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Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off Paperback – 4 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Overseas Editions New (4 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600854109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600854101
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,909,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


London-based Yu's yarn shop, sock yarn line, and role as cofounder of the Knit Nation knitting exhibition are marvelous gifts to the international knitting community. In her first published collection of patterns, she explores the wit and whimsy of knitted socks, demonstrating a flair for matching color with design. A few of the patterns will be familiar to avid sock knitters, but many are brand new, and the designs range from simple to intricate. One of the nicest features is the step-by-step photographic guides to unusual or unexpected techniques, such as the Channel Island cast on and Kihnu Vits braid. Sock knitters of all levels will appreciate Yu's exciting and attractive patterns.--Library Journal

About the Author

ALICE YU is a renowned sock designer and Canadian expat. Socktopus started out as a sock club and hand-painted yarn shop, but has now grown into Socktopus sock yarns and the Knit Love sock club as well as one half of Knit Nation, London's summer knitting and spinning exhibition. Alice originally practiced as a lawyer in the City of London and has lived in London for 12 years.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Fabulous Patterns for Technically Interesting, Highly-Textured Socks 23 Oct. 2011
By Lynne E. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a long time, I have admired the work of British sock designer Alice Yu. Because her pretty, highly-patterned designs have been mostly distributed through her subscription-only sock club, I've actually knitted only one of her patterns (Shur'tugal, included in this book). But from that experience, I know that she knows how to write patterns for socks that really fit.

Designer Yu excels at creating highly-textured socks, using combinations of slipped stitches, twisted stitches, yarnovers, cables, and surface stranding. There is not a single pattern in this book that I do not want to knit, but my favorites are "Farmer McGregor" (a double-lattice allover pattern), "V Junkie" (a honeycomb pattern of "blood cells" inspired by the "True Blood" TV series), "Spring Shoots" (an allover lace pattern with "afterthought leg" construction and a swirly heel that I must try), "De Stijl" (using an exotic stitch pattern with rows of crisscross stranding on the leg), and, of course, "Shur'tugal" (a simple twisted-stitch pattern that really looks like dragon scales when knitted up).

The book includes a chapter on sock knitting basics, which discusses sock fibers and yarns, and sock fit and anatomy. The patterns are mostly charted, and fairly complicated to knit, although there is one pattern, "Totally Vanilla", for just plain socks. Each pattern starts with a schematic that gives the measurements of the socks knitted from the suggested yarn, so that knitters will know whether they need to re-size.

The book is printed on glossy paper, and the full-color photographs are beautiful. Whenever there is a particularly tricky technique involved in knitting a pattern, such as shadow wrap, stranding, twisting, or the Channel Island cast on, there are close-up photos of knitting on the needles which show each step involved. I think that the patterns in this book can be knit by adventurous, moderately experienced knitters; and that experienced knitters will find the patterns interesting and challenging, because they use so many unusual techniques and/or stitches. If you love the beautiful sock designs of Cookie A. (author of Sock Innovation) , you are almost certain to love these designs too.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed more careful proofreading 29 Jan. 2012
By EB - Published on
Format: Paperback
Overall, interesting designs, good photographs of techniques, appealing yarn choices, but the charts could have used more work. Just skimming the book, I saw obvious errors (squares of one chart marked as both "no stitch" and yarnovers), and lots of little glitches like inconsistent line weights, rules that run outside the chart, etc. When I see problems like that in a knitting book, even if they're not substantive, I worry about the accuracy of the patterns, because they suggest a lack of attention to detail. There seems to be a tendency among knitting publishers (adopted from the software industry?) to think that errors don't really matter these days because readers can always find the errata posted online somewhere and download pages of corrections. There's an errata site for this book accessible from the author's blog.

Not sure whom the author is trying to appeal to with the teenage-vampire theme of many of the design descriptions, but the designs themselves are attractive, and I'll be trying out at least a couple of them.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous socks 25 Oct. 2011
By Aunt Vee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful collection of socks. One of those books where so many of the patterns are good enough that you can imagine wanting to knit your way through the book. I own the Cookie A sock books and consider these intricate socks quite beautiful and I am knitting my way through some of my favorite patterns but it does require a degree of dedication because the patterns are so intricate. Alice Yu also has some really beautiful socks in her book but the patterns don't seem quite as fussy - there are a few where it seems even possible to learn the pattern and knit the sock without having to refer constantly to a chart. I can seem myself wanting to knit my way through this book. It looks to me like some of the sock patterns can be learned so that I'll be able to knit without having to constantly reference a chart - which makes both for more relaxing and more portable knitting.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Addition to My Sock Knitting Library 28 Oct. 2011
By Fairbanks Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Soctopus by Alice Yu contains patterns for 17 pairs of luscious socks. The book goes into good reasons to knit socks: Good things come in small packages, socks are reassuring, socks are practical and sock knitters rock. There is a section on fibers and sock knitting that I found very informative and useful It goes into the kinds of fibers usually used to knit socks along with the benefits and distinctions of each. There is also a section on yarn construction and ply and how this relates to sock knitting.

The patterns start off with the most basic sock, a stockinette knit sock with just a small rib on the top. It proceeds to more diverse and difficult patterns, all delectable. The Kandahar socks are lovely with a nice cable rib. Yu describes the pair as "apres-ski socks to be worn while sitting next to a crackling fire with Testarossa cocktail in hand." Junkie Socks are one of my favorites. "Red blood cells made from slipped stitches and purl rows, these socks were inspired by True Blood, a TV series." Thee pair is comprised of sextagons layered row after row. All the socks have neat names and cute descriptions.

The book is for someone who's knit socks before as there are no photos of how to put socks together or ways to do gussets or heels. Overall, it's a wonderful addition to my knitting library and I can't wait to get started on some of these patterns.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Socktopus 31 Dec. 2012
By Sandra Mountcastle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some absolutely gorgeous sock patterns in it and Alice has clarified some stitch instructions which I have had difficulty with in the past. She is a genious in her designs. I would say that most of these patterns are for the advanced knitter. I may attempt to do a pattern but I don't consider myself to be that advanced so, I may not be able to complete it. However, I always learn something new by reading the instructions.
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