We use Hinode X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) filtergraph (FG) Stokes-V magnetogram observations, to study the early onset of a solar eruption that includes an erupting filament that we observe in TRACE EUV images. The filament undergoes a slow rise for at least 20 min prior to its fast eruption and strong soft X-ray flaring; such slow rises have been previously reported, and the new Hinode data elucidate the physical processes occurring during this period. XRT images show that during the slow-rise phase, a soft X-ray (SXR) sigmoid forms from apparent reconnection low in the sheared core field traced by the filament, and there is a low-level intensity peak in both EUV and SXRs during the slow rise. MDI and SOT FG/V magnetograms show that the pre-eruption filament is along a neutral line between opposing-polarity enhanced network cells, and the SOT magnetograms show that these opposing fields are flowing together and canceling for at least six hours prior to eruption. From the MDI data we measure the canceling network fields to be approx. 40 G, and we estimate that approx. 10(exp 19) Mx of flux canceled during the five hours prior to eruption; this is only approx. 5% of the total flux spanned by the eruption and flare, but apparently its tether-cutting cancellation was enough to destabilize the sigmoid field holding the filament and resulted in that field's eruption.