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Book Review: Principles of Knitting

Last week I was approached by the publicist for the newly revised book The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. She asked if I would like to receive an advance copy of the book so that I could review it here and I readily agreed. A free copy of a book that I had been planning to buy? Winning!

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the original version of this book but it has been long out of print. My library’s copy has been missing for years (no, I didn’t take it!) and copies have sold for outrageous amounts on ebay so it’s wonderful to have it available again for a new generation of knitters. It is, quite literally, an encyclopedia of knitting.

There are over 700 pages filled with diagrams, charts, facts, advice, and lessons. If you don’t know how to knit you can start here. If you already know how to knit you can expand your knowledge base and learn how to do things differently. There are examples of all kinds of techniques, cast ons,  increases, decreases, flat knitting, circular knitting, steeks and hems and so much more.  There are no patterns here but there is information on designing patterns and writing charts that is so valuable and helpful you’ll be designing your own patterns in no time.

There are chapters on all the knitting basics and there is even information on fiber choices and spinning.

The book is so comprehensive that I would dare say it could be the only knitting technique book you will ever need – it’s just that informative. It’s easy to understand, simple to follow, and will be useful to any knitter at any level of experience. It’s available starting February 14th and would make a perfect Valentine’s gift – I’m just saying.

As a librarian and a knitter I highly recommend this book.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. A copy was pre-ordered for me as a Christmas present and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival! The blog reviews are making me even more excited.

  2. Thanks for the great review! I definitely will pre-order this. The question is do I order the hard copy or e-book? E-book could travel with me easily, but I’m still very much a hard copy girl 🙂

  3. I’ve been waiting for this book to be published forever!! How wonderful to see it really is happening!! This is one of the best books ever printed and it should be well received! Lucky you to get one of the first published!

  4. I add my thanks! It would make a wonderful Valentine! I’m pretty sure my main squeeze doesn’t check in here much, but I can put it on my wants and desires list. It must be around here somewhere. LOL.

  5. I love the great photos you included with your review, Carole. I’m thinking this is something I may want/need. I also wonder if an ebook might make a good choice rather than a hardback for those of us who do a lot of knitting away from home.

  6. Thank you Carole! Your review and recommendation is so valuable. I am going to order this book which I can’t believe in my 40 years of knitting is not even in my head! I don’t remember the book at all!

  7. Oh, yay! I have been looking for this in used book stores for. . . ever! So glad to know it’s coming around again. Thanks for an excellent review and recommendation.

  8. When I first learned to knit, I checked out a copy of this from my library. It was an invaluable resource to me as I taught myself how to knit. That library copy has since gone missing, sadly. I’m so glad to see that they got the second edition out!

  9. Looks like a wealth of information. I’d love to get it on my Nook so I can keep it as a reference along with my patterns.

  10. The book looks awesome. I have seen a couple of other reviews and even the little snippets I’ve seen show me things that I had either not realized or had realized but not been able to articulate. It looks well worth the price of admission as it were.

  11. This is one of those books I’ve been hearing about for years, but missed when it was first published. It looks terrific and your endorsement makes it all the more appealing. I have always wished that I had a better understanding of which variation on a technique to use when–love it when designers recommend a cast- on or other technique.

    Yesterday’s Super Bowl foods was fun. I am definitely going to try the buffalo dip.

    Go Pats — years ago I won $600 in the Super Bowl pool betting on the Pats. So, once they beat the Broncos, after a week or so of licking my wounds, I became a Patriots fan. Lol. Jo

  12. Thanks for the book review Carole! I had never heard of it before – I have Montse Stanley’s book which I love. I will definitely check this out when it is published.

  13. It’s also available as an e-book, for those who don’t want to carry around a coffee-table sized book. My Patron of the Arts (DH) had me pre-order it as part of my Valentine’s gift. Gotta love him!

  14. I have a small fairly comprehensive guide to knitting, but this looks an encyclopedia of knitting. I just might need it.

  15. Wow – and I hadn’t heard of it either. Will be looking to purchase it too…or have a little hint dropping chat with my Valentine!

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