Sunday, June 03, 2012

Review: Getting Started Knitting Socks

cover of Getting Started Knitting Socks

A real gem! A sock knitting book that covers the basics in detail for beginners, yet also has sock patterns that are not just the basic sock in a different weight yarn or made with self-patterning yarn. Getting Started Knitting Socks by Anne Budd even has a knee sock pattern, something you seldom see, and I love knee socks in the winter.

The book begins with discussion of suitable yarn types and how much you’ll need. An overview of needles and other tools is included.

The 34 page "Sock Basics" chapter discusses the parts of the sock and how to determine your gauge. An overview of the ways to knit in the round (4 double-pointed needles, 5 double-pointed needles, very short circular needle, 2 circular needles or 1 long circular) is followed by 25 pages of detailed instructions on knitting a sock.

The how-to-knit-a-sock instructions are very detailed with clear photographs and illustrations. There are tips on preventing and correcting problems. Alternative methods are described for joining the cast-on stitches, picking up stitches along the gussets, and knitting the heel flap stitches.

"Basic Sock Instructions" includes a complete pattern for gauges of 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4 stitches per inch. Each pattern includes 5 sizes from a child’s medium to an adult large sock. Any yarn from fingering weight to bulky can be used, just choose an appropriate gauge. Choosing a size and customizing the fit of your socks is discussed. The patterns are written for knitting with 4 double-point needles.

Color and texture are first added with self-patterning and boucle yarns knit in the basic sock pattern. Then patterns are given for making your own stripes from different colored yarns. Several stitch patterns for rib, cable, and lace are included, followed by 2 completes sock patterns in each of those 3 categories.

The last 3 patterns are picot edged anklets, similar to sport socks with a 2 inch cuff; ruffle cuff anklets with a fold-down flared cuff and knee socks with a zigzag lacy rib. The leg shaping on the knee socks is accomplished with a combination of stitch decreases and changing the needle size.

Getting Started Knitting Socks is truly a getting started book. It shows you how to make a basic ribbed or stockinette stitch sock and explains how to customize fit. Then it shows how to use a stitch pattern to create a new design, still based on the basic sock pattern. Published in 2007, it's still one of the best introductions to sock knitting available.

Whether you’ve never knitted a sock or want to better understand sock construction and how to customize a sock, this book will guide you through the process.

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