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Old 09-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Your Favorite Knitting Book
Please post your favorite knitting book if you have one.

Not looking for anything specific, just insights into what books you like according to your interests or tastes in knitting. You might like a book because of the way it's written, or maybe you just prefer references on yarn or sock knitting. Please share!
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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Well, I purchased "Knitting Without Tears" for a bargain price (the latest one which I think is '75). On it's way to me now.

Just wondering though, why the comments about this one are so varied across the board. I'm not looking for a beginner's book, but one that sort of "feels" like I have someone looking over my shoulder, if that makes any sense. I'm aware that it's lacking in illustrations, but I've been able to find many on the internet. Would love some feedback on this one, negative and positive. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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Well, Jemm, I don't own this book, maybe you can give us a review after you've spent some time with it

I have a bit of a collection of knitting books myself, I suppose it might be easier to figure out which ones I could let go of. I love my stitch pattern books; I've done very little knitting that involves seaming and fitting so this would make sense. My favorites from these are the 'Big Book of Knitting Patterns' and Barbara Walker's first two Treasury of Knitting Pattern books. I also own 'The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques'. I like using this book as a referral.

Have you gotten your copy of 'Knitting Without Tears' yet?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jemm View Post
Well, I purchased "Knitting Without Tears" for a bargain price (the latest one which I think is '75). On it's way to me now.

Just wondering though, why the comments about this one are so varied across the board. I'm not looking for a beginner's book, but one that sort of "feels" like I have someone looking over my shoulder, if that makes any sense. I'm aware that it's lacking in illustrations, but I've been able to find many on the internet. Would love some feedback on this one, negative and positive. Thanks!
I have almost all of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books, and Knitting Without Tears is probably my favorite of them all. EZ was all about learning knitting inside out, so that you knew what your stitches "did", what they looked like so that you could read your knitting, get why gauge matters. EZs practices are a very organic Zen form of knitting. Gain confidence and learn by doing, just as importantly learn from your mistakes, and above all enjoy the process.

IMO, those who love it and her other books, are those who want to learn the whys (theory) of their knitting so that they can work without a pattern if they choose or change what they don't like about a pattern.

Those who want a pattern to tell them what to do in explicit detail seem to be the ones most disappointed in her books.

YMMV. Happy knitting!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:23 AM   #5
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Thanks Claire, that's exactly the sort of response I was looking for when I originally worded the op. Knitters tend to gravitate towards all varied aspects of the craft according to what they love and I enjoy learning what people like and don't like about knitting - I haven't done much seaming, but I can already tell it's not an aspect I enjoy. On the other hand, I've been preparing for sock-knitting ever since I started knitting earlier this year.

Even though I need a general book on my shelf, I didn't want one that felt "clinical" for lack of a better word. Always wished I had a close relative that knew how to knit and grateful that the internet makes learning so accessible. In any case, it helps to know what books people prefer for the many different areas that interest them and why they like them.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:27 AM   #6
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IMO, those who love it and her other books, are those who want to learn the whys (theory) of their knitting so that they can work without a pattern if they choose or change what they don't like about a pattern.

Those who want a pattern to tell them what to do in explicit detail seem to be the ones most disappointed in her books.

Charlotte, wonderful analysis on the differences of opinion, thanks so much! Can't wait to have this in my hands now.

One woman on Amazon complained that she goes on too much, yet I don't think I'd mind that. I guess I'll just have to see what her writing style is like, otherwise sounds promising.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Hey Jemm - It sounds like you may do the same thing I do before a purchase. When doing my research I go straight to the negatives to get a feel for what people didn't like about the product, in this case a book. I can usually get a pretty good idea of what I'm getting myself into, and if I do make the purchase, I'm more often than not very pleased with it
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #8
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When doing my research I go straight to the negatives to get a feel for what people didn't like about the product

Agreed, I feel the negatives generally give the best insight whenever I buy a book. But based on Charlotte's post, I get the impression that Zimmermann is guiding the reader towards being an instinctive knitter and I can see how a few might be put off by that. This is however more of what I was looking for - wasn't sure though and paid practically nothing for it.

I often buy used books in great condition to save and this one was brand new. I haven't gotten it yet, forgot to address your post above when you asked, but will report back when I do.[/font]
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jemm View Post

Charlotte, wonderful analysis on the differences of opinion, thanks so much! Can't wait to have this in my hands now.

One woman on Amazon complained that she goes on too much, yet I don't think I'd mind that. I guess I'll just have to see what her writing style is like, otherwise sounds promising.
EZ was an incredibly bright woman, and her writing style reflects that, as do her patterns/recipes. In Knitters Almanac, she describes the math behind the increases for her Pi Shawl (worked in the round), but there is no discussion of working a half circle shawl. I was fine with that because a half circle shawl is simply working half of the pattern with a little modification.

She assumes a working knowledge of basic math, which I don't have a problem with. Knitting and math go hand in hand if you want to be able to modify a pattern or write your own.

Congratulations on getting Knitting Without Tears for a steal! I look forward to hearing what you think of it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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I like picture books. My favorite books are:

* Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Golden Brown and Martin John Brown

* For the Love of Knitting by Voyageur Press

* Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book by Vogue Knitting Magazine Editors

* Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne. (I bought this one for a KAL, but love to flip through it just for the photos!)

I don't have Knitting Without Tears so I don't have any comments one way or the other. I have two Elizabeth Zimmerman books (Knitter's Almanac and The Opinionated Knitter) and they aren't glossy photo books; I only have them for particular patterns and don't spend much time looking at them. They are interesting to read, but not ones I pick up just to look at the pictures.
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