Yes, THAT book. The original.
No one has blogged this book, that I've seen on the internet. Probably because it's been out of print so long and it's so hard to find. An updated and expanded second edition has been in the works for at least three years. I've planned to buy a copy for my mother-in-law as a Christmas gift every year, and every year, they push back the publication again. Amazon was taking pre-orders at the end of this summer, before news broke that they were pushing back the publication date AGAIN, to February 2012. We hope. So, in the mean time, here's what they're building on. It'll give you an idea why this book is kind of mythical.
It's laid out in double columns, with fairly small text, to cram in as much information as possible. There's two-color printing (black for text with a dark aqua as accent color), with black and white photos and hand-drawn diagrams as needed.
The table of contents:
Part One - Working the Stitches (continental vs. other types; stitch mount; decreases and increases)
1. Learning to Knit and Purl
2. The Stitches
3. Decreases and Increases
4. Decorative Increases and Decreases
Part Two - Constructing a Fabric
5. Circular and Flat Knitting
6. Casting On (about ten methods)
7. Casting Off (ditto)
8. Selvedges (why, how, different types, what they're good for)
9. Contouring the Fabric
10. Picking Up Stitches
11. Hems, Facings, and Folds (why, what they're good for, many methods)
13. Double Knit
Part Three - Decorative Techniques
14. Working with Color
15. Inlay (more data than you can imagine)
16. Decorative Needlework
17. Beads and Sequins (multiple methods)
Part Four - Working a Project
18. Materials and Tools
19. Starting and Carrying Out a Project
20. Finishing Techniques (brain melt)
21. Cleaning and Dressing a Knitted Garment
22. Fulled/Felted Knits
Part Five - Reading and Designing Patterns
23. Reading Written Garment and Stitch Patterns
24. Stitch Gauge (brain melt)
25. Calculations used in Pattern Making and Alterations (DUDE.)
26. Stitch and Color Pattern Charts (now very pedestrian; at the time, huge news)
27. Schematic Drawings and Garment Pattern Charts
Oh, and in case you're wondering how she crammed that much info into one book? Here's how:
"Meticulous" is the word I'd use, if I could only have one to describe the book. When I first got it, 20-odd years ago, I thought the amount of detail was crazy and I'd never use it. Twenty years later? I've referred to all of it, at one time or another. Nowadays, there are other books that rival or surpass this one, on narrow topics - for instance, "The Knitter's Book of Yarn" by Clara Parks is, dare I say it, better and more comprehensive than the "Materials and Tools" section of Principles, where yarn and fiber types are covered. But as an all-in-one, with all layers of needed information in one place? Nothing's ever come close to this book, that I've ever seen, before or since.
If you took "The Knitter's Book of Yarn", "Knitting in the Old Way", "Knitting Lace", "Knitting Without Tears", a couple books on fit by Lily Chin and Wendy Bernard, and had all of those jumbled together by a master knitter who then explained everything with diagrams? That's about what "Principles of Knitting" is.
With luck, the second edition will be out in February. Or by next Christmas. Or the one after that. Until then, you can talk to your local librarian about Inter-Library Loan and have them lay hands on it for you. Unfortunately, you'll have to give that one back.