Monkeys in the Basement

The Bumblebee has her male counterpart over to play tonight, and crazy noises are coming up the stairs.  They're engaged in a game of Super Mario Bros.  The Bee says 'bros' instead of 'brothers', and it's making me giggle still.   Never occurred to me to say 'bros'.  

My knitting has taken a hit this week.  I've been busy with work, but that usually doesn't stop me from progressing.  I had the first sleeve on the Tomten almost finished when I realized that I had read EZ's instructions wrong.  I've been decreasing twice as fast as I should have been - decreasing every three rows when I should have been decreasing every three RIDGES.  I could not live with it, and had to do a dangerous frog back past the live pit stitches.   Alas, all stitches were picked up and accounted for, and I've started again down the arm.   Oh EZ!  You and your ridges!  I should have seen it coming.

It was also with best intentions that I thought I could participate in Ravelympics, and I cast on last Friday for an Ishbel shawl, but I've been so consumed with the Tomten that I have stalled.  I honestly do not see me finishing a lace project in one week.   I might finish off a few pair of mittens that have been snoozing on my ravelry 'projects' page which would score me some points in the ufo event.   We'll see. 

T asked me this week which EZ book she should invest in first, so I will answer her in this space.  It appears she's waffling between Knitters Almanac and Knitting Without Tears.  Both are in my collection.  Both are quite inexpensive.  Both have the same number of patterns - 18 or 19 give or take one or two.  I spent some time comparing them on ravelry because it gives you a more visual idea of the patterns.  I don't believe there is any overlap between the two books.  In other EZ books, there is much overlap.  For instance The Opinionated Knitter is a good comprehensive collection of the best, and it is the only book with photos of the projects in colour!   The Knitters Workshop is my newest EZ book and fast becoming one of my favourites.  It has everything - lots of sweaters, lace, colourwork, and all the accessories one needs.  It starts off easy, and you quickly build your skills by turning the pages.   Back to the Almanac and Tears.  The Almanac doesn't have the nicest adult-sized sweaters, but it's worth every penny for the February Baby Sweater.  You've seen me knit this twice, and I plan to knit dozens more.  It's the perfect baby sweater pattern.  And it's stunning.  The Almanac is the only place you'll find it.   That's why you need it.  Knitting Without Tears (KWT) has loads of instruction that are handy for even the most seasoned knitter.  It captures EZ's great and versatile sweater patterns - the Tomten, the seamless hybrid, the kangaroo pouch sweater, saddle-shoulder and raglan and more.  If you want more sweaters, this is the book.  Plus the how-to's are golden.  The Almanac is great reading though.  It's like you were invited to sit by the fire with EZ herself, and you are sitting there listening to her wild adventures to the clicking of her needles.  I realize I am all over the place with this book recommendation, so I am going to summarize the pros of each below:

Knitters Almanac - February Baby Sweater!, storytelling, monthly projects covering all bases
Knitting Without Tears - a plethora of fantastic sweaters, lots of instructional pictures and text
Knitting Workshop - instruction amidst the patterns, stuffed to the gills with patterns, Baby Surprise Jacket!
The Opinionated Knitter - PICTURES!! Lots.  In colour., a compilation of the best EZ

Now it's everyone else's turn to help T.  Please add your two cents in the comments!



Lupie said...

EZ is my hero and I have all the books and The Knitters Workshop DVD. I love all of them and would have a hard time telling anyone wish to get but I do think The Knitters Workshop is a must have for any EZ Newbie. The DvD is important because you get to see what an amazing person she was.
My daughters and I sat together in amazment watching it when I brought it home from my LYS. When ever I get into a knitting funk I pop in the DVD and she inspires me.

Balkan Style Bloggers said...

I agree with Lupie! I don't have the DVD, but I borrowed it from the library, and a 5-year old Bumblebee and I watched it for 6 hours straight! It was an absolutely clarifying and mesmerizing experience. Need some zen, watch EZ.

I can only assume that you will collect all of the books in time, but your quandry is which one to buy first. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any of them. They're all classics and must-haves for every knitter's library. :) Please let us know which one you end up choosing!!! So we can pat you on the back of course.

Unknown said...

The baby sweater is available in a Vogue American Collection, but it has more than just EZ patterns.

That cake looks sooo delish!!! May have to try that with some sour milk.

Montreal Mama said...

I am starting to be an EZ fan, I am working up the Feb baby sweater in adult size and I have to say the construction is so simple it's genius!