First, the facts:
Title: Big Foot Knits
Author: Andi Smith
Published by: Cooperative Press, 2013
Type: Sock patterns
The In-Depth Look:
The author writes, “Why another sock book? After all, there are thousands of sock patterns out there, from the sublime to the divine, from the fancy to the frivolous, so why another one? The answer is pretty simple: as much as we covet and adore the sock patterns, so many of them seem to be designed for those who have narrow feet, ankles, and calves. As one who is not graced with such a shape, I started altering sock patterns until I hit upon an easy, intuitive way to make socks work for any shape or size.”
It’s true, too. Socks (and sock models) almost always have uniformly graceful and narrow feet, and as a person gifted with narrow feet herself, it’s not something I ever really thought about. Other than length, I’ve rarely ever needed to modify a sock pattern to fit my foot.
But as she points out, our feet have 26 bones, 107 ligaments, 33 joints, and 19 muscles and tendons, so it’s no wonder we’re all so different. There’s no question that those of us with rounder, shorter, or just plain awkwardly-shaped feet are going to be at just as much a disadvantage at knitting a “one size fits all” pattern as we would be if every single one of us tried knitting exactly the same sweater pattern–some of us would get a sock that fit perfectly, some of us would get a sock that fit tolerably, but the rest? Not so much–any more than all of us can wear the same size and style of shoe.
So, this book starts (she does warn you) with a little math–measuring, to be precise. To get perfectly-fitting socks, you need to know your measurements. She gives you precise instructions and a handy sheet to fill in with all the details, and then she goes on to talk about gauge–which is always my bugbear for sock knitting, since I tend to be a loose knitter.
There are TONS of details, here, about what to measure, what to tweak, what decisions to make, all to get the perfect sock. What shape should you make the toes? How deep should the heel be? Where and what kind of shaping do you need? What about the ribbing for the cuff?
Basically, you could read and use just the first section of the book and have perfect socks forevermore … but where’s the fun in that? I mean, it’s wonderfully useful, but don’t we all want somebody else to do the heavy lifting for us once in a while? To put gorgeous and tempting pictures in front of us for inspiration? Luckily, the specific techniques of the first section are followed by 12 patterns, all with instructions for both toe-up or top-down construction, with tips as to how and where to make whatever modifications you need to make.
All in all, this is a really useful book, addressing a sock-making need that I honestly hadn’t thought of before–which makes it not only unique but fitting a very specific, helpful niche … even for those of us with narrow feet!
This review copy was kindly donated by Cooperative Press. Thank you!