It is rare that I find such a beautiful knitting book as Knit. Sock. Love.. It is bounty for the eyes, breathtaking for the knitter, and YES, the patterns are beautiful, easy to read, and viable to knit. It is nurturance, eye candy, wool gathering, and our wildest sock imagination all in one.
The author writes about her journey to this book. It was 2005 and she set out to design a sock pattern of her own, fueled by two mismatched but handknit socks she was wearing at the time. Her first creation was called Pomatomus, named after a genus of fish and in the blue and green colorway. It was published in 'Knitty' magazine. She followed with another sock pattern in 'Knitty', and then more patterns, all published in the same magazine. Luckily for us, these patterns are in this book. She was hooked on sock design much in the same way we might get hooked on sock knitting.
The author discusses the easy and portable nature of socks and the round and round knitting that can be addictive. I call it relaxing. Round and round we go, to a sock we'll know. Because of the small nature of a sock (as opposed to a sweater), it's safer to try out a more challenging pattern. There is also less fear about size problems. It is now five years since the author, Cookie A, designed her first sock and she is still going strong. The knitter can be thankful for that!
The book is divided into three sections: Columns, Tessellations, and Diagonals. Altogether there are twelve previously published patterns in this book. There are diagrams, charts, and schematics to help the knitter with the patterns. The "resulting patterns have a more organic feel with curves, florals, twists and turns. I love balancing soft with rigid". The patterns are arranged in each chapter in order of complexity. All patterns are designed to be knit from the top down and utilize fingering weight yarn.
The photographer for this book, Laura Kicey, is to be commended for her sensuous, high quality work. The photography is art gallery beautiful but the design elements and photographs of the sock are never compromised. I hope that you knitters will feel, like me, that you are not just looking at a how-to book, but have been given a work of art.
The first section, 'Columns', employs vertical design elements. The vertical design goes from the top of the sock down to the toe. One benefit of column patterns is that "it is easy to keep track of where you are by double checking that each repeat flows into the one below it". My favorites in this section are BFF (Best Friend Forever) and Lissajous. Lissajous is comprised of curves and cables in the front with a delightful variation in the back. I looked up 'lissajous' in my dictionary but could not find it there. From the appearance of the sock, I'd surmise it means something organic. It is knit with Louet Gems Fingering superwash merino wool and utilize size 1.5 U.S. needles. Alternate yarn is Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Ultra 100% wool. There are 32 size combinations - that's right, 32. and there are two versions for this pattern - knee high with calf shaping and socks without calf shaping. BFF (Best Friends Forever) was originally knit for the designer's best friend. They are knit with Fortissima Socka Color, 75% wool and 25% nylon and utilize size one needles. It is a cable motif that runs parallel to a rib motif.
The second section is named 'Tessellations'. A tessellation "is an arrangement of shapes on a surface that leaves no gaps between them". The author notes that these patterns can seem complex but are "made from smaller units that are repeated throughout. Once these smaller pieces are understood, the rest of the pattern will come naturally". I love 'Twisted Flower', socks that are comprised of twisted stitch cables and lacy eyelets "to create the appearance of flowers and leaves". The socks are knit with Cascade Heritage 75% superwash merino wool and 25% nylon and utilize size one needles. The pattern is in one size only. 'Wedge' is a pair of socks that an advanced beginner sock knitter could attempt. It "combines short-row trapezoids and rectangles to give the appearance of stockinette bands separated by garter stitch wedges". It is knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight 100% superwash wool and use size one needles. It is sized XS - XL.
The third section is 'Diagonals'. The author states that she's "always been drawn to things that go off the grid, whether they are knitting designs or choose-your-own-adventure road trips". This section contains cabled, lace and paneled socks. "With diagonals, new shapes can be created and boundaries pushed. Here begins exploration into new territory." I just love 'Cusp'. It combines lace diamonds, vertical twisted ribs, and diagonal lace. The socks are just breathtaking. The yarn used is Cascade Heritage, 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon and call for size one needles. I also love 'Pointelle'. It has a textured background while "the diagonal lines are kept simple". "Simple yarnover eyelets emanate from an arrowhead lace pattern and swirl across the leg in one direction and then the opposite." Yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight 100% superwash merino wool and call for size one needles. Sizing is for Small or Large.
Yes, I'm waxing lyrical about this book but I can't help myself. The patterns are primarily for advanced intermediate to advanced knitters BUT it is a book that should be in every knitter's library. It is about what is possible and what we work towards as we keep knitting and learn new skills in design, color, and stitches. It is a book you will never tire of looking at. I can't wait to get started knitting some of these patterns. Thank you Cookie A for this superb book.