Top 3 Favourite Sock Knitting Books
There are many good sock books out there, but some take the idea of sock knitting up a level. These are often deceptively simple socks, but have elegant little features that elevate them above your average sock book. Like a Kung-Fu Master, they all seem reasonably unassuming and completely conquerable, but then there is a subtle twist and suddenly you are flat on your back and slightly unsure what happened.
These patterns all offer a challenge, but are neatly written and create some technically interesting (and just plain pretty) socks.
For those already familiar with her free patterns on knitty.com and ravelry.com, it was torture waiting for this book to hit the shelves. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, I counted down the release day and then tried to calculate when it would most likely get to me (pre-order is brilliant!). It did not disappoint and has 15 unique patterns as well as a good sized section explaining how to design your own socks and how to use flat charts for round sock knitting (and how to use jogs to ensure the pattern lined up).
It has to be Kai-Mei (she names her patterns after the people she originally designed them for). This uses a plain ribbed leg to show off a travelling lace panel across the foot. Having never even thought about using a travelling panel it was a visually beautiful and technically interesting feature. It works well with both solid and variegated yarn (as the detail is the peek-a-boo lace). I don’t tend to re-visit patterns, but I already have two pairs made with this pattern (one with sparkly pink yarn) and I am tempted to make a third out of some eye popping jitterbug. I also love Wandia for its lovely woven effect.
A much anticipated second book (19 patterns this time, including three of her previously free patterns) divided up into three sections (columns, tessellations and diagonals) which reflect the design styles. The photography is both clear and fun, and she includes side and back views. I am often frustrated to note how often these views are left out by editors (who see them as duplicate images) but are so vital to the knitter who can’t quite see how something lines up. As before, her patterns are difficult (some with double page spreads of charts) but well worth the effort.
Monkey was my first ever non-plain sock I knitted and I was very pleased to see that she included it in this book as it is a good example of how visually interesting does not have to be impractical or difficult to knit. Of the new patterns I have Marilinda on the needles and so far so good!
She is very much in the same style as CookieA. Both have an appreciation of how socks can be used to explore the visual and technical aspects of knitting and both have a sense of fun to their designs. This book has 17 patterns in it and a nice section detailing how yarn and fibre choice affect the final product. She has also included useful tutorials on the different techniques in the body of the pattern, which is incredibly useful as it solves the problem before it occurs (otherwise, let’s be honest, I would give it a go and then go looking for the solution for the inevitable foul-up). She also includes a variety of approaches (toe up, cuff down and different heels) which is technically useful.
As a relatively new addition to my collection I haven’t made any yet (only because I need to free up some needles first). However, I have adapted my own honeycomb socks to use the nice foot detail from V-Junkie (the honeycomb effect decreases into a point). It is difficult to single out just one, but the patterns first in my queue are Hundred Acre Woods and Crowley (she names her patterns after popular culture references).