« EZ Obsession | Main | Turned Hem Revisited »

November 14, 2006

Knitter's Choice

One of my favorite Elizabeth Zimmermann expressions is "Knitter's Choice".  Sprinkled generously throughout her intentionally vague instructions, this command encourages us to use our noggins and to think for ourselves.  In sharp contrast, today's beautifully designed patterns are often written in such explicit detail that they scream "Not A Choice" -- a fine expression to deliver to your children with a firm yet friendly smile, but not one to stimulate creativity.

I've also found "Knitter's Choice" to be helpful in other aspects of my life.  Cook dinner or order pizza?  Knitter's Choice.  Lights on or off during the family movie?  Knitter's Choice.  Am I too sick to work?  Knitter's Choice.  That EZ was one smart woman!

November 14, 2006 in Project - Elizabeth Z. | Permalink


At least once a week, I find reason to assure myself, "I am truly the boss of my knitting."

I just recently discovered your wonderful blog, Nona, and am delighted to learn you're a fan of EZ.

Posted by: Cathy | Nov 14, 2006 1:01:14 PM

Hee hee. I think you are onto something with 'knitter's choice'.

Posted by: Punkin | Nov 14, 2006 2:29:45 PM

Do homework or knit? Knitter's choice!! My new motto :)

Posted by: Vicki | Nov 14, 2006 2:36:52 PM

Years ago, I was in a group that was planning a project together to cross stitch a border for a tablecloth as a gift. As we all sat around the table discussing the options, one woman looked at the color guide for our chart. With all serious intent, she looked up at the group and asked, "What color is 'worker's choice'?"

Posted by: Jen | Nov 14, 2006 2:55:06 PM

He He. One smart interpretation from Nona!
But as for cooking, there's still another option: go for a recipe that requires hours of sitting, keeping an eye on the oven:

I own only one EZ's book so far, but enjoyed the reading so much. A woman with litteraly no mental boundaries. She is indeed more 'modern' than many...

Posted by: Sophie | Nov 15, 2006 5:19:19 AM

She was ahead of her time! Should I stay on this computer and read more blogs or go do housework? Knitter's choice! LOL

Posted by: Arleta | Nov 15, 2006 6:45:07 AM

EZ was a very smart woman! knitter's choice is perfect for someone who is a little more advanced and understands the basic concepts, but today's more rigid patterns are great for beginner's or mindless knitting. i think that these both provide something for everyone!

Posted by: gleek | Nov 15, 2006 8:41:50 AM

i too will be adopting "knitter's choice" as my new motto. though some people who know me might say that i've been living the spirit of it for years. :)

Posted by: laura | Nov 15, 2006 7:07:16 PM

I'll try it.. wonder if it will work in my household.

Posted by: Judy | Nov 16, 2006 5:25:52 AM

Hi Nona,

I have a question about your Yarn Dominance article. I'd like to email you about it but I can't find your email address. Would you be willing to help me out?


Posted by: Laura | Nov 17, 2006 6:27:29 AM

I recently checked out a book called Baby Knits for Beginners, and encountered the line "Always try to buy the yarn specified in the pattern." Even as a new knitter I was a bit horrified by that.....

Posted by: Sharon Beth | Nov 22, 2006 8:36:20 AM

I recently ended up with too many stitches on the back of a sweater and fudged a little. You can't really tell, but for the next day or so I was wracked with guilt and the haunting dread that I WILL PAY FOR THAT when I get to the front. So I resolved never to worry about that again. Who was to wear it? Me. Who has to knit it? ME. So who has to be happy with the way it turns out? Right, me again. That's all that matters. So there

I was recently shocked by the Patons website, which not only assured me that I should "Always try to finish your current row before putting your knitting down. It’s easy to forget what your next stitch should be or for stitches to fall off your needles." but also that "It’s highly irresponsible for a retailer to recommend the use of a yarn not specified by the publication and or pattern"

Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I've been doing it wrong all this time.

Posted by: Kate | Nov 28, 2006 4:45:28 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

All patterns, designs, content, and photographs Copyright 2004-2010 nonaKnits and Carolyn Quill Steele. All rights reserved. If you have any copyright questions or request, please ask -- nonaKnits at gmail dot com.