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Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off Paperback – October 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

London-based Yu's yarn shop, sock yarn line, and role as cofounder of the Knit Nation knitting exhibition are marvelous gifts to the international knitting community. In her first published collection of patterns, she explores the wit and whimsy of knitted socks, demonstrating a flair for matching color with design. A few of the patterns will be familiar to avid sock knitters, but many are brand new, and the designs range from simple to intricate. One of the nicest features is the step-by-step photographic guides to unusual or unexpected techniques, such as the Channel Island cast on and Kihnu Vits braid. Sock knitters of all levels will appreciate Yu's exciting and attractive patterns.--Library Journal

About the Author

ALICE YU is a renowned sock designer and Canadian expat. Socktopus started out as a sock club and hand-painted yarn shop, but has now grown into Socktopus sock yarns and the Knit Love sock club as well as one half of Knit Nation, London's summer knitting and spinning exhibition. Alice originally practiced as a lawyer in the City of London and has lived in London for 12 years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600854109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600854101
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a long time, I have admired the work of British sock designer Alice Yu. Because her pretty, highly-patterned designs have been mostly distributed through her subscription-only sock club, I've actually knitted only one of her patterns (Shur'tugal, included in this book). But from that experience, I know that she knows how to write patterns for socks that really fit.

Designer Yu excels at creating highly-textured socks, using combinations of slipped stitches, twisted stitches, yarnovers, cables, and surface stranding. There is not a single pattern in this book that I do not want to knit, but my favorites are "Farmer McGregor" (a double-lattice allover pattern), "V Junkie" (a honeycomb pattern of "blood cells" inspired by the "True Blood" TV series), "Spring Shoots" (an allover lace pattern with "afterthought leg" construction and a swirly heel that I must try), "De Stijl" (using an exotic stitch pattern with rows of crisscross stranding on the leg), and, of course, "Shur'tugal" (a simple twisted-stitch pattern that really looks like dragon scales when knitted up).

The book includes a chapter on sock knitting basics, which discusses sock fibers and yarns, and sock fit and anatomy. The patterns are mostly charted, and fairly complicated to knit, although there is one pattern, "Totally Vanilla", for just plain socks. Each pattern starts with a schematic that gives the measurements of the socks knitted from the suggested yarn, so that knitters will know whether they need to re-size.

The book is printed on glossy paper, and the full-color photographs are beautiful.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By EB on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Overall, interesting designs, good photographs of techniques, appealing yarn choices, but the charts could have used more work. Just skimming the book, I saw obvious errors (squares of one chart marked as both "no stitch" and yarnovers), and lots of little glitches like inconsistent line weights, rules that run outside the chart, etc. When I see problems like that in a knitting book, even if they're not substantive, I worry about the accuracy of the patterns, because they suggest a lack of attention to detail. There seems to be a tendency among knitting publishers (adopted from the software industry?) to think that errors don't really matter these days because readers can always find the errata posted online somewhere and download pages of corrections. There's an errata site for this book accessible from the author's blog.

Not sure whom the author is trying to appeal to with the teenage-vampire theme of many of the design descriptions, but the designs themselves are attractive, and I'll be trying out at least a couple of them.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Aunt Vee on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful collection of socks. One of those books where so many of the patterns are good enough that you can imagine wanting to knit your way through the book. I own the Cookie A sock books and consider these intricate socks quite beautiful and I am knitting my way through some of my favorite patterns but it does require a degree of dedication because the patterns are so intricate. Alice Yu also has some really beautiful socks in her book but the patterns don't seem quite as fussy - there are a few where it seems even possible to learn the pattern and knit the sock without having to refer constantly to a chart. I can seem myself wanting to knit my way through this book. It looks to me like some of the sock patterns can be learned so that I'll be able to knit without having to constantly reference a chart - which makes both for more relaxing and more portable knitting.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Soctopus by Alice Yu contains patterns for 17 pairs of luscious socks. The book goes into good reasons to knit socks: Good things come in small packages, socks are reassuring, socks are practical and sock knitters rock. There is a section on fibers and sock knitting that I found very informative and useful It goes into the kinds of fibers usually used to knit socks along with the benefits and distinctions of each. There is also a section on yarn construction and ply and how this relates to sock knitting.

The patterns start off with the most basic sock, a stockinette knit sock with just a small rib on the top. It proceeds to more diverse and difficult patterns, all delectable. The Kandahar socks are lovely with a nice cable rib. Yu describes the pair as "apres-ski socks to be worn while sitting next to a crackling fire with Testarossa cocktail in hand." Junkie Socks are one of my favorites. "Red blood cells made from slipped stitches and purl rows, these socks were inspired by True Blood, a TV series." Thee pair is comprised of sextagons layered row after row. All the socks have neat names and cute descriptions.

The book is for someone who's knit socks before as there are no photos of how to put socks together or ways to do gussets or heels. Overall, it's a wonderful addition to my knitting library and I can't wait to get started on some of these patterns.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janis Lorraine Thacker on April 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Admittedly I have only been knitting socks for 4 years now, but have been knitting on and off for 40 years. I have to say I had a devil of a time following these patterns. I tried 3 and finally gave up. I was wanting to expand my range and thought the patterns were so beautiful. It may just be me, but I picked up a different book and had a lot less trouble. Other women in my knitting group had less trouble, but they have more experience than me.
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