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see previous review: Don't run before you can walk. 3 months later and I'm skipping along ...
on 12 May 2013
I'll let you know how I get on when I've 'mastered' some of the terms the writer uses. The finished items look wonderful - but then glossy pictures always do.
I have now followed the instructions for the 'class sock' to the letter, and it really does work. I would recommend this text for those knitters who love learning new skills and techniques, and who are quite patient - it's a very rewarding hobby, and the most basic of garments can be transformed into something very impressive and unique. Do read the book carefully, and don't be put off by American terms (they are 'translatable'), and be prepared to trip up occasionally. You are required to flip backwards and forwards between the different stages of the garment, but it's not too onerous because each pattern is presented in the same way, and after having made the 'class sock' one can see exactly what has to be done. For example, the cuff and leg is explained using a table (it looks far more complicated than it is), you follow that section with the option of knitting with 4, 5 or circular needles, then go to the stitch pattern you want, and having completed that, go to the next section etc. I think that this form of presentation allows the knitter to think and engage more with the garment rather than the usual British style of having a 'complete' pattern all in one place. I thought that the long-tail cast on method was mind-bogglingly difficult just because it was new to me, but I perserved and mastered it and now believe it's the only way to cast on for the top of the sock because it really does 'stretch, but you can find how to do it on the internet, or better still, ask someone. I'm now working on the 'easy' patterns, but with different wools and needle sizes, the results are remarkable - you really can take any wool, with any combination of needle size - just make a tension square first, and again follow the instructions. The 'easy' patterns just mean that you have a more managable number of stitches on the leg part of the sock, that's all. It's a great way too of using up left-over, or unused wool; I'm making socks in kid-mohair silk from a pattern by Kaffe Fasset 'Foolish Virgin' given as a present 25 years ago; how appropriate that title was - I thought then, that I was a knitter; I know different now! And, here's a tip - with 4 or 5 needles the author refers to them as needle 1 or 2 etc, so I stuck some sticky labels with numbers on them thinking that would help - in actual fact, after the first sock or two, you'll see that you don't need to number them, as it will make perfect sense. I'll let you know about the 'toe-up' method when I've got to that part. Good luck.