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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for ELIZABETH ZIMMERMAN


Many knitters would not be surprised that as my "Z" post I decided to write a little bit about Elizabeth Zimmerman, who is said to have revolutionized knitting and was author of the much read book "Knitting Without Tears".

Ms. Zimmerman was born on August 9, 1910 and died November 30, 1999. As some creative knitters do, she attended art school in Switzerland and Germany. She was British and learned to knit initially from her mother and then from a Swiss governess. She came to the Unites States with her husband and settled in Wisconsin.

She was one of the first to advocate knitting "in the round" on circular needles making seamless garments and patterns work better. I am grateful to her for that. She brought "continental style" knitting to the United States. This is a method that I still cannot use, but it is a certain way of holding the needles and yarns and a knitter can work much faster in this style. It is written that she is credited with the first "Aran" (fisherman knit) sweater to be shown in the U.S. knitting Magazine, Vogue Knitting.

"Knitting Without Tears" has been very widely read by knitters and non-knitters with the exception of me. Therefore, since she was the first knitter to get a full obituary in the "New York Times", I will link that here for more info. OBITUARY.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting. I've never heard of her, or the book; but I might add the book to my list of possibles. I love knitting in the round. I always get confused with knitting method is which. I learned from my Mother when I was about 6 or 7. Never did anything with it until years later. I throw the yarn which ever method that is. The problem I see with the other method is the that is so much like crocheting in that your left hand has the tension holding the yarn, it would cause me the same problems with arthritis and carpal tunnel issues. I like to switch from crocheting to knitting as knitting bothers me less.

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  2. I too am actually going to get the book, as I've heard about it for years I had a
    Knitting teacher try to teach me Continental, but I'm a yarn over knitter too.

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  3. I hope you get a copy. EZ had a wonderful, conversational style. There's some great tips and ideas, too. I found my copy in a thrift store and I wouldn't part with it.

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  4. I bought a DVD a few years ago, in the hope of learning to handle the needles. I finally gave up and have stuck with crochet. My daughter is getting pretty good, though.

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