If you're looking to learn how to knit socks, Silk Road Socks is not for you. However, if you want some amazing patterns for knitted socks, you've hit the motherlode with this one. Hunter Hammersen's love for textile and design shines brightly from every page. The patterns are all top down, basic construction but the stitch combinations are incredible. The designs are beautiful and yet, very wearable--nothing too outlandish. The patterns are written for double-points, but I've done well making them using two circular needles and so, the Magic Loop technique would also work fine, I'm sure.
It reads well, the patterns are clear and the illustrations are excellent. It's simply a lovely book to look at, to read, most of all, to knit from.
When you say patterns "inspired by Oriental rugs", I think patterns "inspired by carpets with multicolored geometric designs". Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that not even one pattern in SILK ROAD SOCKS uses more than one color!
Instead of color, the beautiful sock patterns in this book use twisted, travelling, and lace stitches to create fancy cables and allover textured patterns. My favorites are Gordes, with its central interlaced cable, and Nain, with its curvilinear design slightly reminiscent of Cookie A.'s fabulous "Pomatomus". To get an idea of what the patterns look like, take the advice on the product page (which I missed) and visit the "Silk Road Socks" web site.
Each of the 14 sock patterns is accompanied by a colored drawing of the type of Oriental rug that inspired it, along with a brief description of the identifying characteristics of that type of rug. To my eye, the sock patterns bear little resemblance to any of the drawings. However, the patterns do match up with the descriptions: for example, the Heriz sock has an angular interlocking diamond pattern, and the Heriz Oriental rug is described as "generally featur[ing] rectilinear medallion designs." The historical information is all about rugs--there is no knitting history.
The complicated charted sock patterns are, reasonably enough, written in only one size. The designer gives a clear explanation of how to resize the socks by using both larger or smaller needles along with finer or thicker yarn to achieve a different gauge. There is a stitches-per-inch chart that will help you figure out the gauge. However, the patterns do NOT give either the gauge or the measurements of the sample socks--and for this reason alone, the book is not for beginning sock knitters!Read more ›
My favorite knitting books are about socks and if they happen to combine a bit of history even better. Hunter is am amazing designer with very intuitive designs for her socks. This book brings it all out for you. It is NOT for the beginner in sock knitting but for the adventurous sock knitter.
The book starts out with a short history of Oriental rugs and gives some basic instructions that pertains to all of the socks. It moves on to the patterns after that, with each one giving a brief history of the place the sock represents. Knit your way across the continent of Asia.
I love these patterns. They are based on traditional oriental rug patterns and the author supplies a lot of information about the rugs. They incorporate a lot of knitting methodology that is not terribly difficult but that adds to the knitting interest. And the resulting socks are lovely.
I'd wanted this book but have lots of other sock patterns, probably too many to knit in this lifetime. But I decided to take the plunge anyway and am glad I did. Although I haven't had time to knit any of the patterns, I have read some of the histories of various rug patterns. These are well-researched and well-written. Even if you or your designated knitter just uses the sock patterns, however, this book is well worth the money.