POK

So, the Principles of Knitting book was tossed on my front porch yesterday.  Literally tossed – there’s a dent on the spine of the book because of it.  I’m not happy with my postman right now.

I’m happy to finally own a copy and as soon as I finish working on the Maria designs, will go back to the MHK program – now with more books at my disposal. :)

I haven’t really read the book yet – I browsed, but I can’t concentrate on the reading as it is giving me headaches (yes, the eyesight is *that* bad – going to pick the new glasses today, though).  I have to say, from this first browsing, that I like the first edition better.  I was a little annoyed at the persistence of giving new names to techniques that already have one – for example: everyone who’s been knitting for more than a week knows by now what the magic loop technique is.  There is no need to come up with a new term for it.
I can live with techniques being renamed, although it takes me a few seconds to realize what she’s talking about (and do some eye rolling), but I on Earth did she have to go mess with charted symbols is beyond me.
Really?  New symbols for charts?  After all the effort so many knitters have gone through to memorize the ones already available and the efforts of so many designers to try to be consistent.  Why????
Ms. Hiatt had her name added to the knitting pantheon a long time ago.  POK is one of the most complete reference books out there.  There was absolutely no need to try to leave her mark by coming up with a new set of symbols that, IMO, aren’t that innovative or any more helpful that the ones already created.

Don’t get me wrong, Principles of Knitting is worth its weight in gold (and it’s heavy!) if you’re the type of person who likes to know the why (the…physics) of knitting.  The book doesn’t give you quick solutions – it’s not your garden variety reference book.  Instead, it explains why a certain technique/stitch/what-have-you does what it does.  It teaches you to understand your knitting in a level that other books don’t.  The things you’ll learn from this book will help trouble-shoot pretty much any piece of knitting.  You’ll become a better knitter because of it.
If you just want instant gratification and quick answers with little to no thinking, I’m afraid POK isn’t a book for you.  Which is a pity, as you’ll miss on a lot of learning, and learning is always good.