I have long been utterly obsessed with the idea of spending a year knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac cover to cover.
For the as-yet uninitiated, allow me to clarify: Elizabeth Zimmermann, often referred to simply as EZ, is the fairy godmother of (American) knitting. She was one of the main voices bringing knitting back to the forefront of the crafting community in the 1970s and 1980s with her no-nonsense attitude, conversational tone, and constant encouragement. She hosted a PBS television series about knitting and authored numerous books, and newsletters outlining her philosophy on knitting. I count her as one of the great influences on my knitting, and I'm sure many other knitters feel the same. Her advice to trust only myself, my instinct, and my gauge swatch has rescued many a project (and willfully ignoring that advice has doomed many more). Her simple, classic designs are not too difficult to knit, but they demonstrate a complete understanding of how knitting works, the topology of a three-dimensional object, and they often surprise the knitter by moving in unexpected directions.
So back to the almanac. This little book (just $8 if you get the Dover Thrift Edition!) is a conversation with Elizabeth about her knitting that just happens to have a project (or two, or three, or more) for each month. She patiently talks you through her entire thought process and encourages you to make your own intelligent decisions about how you would like your knitting to turn out. It is such an excellent read that I often page through it just to enjoy the words and little tidbits of wisdom sprinkled throughout, completely skipping the directions for knitting. I have made a handful of projects from the almanac, but I have often dreamed of just knitting it all, one month at a time.
With a little encouragement from Mr. Mouse, that is precisely what I intend to do this year. The January Aran is already well underway, so check back soon for a post about that project and process!