I have a lot of favorite things in the shop. From time to time, some unsuspecting customer will ask me what my favorite yarn is, and the answer they get is lengthy, a handful of yarns at least, and only represents my favorites of that particular moment. We have so many yarns that I love to knit with, and so many more that I’m aching to work with but have not yet gotten to. The same can be said for books, though I am slightly more focused in that department. I keep my knitting library relatively small, favoring reference types over project-based books, usually. When I look at my own collection, it closely mimics one shelf at the shop in particular: the Schoolhouse Press and Elizabeth Zimmermann shelf.
We devote a shelf to Schoolhouse Press publications partially for organizational reasons, but primarily to honor the output of a particularly outstanding book publisher. Schoolhouse Press was founded by knitting heroine Elizabeth Zimmermann in the mid 1950’s and is now run by Zimmermann’s daughter, Meg Swansen. The Schoolhouse Press shelf is my favorite for a reason: the books that are found there are stuffed with information that liberates knitters from patterns, encourages experimentation, and urges you to be the boss of your own knitting.
And now, we’ve collected all our single patterns from Schoolhouse Press into one binder. Zimmermann’s classic Baby Surprise Jacket can be found there, along with the updated version: the Adult, Baby, and Child Surprise Jacket, and others–the Tomten, the Green Sweater, and now, the Square-Rigged Vest. There have been several developments, you see, since last we spoke of my Square-Rigged Vest. Anne insisted that it become a class, and I agreed to teach it. (It’s half-filled, so if you’re interested, register now!) A phone call to Schoolhouse Press solved the problem of the pattern being out of print–they kindly reprinted it for us, which is why you’ll now find it in the Schoolhouse Press pattern binder. With every new publication, and kindnesses such as these, Schoolhouse Press gives us another reason to appreciate and admire them. Come by the shop to join us in our admiration, and I’ll gladly point you towards my favorite shelf in the shop.