Book Recommendation Please

Hi All :smiley: I’ve been doing some book shopping and wonder about your opinion of these titles: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Knittnig Without Tears” versus “The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns.” I am intrigued by reviews of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s technique for using math to design your best fit instead of going with a pattern. I’m almost ready to make the jump into trying a sweater :shock:


:slight_smile: Holly

If you like Raglan, Yoke, or Drop-shoulder sweaters, than EZ’s system is very straight-forward, and you’ll love it. (I’ve not read the book, but I’m familiar with the concept, from watching her video series. The system may work for other type sweaters too, but I imagine it would get complicated.)

If you like set-in sleeve sweaters, you’d probably prefer the Handy Book of Patterns, since the shaping for the armhole is irregular and specific.

The Handy Book is great to have, in any case, to refer to when you want to make gift mittens, hats, socks, etc. You’ll always be able to find the size you need, and the gauge for your yarn. It’s a great reference.

Also, with EZ’s sytem, you need to be able to measure the person you’re making it for, or have a sample sweater on hand. (Unless she includes sizing charts in the book? Not sure…) With the Handy Book, the sizing is very straight forward. Although the smallest size is 2 year old, and goes up in 2-year increments. Might not work for a small newborn, but for the most part, rounding up a child’s sweater by a year or two is a good idea anyway.

Hope that helps!

I just finished a book called The Sweater Workshop, and the author based this technique on" EZ" Elizabeth Zimmerman’s patterns. It has you make a sweater “sampler” which not only teaches basics like ribbing, increasing and decreasing, but also button holes, 2 different pockets, belt loops, and more, and then there’s a chart that you can use to figure out how much yarn you need, etc etc etc. It’s a GREAT book; the suthor (somthing Dee?) said she wrote it because she loved knitting w/o tears so much and wanted to expand on the seamless sweater idea.

i’ve heard that knitting in plain english is supposed to be really great.

since i drag my mum into yarn stores all the time with me (and my sis is pregnant) she is re-inspired to crochet again --but has forgotten all the sts. since i don’t crochet i was thrilled to see that the same author has a crochet in plain english title out now too. she really likes it.

Now I want all three books, and I started out trying to decide between 2 books!! I think I may start with the Handy Book of Patterns for the reasons Amy stated – lots of basic patterns for different sizes and guages. Maybe I’ll challenge myself with some mittens or socks on DPNs before I jump into a sweater.

Thanks for all the advice – you guys are great!!