It seems only right that I should report my impressions of this book with which I have a unique, for me, relationship. It contains my first published pattern. There are of course a lot of other patterns included.
This book is the successor to Socks, Socks, Socks which contained socks submitted to XRX’s first sock contest. I loved that book – it was one of the first sock books I owned and I enjoyed it a great deal. So how does this one compare?
There are five chapters, entitled Classic, Holes in my Socks, Twist & Turn, Playing with Color and Outside the Box. The Classic chapter contains some very vanilla socks, several with attractive texture patterns and some which are much less predictable. There is one with a sideways cuff which is grafted together and stitches picked up for the foot – it tickles me that this is called Classic. There is one tall pair with turn-down zipped cuffs – kind of fun.
The lace chapter contains mostly very attractive classic lace designs. There’s a pretty little number with buttons that looks fun, though perhaps not too practical. I think my favorite in this chapter is called In the Peaceful Forest (page 31) – this is a leaf design with several different variants of the basic pattern cleverly placed on the leg and foot. I also like the delicate Kilt Hose.
The cable chapter has a varied collection of patterns, several of which I think are very attractive. The one that strikes me as the most memorable here is called Sea Foam and Shells. This one has Feather-and-Fan style lace and some fairly intricate cables interwoven in a very clever fashion. They’re toe up but with a heel flap – I could be tempted to knit those. Must keep this in mind (slight pause while I add this to my Ravelry queue.) Twisted Mosaic is another interesting design, with a mosaic pattern in the background and some cables in another yarn passing over top of them.
The colorwork chapter has another interesting set of patterns. I enjoy the Lonely Sock Club, which features three socks in different patterns but the same color. Drip Candles is a very pretty one, too. Snow Under Cedars has an interesting architecture with a lot of different patterns put together very attractively. Jungle Socks is a wonderful design though I suspect very difficult to knit. It involves Intarsia in the round, though there is stranded work going on at the same time. I love the soles, which are in a herringbone pattern.
Outside the Box is the chapter I’ve studied the most, since it’s where my socks ended up. The chapter begins with the cover socks, Hexagons. I think those are extremely attractive as well as clever. The modular part of the sock is much larger than usual, as the sole is included. There are a pair of very clever designs called Spiral Stripes and Spiral Cables. Those do make me wonder if I wouldn’t like to try them. There’s a pair called Sanquhar Socks which are very attractive to me except for the separated toe.
So overall there are quite a few attractive sock designs in the book. And I am going to make a confession here: I really thought I had a good chance to win a prize in the contest and was sort of surprised that I didn’t. And I’m keeping a close eye on Ravelry where many (though nowhere near all) of the sock designs are posted. I can’t help being pleased that my socks have more than twice as many favorites as any other socks in the book – at the moment, anyhow. I feel as though I’ve won some sort of “Popular Choice” award. I’ll admit that in general I have some very competitive feelings about my designs and my projects on Ravelry. I really like to get those little hearts!
On the whole, though, I think that if you are in the market for sock books, this is one you might want to consider. It’s not as deep in any one area as most of the books now out, but it has a huge variety of patterns. It’s fun.
I decided that I would rip out my first border and try again with plain attached I-cord. It’s still not perfect, but I think it will be fine for use. I’m not a knitting perfectionist and I think I can deal with this version.
It’s still a bit wavy – blocking may help with that; I’m never sure what blocking will do. Also, the orange is peeking through a bit. But it looks very neat and I think it will be very usable. So I think I’ll finish this version.