Spiraling Notions

The Knitters Book of Socks

Title: The Knitter's Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover's Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime
Author: Clara Parkes
ISBN: 0307586804

I wanted to like this book more than I actually did but it is still and excellent book. The book itself is hardcover with nice paper, which makes reading it more enjoyable and the book stays open when you are following a pattern. I enjoyed the scientific aspects of the fibers and what makes the best yarn for socks, and why. I did find the yarn information to be the most useful as it went into great detail on various sock yarns, blends and elasticity (both in yarn and pattern) needed for a good quality sock. The book assumes a somewhat advanced knitter is reading. I found that I was getting frustrated with having to check other resources to learn a new technique with every pattern I was trying. The patterns are lovely and the yarns are as well, however they are also on the high end of the price scale. There were also yarns described which did not have corresponding patterns to go with them - some I really wanted to see - like the 8ply yarn. I got the over all impression that the yarns used were sponsor yarns (although this may be how these things are done in the industry).

Key things I found useful as a knitter: Yarn descriptions and their best uses with example patterns in those yarns. Multiple patterns and color ideas.

Pros: Excellent yarn descriptions with pros & cons. The book details types of yarns available and the best uses for them. Discussion on best patterns for the yarns and an explanation as to why - such as integrating more ribbing to add elasticity to a yarn that does not have an optimal amount on its own. Large pattern selection. Tips and tricks to getting socks that are just right

Cons: All yarns highlighted were not used in a corresponding example pattern. Each pattern seemed to require learning a new technique or had a complex portion. Fit was emphasized but the book had no information on how to properly measure your foot, heel or instep for the best fit.

Overall Impression: A good book, for an intermediate to advanced knitter who knows their way around socks. The cost ratio for what the book offers is good and if I had more experience under my belt I would enjoy more.
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