Eastendhomearts's Blog

Knitting, Crocheting and comments about life

Archive for the tag “Elizabeth Zimmerman”

Why we do what we do!!!

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” – Steve Prefontaine

Yes… I just started a blog about knitting using a quote from a runner! Why you may ask… Because it helps me to describe my passion. I have always been a passionate person. In everything I do I give 1000%. I am a runner, a physical therapist, mom and a wife…. As you all know I’m also an avid knitter. As soon as I got involved I dove in as any passionate enthusiast would. I bought as much yarn as I could afford, books galore and needles boy do I love needles!

As I continued to grow in my hobby my passion became design. I am a left handed person in the right frame of mind so I just had to start designing. When I started knitting almost 10 years ago there were very few design books available. I started my own quest by seeking out information on garment construction, drape and fit. With many thanks to the Internet I found out I was not the only person and I surrounded myself with like minded people.

After the information age revolutionized Knitting as we knew it the design books began to pour out. Classics began being reprinted ( Principles of Knitting- amazing btw, Alice Starmores fair isle, and of course Elizabeth Zimmermand and Barbara Walker!) Tonight I found myself studying with a book that will surely be a classic.., Shirley Padens design book! For someone who enjoys knitting and fashion is just a long for the ride it’s a great introduction to garment construction and their schematics… There is so much more then that but that’s where I got to tonight.

So to the brilliant knitters who have come before me! Thank you for imparting your knowledge and investing in the future of knitting. I hope one day to be as great as you!

So sometimes when you are wondering why you do what you do whether your knitting your first scarf or you design for one of the great publications… Open up a classic and remember this is why you do what you do!

“Don’t give up on a thing you cant go a day without thinking about”
Winston Churchill

Comments welcome fellow knitters!



Relaxed Knitting

I like a knitting challenge just as much as the next stitcher, but sometimes you just want to relax while your knitting. Knitting you can do with a glass of sangria at your side!

As I dive into the world of design I continue to have to challenge my skills to make my designs complete. Last week I took a color work hat to my life group which is usually a great place for me to stitch…. But try to discuss and follow a chart while trouble shooting your design! It’s pretty near impossible to do all three at the same time.

So to relax, I love to put something on the needles to just knit. On straight needles I love the garter stitch. You can do so much with it and all you have to do is knit… Knit… Knit! I also love knitting hats ! Especially preemie hats…. Shocker I know! The funniest part is when I wear a simple garter st accessory that’s when I get the most complements!

So what’s your favorite stitch or thing to work on when your relaxing?

For great resources on just knitting.. Try Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knit One purl none, any of my preemie patterns or any of my great patterns .. Www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com


Reading Your Stitches- The Independent Knitter

This past week, I had wrote about Elizabeth Zimmerman and her amazing book Knitting Workshops with Elizabeth Zimmerman.  She always talks about being a free knitter not tied to patterns and this post is in that independent spirit. As a knitwear instructor, I feel it is imperative to teach your students how to read their work. I know it may sound weird to some but I have many students who become dependent on the pattern so much so that if  they loose it they have no leg to stand on. So in short I think the most important thing is that the “V”‘s are knit stitches and the bumps are purl stitches. Most of the time the Vs are on the public side or right side and the bumps are on the non public side or  wrong side.

Yes that is really simplified but trust me it is essential in becoming a well rounded knitter !

Elizabeth Zimmerman and Independent Knitting

This past weekend my roommate from college was here and my husband and I decided to keep her company on her way into NYC. She grabbed her subway to jersey and we were unleashed into the city. The best part of the city is that if you walk for a long enough period of time you will stumble upon something awesome. As we meandered to the city we made ourselves to Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

The original intent of my trip was to pick up Lion Brand’s Stainless Steel Wool to use as an experiment. But then as I wandered around the shop I found a jewel….. Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop. I has already bought Knitting Without Tears and couldn’t wait to tear into this book.

I always wondered why everyone was so enamored by her and her books. But until you read one you will never know. My favorite is how she teaches you to be independent of patterns and understand how garments are constructed.

The big eureka moment for me in this book was Elizabeth’s percentage system for knitting sweaters. For me this was revolutionary. I have taken a lot of design classes and we talk about how long and why but the percentages are revolutionary.

So my challenge to you today is to just pick up one book and tell me how long it was before you put it down.

I’d love to hear your stories about Elizabeth!


Where does your needle craft inspiration come from?

Inspiration from Classical Knitters
With the new resurgence of needle crafts, many of us “new” knitters are looking for information. I love to go to a LYS (local yarn shop) and just chat with whoever is in there whether it be the owner, customer or teacher. This practice is so underrated in this technological age. Knitting and crocheting used to be an art that you just knew. There where few written patterns for sweaters as most people of the period just “knew” how to make a sweater. Lately on my yarn shop adventures, I found myself at Knitty City which is really close to Central Park and started talking with one of the amazing staff members and we started discussing designing and where we get our inspiration. She found time while the store was a flutter with many customers and students to help point me to the right books I was looking for. I usually find knitting and crocheting books by accident and then find out later that the book that I thought was “the” source on a technique actually is. I left with “Knitting from the Top Down” by Barbara G. Walker, a book by Mary Thomas and Knitting Guernseys. Three of the most information packed books on knitting that I have ever found. If you are looking for a text book on sweaters and stitch patterns they are IT!!!!! This week on my blog I will dive a little deeper into what I find out to be THE authority books on needle crafts. So I say to a new generation of knitters and needle crafters not to pass by the books that look slightly dated because if you really want to knit and to eventually break away from commercially written patterns these books are for you !

Leave a comment about where your needle craft inspiration comes from and you will receive a free pattern from http://www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com

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