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Old 04-03-2007, 09:18 PM   #1
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I hope this isn't knitting blasphemy to say so, but recently, the book I ordered, Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Workshop" came in. It took a while for it to come into the store, so I was anxiously awaiting it, and I was really excited to go look through it, fully anticipating buying it. I bought it specifically for the Stonington Shetland Shawl. When I got to the bookstore and looked through the book, however, I was very disappointed. I guess I expected it to be more of a pattern book, but it's more of a "how-to" book. I didn't browse the book as long as I wanted to because of time contraints, so maybe I didn't give it a fair chance? I don't know. I think a lot of times, experiences knitters and designers automatically assume everybody is a seasoned knitter that's knitted tons of garments and knows how it's done without explaining things relatively in-depth. I for one like to knit smaller items and also non-fitted ones--hats, shawls--because they're instant gratification for me, and I don't have to worry about the sizing issue too much on the shawls (hats are a different story as I almost always have to adjust the pattern somewhat to fit my abnormally large head! )

Does anybody have this book and can comment on it? Am I missing something? I know that Elizabeth Zimmerman is a HUGE name in knitting, so I feel bad about my impression of her book.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:29 PM   #2
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I understand your disappointment. She doesn't have pattern books, per se. Many tend to be more narrative in nature--very enjoyable narrative--but not really a 'cast on X number of stitches, turn, blah, blah, blah. . '

When I got the Knitter's Workshop, I expected it to be different, too, but I haven't really looked at it in a while. Her other books were worth a good read, though.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
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WHAT?! Oh dear... I ordered 'Knitter's Almanac' because I wanted the pattern for the February baby scarf. Darknit!
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brokenblossoms
WHAT?! Oh dear... I ordered 'Knitter's Almanac' because I wanted the pattern for the February baby scarf. Darknit!

For the record, I have Knitter's Almanac and absolutely love it! It's fun to read and fun to knit from.

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Old 04-03-2007, 09:48 PM   #5
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her books are more on hands on and figure it out as you go along...need alot of patient..i think it worth it though... moreover there is so many here who have tried knitting stuff from that book before... so you know how/where to pop your questions when you have one
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:09 PM   #6
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I've read it from cover to cover and truly enjoyed it. Her patterns are a little hard to follow, but generally there seems to be help on the web for them. I got mine from the library so I'd have time to peruse it before buying.

I've made two baby surprise jackets and am now working on a bog jacket that are patterns from the book.

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Old 04-03-2007, 11:26 PM   #7
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I don't think designers assume everybody is a master knitter, there is no reason that they should write patterns/books aimed solely at beginners. There are many books aimed at beginners containing everything you need to know. If they prefer to write patterns at an advanced level that's just the way it is. I know I don't love the most simple/basic type patterns, if I were a designer I wouldn't enjoy writing/designing that type of pattern either. I think they have simply chosen to make a book aimed at non-beginners.

I was looking at knitting books a couple of hours ago and didn't buy any specifically because they were so basic/for beginners and had no patterns that appealed.
The fact that it's not an easy/beginner's book, or doesn't provide stitch-by-stitch instructions as you were hoping, doesn't mean it's flawed. If it had given the impression via marketing that it contained easy/step-by-step patterns etc. for beginners but didn't, that would be a mark against it in my opinion.
No offence - I don't mean to sound cruel - but if you order a (non-pattern) book without knowing what's in it, and it arrives but isn't what you were hoping for (including patterns), that's not the fault of the authors/publishers, nor is it a reason to be disappointed in the book itself.

Instead of assuming everyone's a master knitter, maybe they just assume that people who don't have the relevant abilities to complete the pattern won't buy it - from the sounds of it, this EZ woman is all about helping the knitter become capable of making complex decisions themselves. I think this is even more important now that we have the internet to answer any question we might have quickly and easily and we don't need a knitting dictionary/encyclopaedia on our bookshelf, that's what Google's for!

But thank you for posting about the book so anyone in future who thinks about buying it expecting it to contain patterns will be able to find out what it is

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