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122 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ann Budd Never Disappoints
Basically, any book by Ann Budd warrants a look, and this doesn't disappoint.

She starts by talking briefly about things like fit, yarn, needles, and general techniques, but also discusses heels and toes in more depth. Then the rest of the book is split into two sections: top-down and toe-up, and each starts with more detail about cast-on/cast-off options for...
Published on July 5, 2011 by D. Boyken

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have bought the physical book
I love the book, but should have bought the physical book rather than the e book, it is easier for this type of book
Published 15 months ago by Lyn Williams


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122 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ann Budd Never Disappoints, July 5, 2011
This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
Basically, any book by Ann Budd warrants a look, and this doesn't disappoint.

She starts by talking briefly about things like fit, yarn, needles, and general techniques, but also discusses heels and toes in more depth. Then the rest of the book is split into two sections: top-down and toe-up, and each starts with more detail about cast-on/cast-off options for that method.

And, of course, there are patterns. They're stunning, of course. Each is photographed beautifully, with detail shots of toes and heels so you know what you're getting into. There is a sidebar of "Design Techniques" for each one, which lists the techniques you'll need to knit that particular pattern. There are notes about how you might make modifications. Sidebars about picking the right kind of yarn. Stories about how and why the designer came up with that particular sock. The sizes of the socks are given in detail, too: circumference, length from toe to heel, length from cuff to heel. I honestly can't think of any details that are missed.

She knows how to collect talent, too. The designs in this book are from true sock-masters. Cookie A, Kathryn Alexander, Veronik Avery, Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Evelyn A Clark, Chrissy Gardiner, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anne Hanson, Eunny Jang, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Deborah Newton, Clara Parkes, Meg Swansen, and Anna Zilboorg.

But wait! There's more!

The book comes with a 95-minute DVD of Ann Budd showing off the socks, and going into detail to show you various cast-ons, cast-offs, and so on. You've got over an hour and a half of video complimenting the book's already clear instructions. Her presentation style during the little show-and-tell of each sock design seemed a little nervous, but as soon as she gets into the instructional portion of the video, the content is gold. Sometimes it really helps to SEE someone show you Kitchener stitch, you know?
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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Patterns by Leading Designers, Plus DVD, July 7, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
This book is beautifully designed, has a pleasing variety of interesting-to-knit sock patterns by leading designers, and loads of valuable instructional material. However, because the how-to information is organized around specific sock projects, this is more of a pattern book than a reach-for-it reference on sock-knitting techniques. For example, although many heel styles are explained (round, short-row, band, Dutch, etc.), the actual instructions are not all grouped together in a single chapter on "heels"--instead, you may have to go to one of the patterns that uses a particular heel type to find the actual step-by-step instructions.

The book includes ten top-down patterns, and seven toe-up patterns. Cast-on and bind-off techniques are illustrated with clear line drawings. Patterns are written out in standard sock pattern style (general information, leg, heel, foot, toe, finishing--or the reverse). Charts are included when appropriate (twisted-stitch and colorwork designs). There is a general chapter on designing, and there are notes and design tips scattered throughout.

A "Design Techniques" box accompanies each pattern. The feature breaks down the sock construction by the techniques used, and provides a "road map" to the page locations for additional how-to instructions on the techniques. For example, Veronik Avery's "Happy Go Lucky Boot Socks" pattern uses these techniques: (1) top down construction, (2) designing with slip stitches, (3) working with five double-pointed needles, (4) any elastic cast-on, (5) round heel, (6) wedge toe, and (7) Kitchener stitch.

All of the patterns are beautiful, as you would expect from these famous sock designers: Cookie A., Nancy Bush, Anne Hanson, Veronik Avery, Deborah Newton, Evelyn A. Clark, Meg Swansen, Ann Budd, Chrissy Gardiner, Kathryn Alexander, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Eunny Jang, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Anna Zilboorg, and Cat Bordhi.

The book also includes a 95-minute DVD. Ann Budd discusses the individual projects (displaying the actual knitted samples and describing the techniques each uses), and demonstrates the knitting techniques. If you learn best by watching someone else knit, you will really like this "bonus" DVD. Because of the DVD, the book can dispense with step-by-step still photographs of the more complicated techniques, and include many more close-ups of the knitted socks themselves.

