Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sock Knitting Master Class

No, I did not take a master class in sock knitting but I did buy a book of the same name that was written/compiled by Ann Budd, a knitting rock star.

The book is very comprehensive and you can find great information on all aspects of sock knitting.  It even discusses all the various ways to knit a sock with different tools... four or five double pointed needles, two circular needles, one circular needle and the magic loop method.  The DVD is pretty good and if you are a visual learner the DVD is a real bonus.

What I like is that the author is not married to a single method of knitting socks.  Every method I have ever heard of for top down and toe up knitting is included.  You can sample the methods and find what you like or dislike before committing to a full set of double pointed needles or short circular needles or more importantly, purchasing patterns or books using a particular method that you find out that you hate.

I tried out one of the patterns for toe up knitting by another knitting rock star Cat Bordhi.  Cat is known for her use of two circular needles to create her toe-up socks and the pattern also introduces Judy Becker's 'Magic' cast-on (not so magic, just tedious IMO) and Jeny Staiman's stretchy bind-off (good choice for the sock pattern I tried).  The pattern is called Pussy Willow Stockings.

This is how they looked in the book:
Very pretty!

Here is how one of mine looks:

Not so pretty but definitely adequate.  The yarn I used is from a company called Nako and is 50% wool and 50% acrylic so they should be very durable.  I like the variety of colors in them though the yarn had a tendency to split while I was working with it.  I have no idea where you could buy this yarn as I received it in a yarn swap this past Christmas and I see on the website that this yarn is made for the Turkish domestic market.

The instructions were well written though you really need to keep your eye on them or you could easily get lost.  As in most books like this, every pattern is by a different sock designer so you can get a good overview of each designer's style.  The pattern I used will probably lead me to seek out other patterns by Cat...though I will probably not use her two circular needle method of construction as I am addicted to my beautiful double pointed needles from Knit Picks.

If you want to sample different sock knitting methods this is the book for you.  It is not for the beginner for their first sock....that pattern would be the 100 gram sock pattern in this post.  I'm going to try some more patterns from the book as there are some other intriguing construction methods just itching to get on my needles.

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