Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop


Buffy gets it.  This is her favorite book.

My first Elizabeth Zimmermann book was Knitting Without Tears.  It was a gift from my lovely mother-in-law.  Truth be told, it frightened me a little bit.  I had to take a nap after I opened it.  (that’s how I deal with stressful things I’m discovering…take a nap)  I really wasn’t sure I could ever follow EZ’s directions or ever really make anything worth wearing.

A little back story:

Before I was married and the very first time I met my soon to be mother-in-law it was after midnight after a very long road trip from Nebraska which is my home state to Wisconsin which is Dave’s.  We were doing the Meet the Parents trip.  Yikes!  Think about meeting people for the first time very late at night and being super road-dust-dirty.  Both of the Parents were so kind to wait up for us and as we got to talking, my Mother-in-law was knitting away.  She wasn’t even looking at her hands.  One time I looked and there was a row done and the next thing I know a sweater.  She’s fast.  I like to brag about her.  Anyway, I had never ever picked up a knitting needle.  Just never.  Later on the Parent Visit I was able to see so many beautiful knit things.  It was amazing.  This stuck in my head and-jump forward to just after getting married-I grabbed some yarn.  I started crocheting first and then stumbling my way to knitting.  I guess I thought knitting was too hard because there were TWO sticks.  I spent a lot of time at the library and found Elizabeth Zimmermann’s videos for the Knitting Workshop.  They were awesome and hilarious and awesome.  Did I tell you, they were awesome?  My MIL and I had a fun time talking and watching those.  I learned a lot, tried a lot, ripped out a lot and then was able to go back to my Knitting Without Tears and I didn’t take a nap.

EZ is just so smart.  AND she’s funny.  I love her stories about the Gaffer.  One of my favorite visions of her is her sitting on the back of his motorcycle and she’s knitting.  What a view that would be.  I would totally have dropped my yarn.  Or a double point.  But EZ would have a circular.  She’s so smart.


You should work your way through the Knitting Workshop.  Start with the hat.  End with the Surprise Jacket.  Laugh along the way.  Your brain will absorb so much info.  If you’re a beginner this workshop helps ease your way into with explaining the very basics about yarn, stitches, and styles.  It gets your knitting brain into shape.  It forms the foundation for a knitter who won’t need a pattern at all someday.  It will empower you.  Baby steps first though.  If you’re more experienced, take a look at this again.  You may just gain a little something more.  Or try one of those projects you haven’t.  Each time you will grow.

The thing about knitting is you will never get bored.  You will continue to grow no matter what your skill is.  It is inspiring, fulfilling, interesting, colorful, soft, warm, and cozy and a puzzler.  I like to take time to go back and see the things I did when I started.  I check out my very first sweater I made that was hideous.  I see how I’ve grown.  I see that I need to keep growing.  There’s never an expiration date.

I hope you’ll spend some time with EZ.  What a treasure.  The thing I most love about her is that I have fabulous family memories and laughs to enjoy thanks to her.


Without Tears and No Nap-pily yours,

-Here’s my pot o’gold-this moment-



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