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The Knitter's Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover's Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime [Kindle Edition]

Clara Parkes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $30.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $18.16 (61%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition $11.84  
Hardcover $24.36  
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Book Description

A sock is a work of wonder. No other knitted garment has as many structural demands or endures as much wear and tear. The humble sock must defy gravity, suffer the confines of our shoes, and endure being trampled on all day long.
All too often, the root cause of a sock's triumph or failure is the yarn itself. In The Knitter’s Book of Socks, Clara Parkes shows you how to knit socks from yarn up, following the sock yarn life cycle from its foundations to its final moments on a proud foot. By understanding a sock's basic needs—elasticity, strength, and moisture management—you’ll learn how to play with these tools like building blocks, confidently combining fiber, twist, ply, pattern, and clever stitch tricks to construct your perfect pair of socks.
To help put these principles into practice, The Knitter’s Book of Socks also offers 20 fresh, original patterns from today’s sock-design luminaries, including Cookie A, Cat Bordhi, Ann Budd, Nancy Bush, Anne Hanson, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The socks presented here run the gamut from simple knit-and-purl combinations suitable for beginners to innovative designs with lush colorwork, swirling cables, and delicate lace.
Understanding the elements of yarn is the first step on every successful sock knitting journey. With this book as your guide, you’ll learn how to make any sock yarn shine and love every pair of socks you knit.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


In The Knitter’s Book of Wool and The Knitter’s Book of Yarn , Parkes educates knitters on the ins and outs of fiber and makes minutiae interesting. Here, she describes the qualities that make yarn suitable for sock knitting, explores the different types of fibers that can be used in sock yarn, and analyzes stitches and stitch patterns commonly used in sock knitting. There’s also a beautifully curated selection of sock patterns, including new designs by some of the biggest names in the field. Though the instructions are clear, the majority of the patterns are best suited for those with sock-knitting experience. An essential addition. -Library Journal

About the Author

A lifelong knitter, Clara Parkes has spent more than 10 years immersed in the world of yarn and fiber as the publisher of A frequent contributor to Interweave Knits and Twist Collective, she is also the author of The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool. She lives on the coast of Maine in a farmhouse full of yarn.

Product Details

  • File Size: 33580 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (October 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Exactly what you would expect from yarn expert Clara Parkes: a sock knitting book that focuses on yarn selection! The book starts with an explanation of what a sock needs. This is (1) lasting elasticity, (2) strength (tensile strength and ability to withstand abrasion), (3) moisture management (absorption and wicking), and (4) a willingness to be worked and worn. With these requirements in mind, Parkes then talks about the structural differences in various fiber types (protein, plant, regenerated cellulose, synthetic); and about the role that yarn construction (singles, 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply, S-on-S cables, true cables, core spun) plays in the choice of good yarns for socks.

Parkes includes a full chapter on stitch tricks for maximizing elasticity (using ribbing, stretchy increases, cables, faux cables), and for maximizing strength (using twisted stitches, fine gauge, slipped stitches, stranding and double knitting). In this chapter Parkes also discusses (1) the pros and cons of using nylon reinforcing yarn; (2) the choice of heel types for greater or lesser durability; and (3) the basics of ease required for proper sock fit.

In the remaining three quarters of the 208-page book, Parke presents 20 wonderful sock patterns, mostly charted, by famous sock designers: Cat Bordhi, Jane Cochran, Cookie A., Stephen Houghton, Jennifer Hagan, Norah Gaughan, Marlaina Bird, Anne Hanson, Jayme Stahl, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Sivia Harding, Nancy Bird, Sandi Rosner, Cirilia Rose, Jared Flood, Lucy Neatby, Kathryn Alexander, A. Karen Aifke, Ann Budd, and Clara Parkes herself. There are descriptive introductions to each pattern, and there are brief designer biographies in the back of the book.

The most common size is Women's Medium, but many patterns include more than one size.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed--- December 26, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been wanting this book for months and Santa obliged. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice book with some lovely info, but I had hoped for a more comprehensive tome. A lot of time is spent on the qualities of yarn. I had hoped an equal amount of space would be spent on components of socks---say a summary (with instructions & illustrations) of various toes and heels. The index is poorly done. For example, there aren't entries for each of the sock designers, nor is there one for toe-up or magic loop to name a few. For Judy Becker's magic cast on there are no illustrations, just suggestions to check Youtube videos. I'm considering returning this.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE for all sock knitters October 21, 2011
By Aanzhen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hard to top the two reviews up - Lucy Neatby"s double knit socks - worth it for this pattern alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best sock book I've bought since The Enchanted Sole! I've been knitting for 44 years and I'm a sock junkie and have well over 30 sock books.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Book - One Every Sock Knitter Should Own October 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love to knit socks and I just love a good sock knitting book. I can't think of anyone who could do a better job with this book than Clara Parkes. Her past two books are winners and I look forward to her blog, Knitter's Review, regularly. The book is a bible for anyone who knits socks or has wanted to try knitting them. It starts out with what a sock needs - lasting elasticity, brute strength, and moisture management. It then goes into Fiber Foundations - the language of sock fibers, protein fibers, silk, plant fibers, regenerated cellulose, and synthetic fibers. Then we come to the Yarns - Getting the right twist, singles, two plies, three plies, four and more plies, s-on-s cables, true cables, and core-spun. The knitter is then shown Stitch Tricks - Tricks for Elasticity and Tricks for Strength. Then come the wonderful patterns that Clara has put together and which I'll share with you a bit later. There is a section on Resources - Caring for Socks, Foot Length Tables, Materials Resources, Standard Yarn Weight System, and Recommended Reading. Last, but not least, is a section on the pattern designers.

