Zarzuela Knits and Crochets
My blog about my knitting, crocheting, and anything else I feel like ranting about!

Sock resources...

I got a great question from Sarah in the comments the other day, which I neglected to address in my last post (sorry! And I wonder why I don't get many comments....). She writes:
I've never made socks before, but I would like to give it a whirl! Any tips of the trade or recommendations for patterns?

Well, I am by no means a sock expert, but there are two main books that really helped me out with socks. The first is the Magic Loop book. I made my first pair of socks from this book using the Winter Sock pattern (which I gave to my Dad for Christmas and who liked them so much I made him another pair this Christmas!) in Lion Brand Wool Ease. Not only do you learn the technique (which I find a lot less clumsy then dpns), but you end up with a very cozy and usable product at the end, which will probably fit someone in your life! This pattern also is very well written and makes learning what I like to call "sock architecture" very simple. Once you understand the construction of this basic top down sock, you'll be able to transfer your knowledge to other patterns. And the Magic Loop method can be used on sleeves and other parts of knitting too.

After you are comfortable with that book and what you have to learn there, the next book I VERY highly recommend is Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes and Heels sock book. I think this book has just about everything else you could possibly want to know about sock knitting. It includes patterns for toe up or top down, one at a time or two at once (which I incidentally do like to do , but is just too much for working with on the train without annoying my seat mate), some different cuff patterns, and, most importantly, formulas for working out the number of stitches you need to make a perfectly fitting sock no matter what size needles, yarn or feet you are dealing with. That last part alone makes this book worth it's weight in gold to me. I received this book for Christmas in 2004 and have used it for every pair of socks since. It takes away all the guesswork that can sometimes be associated with sock knitting. While I've been working on HWJF's socks I've had him try them on a bunch of times, just to make sure, but the formula has been correct every time. I wouldn't trade this book for anything.

One other great thing about this book too, Queen Kahuna herself is available via a Yahoo Group, so that you can ask questions about the book and get things clarified if you don't understand them. I haven't read any mail from this group in a while, but I found it very helpful when I first got the book. Nice to have access to an author directly! (A quick look over there and it seems they are talking about the very popular Jaywalker pattern right now!)

Of course you can also find a lot of other sock information online, almost too much in fact! There are several sites that describe the Magic Loop method and illustrate doing two socks at once. Anyone out there want to share some of your favorites?

You could also join one of the many sock knitalongs or groups out there for some great advice from more experienced knitters.

For now, it's back to HWJF's socks for me....