As a pattern book, I rate this at 5 stars; as a technical reference book, at 3.5 to 4 stars. My favorite Ann Budd sock knitting book is still Getting Started Knitting Socks, for new knitters. Two really excellent sock-knitting reference books are The Sock Knitter's Workshop: Everything Knitters Need to Knit Socks Beautifully, for somewhat experienced knitters; and Sensational Knitted Socks, for all knitters, regardless of experience. Two personal favorite sock-knitting books are Folk Socks, which has a lot of interesting patterns and good general instructions; and Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet, a very popular book by my favorite designer, who is probably the most technically accomplished knitter on the planet.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book of Sock Knitting for the Intermediate and Advanced Knitter, July 16, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
Ann Budd is my favorite sock knitting writer. Her book, Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series) is my sock knitting bible. This book, Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers is for the more advanced sock knitter. It is filled with wonderful patterns of all sorts - lace, cable, intarsia, and entrelac.

The book has an opening section that contains information on fit, comfort, yarn and gauge, needle choice, heels, toes, and aesthetics. It provides excellent information on the construction of socks and the choice of yarns. The patterns in this book are either top-down or toe-up construction, about half of each. Ms. Budd includes great information on cast-ons for top-down and toe-up patterns as well as bind-offs. The book includes a DVD of innovative patterns and techniques from top designers. It is excellent.

My favorite patterns in the top-down section are:

French Market socks with highlights of blue and green triangles and squares.

Twisted Stitch Stockings in a lovely soft gray hue that are nearly knee-high.

Knot Socks in a light variegated orange, knit with cables and ribbing.

Mock Cables and Lace in a dark rust color, perfect for wearing with sandals or flats. Ms. Budd states "I chose a lace pattern that gives the illusion of a wide cable along the front and back of the leg".

Of the toe-up patterns, my favorites are:

Stealth Argyles in a brown and blue horizontal striped pattern. Ms. Budd states of this pattern, "Because patterns produced by shadow knitting only reveal themselves when viewed at certain angles, the patterns magically appear and disappear as the piece moves".

Terpander socks knit in a chartreuse green. Terpander "is an ancient Greek poet and musician who used a lyre in composition and performance". The composition of these socks brings to mind the shape of lyre.

All told, this is a wonderful book. It is a great resource and the patterns are wonderful and easy to understand. I don't recommend this for beginning sock knitters but it would be an excellent addition to the library of any intermediate or advanced knitter. Thank you Ms. Budd for this extraordinary book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful patterns, in-depth techniques - a worthy addition to your sock knitting library., July 12, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
Whether you have a sock knitting library as I do, or are looking for a first sock book, I recommend Sock Knitting Master Class. The patterns feature a wide range of techniques (cables, lace, intarsia, entrelac, two-color knitting, toe-up, top down) from many designers - this would be a good book to sample different designers' styles and sock constructions before delving more deeply.

For me, the techniques DVD is what makes this book more accessible to knitters of varying skill levels (or those who have a favorite heel/cast-on/bind-off and stick with it). You see a cast-on suggested in a pattern and learn how to do the cast-on by watching Ann Budd demonstrate it. She's warm and encouraging, showing how to improve your knitting and fix mistakes (like gusset holes) in an approachable way. If I had one wish, it would be for a more detailed discussion of negative ease (or how closely the sock should fit). However, there's enough other information about good fit that it's highly likely a newer knitter will get good results.

I'm looking forward to knitting my way through Sock Knitting Master Class. I think knitters at many different skill levels would find it both a useful reference and lovely to work from.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This books provides beginning sock knitter a confidence boost, July 18, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
I recently completed my first couple of pairs of basic socks--both utilizing one circular needle and the "magic loop" technique--and got this book to advance my knowledge and give me the confidence to try new techniques and patterns. "Sock Knitting Master Class" has exceeded my expectations. Its clearly written instructions are accompanied by excellent illustrations that have given me the confidence to try socks that I might have considered too difficult before reading this book. I've already selected a couple of pairs from the book that I'm anxious to get to work on--this time on two circular needles instead of one!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winning Sock Book, July 26, 2011
This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
I ordered this book in preparation for attendance at one of Anne's classes at Sock Summit 2011. I enjoy knitting socks but can't claim to be an expert and usually shy away from very intricate patterns. I found this book, and especially the DVD, had the potential to very easily turn a novice into a superlative sock knitter. Anne addresses the "mystery" of all the elements of sock composition and in a thorough and relaxed delivery style instructs on techniques that allow knitters of all levels of expertise to produce well fitting, well finished socks of lovely design. The variety of techniques allow each knitter to determine ones own preferences for multiple cast-on, bind-offs, heels, and design elements as they are instructed and demonstrated at a comfortable pace for learning on the DVD. Anne's style of teaching inspires confidence to try new techniques yet does not "talk down" to those knitters who have a long history of sock-making experience.
The designers who have contributed patterns to this book are the "go-tos" of sock knitting and the selections offer a great variety and a delightfully compelling collection. It is unheard of that I find a book in which I want to knit each pattern but this one comes very close to that distinction.
Great job, Anne, and Interweave, for providing such a valuable resource.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent resource, August 12, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
Note: I have not yet knitted one single sock, not even a practice sock. I've been knitting for three and a half years, mostly gloves, scarves, hats, and baby things. It's going to be awhile before I have the experience to critique a knitting book effectively, so I'm hoping that my beginner perspective will prove useful.

