EZ - where have you been all my life?

Okay, so it's not like I haven't heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman - I know the name and I even know what everyone means when they say refer to "EZ". But for the first time, after let's say six or seven years of knitting, I picked up EZ's "Knitting Without Tears" at the public library yesterday. I don't think I've ever reacted so quickly or strongly to a book - I immediately thought "I have to have this" and checked my LYS today before buying it online. My LYS didn't have it, but they did have EZ's "Knitting Workshop" so I bought it basically without even looking at it. It's weird, I feel like I've entered through some sort of knitting dimension and will never go back. I suppose we all have these now and then and I've even had them before, like when I joined yarn and knitted in the round the first time, tried stranding the first time, etc.

I can't wait for my "Knitting Without Tears" book to show up - luckily I can keep this one from the public library for a while. :-)


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Enjoy!!! EZ taught me a lot, especially about being brave and trying new things - and approaches - to all things knitting. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

albert's picture

Welcome to the knitting Free World- knitting police need not apply.

purlyman's picture

Thanks Albert - I sort of get it - like I can decide to knit a sweater for someone and just figure it out based on their size - I don't have to figure out if it's S, M, L, or XL!! I can't wait.


Thomasknits's picture

I think as men, we take to EZ's pattern recipes so quickly. At risk of stereotyping, we men - who don't like to stop on the highway to ask directions - would much rather have more general instructions. EZ is fabulous that way.


Aaronknits's picture

Well said!!!

potterdc's picture

Love EZ. Love, love, love EZ. Check out Schoolhouse Press, run by her daughter, Meg:

I remember discovering EZ in the '80s - a dusty book in a small branch library in Washington DC. I couldn't get enough - I'm happy for you!


Think less, enjoy it more.

Think less, enjoy it more.

HuskerChub's picture

EZ hmmmmm what more can one say? My favorite thing about EZ's books are the stories; in "Knitting Without Tears", the stories of learning to knit "the German way" and steeking make me laugh. "Knitting Around" is my favorite, it is an autobiography with patterns. I remember reading it from cover to cover, in one night, a week or so before the US invaded Iraq and there is a very interesting section at the very end of the book about how many countries feel superior to others, really hit home at the time. Also the story of her husband escaping Nazi Germany before the war. I actually just reread it yesterday as I was looking for a mitten pattern and decided to use the one in that book.

Tallguy's picture

Ez is the type of person that makes you feel comfortable the moment you meet her. I "knew" her way back when, and just don't think of her as not being here any longer. I picked up a number of older issues of Vogue Knitting, she was a regular columnist in the magazine, and it is so heart-warming to read her articles. Her advice stands the test of time. I am so thankful that I got to know her early in my knitting life. I liked her approach then, and have taken it to heart. Do not be a blind follower of patterns! Once you realize that, nothing will hold you back.

If you come across any of her DVDs -- and Schoolhouse Press are re-releasing some of them -- it's like having her visit with you right in your living room. A warm and genuine person. Invite her in!

purlyman's picture

Thanks for the comments - this is all so great to hear. I think the Denver Public Library has some if not many of her videos - I'll definitely be checking on those.


teejtc's picture

> Do not be a blind follower of patterns!

Except with her very own BSJ... Don't think... just do. If you think about it you'll mess it up and get confused. If you just follow her instructions - no problem, it'll work out perfectly.

I agree with you, of course, just had to say it


Grace and Peace,

purlyman's picture

I've never tried the BSJ - but it's in the workshop book that I got. So great!!


Bill's picture

you can pick up an EZ book...open it anywhere and be immediately involved, fascinated and entertained.
...she will be with us always...

rjcb3's picture

My favorite is "Knitting Around" It's the very first EZ book that I ever encountered and the very first pattern of hers that I ever did was "The Bog Jacket" I photocopied the pattern (and the story -- the whole chapter) and knit away. I was so fascinated with everything about it -- the way she presented it, etc.

A few years ago, my little tax time present to myself was all four of her regular books: Knitting Without Tears, Knitter's Almanac, Knitting Workshop, and Knitting Around.

They are treasured!

One of these years, I would like to be able to make it out to one of the knitting camps and also see the schoolhouse.


scottly's picture

Sold!!!! I'm heading to Amazon now.

TheKnittingMill's picture

She's so groovy! When I first read "Knitting Without Tears" I had the same reaction. I love her sense of humor and frankness.

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.”
-- E. Z., Knitting Without Tears

MWK - Houston's picture

I had just bought Knitting without Tears and started a sweater in the round. It is just a great pattern to follow using the percentage method. I did get a little stuck as I wanted to start one for my sister but didn't know how to get her measurements - A lady at LYS was nice to let me measure her for the sweater.

I told my sister about the book and for my birthday (today) she sent me Knitting Around, Knitting Workshop, and Knitters Almanac - and the DVD for Knitting workshop which I watched all 8 episodes this weekend - it follows the in the round sweater pattern.

In knitting around she also includes stories about growing up and how she learned to knit - very interesting.

I think I'm definitely hooked on knitting seamless now. I have may projects for flat sweaters that I'm already figuring how to do in the round.