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Elaine Rowley said in the foreword to Elizabeth Zimmermann's
Knitting Around “I knit today because of Elizabeth”.
Like Elaine, I too, learned to be in control of knitting
and thus, enjoy it when I stumbled upon EZ's “Busy Knitter”
show on my local public TV station in 1970-something. She
had a way of making knitting make sense. I no longer had
to slavishly count rows and follow somebody else's written
instructions. EZ's percentage system freed me to create
something that fit while using the needles, yarn, and stitches
of my choice. Using basic math I learned how to knit to
Zimmermann was my guru! I didn't miss a single segment of
“The Busy Knitter”. Her casual, comfortable, chatty style
made me feel as though I was sitting with my favorite neighbor.
In Knitting Around , EZ continues in the same tone
and also adds wonderful, colorful information about her
personal history. She alternates pattern instructions and
techniques for socks, mittens, sweaters, shawls and more,
with stories (she calls them “digressions”) about how she
grew up and how she was influenced by the schools she went
to and by her family and friends, as well as how she learned
to knit. She shares her romance with Life, including how
she met her husband and their adventures together before
they were married. There are also lots of pictures to further
enhance her story. Did you know Elizabeth went to art school
and was an accomplished watercolor artist? Examples of her
delicious, watercolor paintings are generously sprinkled
throughout the book.
short, Knitting Around is a fascinating personal
journal, combined with specific knitting technique that
I found difficult to put down. Do yourself a favor and spend
a few hours with Elizabeth. She passed away a few years
ago. I regret that so many of today's knitters were unable
to see her public television series, but this book is even
better! It lets us really get “up close and personal” with
by Judy Paulsmeyer
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