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on 26 October 2007
I taught myself to knit from an ancient Good Housekeeping Needlecrafts book and for several years slavishly followed patterns from library books, magazines and free leaflets. It's a worthy and satisfying activity to follow a good pattern, and my children had the sweaters, mittens and socks to prove it.

KNITTING WITHOUT TEARS, borrowed from the library as usual in those frugal times, was my first hint that you could really "own" your knitting. I had no idea of Elizabeth Zimmermann's stature in the knitting world, her amazing public television broadcasts, her legendary knitting camps. Her writing style is so down-to-earth, she could be sitting in the next rocking chair glancing over at your knitting and offering pithy, helpful commentary just to you.

The premise of this book is that you can find your gauge, plan your knitting, do the math, and come up with the garment you visualized. Don't like seams? No problem -- knit a tube and cut your openings. CUT your knitting? I was too inexperienced to feel the fear and cheerfully cut my first steeks with Elizabeth's words propped against the teapot in front of me.

I've long since bought this book, more than once in fact. It's not the sort of knitting book we're used to -- its appeal is in the concepts and the clarity of text, not in pictures or modular layout. Nor is it a how-to book for brand new knitters. If you can knit and purl, keep a steady gauge, and follow basic directions, why not "kick it up a notch" with the thinking knitter's approach?

It's fitting that Elizabeth Zimmermann is lovingly known as EZ. If you adopt her easy-going attitude, you'll find it "EZ" to love your knitting.
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on 30 July 1999
This book finally gave me the courage to design my own sweater. I have been knitting for several years and never ventured into the untamed world of design...Elizabeth's wonderful instructions, comments, and faith gave me the okay to go ahead and have fun. I made a patterned yoke sweater that not only looks great, but fits as well. I can't say that happens too many times with patterns! If you are looking for a great reference and addition to your knitting shelf, this is it.
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2004
What! One doesn't need a pattern to create a perfectly-fitted jumper? That's right. If you learn Mrs Zimmermann's method for diagramming knitting based on chest circumference and stitch gauge, you can knit nearly any style in any wool.
This book diverges from many knitting instruction books in that it EMPOWERS the knitter to think and work out ways to knit on her or his own. However, if you are a follower of patterns, preferring to use a map rather than "suggestions", this is still valuable reading. All sorts of little hints and techniques are given. I have used this book countless times to give to friends who ask "teach me to knit better." It works.
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on 26 January 1999
This book, with E.Z.'s (as the author is known to thousands around the world)simple philosophy, shares a hidden world of knitting with us. She touches on her own learnings, "unventions" as she calls them. She brought me back into the woolie fold of knitters many years ago and I haven't looked back since. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in learning to knit their own designs and creations. She also includes "pithy directions" for those of us who still feel we need line by line directions. Read this book with wool and needles in hand.
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on 17 April 1998
This book will take the blind follower by the hand and get you too knit your first hat and sweater while learning important techniques as you go. Some people might require a a simpler break down of the knit and pearl stitches but I found that this was the book that taught me to knit. Use as a jumping board to other Zimmerman books and then you can do anything!
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on 8 April 1998
This book is good for beginners but better for advanced to experienced. EZ uses direct, simple explanations to take one by the hand and lead one through the knitting of a sweater from start to finish. However, a working knowledge of basic stitches and construction is very helpful. The illustrations leave much to be desired and if color, detailed illustrations were included I'd give this book a big, fat 10.
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on 18 March 1998
This book will not only teach you the basics, but it will make you an insider to the mysteries of knitting. It will painlessly liberate you from being a slave to pattern directions. Before you know it, you will be making your own sweaters to your own designs. Get it!
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on 28 August 1998
This is the best knitting book I've seen. Besides challenging knitters to go beyond the basics of published patterns, Zimmerman provides a large helping of her unique attitude and way of describing things. She has a very distinctive "voice" in this book (and all her other books). I think of her as the M.F.K. Fisher of knitting. This book is both informative and funny. I hope other knitters who read this will forgive my casual one-line above, but that's the best and quickest thing I can think of to say about her style. I think anyone who reads this book would be inspired to learn to knit.
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on 20 January 1998
Elizabeth Zimmerman is the Master when it comes to knitting and writing books about it. She has enhanced my love of knitting more times than I can count. My husband wears many sweaters with her inspiration in them. My book is worn and torn and notes written all over... and I still get that 'warm, fuzzy feeling' everytime I look up something. She taught me to knit and read at the same time and there's nothing I like better than to read about her 'unventing' adventures with the 'Old Man'. Has her daughter written a book on knitting, also? If so, I certainly would want purchase it because she has to be taught by the Master!
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on 25 January 2011
I decided to buy this book because it is a knitting classic. I hoped that I could learn some useful tips. I am an intermediate knitter. I realized that I knit very well reading this book, evenly and fast because I knit continental.However I wasn't able to learn any new technique . There are good useful tips, like the chapter about how to wash your knitting and I like the conversational style of the author. So, that is my humble opinion, this book is for reading.
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