I got Knitting Without Tears as a birthday present a year or so ago, after widhing for it in very straight words. But as it happens so often with me and books - I didn't read it straight away, just used some of the instructions from time to time. In fact, just recently I grabbed the book and read it from cover to cover.
First of all I want to say that I think Elizabeth Zimmermann is a knitting genious. Think about the i-cord! The seamless sweaters! The presentage system! That's just brilliant, don't you think? I was even able to save Nick's sweater with the help of this book and the percentage system.
Having said that, after reading the complete book I have to admit I don't like Zimmermanns writing as much I was expecting to. It seems that she is very opinionated (which is great) but that many of her opinions don't really work with mine. I'm the kind of person that won't believe anyone else's truths unless I am convinced that they are better than mine, and at least in this book, Elizabeth was not able to convince me.
So for me the best part of this book were not the stories or the funny writing, but simply the sweater advice, which I will most likely be using a lot, and even if not I will have learned a lot about sweater construction anyway. Frankly, I didn't get much out of the other guidance for socks, mittens and hats - I think I knew most of it already.
I conclude by saying that this book is great for beginning knitters and a good reference for the rest of us. Some will love Zimmermann's style of writing, and some won't, but I'll bet almost everyone can benefit from her knitting advice.
For my birthday this year I got the Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac: The Commemorative Edition, let's see how I like it - watch this space for a review!