Although I have been a long-time knitter (35+ years) I am always interested in learning new things and trying a different technique. A few years ago I became an acolyte of the Elizabeth Zimmerman cult and have been happily knitting my way through various EZ projects. When I heard about Jacqueline Fee's "The Sweater Workshop" (originally published in 1983; 2nd edition in 2002) based upon EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System) and the kooky looking Sweater Sampler I couldn't wait to give it a try.
After owning the book for over a year now, I finally got around to knitting the sampler while on vacation this week. Let me say that this little project is the most fun and educational piece of knitting I've ever produced! After finishing this puppy I am truly confident that I can design and knit any sweater (and really, any project) with absolute ease.
I would highly recommend this book and the Sweater Sampler to any beginning to intermediate knitter -- it covers the following techniques, knit in the round (although she also gives directions for flat knitting alongside): garter stitch; stockinette stitch; K1, P1 ribbing; twisted rib; K2, P2 ribbing; stripe in ribbing; knitted belt; cardigan border with placket and buttonhole; sweatshirt pocket; increases; knit stripe; purl stripe; raised stripes; decreases; two-color knitting;swiss darning (duplicate stitch embroidery); knitted i-cord; lacing round ; plain hem (with knitted in initial monogram); cast-off in ribbing; knitted i-cord cast-off; lace cast-off; afterthought pocket; short rows. I used one skein of Patton's Merino Wool and a few scraps of same for the color work, with size 7 US Knit Picks Options 16" circular needle and Takumi Bamboo DP needles (also size 7 US). The directions are very clearly written and easy to follow, step-by-step, with clear illustrations.
When you finish this little project you are truly on your way to becoming a master knitter and will be able to tackle any project or pattern with ease. And you can always pull out the sampler and look at it closely to determine what a technique is supposed to look like or the effect it has on your knitting. It is told that when Jacquie presented the Sweater Sampler to EZ she put it on her head like a hat and laughed heartily. I laughed a lot while knitting it too; it is a funny little thing with great value to me as a knitter.