Learning to knit can be a lot of fun with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop book. Can you knit a little bit? Are you a little shaky about how to pitch? Never mind. If you follow the lessons in this book, you may be delighted to discover that you are a master knitter at the end of the twelfth lesson. How is this possible?
First a hat is woven.
When knitting a hat, you learn to hand wind a ball of yarn with a central shot, to use the long mounted tail and to make the elastic with a circular needle. Elizabeth’s drawings illustrate some points. Other times we see a photo of his hands working alongside his description.
Next, you will learn your favorite method of increasing a stitch: MAKE1 or M1. After knitting a couple of inches, you will learn about GAUGE. Gauge is the most important factor when it comes to knitting once you learn the knitted stitch. With this mastered, you will be the head of your weaving from day one.
Now it hits you with a surprise. Colorwork! She says you’re ready, so grab another ball of yarn. Pretty designs will appear like magic on your hat.
Then it shows you how to decrease stitches in three different ways. Choose which one you like to finish your hat with style. After locking it in with a little steam to make the stitches smooth, put it on like a crown and smile. You are on your way to mastering knitting.
Next: Knit two sweaters!
You will learn Elizabeth’s Percentage System (EPS) as you create your first bottom-up raglan sweater with whatever yarn you want. Your gauge and the measurements of the chest, sleeves, and sides of your favorite sweater are all you need. You’ll master the short rows, yoke shape, more color patterns and neck shape, plus Elizabeth’s stitched finial, Kitchener stitch, and knitting.
The number two sweater features dropped shoulders and colors throughout. In addition to the stunning color work, you’ll take a few stunning steps to insert the sleeves. If you want, you can cut the front for a cardigan. Then on finishing techniques, various necklines and Elizabeth’s single row buttonhole. Phew!
Final section: Master classes
Here we learn seven seamless shoulder shapes: yoke, raglan, saddle shoulder, hybrid, shirt yoke, fitted sleeve, and buttock cousin.
Then we play with Elizabeth’s favorite garter stitch. She teaches us the magical properties of garter stitch as we weave her classic one-of-a-kind constructions: a square baby blanket, a pelerine cape, a doublet, a rorschach sweater, a surprise jacket, a tomten and a rib warmer.
We will decorate some of them with I trim and button loops. I-cord is a great finish for a last minute pocket.
We are gaining skills like crazy. So why not dive into seven lace shawls? These include his famous Pi Shawl, Stonington, Spoke, and others.
Last but not least come Arans, Guernseys, and Fair Isles. She says that the latter “ARE NOT SIMPLE to knit, but MUCH SIMPLE than they appear to be if you keep your head and make your own decisions.” She was good at it. Are you? Experiment with tams and you will see.
That’s it, you are a master weaver in twelve lessons. But is that it?
Elizabeth believes that she has only opened the door to a lifetime of possibilities by learning to knit at Knitting Workshop. She wishes you “good tissue” at the end. Man, I have to get myself some yarn and the accompanying DVD so I can watch and listen to it while I knit. And you?
Eventually, a one-stop vena for a lifetime of trade plans!