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Knitting Around: or Knitting Without a License Hardcover – 31 Dec 1989

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Schoolhouse Press (31 Dec. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942018036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942018035
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Z. L. Reynolds VINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is by far the nicest knitting book I own. EZ's patterns are unlike any other designer's before or since and this book has an excellent selection of them- moccasin socks, fair isle yoke sweater, knitted dickeys, Moebius scarves, bog jacket, pie are square shawl, Norwegian pullover, a mittful of mittens and and Aran coat. As if the beautiful, unique patterns were not enough, this book is also full of lovely photographs and artwork from EZ's life, as well as the digressions she was so famous for. If, like me, you enjoy the comforting aspect of knitting, you couldn't fail to be moved by this book, as soon as you open it, you will feel as if in the fond company of a beloved Grandmother or Aunt who has a thousand wonderful stories to accompany her unparalleled instruction in all things knitted.

This was a pricey book for me as I usually buy 'bargain' paperback books at discount prices, and a hardback book at full price did sting a little, but it really was worth every penny as I discovered as soon as I opened it. I also have Knitting Without Tears and the Knitter's Almanac by the same author, both of which are excellent books, but Knitting Around is extra special, it makes me think of a scrap book full of interesting bits and pieces. You really have to see it to see how nice it is. Lovely.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Caldwell on 11 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the third book of Elizabeth Zimmermann's that I have bought for my library. It has a lot of similar patterns that are already covered in Knitting Without Tears and A Knitter's Almanac but it does, however, have some new patterns in there as well. And, because it's a companion book to a video series, it goes into far more detail in the instructions than in the two previous books I mentioned. Also, there are over one dozen different ways of knitting and experimenting with I-cord. I have yet to knit any of the designs from the book but I hope to get around to it soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. R. Hazlerigg on 18 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would love to have met EZ. her knitting tips and patterns are only half of the story. I read this book for pure pleasure. her pithy comments and fascinating life tales make me laugh out loud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dawn tyrer on 10 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across the name Elizabeth Zimmerman recently when I returned to an early craft love of mine, knitting. I was intrigued about the little snippets I'd read in articles. I love this book. I couldn't put it down once I opened it. I always knew knitters where clever funny gurus. Elizabeth is the Queen of that and what a fabulously interesting life. Colourful stories, beautiful patterns.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 68 reviews
577 of 582 people found the following review helpful
Knitting wisdom from Knitting Legend Elizabeth Zimmerman 29 Mar. 2001
By Joanna Daneman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth Zimmerman was not only a knitting teacher, but also a designer and artist. She wrote pretty well, too! She was quite a personality and when she passed away in 1999, she merited a long obit in the New York Times. Subsequently, a knitting craze hit the world. Is it a coincidence, or did she impart her spirit to all of us when she left after a long and fruitful life.
This book is utterly delightful. It is my favorite knitting book and if I could only have one, this would be my choice. I have knitted my way through most of the patterns and they are varied, interesting and good for designing your own things.
Included in the book is the percentage system, same as in Knitting without Tears, her classic for beginning knitters. This is applied to a beautiful Shetland sweater with a yoke fair-isle design. This classic design looks wonderful on children and adults. You can make it in any size.
There is also the wildly clever Moccasin sock, that can be re-soled. The construction is unlike any other kind of sock and shows the brilliant engineering mind of EZ.
There is a shawl (PI r squared) which is a varation of the PI shawl found in the Knitting Almanac. This has a straight front, like a stole, and rounds off in the back.
The Moebius scarf is also in this book (a ring with a twist that goes around your neck and drapes attractively.) These are just some of the knitting patterns; there is a lot more. Elizabeth knew how to pack a book with plenty of information and this is no exception.
There's not only knitting here, there are lovely color photographs of Elizabeth's watercolors (she was trained in Munich at a famous art school.) There is a gallery in the book of some of her wonderful designs in the most attractive colors. And best of all, an autobiographical "digression" that tells Elizabeth's story, funny, interesting and always unique.
If you don't own all of EZ's books (Knitting Without Tears, Knitting Almanac, Knitting Workshop and this one, Knitting Around) I think this is the best one to start with if you more or less know how to knit. It improved my knitting 1000 percent and I recommend this book to everyone who likes to knit.
280 of 284 people found the following review helpful
My favorite EZ book - part autobiography, part good knitting 22 Jan. 2001
By Carol Peterson Hennekens - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's not often that a knitter merits an obituary in the New York Times or NPR, but when Elizabeth died in November 1999, she received both tributes. She left knitters a huge legacy including four wonderful books. I own all four, and this is my favorite.
First, I really enjoy the autobiography woven through the book. From a childhood in England to marriage and children in the USA, it's a very interesting story. For the career minded, it's a wonderful tale of a cottage industry grown on talent, charm and hard work.
This book also includes several of my favorite "patterns". For those unfamiliar with EZ, a word of caution. The greatest of Elizabeth's accomplishments (IMHO), was her rebellion against blind following of patterns. Sure, you could make exact duplicates of her sweaters, but where's the fun in that? Elizabeth teaches (and writes patterns) in terms of concepts and thinking. The result -- patterns that can be adapted for different weights of yarn and different bodies. So, in this book are "instructions" for a beautiful Norwegian sweater; the classic shetland wool, fair isle neck sweater so popular in the 70's; the mocassin sock (easy to reknit when heels and toes wear out); the "Pi-R" shawl; and the great mobieus scarf (think the infinity circle).
If you have the chance, the video series that accompanies this book (for a series of PBS shows as I recall) is also a treat. Schoolhouse Press produces them (don't know if Amazon carries them).
Bottom line: Not a book for the novice knitter but a wonderful addition to the library of any person who can no longer remember how many times they've said "just let me finish this row."
163 of 178 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful addition to your EZ library 19 Nov. 1998
By Darcy ( - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is part autobiography-part knitting patterns. It is fun to read, and has ideas and patterns for knitting along the same lines as her other books. I would recommend buying Knitting W/O Tears first, as it teaches more techniques, but this book is great if you want to sit down with an 'old friend'.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Be familiar with Elizabeth Zimmermann before buying this one 26 Sept. 2007
By A. Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this book does contain several knitting patterns, this is a largely autobiographical book by Elizabeth Zimmermann. If you are familiar with her lively books and "deconstruction" knitting patterns, and find them charming, you will love this one. If you didn't like her other books, you'll dislike this one.

The patterns are about learning to knit rather than following a pattern, and I think makes knitting less intimidating. The patterns cover socks, a fiar isle yoke sweater, dickeys and hats, the moebius jacket, the "Bog Jacket," the "pie are square" shawl, a Norwegian pullover, mittens, and my personal favorite, the Aran coat. Obviously, not a huge number of patterns, but I bought it mostly for Elizabeth's life story and her warm writing style.
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Timeless classic by a classy lady. 3 Mar. 2006
By Janet Dwyer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I first learned to knit in the 70's, I re-learned a couple years ago after a 25 year sabatical. After numerous scarves and dishcloths, the search began for good knitting books. That's when I "found" Elizabeth Zimmermann. This is my favorite of all her books. It has knitting lessons, projects, and her autobiography (digressions, she calls them) which makes for a fascinating read. I love that she asks knitters to THINK, not just follow a pattern row-by-row. I am presently knitting the pi-r-square shawl - it's great that I can take it to work on anywhere, and don't have to bring the directions. She says "you can do this...or try this..." and lets me make the project my own while giving me the confidence to do it!

I highly recommend this book, and would dearly love to see the original videos that were made for PBS to go with it. For those with extra cash, the book and videos would be an excellent choice to donate to your local library.
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