When Charlene Schurch & Beth Parrott asked me to review their new book, The Sock Knitter's Handbook I knew that I was in for a treat. These two women have been knitting socks and writing about it for years. What sock knitter doesn't have a copy of Sensational Knitted Socks in their library?
When my review copy arrived in the mail I wasn't disappointed. I didn't even have to open the cover to be impressed. The book is relatively small- about 6"x 9"- which is a great size to toss in your knitting bag or rest on your lap (with space left for your knitting, of course). It's also spiral bound with the cover over the spiral binding so that a) you can open it completely flat so you can reference it while your hands are busy knitting and b) your yarn doesn't get tangled up in the spiral binding. They clearly thought about the details with this book and got it right. It's also available as an e-book if that's more your style.
As for the content of this book, there is really just one thing to say. It has everything you want or need to know about socks. Everything. In one neat, clean and concise packet. Toe up, Top Down or Middle-Out, its got you covered. There are other sock knitting books that promise this but this book stands out for two reasons. 1) its very well organized and clear. Its easy to jump right to the information you need 2) the photos are excellent. Check out these photos from the section on heel types. I love that they used real socks knit with different colors of yarn rather than sketches or digitally re-colored photos. When I can really *see* the different types of heels I have a better understanding of how they might fit and look and can make a good choice as to which one to use. They have photos and instructions like this for every part of the sock, both top down and toe up.
There is also a section of Tips & Tricks with great information like how to re-knit toes and heels on holey socks (I've always been to scared to try this without a guide!) and numerous options for re-sizing patterns from changing yarn/needles to altering the pattern and stitch count. This section includes tips on "Special Fit Issues" to make your socks fit you better. Because really, what is the point of knitting socks if they aren't customized to fit perfectly?
At the back is a glossary full of information like how standard foot measurements & shoe sizes and a stitch dictionary of common sock stitches.
If you knit socks- or are thinking about starting- this is a book that you need to own. Its as simple as that. Charlene and Beth were kind enough to send me a copy of the book to give away. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling us what you like most about knitting socks. Next Wednesday, the 25th, we'll randomly select one person and announce the winner on this blog. Good luck!