The Sock Knitter’s Handbook

I love books that are already spiralbound if nothing else because I don’t have to make a trip to Kinkos to have it spiral bound. I guess spiral binding is a sign of my respect for a book in some sort of weird way that I really don’t want to examine too closely.  

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott is one of those kind of knitting books. Not a pattern book but it will definitely get you heading towards your sock yarn stash whether you are just beginning to explore the pleasures of knitting socks or you’ve got a few dozen in your sock drawer. 

The first chapter covers Sock Architecture and you need to pay attention. Notice that each section of the sock is knit in a specific color – cream for leg and foot, orange for cast-on, purple for the cuff, green for the heel flap, yellow for the heel turn, pink for the gusset and, finally, teal for the toe. These colors are used to show specific techniques throughout the rest of book. The color coding showed me just how much control I have over every segment of my sock. I knew it intellectually but I can tell you that seeing the colors was incredibly inspirational.. 

The chapters on materials and gauge are fairly straightforward. After that comes the section on Sock construction. Get ready to have the color coding blow you away. The Top Down photo examples show different combinations of cuffs, legs, heels, gussets, heel turns and toes. Watch how the colors change – wow!

The whole process repeats for toe-up socks with photos from the entire sock starting at toes and moving up to cuffs and bind-offs.

By now the unique color coding system has displayed all the options available to you. Time to begin learning how to knit whichever technique you choose beginning with Casting On for Top-Down Socks. 

First the cuffs.

Then, the heels.

And, finally, the toes.

 Unless, of course, you have chosen to knit your socks toe-up. Then it would be finally the cuff. Anyway, you get the idea that every single part of a sock is handled with great detail and excellent instructions. 

As if Charlene and Beth hadn’t given sock knitters enough of a gift with their lessons, they added a small stitch dictionary to the end of their book. I have to go rummage through my sock yarn stash now. Bye!