zimmermann was the first knitting...well...diarist. She marketed books and yarn through newsletters from her "Schoolhouse Press," which was indeed based in a building that had been used as a school. Each chatty newsletter described a fairly simple project she was knitting, first with a general description that invited knitters to think of their own variations on that type of project, then with what she rather scornfully called the "pithy" or "Blind Follower" ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational, knitting
I really liked this book. Her style is witty and even a bit snarky, and her descriptions of patterns makes you want to run out and immediately knit all the things! But then you gradually realize that she really thinks these are all pretty easy, but they're not; and then you get to the one that even she admits is "somewhat convoluted" and then you quake in your boots. Inspiring and plain-spoken, but the patterns are deceptively difficult. Full of great tips & tricks.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. I'll admit I've never knitted anything from this book, though I have used her I-cord ideas and made a half-pi shawl. But I love her attitude toward knitting - try something out, experiment, fail and fail and then perhaps succeed. And I especially like the little notes about her life, canoeing with her husband or taking down the Christmas tree.

A quick read that I'm always happy to lose myself in for a few hours. I wish I could get my hands on more of her books.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world lost a wonderful knitter and teacher when Ms. Zimmermann died. I would have loved to have the chance to meet and knit with her.

This is an excellent book for knitters of any level. Once you can knit and purl, this book can help you do pretty much anything else you may want to do :)
Martha Morales
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitters Almanac Book

This book is a pleasure just to read, because of her humor and choice of words to describe one craft she enjoys. She also makes knitting so easy and even though the designs are vintage they can be useable and desirable today. I was fortunate to get a copy.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crafting
I love the idea of a year of knitting projects. maybe for a new years resolution. A few of the projects are a bit dated but many of them provide opportunity to learn different skills and most are timeless classics
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm probably not going to try anything out of that book (of the patterns that is, the advice in the appendix is amazing!), but just the way she writes is worth reading and buying it.
Was very amused :)
Cyndi Smith
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
i read it as it was made to be read ... in installments as it was published each month. she helps me to understand the principles behind the creation of a pattern ... the logic, or the coding of a particular item that is made ... she's a pleasure to read.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: salon
I come back to this pattern book so often...
Lucky Christi
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice read. Like her stories more than the patterns. Gives insight on how another knitter thinks when designing. Recommend only reading one "month" at a time unless you skip reading the patterns.
Carol Johnson
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
A classic knitting book. I admire her ease writing knitting patterns.
Colleen Mole-Garcia
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft
I think this is my favorite Zimmermann book for many February baby sweaters and Pi shawls have been knit because of this book!
Alex Blakemore
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely to read, even if you are never going to knit some of these things...a delightful writer
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
A book with good instruction and patterns. A bit dated but easy to adapt to modern garments.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Entertaining turn of phrase
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore reading Elizabeth Zimmermann's books. So much more then a knitting book; a window into her life....the life of a knitter.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Almost three years ago, I had Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac on loan from my local library. Had I written my review of the book at the time, it would probably have sounded very different from my assessment today. Frau Zimmermann - at least as far her Almanac is concerned - is certainly not aiming her designs at beginner knitters; and I would have described myself as one at the time. Consequently, when I first laid hands on Zimmermann's Almanac, I didn't find it too appealing. The ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember when I read this book, but it was at least several (ten, fifteen?) years ago, and it's time for another reading, if just for the enjoyment level of it. Ms. Zimmerman is one of the foremost goddesses of the knitting world, and she certainly deserves the title, in my opinion. She introduced more women (and some forward thinking men) to new techniques (like knitting from the top down and socks from the bottom up) so items could be tried on in progress, and altered before they ...more
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All knitters or aspiring knitters
Recommended to Mollie *scoutrmom* by: Meg Swansen
After reading two-and-a-half nonfiction books in a day, I needed a change of pace. I was brownsing patterns in and was reminded that I plan to make a Tomten jacket.

(link to the pattern notes)
I couldn't find the right book on my downstairs shelf Knitting Without Tears Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes by Elizabeth Zimmermann , so I picked up this alternate title by Elizabeth Zimmermann to browse a bit.

What fun! She's got a plan for knitting a different project (or set of projects) each month through the year, including a full-sized sweater one can complete in
Nostalgia Reader
I can definitely see why Elizabeth Zimmermann is such a role model and idol in the knitting community. Although I've been knitting for about seven and a half years [ten when I'm reposting this], I've never picked up once of her books until now. Even though I found myself skimming over much of the information that I've already gleaned from many other sources, I still found it informative, and agreed with many of her philosophies and ideas about knitting and making it your own.

This is half
BOTTOM LINE: Perennial best-seller from an iconic knitter, filled with some really nice patterns and lovely commentary/tales of life, rather folksy but not cutesy. Lovely stuff, all 'round.

My first experience of an extremely famous knitter, this book is still very popular, and has been through many, many editions (and a few adjustments) since 1974. In this first edition, however, the photos are black and white, the pattern details are casually inserted here and there, and there isn't much in
Chris Cook
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
In the same way that some like Picasso and some don't, some like Elizabeth Zimmermann and some don't. For Picasso, I am one of the few that would consider myself on the fence. While I'm not a huge fan of the majority of his pieces, some of his work stands out as brilliant, and certainly he was a very influential artist that carried a movement. I feel about the same way about Elizabeth Zimmermann. Some of her designs and advice are brilliant pieces of knitting knowledge. Take the EZ percentage ...more
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Best book 2 5 Mar 20, 2012 10:12AM  

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An influential knitting pattern designer, teacher, and writer, Elizabeth Zimmermann advocated knitting techniques to speed progress and simplify pattern creation. She enthusiastically championed Continental knitting, where the working yarn is carried in the left hand, as opposed to the English or American style where the working yarn is carried in the right hand. She also advocated knitting in the ...more
“But unvented - ahh! One un-vents something; one unearths it; one digs it up, one runs it down in whatever recesses of the eternal consciousness it has gone to ground. I very much doubt if anything is really new when one works in the prehistoric medium of wool with needles. The products of science and technology may be new, and some of them are quite horrid, but knitting? In knitting there are ancient possibilities; the earth is enriched with the dust of the millions of knitters who have held wool and needles since the beginning of sheep. Seamless sweaters and one-row buttonholes; knitted hems and phoney seams - it is unthinkable that these have, in mankind's history, remained undiscovered and unknitted. One likes to believe that there is memory in the fingers; memory undeveloped, but still alive.” 37 likes
“I know that spinning sets me in a trance; it soothes me and charges my batteries at the same time. When times are tough I sit down to spin during the news-broadcasts, with therapeutic results.” 10 likes
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