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June Hiatt is a reknowned knitting teacher and the author of the classic book THE PRINCIPLES OF KNITTING, considered the "bible" of knitting instruction books. She lives in San Francisco with her husband.
I have been eyeing very expensive used copies of this classic of knitting technique for years. I was overjoyed to learn that it was going to be re-issued and immediately pre-ordered this item. I was stunned when the book arrived. Complete and comprehensive doesn't even begin to describe the contents of this book it is that overwhelming.
Beginning with self-teaching methods and all of the different cast-ons and knitting techniques it progresses to stitch patterns, decreases, increases, making adjustments in fit and design based on stitch patterns, finishing techniques - just everything. Circular knitting, knitting with beads, double-knitting, making allowances for patterns with a slant or an unusual shape are just a few of the techniques and problems surveyed. Solving problems to knitting in general and specific techniques is a part of each section. Color knitting is extensively covered, not only the usual stranded and intarsia knitting but all of the different Nordic and other methods of color knitting. It is all here and more. Lavishly illustrated in clear line drawings that demonstrate the techniques this book encompasses a lifetime of knitting expertise. For every knitter who has struggled to master a new technique or fix a seemingly insoluble problem or who has created a garment or item that bore no resemblance to the photograph on the pattern, this book shows you how to troubleshoot and fix.
Principles of Knitting covers all of the technical information without which the finished product is not what was intended or envisioned. Other books cover patterns, projects and stitches, this book ensures that the patterns are completed as intended. Other books show the knitter inspriational photos of lovely garments and items, this book ensures that those projects become a reality. A must for any knitter's library and a wonderful gift for the novice knitter. Highest possible recommendation.
Those of us who are "dyed in the wool" knitters have been offered a treasure trove of spectacular books within the last 12 months, but this one, "The Principles of Knitting" tops my list of must-have volumes. Here's my take on June Hemmons Hiat's revised foundational volume:
1. "Principles" starts at the beginning (e.g., how-tos, including knitting methods, cast-on, cast-off, selvages, and more basics) and proceeds to the most complex. She has included all the basics every knitter needs to understand.
2. Many knitting writers stress the importance of starting each project with a gauge swatch, but this volume includes a series of photos of swatches made with different yarns and weights. We know (from being told so often) we should always make the swatch, but often we are so ready to get going that we skip this most important step with sometimes sorry results. Now you can see why you must do this before plunging right into your pattern.
What was news to me is simple common sense that I have been woefully lacking - dress the swatch. Of course! It makes perfect sense that your swatch should reflect the same finishing that you'll apply to the finished garment. And that would explain why, sometimes, my garments do not exactly mirror my swatches.
3. I've recently had a bear of a time picking up stitches to finish a hemmed neckline and hemmed armholes. My problem? Getting the picked up stitches exactly even on each side. Now I can do it with ease by picking up all stitches and decreasing as necessary - perfect! Why didn't I think of that before.
4. Not everyone becomes an avid knitter, but, for those who do, the time inevitably arrives when they want to knit their own original designs.Read more ›
The original edition of "The Principles of Knitting" had been the most useful and understandable knitting guide that I ever found. I checked it out of the library several times (when I lived in a town where the library had a copy). I've been wanting my own copy of the book for something like 15 years, but used copies have been *very* expensive. Now not only is this great book back in print, it's an updated 2nd edition.
If you haven't seen the first edition: What you should know is that it's a big, thorough reference book (check out the Amazon "Look Inside" preview, where you can see the table of contents) with clear instructions and good drawings and photographs (there are 900+ illustrations, mostly fairly small). The photographs are black-and-white, and the drawings are black-and-white or black-and-white with added detail in a third tone (rust). It doesn't have the stunning color pictures that a lot of knitting books have, but aside from having an experienced knitter show you a technique in person, it's the best knitting help I've found.
If you're familiar with the first edition, here's what's different: The author (as she tells in the introduction) rewrote and refined the content throughout the book and also added new material. The book is 100 pages longer than before. There's some show-through of the printing on the opposite sides of the pages---it's not especially distracting but it's not ideal. I don't have the first edition to compare it to, so I can't say whether the paper quality is actually worse.
The binding of my copy seems fine, by the way. (I noticed another reviewer said that theirs didn't appear to be very sturdy.)
I've never posted a review before, but I had to for this book because I think it's so outstanding.