Subtitled, Projects for Each Month of the Year, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac charms and enlightens intermediate to advanced knitters. Here’s a woman who was never bored, I’m quite sure. The cover shows what all she created for us. This book is almost a journal of one year of her life because along with each month’s knitting project, we read what else was going on in her life.
In August she’s knitting Christmas ornaments in a fishing boat.
This may explain an occasional odd comment from her. She once extolled a great advantage of circular knitting needles: unlike with straights, you won’t accidentally drop one “in the drink” and be unable to knit. Or she remarked how a wool gansey that falls overboard will float long enough for a quick grab before it sinks out of sight.
Why a man once thought Elizabeth had lost her marbles.
Did you ever knit buttonholes every which way for fun? EZ did. She sat on a park bench determined she would find the best possible knitted buttonhole, so she tried this way and that way on an ever-growing swatch. She was quite sure a man sitting nearby noticed and wondered about her sanity.
Each month’s project comes with alternate approaches you can try.
While Elizabeth called her chapters “Notes for Thinking Knitters,” she included exact instructions for each project at each chapter’s end for those who love each step spelled out. Her opinions were many and quite firm–and sometimes subject to change as she learned or “unvented” new ways of doing knitterly things.
Ever wonder how to make a 45 degree angle in knitting?
In garter or stockinette (she called it stocking stitch) you increase or decrease one stitch every second row or round for a 45 degree angle. If you increase or decrease one stitch in EVERY round, you achieve an angle half of that, or 22.5 degrees. Decrease two or three stitches every row makes an even sharper angle.
Good to know, right? Might come in handy if you get the urge to “unvent” a pattern of your own. Maybe a sock like no one has ever made before. Or a hat. These urges often come as a result of reading Knitter’s Almanac. Consider yourself warned. Stock up on wool.