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Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn Paperback – January 1, 2009

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Some really nice sock patterns, but it's the chapters at the beginning about how to use handpainted yarn that I really love." -

"Tons of tips and patterns designed specifically with handpaints in mind so you're sure to get a good result each time." - Guide to Knitting

"Photos are clear and enticing, with the socks shown in excellent detail. There's a sock for every taste and technique; mosaic, ribbing, lace sts, multidirectional, chevrons, intarsia, Fair Isle." - YARN: The Australian Magazine for Knitting and More

"Examines the many ways sock knitters can use monotoned, variegated and self-striping handpaints to best advantage." - Yarn Market News

"The cover photo will make you want to drop what you're doing and knit a pair for yourself...even the most complicated pattern isn't difficult, because the yarns themselves do so much of the work." - Knit 'N Style

"5 out of 5 stars. This book has more interesting sock patterns than usually found in a sock book." - Knitting News

"Sulcoski has put together a collection of patterns that enhances the color and striping effects of your favorite handpainted yarns. Some patterns even incorporate more than one type of yarn." - Detroit News

"If you're new to hand dyed yarn or struggling with pooling, then you'll appreciate the information in the front of the book... It'll help you understand why different yarns knit up so differently, and make it easier to choose the right pattern for each skein." - Simply Knitting

About the Author

Carol Sulcoski is the owner of Black Bunny Fibers, an independent company that creates hand-dyed yarns and spinning fiber. Her knitting designs have been published in Big Girl Knits,,,, and, and she is the coauthor of Knit So Fine. She lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596680989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596680982
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After nearly a decade as a civil litigator, I left the practice of law and began immersing myself in the world of fiber. Sock Yarn Studio, my third book of knitting patterns, went on sale this past October, and features patterns especially designed for sock yarns -- without a single sock! There are shawls, scarves, hats, mittens, baby items and more, using a variety of sock yarns from handpainteds to solids to self-striping to self-patterning.

Check out my first book, Knit So Fine, coauthored with Laura Grutzeck & Lisa Myers, with stylish patterns and helpful advice for working with fine yarns. My second book, Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns, contains valuable technical information about using handpainted sock yarns, along with a selection of beautiful sock patterns specifically designed for handdyed yarns. I sell my own line of patterns and my designs are frequently published in fine knitting magazines like Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, KnitSimple and KnitScene as well as books and yarn company booklets.

Find my handpainted yarns and fibers on ArtFire or take a class with me -- I often teach at events like VK Live; Stitches expos; and local yarn shops.

I live outside Philadelphia with my family, including the little black bunny rabbit for whom my business is named. This December we added a little orange kitty to our family, too.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Seven Kitties on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Socksters, this is a no-brainer. You NEED this book. Even if you haven't (yet) drunk the sock-knitting Kool-Aid, this book is worth your while for how it breaks down the world of handpainted yarns. She classifies them two ways--by contrast colors and by dye-run length--and explains how they work with different patterns and how to grapple with that bugbear of handpainted yarns--pooling.

The bad news is: part of the answer is, ya gotta swatch. Errrrgh. I know. But her advice is sound, and she offers a number of ways to cope, everything from directional knitting to knitting with two skeins to certain stitch patterns.

Each of the 21 patterns in this book is rated according to which brightness of yarn you have to work with, everything from almost solid (those luscious kettle dyes), to moderate to brightly painted (which she at one point jokingly calls 'clown barf'). That means once you identify what type of yarn you've yanked out of your stash, you can find a pattern to work.

