good ol' liz
i've been spending much of my commute/general subway time with elizabeth zimmerman. i've been researching her methods and practical but inventive patterns. her outlook on our craft is wonderful and she has some great insight. while i wouldn't wear many of her designs, i still enjoy reading about their construction and of course all of her words about the joys of PROCESS.
i've recently picked up knitter's almanac. i love her three hat patterns for the month of july. (maxine at stitch therapy in park slope (my LYS) has the maltese fisherman's hat knit up in her shop and it is AWESOME - i'm planning on making one for the winter at some point) zimmemann's sweater chapters are wonderful too. i'm knitting up the "ganomy hat" to break up the monotony of the standard hat pattern i've been working over and over for christmas gifts. its a simple and practical pattern with a very interesting design (and a wonderfully creative approach to earflaps.... a personal obsession). so we'll see how i like it when it becomes fully realized...
the only real problem with her books is that there aren't very many good photo references for the projects [this is especially true in 'almanac']. to get an idea of how something really looks, fits, and feels, you really have to just knit it yourself (this was probably her secret agenda!) either way, i have no problem doing that since really .... the reason most of us are doing this is because we enjoy the process more than the result.