Greetings! Cirilia here, writing from Seattle where we’re sadly admitting to ourselves that summer is officially winding to a close. As I pack up my picnic supplies and recycle empty bottles of sunscreen, I am cheered by the trappings of what I have always considered to be the true new year–back to school!
While most of you may be beyond school age, I think we can all agree that knitting is a craft that benefits from an academic approach. The more I delve into knitting, the more I find to study. I truly think it’s a hobby that can last a lifetime, and no other book captures this sentiment quite like June Hemmons Hiatt’s Principles of Knitting.
I first encountered the original version of this hefty volume in a library in Western Massachusetts. Many libraries treat the 700+ page behemoth as a reference book, but this particular library allowed it to be checked out, which I did. Often. Once I learned that the out of print tome was considered a collector’s item, I treasured my access to it even more.
Knitters everywhere were thrilled to see the book republished in 2012, fully revised. I snapped up a copy, and then something odd happened. I shelved it away, happy and secure in the knowledge that I could consult this knitting encyclopedia whenever I needed to. Months and many projects slipped by and I kept doings in my usual way. My knitting skills, while serviceable, were stale.
Then, I remembered June. June Hemmons Hiatt, the sparking wit behind the most comprehensive book on knitting ever written. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Vogue Knitting Live event, and her humor and encouraging teaching style stayed with me. I pulled the book from my shelf and thought, I should knit my way through this.
It’s an idea inspired by blogger and author Julie Powell’s journey through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. When I asked June if anyone had attempted this, she shared Lara Neel’s tweets, notes compiled during a very speedy read-through of the book June casually calls POK.
I plan to work cover to cover and to share my impressions and explorations as I progress. I’ll be using Zealana possum yarns and posting to our Instagram and Facebook accounts. I’ll also be uploading vlogs on YouTube. While I am a professional knitter, I think you’ll find that I am by no means an expert! I have much to learn, and I’m so eager to share it with all of you.
Happy “new” year!
P.S. Ria is my nickname, the one I use at coffee shops. It still manages to trip people up–I’ve picked up cups that read ‘Bria’, ‘Ree’ and ‘Ra’ (no, I’m not the Egyptian sun god…). You don’t even want to know what happens when I use my real name! I hope this title serves as a catchy, fitting homage to the ladies who inspired it.