While searching on-line for the book I mentioned in my last blog, I decided on a lark to search the catalogue of my public library for the out-of-print "Principles of Knitting" by June Haitt. I found a copy and checked it out. THis is a great book ( if you see it grab it in a heartbeat) and if it is not re-issued this year as is planned by the publisher I will find the $200 that the book sellers are asking for a copy. THe book has great illustrations and directions. It is also a how-to book but with marvelous insights into the "why" certain techniques work or not. THis book fits into my category of knitting books written by a woman for women but is one of the finest books of its kind that I have ever seen for use by all knitters.
Ms. Haitt does favor the western method of knitting but gives clear and concise instructions for all methods of knitting. Her preference for "western knitting" is based on the fact that she believes that most advanced or complicated stitches or patterns are much easier to execute using this method and that a uniform stockinette stitch is achievable even for beginners. One very interesting and for me "sleep arresting" discussion was about the techniques used by "production" knitters in England prior to the widespread use of industrial knitting machines. The knitter uses 2 DP needles, the right one being inserted into a belted contraption that looks like a fanny pack with a bunch of holes in it. The user inserts the right needle into one of the holes. The harness holds the right needle stationary and allows the right hand to act as a shuttle without holding on to the needle. As this harness is no longer available she uses her "jeans" pocket to hold the right needle. I tried it that way and it works ok, but I can see where the harness (some of you may already have one that would work!) would really work nicely. It was awkward for me as I only knit continental and combined style but there is quite an advantage to have one hand free to act as a shuttle.