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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
When Knitters Magazine publishes a new book it's usually time to celebrate, and this is no exception. 'Knitting Outside the Sox' is a great resource for sock knitters with a wide array of wonderful patterns for just about everyone.

The first chapter is called 'Classic' and there is a wide array of classic socks with a smidgeon of change - think colors, zippers, length.

The second chapter is called 'Holes'. Here we have lace and cable socks. One pair even has buttons on them. My favorites are Hester's Socks, a beautiful lace pair knit in handspun 3-ply Shetland. I also love the Wandering Vine Socks knit with Mountain colors. This pattern is lace but looks very much like traditional aran cable with a vine pattern.

The third chapter is called Twist. Here come the cables. They are exquisite. The Interlochen Cables knit with Zitron Trekking XXL are colorful and practical. The Twisted Mosaic is colorful, knit with Regia 4-fadig Mosaik and is definitely for the advanced knitter.

Chapter four is called Color. All I can say is WOW! The Drip Candles Socks are bright and cheery, knit with Cherry Tree Hill/Louet Gems Fingering. The Mirrored Fair Isle is photographed in a pair of high heel shoes. Just right for a night on the town. Snow Under Cedars is knit with Zitron Trekking XXL and is a classic Norwegian pattern, lovely to look at in black and white. Jungle Socks look to me like a colored panel window. They are knit with Zitron Pro Natura and are exquisite. The brightest pair in this chapter is the Fancy Gaiter, knit with Cherry Tree Supersock. You might want to put your sun glasses on to look at these.

Chapter five is called Outside. I believe that the chapter takes its name for being outside the beaten track. These socks are all different and don't fit into one category. Hexagons can be knit in the colors of your choice and are a series of hexagons of different colors knit with Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett. You know that they're colorful when you see Fassett's name attached to the pattern. Spiral socks are fantastic. They are knit with Plymouth Boku and are a series of spiral stripes in different colors. Most of the socks in this chapter are very colorful.

At the end of the book is a gallery of winners of Knitters sock contest. My favorite are the Dreadsox. They look like a series of dreadlocks on top of socks. How clever can you get! There is a short technique section at the end of the book.

I think that only advanced intermediate or experienced sock makers will appreciate this book. Even the easiest patterns call for some tough thinking. The book is beautiful to look at and has many wonderful patterns to knit. Without reservations, I rate it a '5'.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
My copy of SoxSoxSox is very well-worn, so I couldn't wait for Think Outside the Sox. Unfortunately, I'm a little disappointed by this book. It just feels a little slapped together. There are some terrific, innovative designs, but not much background. Knitter's Magazine's previous contest publications always featured an essay about the designer, and his/her process for developing the design. The book directs the reader to [...] for commentary, but if it's there, I sure don't see it -- and I don't want to go to the Web for it in the first place. My other gripe is the photo gallery of socks, some winners, some honorable mentions. Directions for the honorable mentions aren't published here. If they're going to show me pretty pictures of cool socks, I want patterns. I spent several minutes searching before I caught on. If page space was an issue, I'd say skip the technique section at the back of the book and provide more patterns. Great patterns, but presentation is not up to XRX standards.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
Like many sock knitters I had seen pictures of the hexagon socks from the cover of this book, and the contest-winning cheetah spotted socks. They're far from the only stand out patterns, though. There's lace, cables, color work, unusual constructions, and several patterns for using up yarn leftover from previous socks. Even the simpler patterns suitable for beginners are pretty and interesting enough to hold the attention of experienced sock knitters.

I didn't know much about Knitter's Magazine and didn't have any particular expectations about this book, so I was surprised and pleased by the excellent overall quality and variety of patterns. Best sock book I've bought in a long time!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2010
This is a one of a kind sock book, and it's one of the few I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone. There's socks for all skill levels, a detailed glossary in the back for various techniques, and surely at least one sock to tickle your fancy. They're sorted roughly by category, and it's such a pleasure to just flip through. Most of these patterns are one of a kind--you probably haven't seen another sock that looks like it. There's construction methods to suit anyone, both toe up and cuff down. Sure, there's a few I dislike (why would I make a sock to graft up one side of it?) but really, out of 60 patterns, one or two misses is hardly anything at all.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
I was very excited about this book. I wanted to like this book. Instead, I was underwhelmed. Why? What didn't work for me were the lack of introductions and the poor photo choices. For example, look at the very first pattern in the book, "Forgettable socks." There was no introduction, no context. What makes them forgettable? What's so special about these socks? Why did they win? The photo chosen to accompany the text shows the back of the sock, which looks like your run of the mill ribbed sock. Apparently the interesting part about the sock is the front - something shown in a postage-stamp sized photo in the corner. (I really couldn't see enough detail to tell what was going on with the pattern and see why I should spend my time knitting it). This is consistent with the rest of the photographs - they're artful, rather than informative. I can see pretty clothes all day in fashion magazines; for a knitting book, I expect the photos to show me the important/key parts of the pattern. I expect introductions to the pattern to tell me a little bit about it - this sock uses the xyz technique for the heel, this sock uses a common lace pattern in an unexpected way, this one has interesting technique, and so on. Without these key details and better photographs. I know I can make a sock from the pattern, but what I don't have is the confidence that I'll actually be happy with the result. Also missing - bios or any information whatsoever about the designers. This was a contest. Can we learn a little about the winners, please? What were they thinking when they designed the sock?