With all the books and information available on sock knitting, I just decided to start with this book. I rated it four stars because it was missing some of the info I was hoping to find. This could be for a couple of reasons: My expectations were too high (as a beginner sock knitter, I'm not familiar with what to reasonably expect in a sock book) -or- What I wanted to learn could simply only be learned through experience -or- I misunderstood what this book was meant to contain (again, due to lack of experience on my part).

I did read the book three times through, it was fairly engaging.

Liked:
- examples of common heels, heel stitches for function, and toes
- examples of sock knitting on various needle types and arrangements
- design tips for your own creations
- notes from the designers on why they did what they did
- how to measure the foot and how much yarn to use for the foot size and yarn gauge
- yarn tips for each pattern. Example: If you want to have X result/effect with Y design feature, use Z fiber/yarn
- lots of technique tutorials and instructions (some clear and easy, some a little more complicated but I'm confident I'll understand as I actually try it)
- the patterns chosen use a mix up of components (heels, toes, top-down/toe-up, etc) to illustrate the combos/customizations possible.
- several components/variations explained from both toe-up and top-down directions, including cast-on/off options.

Disliked:
- not as comprehensive as hoped for. I understand they included just the most common heels, toes, etc.; but there were at least as many options left out as there were included. Maybe they were trying to keep the page number or price down or some such reason, but I would prefer to have everything in one book.
- little to no comparison of component choice. Example: A/B/C type heel is preferable for X heel size/shape or Y purpose (working, hiking, etc.) -or- X heel is generally preferable to Y heel because [reason]. Even just saying if there was no real difference between them would have been helpful (if that were the case; I don't know!). I know this knowledge will come with time, I had just hoped to start off with more advice.

As for the DVD, it's a video/visual demonstration of selected techniques/chapters. It's not the entire book on video, but it could be pretty helpful to some. I personally was unimpressed and probably won't use it, but people learn differently so the DVD doesn't factor into my rating.

Although there seemed to be a nice variety of designs (lace, cables, thigh-high, slouchy, etc) I wasn't impressed by the patterns. There were only two (out of 17) which I would consider making as is from the book. But the patterns weren't really the point of my buying the book, so I didn't include that in my rating either.

I'm pretty happy with this book. Again, it's not a comprehensive or beginner book but it will definitely come in handy.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If I were advanced, August 9, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
If I were advanced in knitting & understood the techniques I would give this a 5 stars, but since I am an intermediate knitter, it got 4. It took a lot of things for granted that an advanced sock knitter probably understood. I just needed a little more help, which her other book was good at. I kept the book because the dvd it came with made up for the book's drawbacks. The photos are great too, and Ann has a blog about each of these socks that you can write your comments or ask quesstions.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Stars!!!! Ann Budd ROCKS!!!, July 9, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
I received my Sock Knitting Master Class book today, it is a masterpiece of creative genius!!! This book goes way beyond knitting socks designed by the Masters, it is knitting 101 thru Graduate degree or should I say Masters degree for beginner to seasoned knitter! The dvd is fun to watch because Ann Budd makes you feel like she is right in your living room demonstrating how to do techniques old tried and true thru new and creative, some you thought you were doing right for years and now realize why your knitting never quite looked right. I will definitely be casting on one of these patterns soon and looking for more lightbulb moments as I go along!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sock book, July 7, 2011
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This review is from: Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers (Paperback)
I am in awe of the beautiful patterns, the in-depth explanations in the book, and the step-by-step instructions on the clearly laid-out DVD. If you are serious about sock knitting, and/or want to learn enough to design, this is a must have book.
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Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers
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