Common questions for the sock knitter are answered such as Nylon Reinforcement or not, what kind of toes should be knit, how do we get the right fit. Clara goes into tricks for making the best socks. My favorite one is the part on how to use ribbing for elasticity. As she says, "A well-wearing sock will hold snug to your foot, minimizing any slippage in the shoe, so that foot, sock and shoe can move as one."

The patterns start out with the easiest and move on to the more advanced. My favorites are the following:

Hickory designed by Jane Cochran. It looks a bit like a basketbeave pattern and is knit in a lovely red out of fingering-weight yarn.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Most knitters are already familiar with Clara Parkes, editor of the popular "Knitter's Review" newsletter and website/message boards. Parkes loves yarn and has written two prior books -- The Knitter's Book of Yarn and The Knitter's Book of Wool -- delivering valuable technical information about yarn, along with an excellent collection of patterns putting her advice into practice. Parkes hits another home run with The Knitter's Book of Socks, again combining several introductory chapers full of technical information about sock yarn -- how it's made, what qualities are desirable in a sock yarn, how different fibers behave, how to compensate for potential problems in a sock yarn -- with a selection of 20 sock patterns from top designers like Ann Budd, Cookie A and Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

This is not a book which teaches you how to knit socks, but rather a book for you to enjoy and peruse once you've already been bitten by the sock knitting bug. You will learn a great deal about the construction and behavior of sock yarn, enabling you to make better choices when it comes to purchasing sock yarn and matching a specific yarn with a specific pattern. You'll also undoubtedly have great fun trying out some of the creative and lovely patterns in the book, using all sorts of techniques from lace to cables to colorwork. Photography by Alexandra Grablewski is excellent and perfectly accentuates Parkes' accessible, clear writing style.

It's not an exaggeration to say that every seriously-obsessed knitter needs to own Clara Parkes' books. And certainly every seriously-obsessed sock knitter should own this book in particular, both for the information it will impart about yarn and for the terrific selection of patterns.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for sock knitters
Excellent discussion in the beginning of the book about why some fibers work and others don't. The designs are interesting and bound to keep me soccupied for a long time to come!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensable! wish i'd found this sooner. thanks marty bird for...
excellent info and lots of patterns that demonstrate what she's saying about the different yarns and their characteristics.
Published 10 months ago by Melissa
5.0 out of 5 stars For the knitter who loves socks
Knitting socks is a challenge. This book contains detailed explanations of fibers and what works well for different style socks. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Deb C
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource book for your library!
This book contains great techniques for sock knitters, plus some beautiful patterns for unique socks, suitable for women as well as men. Definitely a must have for sock knitters.
Published 11 months ago by L.R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Author -- Well Written!
Clara Parker is a thoughtful, incredibly intelligent writer. She knows her yarn and her sock patterns.You cannot go wrong with this book:)!!!
Published 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
I can't wait to begin knitting all the wonderful socks that Clara Parkes has compiled in this book! Happy Knitting to me!
Published 12 months ago by Maggaroni
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sock Designs!
My daughter loved this book. She knits a lot of socks and these designs were really cute and the ideas seemed very helpful. I definitely recommend this book.
Published 16 months ago by Sherry
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Socks Ever
This book is awesome. If you're at all interested in sock knitting, and which yarns are best for what, GET IT.
Published 18 months ago by Riley
3.0 out of 5 stars sock book
This book is not for a beginer,, but for a experienced knitter. I am experienced,,very and had difficulty myself..but I did enjoy the patterns and socks.. Read more
Published 19 months ago by memoir
5.0 out of 5 stars beginner sock knitter
Awesome book would recommend for any beginner!!! Clara Parkes is just brilliant words can't describe the awesomeness of her book.
Published 20 months ago by Sharlene Ziegler
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More About the Author

"Quite possibly the only writer you will ever read who can make a discussion of micron counts absolutely riveting." - Mary Mooney, The Oregonian

Over a decade ago, Clara Parkes abandoned San Francisco's high-tech hubbub to build a quieter creative life on the coast of Maine. Since then, she has become a trusted voice in the knitting community. "Clara Parkes is the MFK Fisher of knitting: unflinching, all-seeing, mysterious--and also kind," writes Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Named by Vogue Knitting as one of knitting's "New Wave" along with Debbie Stoller and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Parkes is also the publisher of, has appeared regularly on the PBS Television series "Knitting Daily TV," and is a frequent contributor to Twist Collective.

In her spare time, Clara loves to putter in the kitchen and is a huge fan of butter.

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