In a rare special event on a Tuesday evening, June Hemmons Hiatt, author of the highly sought-after classic “The Principles of Knitting,” joined us at Lion Brand Yarn Studio for an “Inside the Knitter’s Studio” interview with our own Patty Lyons. The book, whose 1988 first edition can often command hundreds of dollars on online auctions, is a 580 page gospel of knitting technique. In talking with her, we learned the author is even more of a wealth of information.
June learned to knit as a child and continued on and off throughout her youth, eventually breaking to finish a degree in history before she picked the craft back up again. Unsatisfied by the answers she found in the reference books she had on hand, she set out to write her own, self-published, spiral-bound pamphlet for knitters. It was picked up by Simon and Schuster almost immediately, but took ten years to reach publication as she fleshed out every detail of her initial outline, which, as you can imagine, took on a heft much bigger than a spiral-bound pamphlet. Despite its significance to knitters, it took the publisher seven years to sell the first printing of 30,000 copies, and the book was dropped soon after.
Creating a New Edition
In 2000, after hearing the demand for copies and the high prices each rare find was fetching, June set out to publish a new edition. Because the plates had been destroyed, that meant typing all 350,000 words into her computer all over again. The practice gave her the chance to go over the text with a more critical eye and make changes for the next edition, which is even longer than the first and features more than 900 illustrations. It rolled off the presses in early 2012.
As you might have guessed, June is nothing if not thorough. She explores every angle of each technique, and each way it can be altered, throughout the 736 pages of her newest edition. After her talk, she turned her exploration of cast ons into a mind-blowing three hour master class for a collection of lucky students, exploring the ways different cast on methods react with different stitch patterns and the benefits of each.
The newest edition of “The Principles of Knitting” is available for purchase at the Studio, and we can assure you, the knowledge you’ll gain will be invaluable.
Missed out on this event? Don’t miss out on seeing Edie Eckman in May: Free designer talk and book signing on May 9th, Click here to RSVP.
and teaching two classes on May 12: Join as You Go methods for crochet, and technical writing for knitters and crocheters. Learn more about all of our upcoming Master Class events by clicking here.