Saturday, August 18, 2007


I got a few kntting books from the library this week and instead of replying late to Booking Through Thursday I'll just write about these.

Cool Socks Warm Feet by Lucy Neatby - This is 6 socks pattern and variations (The variation chapter has 7 toes, 3 heels, 7 cuffs, and 3 cast-on's for cuff-down socks, plus the ones used in the 6 sock patterns) There's a how-to-knit-socks section and technique section. In the variations section she lists pros & cons for each one. I like having that information, even though I didn't agree with all the pros & cons, but it's a good way to present details about the techniques.

She includes a lot of tips about sock-knitting throughout the book, so you can't skip sections you're not interested in unless you want to chance missing something good. The pictures of the socks are good, with close-ups, the picture of the Channel Island cast-on convinced me to give it a try.

She explains using double pointed needles in sets of 4 or 5 and using 1 or 2 circular needles (which she calls flexible double pointed needles) One thing I really like about the patterns is that they're not written for a specific number of needles which need to be 'translated' if you're using a different number of needles. She has you cast-on, knit, do the heel on 1/2 the stitches, etc without specifying 'on needle 1 do this, on needle 2 do that' If the heel is on 1/2 the stitches, it doesn't matter which needle/s that is, 1/2 the stitches is 1/2 the stitches.

The one thing I didn't like about the book is that some pages are printed landscape and some portrait. So as you go through the book, the page orientation switches chapter which, if you're just reading it that's ok, but if you're flipping back and forth between the pattern and a technique page, gets annoying.

I want to knit the spiral mermaid pattern (top right sock on the cover) and try the latvian twist edging.

Knitting For Peace by Betty Christiansen - I'm not sure what I expected from this book, but I didn't expect 2-4 page summaries of different knit-based charities. Some are charities I hadn't heard of before, but some I had and the writeups seemed to be mainly the same details you'd find on their websites. There's a few patterns, but basically, to me, this is just a all-in-one place to look if you want to do charitable knitting and want some ideas as to where to contribute.

More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch -
Like the name says, this is a 'part 2' to her previous sock book. Like that book, her pattern instructions are in matrix/chart form with 3 sections - knitting with 4dpns, 5 dpns, or 2 circs. There's a gauge/stitch chart that if you know you need 60 stitches, you can see what stitch pattern repeats will fit evenly around the sock.

This is not a basic how-to-knit-socks book, she assumes you know how to knit socks, although she does have a chapter on knitting socks with various heels and toes and some customizing. I don't like the chart pattern instrucion format, I take one look at it and go "oh boy, this is confusing".

To me, now, I see this book as a small (there's about 100 stitch patterns) stitch dictionary with some sock how-to's and tips. If I was a newer sock knitter, and didn't have any other stitch dictionaries or books with sock tips, I'd probably get this book and/or the previous book as reference books. But since I've got reference books and stitch dictionaries already, this just seems to more of what I've already got.

On the other hand, she has a pattern using a shaped foot based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's shaped instep socks and a few stitch patterns that get me thinking of using them in hats or whether I have a yarn that will show off the pattern.

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