Sunday, May 6, 2012

Leave it to the Experts

Perhaps you've heard stories of copies of "The Principles of Knitting" by June Hemmons Hiatt going on EBay for over $400.  The first edition went out of print in the mid-1990s and was a very hot item indeed. We heard rumors that she was updating her book and here it is!  Principles of Knitting

Currently selling for about $26 from Amazon and so far well worth every penny.  I'll tell you why.  I'm a pretty experienced knitter, self-taught, but experienced.  It's rare that I can't figure something out.  But I have a tool called a 3+2 or a croneedle that I use to pick up stitches if I'm adding a button band or collar or something like that.  It has a crochet needle on one end and a knitting needle on the other end and I never could quite figure out how to get the stitches off once I had picked them up.  I would gingerly knit them off the crochet hook end.

So today, as I went to pick up some stitches, I thought to myself, "Self, let's see what June has to say about picking up stitches" and lo and behold, the truth about this needle appeared right there on page 109.  The trick is that you do a type of long tail cast on so that when you finish picking up the stitches, you just go to the needle end where the end of the yarn that goes to the ball will be.  How could I have been so blind?  I am so wedded to doing a cable cast on that I never consider doing any other kind.  I heard one review of this book that counted her cast-on techniques.  52 of them.  Imagine that.  She has instructions on the Tricolor Braid Cast-On and the Contrast Color Half-Hitch Edge.  How about Wrapped Cast-ons and a Knit Picot Cast-on.  Seriously, this is the book to go to for both experienced and novice knitters.  It's big, over 700 pages and 450,000 words.  It's mostly black and white photos and lovely, clear illustrations for the techniques.  This is a book everyone needs in their personal library, no doubt.  Thanks, June!  Well done.

I don't think this particular croneedle is available any longer from Skacel but a work-around per the suggestion from the nice folks at Purlsoho is to build your own if you have Addi-Clicks.  You can also do the same with  Denise Interchangeables.

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