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Fancy Feet: Traditional Knitting Patterns of Turkey Hardcover – October, 1994

4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anna Zilboorg is the mystic grand dame of color knitting in America. Here she presents the vivid sock designs of rural Turkey in a collection that honors the Turkish tradition and adapts it to a Western knitting style. Zilboorg's research into the history of Turkish knitting and her explanation of Turkish design principles are an excellent complement to the fascinating patterns. The knitting instructions are rather spare, but the basic sock shape is quite simple, making this a perfect book for intermediate and more advanced knitters who enjoy somewhat unusual projects.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937274755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937274750
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I can only conclude that the author has no interest in instructing her readers to actually knit the lovely Turkish socks she presents in this book, or to accurately duplicate the patterns from her diagrams. She confesses that the knitting instructions are sketchy, but they would have been much improved with the addition of just two more simple diagrams illustrating the unusual toe and heel forming methods.
Likewise, I have found her charted renditions of Turkish patterns to often be incomplete and/or inaccurate. There is nothing quite so disappointing and aggravating to discover several rows later that the diagram one has been following faithfully has been carelessly rendered, necessitating tedious (and sometimes impossible) corrections.
The photographs are very nice, but the flat front view of the socks do not present them in their entire complexity.
All in all, while this is an inspiring book in ways, I would not recommend it to anyone except the most die-hard ethnological knitters.
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Format: Hardcover
First of all, the sample socks and patterns from Turkey are fabulous. The designs are very striking, especially in the bright colors the Turkish people love.
My only complaint is with the layout of the book itself. The title font is difficult to read and the graphs are ... weird. They are very large, say 5 stitches per inch as opposed to 10 per inch you usually see. So it's hard to see the whole pattern in a single glance. Second, the symbol used in the graph to indicate the patter is weird, a tilde ~ and it again makes the pattern hard to see at a glance. I found it most useful to copy and reduce the pages and then color the pattern squares in with more readable symbols.
This is not a book for beginner knitters. If you don't already know hot to knit socks you'll have a difficult time. If you already know how to knit, you'll love the patterns and find many uses for them beyond socks.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the books in my fiber arts library that I continually return to for inspiration and motivation. The patterns are easy to follow and the kaleidoscopic photos will make you want to drop everything and start knitting! Zilboorg's descriptions of Turkish knitting traditions are engaging and educational.
A must for anyone who enjoys two-color or ethnic knitting.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't be fooled: this is the first edition of Zilboorg's terrific book of patterns derived from toe-up Turkish socks. Zilboorg is a master of colorwork, not a surprise as she works as a hand dyer of wools.

The book features the cast-on method for Eastern (Turkish) socks and it is a bit wierd; even after a lesson I had difficulty to do it. But this book explains it very well.

I personally don't knit Turkish socks if I want a pair of utilitarian socks in a hurry. But I do use this book if I want a special pair for clogs or sandals, or a pair of slippers in bright colors. You can use the charts for other things, like vests. There is a companion book of mittens using similar techniques. If you love colorwork, this book is inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
I like the book for the pictures, but her instructions leave me in the dark. I may use some of the designs for hat or headband patterns, but that's about it. Worth picking up used, not new.
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By A Customer on February 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The patterns depicted in this book are easily adaptable to other knitted items such as tams and sweaters. Don't let the "feet" in the title fool you. Everything is well thought out and easy to understand. A great book about the use of color.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely delightful book with a wealth of wonderfully intriguing and colourful patterns. If your fingers start itching and "air knitting" when you look at the cover this book is for you.

As in most of her knitting books Anna Zilboorg gives (and admits to it) only sketchy directions for knitting in general and sock knitting in particular. So what? There's a mountain of instructional books for beginners and weathered knitters alike, not to forget the endless supply of free tutorials on the internet (just try youtube or the ravelry). You should be comfortable knitting in rounds though, otherwise you may get disheartened soon. If you are beginner fearless and adventurous enough to take Anna Zilboorg's patterns on I suggest you try something that doesn't require a lot of shaping before taking up sock-knitting, maybe wristlets or a watch cap. The patterns work for flat-knitting too, but for that you need to be able to purl with two or three strands.

The photos of the socks may look intimidating but most of them are actually quite benign, for intricate colour knitting that is. There are very few patterns that use more than two colours at the same time, one for the pattern itself and one for the background which changes after a number of rounds (mostly somewhere between 10 and 20 rounds). The photos are always opposite to the large and clear graphs, if you are not sure if you are still on the right way you can easily check how your sock should look.

As for me, I'm insanely happy with my Fancy Feet. I have been looking for it for years and now I got it for an extremely reasonable price.
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