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Elizabeth Zimmermann Quotes

Knitting Wisdom for the Ages


Elizabeth Zimmermann liked to be known as the Opinionated Knitter, and it's easy to see why. Though she advocated the idea that there's no real wrong way to knit as long as the outcome is what you desired, she did have a lot of ideas about knitting that she didn't hesitate to share in her knitting books.

Here are some of my favorite Elizabeth Zimmermann quotes; you can share your favorites and/or stories about how Zimmermann changed your knitting on the EZ legacy page.

On Knitting:

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit, either."

--From Knitting Without Tears

"One tends to give one's fingers too little credit for their own good sense."

--From Knitting Without Tears

"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."

--From Knitting Without Tears

Now comes what I perhaps inflatedly call my philosophy of knitting. Like many philosophies, it is hard to express in a few words. Its main tenets are enjoyment and satisfaction, accompanied by thrift, inventiveness, an appearance of industry, and, above all, resourcefulness."

--From Knitting Without Tears

"Really, handknitting is a dreamy activity, built into many people's thumbs and fingers by genes already there, itching to display their skills and achievement possibilities."

--From Knitting Around

"What? You can't knit in the dark? Stuff and nonsense; anybody can. Shut your eyes. Knit one stitch. Open your eyes and look at the stitch; it's all right. Shut your eyes and knit two stitches. Open them. Shut them. Knit three stitches. Falling off a log is no comparison."

--From Knitter's Almanac

On Using Wool for Baby Knitting:

"Pass by the synthetic yarn department, then, with your nose in the air. Should a clerk come out with the remark that All Young Mothers in This Day and Age (why can't they save their breath and say 'now'?) insist on a yarn which can be machine-washed and machine-dried, come back at her with the reply that one day, you suppose, they will develop a baby that can be machine-washed and -dried."

--From Knitter's Almanac

On Life with Arnold:

"I think I will say no more, except that here he and I are, in 1989, in our beloved Wisconsin Schoolhouse, parents and grandparents, passionate motorcyclist and passionate handknitter. All this may very well be, as my dear old father would have said, 'A bald and uninteresting narrative,' but Arnold and I have been happily married since 1937."

--From Knitting Around

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