The patterns are from well known designers (Ann Budd, Charlene Schurch, etc) and look challenging enough to be interesting, but not too intimidating. (Maybe don't knit while watching your favorite TV show, but when it's not your own personal Must See TV, you can knit away with confidence). The patterns feature everything from directional knitting (but, strangely, no mitered squares) to color stranding to a teeny bit of intarsia to lace. It presumes basic knitting knowledge and a good bit of the basics of sock construction as well, but I wouldn't put it above an 'intermediate' knitter. Beginners might hold off to get a sock or two under their needles first, but none of these patterns have complicated massive charts or anything else too intimdating.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tina Martinez VINE VOICE on December 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Seriously, no hyperbole there. I know of few sock knitters who don't love sock candy, but it really is a pain sometimes to get it to look as good as a sock compared to its skeined up loveliness. Short of fiddling with stitch count or using the same old standby's over and over, what's a sock knitter to do?

This book is absolutely jam packed with great alternatives for feisty yarn. No matter if your taste runs from subtle to wild, you will be able to match your yarn up with a suitable pattern that will allow it to shine. I am extremely impressed with the range here. While there are a couple I just shake my head at, the vast majority are very well thought out and quite lovely.

This book is not for beginners, and for that I am also thankful. Why waste pages on 'how to' when there are so many other good resources out there, some of them free. I'm getting more patterns for my dollar here, or rather my brother did since he's the one who bought it for me for an early Christmas present. The book is a treat just for the gorgeous patterns and photos alone!

This book will hold a place of honor on my shelf, it has truly addressed a need in the sock knitting world.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought "Oh, ho-hum, another sock book about stripey yarn", this book REALLY has a lot to offer the sock knitter as well as yarn dyer or spinner.

The book discusses handpainted or varigated yarns and the problem of "pooling" or when blotches of color show up rather than stripes. The patterns are coded by whether the pattern is suited for wild multi-colors, muted multi color, or almost solid. So when you look at a particular model, there is a symbol to tell you what yarn might work the best. Some patterns, by using short and long stitches to break up the pool of color or to camouflage the effect.

Many of the patterns are textured. There are braids, zig-zags, and other patterns. Some are color patterns--like a flame orwaves of color accented by embroidery. The flame is great--looks like a custom Harley paint job (gray and flame-orange, with flames rising up the cuffs.)

I have a stash of all kinds of shaded yarns and I can't wait to try a number of the patterns. These are sufficiently different that I could confidently recommend this book to any sock knitter, even one with a huge library. If you have a stubborn "pooling" yarn or just a stash of shaded sock yarns, you are sure to find a wonderful pattern here.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Trunzo on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been dragging this book to all my knitting friends' houses since it arrived. Carol Sulcoski has done a great job of pointing out how dye patterns can best be used in choosing a sock pattern. Not many books about hand-dyed yarns actually talk about repeats, pooling, use of bright colors or muted semi-solids. Those ideas (and more!) are the basis of this book, which begins with a nice introduction to color patterning in handdyed yarns, followed by patterns which illustrate the points she made in the narrative introduction. These are not just random sock patterns either. Some are true works of art. All are valuable to learn more about handdyed yarns. If you are a lover of the wide array of handdyes out there, you'll have a ball working your way through this beautiful and artsy book. A must-have for hand-dye lovers!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stacey M Smith VINE VOICE on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a sucker for hand painted yarn - just can't resist it. I find that many times the striping comes out wonky or pools, or the colors go murky & muddy -- or worse yet once a pair of socks is knit, the are so different from one another you'd never know they came from the same skein! Very frustrating.

Then comes along this nifty book, which removes lots of guesswork. It's full of photos and ideas that are geared towards hand painted yarn. YAY! Sulcoski not only shows the beauty of hand painted yarn, but plays up it's strengths (color combinations & whimsy), while playing down the negative (pooling, muddy colors). She suggests which patterns work best for various styles (nearly solid, muted multi, & wild multi-colored) of hand painted yarn - brilliant! Plus the beginning describes & photographs in depth knitted results one might expect various hand painted yarns - example- how a sock knits up when the colors are in short vs long segments OR how gauge may affect the way colors may pool. There is even a nice selection of diagramed stitches/techniques.

Even if you don't like the hand painted yarns, the patterns alone a great! This is a must have for sock knitters of all kinds - especially those who fall for luscious hand painted yarns!
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