Her books, workshops and materials have infused the knitting community to the point that she one of the most well known knitting authors in the United States. Her books are written with plain chatty speech patterns which makes them entertaining, fun and informative. Her quick wit and humor make all of her books a fun read, and the wonderful methods she "unvented" are truly a treasured addition to any knitters repertoire.
As a beginning knitter, some of the language was over my head, and I found some things to be a little hard to understand. That said when I followed along and just kept trying, things worked themselves out. I learned from her books four years ago, how to knit, purl and make simple hats and scarves. I recently took up the needles again, and made my first "real" garment, a sweater featured in several of her books, the seamless yoke sweater.
I made the sweater, and following the lessons in her wonderful book, Knitting Workshop I managed to make a beautiful sweater out of my latest handspun for my four year old daughter Elizabeth. I made a few mistakes, and the pattern was very forgiving of my bumbling nature and my handspun's slight texture variations.
Elizabeth Zimmerman's books are ideal for the handspinner, because she focuses on letting you choose your own yarns and works with gauge instead of saying "Buy yarn X, use needles Y." I found it very easy to use a little math and figure up rough yardage, and choose the yarn weight. Using her patterns, you can make a swatch, see if you like the resulting fabric, and then spin thinner yarn or use larger or smaller needles to get the desired fabric, drape and effect.
My sweater used a 9 wpi double ply handspun yarn. I hand dyed enough for the yoke, and skipped the fair isle insert, instead I simply took advantage of the variations in the dyed yarn. The sweater turned out very nice, and I don't think anyone could complain about it considering it's a first sweater.
School House Press sells her books, videos, DVDs and many other wonderful products. I might add, that they sell lovely Shetland yarns, which I am very partial to. Elizabeth herself has passed on to knitters heaven, but her daughter, Meg still writes, designs and maintains the business. I encourage you to browse their site, and learn more about what is available from the admirable Elizabeth Zimmerman.
My only complaints about the books are that, the images are all in black and white, and some of them are quite small. Elizabeth was so good at what she did, that sometimes, she was whizzing commentary way over my head, but I managed to catch up and make some beautiful knitted garments along the way.
My favorite of her books, would have to be the Knitting Workshop. Step by step lessons, walking you through all the techniques needed for real knitting, and the beginning projects are fun, and challenging.
Discuss this article in the forums