This is a book of patterns with no context and OK photography. If that's enough -- you knit socks all the time and just want something different, buy this book. If you want to learn about what makes a sock special, this is not the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2011
What happens when a well-known knitting magazine has a contest for creative sock patterns?

Well, in this case, you get 296 entries to be pared down by judges Cat Bordhi, Lucy Neatby, and Sandi Rosner. Then, after awarding prizes, you put the 61 best into a book and send it out into the world.

Yes, you heard me. 61 creative sock patterns in one book. That's 60 great patterns plus the grand prize-winner Leopard socks (which are rightfully a show-stopper).

The book is organized by type of design-basic, lace, twisted-stitch, cables, color, and "outside the box". Each design gets a difficulty rating to make choosing your sock patterns easier. And, did I mention how many patterns there are, here?

All in all, this is a great collection of patterns. There is a nice mix of techniques and construction methods. According to the text, about a third of the socks are toe-up, as well as a mix of using DPNs, 2-circs, or the Magic Loop method (though there's a guide at the beginning to help you convert to the method of your choice). Sure, some of these socks I like more than others, but I appreciate the creativity even in the ones that aren't favorites. I appreciated the gallery at the end, too, with some very creative socks (like the knitted, lace-up boots which I thought were hilarious).

I appreciate the quantity of patterns, too. So many sock books are filled with designs from one or two knitters, and there are only so many sock patterns one person can create and knit in a year, so often those books only have a couple dozen patterns. This has 61 patterns. Even if you don't love every single one of them, the odds are good you will like a good portion of them. The fact that they're the favorites out of several hundred contenders speaks well in their favor, too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 30, 2010
Knitter's Magazine held a sock contest, and received close to 300 entries. From these entries, they've selected over 50 patterns (the exact number is hard to count, since some patterns have two or more variations)that comprise the heart of this book. The patterns are loosely grouped by general categories, such as "Classic" (more traditional styles), "Holes" (mainly lace and eyelets), "Twists" (cables and twisted stitches), "Color" plays with color (including fair isle and other stranded socks, use of multicolored yarns, entrelac, mosaic stitch, even intarsia), and "Outside" features socks that are less traditional and more innovative (knit in unusual directions rather than cuff to toe, hexagonal and other modular knitting, spiral patterns, and so on). The depth and breadth of the selection is wonderful. Not all socks are winners, but that's par for the course in any pattern book; the reader naturally likes some patterns and is likely to be unimpressed with a few as well. This is not a book for the new knitter or even the new sock knitter unless you are, truly, fearless: the vast majority of these patterns include stitch patterns, chart reading, complex methods of construction and other challenges that are likely to intimidate a nervous or brand-new knitter. (And there are no "how to knit" or "how to knit a sock" instruction sections.) But for the intermediate to experienced sock knitter, looking for a way to use up some of that sock yarn stash, or get rid of the sock knitting blahs, this book is full of interesting, creative and complex patterns to enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2011
I like so many of the socks in this book, but I'm really disappointed with the total lack in introduction and explanation about the sock and its general construction. - What made them choose that sock as a winner? Are there any unique or distinguishing features? Perhaps a different heel or toe construction? Maybe the pattern is the star??? We'll never know. - Apparently, silence is golden to the author, the editor and the publisher.

There is only one good photo of each pattern and it's barely enough to fill the gaps in the instructions for the patterns I've tried. The second photo is smaller than a postage stamp. Totally useless!

Warning: Some of the socks pictured in this book do NOT include instructions for making them! What's up with that? I bought this book after seeing the hiking boot sock, only to find the pattern is NOT in the book!!!

The only reason I'm giving this book 3 stars instead of 2, is I haven't tried all the patterns and I'm hoping the rest will be easier to understand and execute, and because the socks themselves are very cool indeed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2010
This is the book for those of you who want to see how a designer puts a sock together that is unique. It is full of patterns by sock designers who entered their work at the Sock Summit 2009 sock design contest. There are great pictures of the socks and discussions about them, and patterns so you make them yourself and the reading of which will teach you many daring new techniques to raise you out of the rut of your old standby patterns. Highly recommend for anyone interested in sock knitting...sooner or later you will turn to it for inspiration. I do, repeatedly. Love love love this book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 10, 2010
Knitters had an earlier book on socks which had some fabulous socks so I've been waiting for this one ever since I saw the spread on the winners. I personally will never knit anything but just enjoy browsing through the book for inspiration. However, even for me, some of the simpler ones look very tempting. Each pattern is written out and also charted and there are plenty of helpful tips where needed. Book is big but lies flat and is in the same format as the magazine. Certainly recommended.
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