Thursday, January 14

Socks are pretty much my obsession. Literally. I knit them for customers, for myself, for family... I think I knit well over 30 to 40 pairs of socks just last year! Psychotic? Yes, I freely admit it. It is with practiced hands and a discerning eye that guides me when it comes to purchase sock books. I'm quite picky. With that thinking, I thought I'd share a bit about two of the sock greats. At the very least, the authors will appreciate my sentiment.

I had the fabulous fortune of being a sample knitter for Janel Laidman's new book, "The Enchanted Sole: Legendary Socks for Adventurous Knitters." This is SO not a book for beginners, but it will surely provide them the inspiration to develop their skills. The designs are rich, detailed, and outstanding in their complexity. Though Laidman only uses chart representation for most of the designs, the deisgns are clearly written. Your mouth will literally drop when you see Firebird, Alchemist, or Galadriel. The downside to the book is that all of the socks are written for a size 7 woman's shoe, which means some guesswork and/or needle size change in order to alter. But, that's just the name of the game when it comes to stranded colorwork. A great aspect to the book is the very clear photos used to demonstrate every single step for techniques provided in the glossary. So, if you are eager to try your hand at colorwork, beads, and a bit of lace, this book is a perfect addition to the collection. And of course, look for my name and the sock, Tree of Life, that I knit!

Now, Cookie A, most often seen on Knitty, is quite fond of cables and lace. She has a really cool book out called "Sock Innovation," that I have since convinced friends to buy. What attracted me most to the book was that the entire first half was devoted to understanding charts, converting written to chart form, and sock design. She also goes into great detail about various fits, toe and heel shapings, fabrics and the resulting elasticity, and pattern transition. Just that section alone is invaluable to sock enthusiasts! Many of her patterns can be a little intimidating to newbies, but with a little perseverance, they will learn much from their experience. Even advanced sock knitters will enjoy the challenges that Cookie A presents.

So, there you have it - two of my favorite sock books. I *do* have some more, but I'll save those for later. In the meantime, wish me luck. I've sent in some designs to Creative Knitting Magazine and Interveave Knits ...

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