First, the facts:
Author: Charlene Schurch & Bet Parrott
Published by: Martingale & Company, 2009
Type: Women’s Socks
A list of patterns, grouped by the method for changing size:
Changing elements within a repeat
Changing spacing between pattern elements
Changing the number of background stitches around a centered element
Changing the number of pattern repeats
Changing the gauge by changing the needle size or the yarn weight
Adding a small motif between pattern repeats
Pattern Size Range: Not really applicable, but it’s one of the few sock books that acknowledges different sock sizes.
The In-Depth Look:
Sure, it looks like just another book of sock patterns, but is it?
Yes, of course, it IS a book of sock patterns. Twenty-three of them. Most of the patterns were available as part of a “sock club.” You know the kind, where a designer or yarn-seller sets up a club where, once a month, every member gets specially-dyed yarn and a brand-new, exclusive pattern, just for the members. Most if not all the patterns in this book saw light of day in just that way.
Except … most sock patterns come in one size. Maybe two, but here? The authors tell you right up front that they wanted to do better than that because one has a narrow 5.5-shoe foot, and the other wears a 10.5 EE. They’ve obviously been frustrated over the years over the lack of fitting patterns and wanted to make sure that the patterns in their book would fit just about everyone.
So, the patterns themselves not only come in several sizes–most of them, anyway–but they are sorted into groups by what you would need to do to change the size. That’s practically unheard of! (In fact, I can’t think off-hand of another sock book that does that.) As a perennially “loose” knitter with narrow feet, whose standard stockinette socks are knit over 44 stitches, believe me, it’s nice to have someone who’s already thought through the sizing options and can give me hints to make socks that actually fit.
Each sock comes with a “skill level” and gives the the finished circumference and size right up front. They cover the gamut of sock methods, too. Cuff-down, Toe-up. Short row heels, traditional flap heels, etcetera, etcetera. That makes for a lot of variety. Most of the patterns come with sidebars with suggestions about how to re-size if necessary, or about construction, how to choose the right kind of yarn for that pattern … helpful stuff.
The patterns themselves? Not only are the construction techniques varied, but so are the socks. Lace, cables, color, texture–they are all here. All the socks are for women, in theory, though they could easily be adapted for men, if you so desired. (See? Those sizing options are already coming in handy.)
The pictures are good knitting-book pictures, in that they show the items in a graceful, tasteful, attractive way, without looking like they’re trying to hide something. (I admit, that’s actually harder to do when photographing socks, but I have seen suspicious sock photos!) The patterns are listed out in the Table of Contents, though there’s no Index. The section on techniques in the back is only four pages long, but I this book assumes you’ve already knitted a sock or two and focuses on providing new patterns, rather than detailed instruction about the concept of turning a heel–nothing wrong with that.
This book is available from Amazon.com.
This paperback review copy was kindly donated by Martingale & Company. Thank you!