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New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One Perfect Paperback – July 20, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Cat Bordhi has once again turned the sock knitting world on its heel with her long-awaited New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One. Bordhi has the unique ability to see in an object something completely different from what you or I may see. This book stems from one such observation: The arch stitches in socks don't need to go where we've always put them. With a little understanding, you can put those stitches anywhere within the arch area - for example, in an orderly column or placed randomly - with equally successful results. Bordhi outlines eight sock architectures based on this principle, with master patterns that can be customized for any foot, yarn type, or needle, in any size ranging from infant to large adult. More than twenty additional patterns round out the collection. This is just book one . . . I can only imagine what'll come next. --Clara Parkes, INTERWEAVE KNITS Magazine

About the Author

Cat Bordhi is one of the knitting world's most beloved and effective authors and teachers. She is the star of two Knitty Gritty television episodes (one on Moebius knitting and the other on the Coriolis Sock architecture), and the author of 3 best-selling books: SOCKS SOAR ON TWO CIRCULAR NEEDLES (2001), A TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING (2004), and A SECOND TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING (2005). And her award-winning novel, TREASURE FOREST (2003) is not exactly about knitting, although if the knitting and spinning elements that flow through the plot were to be taken away, the story itself would unravel! Cat's years as an elementary and middle school teacher specializing in recreational math (what she calls the dessert of math - as if math were chocolate!) and creative writing shine through her books: readers say her instructions are among the clearest and most user-friendly they've ever followed, and that her writing style makes them feel as if she is sitting beside them, leaning over to help. Cat's books are in the hands of well over 100,000 knitters around the world, with a German version of Socks Soar available in Europe, and Russian translations in process as well.


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Passing Paws Press, Inc. (July 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780970886965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970886965
  • ASIN: 0970886969
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Seven Kitties on August 18, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Some people have commented on Cat Bordhi's other books about the impracticality or too-edginess of some of her projects (a tentacular purse?), but this book hits right at the heart of practicality. We sock knitters are a zealous bunch, and anything that puts a new spin on our favorite obsession gets our attention. Bordhi discovers one day while working on a toe-up sock that surprise surprise, the gusset increases can go *anywhere* on the foot, not just at the division between instep and sole stitches. This is 'eureka' at its best, and the master sock patterns put these necessary increases in varying locations on the foot--ridgeline puts them top and center of the instep. Coriolis spirals them up the foot in a band. The master patterns are ingenious and the patterns she demonstrates are simply inspiring. She discusses the benefits of each pattern in terms of where one might add a design element per that model, which gives the knitter a chance to make their own innovative designs based on her new ways of spacing the gusset.

My only criticism, as someone without children and sick of books chock full of babies and kids' patterns, is that there are a lot of baby patterns. Yeah, yeah, I can knit up a baby sock in an evening, but...ummm...what for? I'm happy Cat knows so many babies and toddlers and is getting them hooked on fine fiber footwear, but I wish a FEW of those patterns could have been replaced with more of her wonderful adult designs.

Also (okay, two criticisms) I like thin socks. I knit many socks on size 0s or smaller with fingering weight, and more than a few of her designs use fingering weight doubled. That's not only going to be (in my mind) a bulky sock, but also an expensive one.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Okey VINE VOICE on August 22, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One has broken the mold for sock books. Seriously.

In this book, the first of a what will no doubt be a highly-anticipated full series, Bordhi has presented eight sock "architectures" with master patterns that can be infinitely customized for any size (both human and needle) or yarn. There are twenty-plus additional patterns, and each of the eight master patterns features a baby-sized sock you can test-knit to teach its basic principles before moving on to a larger size. At a recent needlearts tradeshow, I saw quite a few of Bordhi's students showing off their baby-sized samples on the show floor, but the book itself goes to a whole other level altogether.

My favorite sock (at the moment -- it's tough to pick just one) is the Coriolis. It swirls and swishes around the foot, giving a whole new perspective on the effects of hand-dyed yarn in sock knitting.

How often do you hear -- and I'm quoting -- "This chapter empowers you to knit socks to fit anyone using your favorite needles, yarn and gauge. After some practice, I hope you won't even need the book anymore."? Not often. I think this attitude is why so many knitters treasure Elizabeth Zimmermann's books -- having learned the basic principles for something (such as EPS for sweaters) you're free to knit as you please.

Bordhi not only gives you the tools you need to make a sock, but to make truly unique and beautiful socks that look much more complicated than they actually are. An amazing, entertaining book densely packed with solid and useful information, it's worth every penny of the cover price.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Zort on August 21, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
I fell in love with this book almost instantly. Many sock books inspire me to make only one or two or the socks, and even then I only need the stitch pattern and not the whole sock pattern. But this book teaches you a new way - several ways, actually - to construct socks. You can learn new methods so you can build your own favorite socks, or you can follow the patterns exactly as provided and create fun, interesting new socks!

More than just a 'follow along' pattern book, this book invites you to understand the concepts underneath the sock and its pattern. It feels like reading a knitting book written by a maths or engineering graduate. The precision and attention to structural detail gives me a confidence to trust the patterns and ideas in a way that I find sometimes lacking in other patterns and books which have a more casual bent. That is not to say you have to follow each pattern absolutely precisely! Once you get the hang of each type of sock, you can adjust it however you desire. But the foundation upon which the socks are built is solid.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the layout of the book is extremely easy to use. I adore this book and will eagerly await the next two!
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A. B. Morrison on August 6, 2008
Format: Perfect Paperback
I'm an expert knitter (30+ years) and I've created my own patterns and taught knitting. I've mastered the art of knitting back backwards and I've created several of my own cast-ons when I found other cast-ons too constrictive or too complex.

And yet I was starting to think that there was something wrong with me that I found this book confusing and overly complicated. I'm so glad to know there are other people who feel this way. The "choose your own adventure" aspect - where page 51 tells you to turn to page 9 and you get to page 9 and it tells you to look for box 10 - is unnecessarily complicated and, frankly, lazy. Make the instructions clearer - even if it means making the book longer.

The second, and almost as annoying, aspect of this book is the way she makes up terms. What the heck? Is there something wrong with "SSK" and "K2tog"? I don't see the point, unless you're teaching a rank beginner with this book, and if you are, she's going to go off to other books and patterns and come back to you: "What?? Help! I don't understand!"

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I'm a process person, not a product person. But while the ideas in this book might be wonderful, the execution is so flawed as to make the book virtually worthless. I've had it for almost two weeks and I still haven't cast on a sock from it. This is unheard of for me: I've been known to cast on an interesting pattern on the way home from the knitting shop.
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