“A vale of tears and no mistake”

Well, this book isn't exactly esoteric, but it has limited appeal: Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I just discovered it. The only reason I mention it here is because it's written in such a charming, engaging style. Here are some quotes (I'll leave out the technical stuff):
  • Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.
  • This is a vale of tears and no mistake. Things are not perfect, and we wouldn't appreciate it if they were.
  • Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.
  • For people allergic to wool, one's heart can only bleed.
  • All knitting books may now sue me, but I am convinced that the injunction to twist yarns is totally redundant.
Even the title cracks me up. Who would cry about knitting? For me, the process, not the product, is the thing. If I happen to end up with a wearable garment at the end, hey, what a bonus! As a matter of fact, I just finished a little vest for Daniel. I'm really pleased because
  • I used up some yarn left over from another project that I never finished. You can't tell very well in the photo, but the colors are amazing. I didn't choose them. The original project was a Kaffe Fassett pattern. I bought exactly the colors he used. I would never have thought of combining these colors.
  • I met my goal of making a sweater that required no sewing of pieces. I did the lower part in the round, then went back and forth starting at the armholes. I used short row shaping for the shoulders instead of a sloped cast-off so that I'd have "live" stitches at the end, which I then cast off double (no sewing).
Here's the vest. I haven't blocked it yet.



  • Pretty vest and in stripes takes knitting talent! Bravo! My knitting "skills" are limited to bland rows that I don't know how to connect into garmets. A friend tried to help. I have the attempt for the first sweater for that now 18 yr old daughter, saved. She laughs, b/c Of course, she CAN knit and has knitted lovely scarves etc. None of us have your talent for a WOW garment!

    posted by Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) on 1:02 AM