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The Big Book of Socks: The Ultimate Beyond-the-Basics Guide to Knitting Socks Paperback – September 8, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Go Big Knits: 20 Projects Sizes 38-54 by
"Go Big Knits" from the editors of Marie Claire Idees
Knit designs from the editors of Marie Claire Idées to ensure that women of all body shapes and types will look—and feel—fantastic. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathleen Taylor is a research scientist in the physiology department, Oxford University. In 2003 she won first prize in both the THES/OUP Science Essay competition and the THES Humanities and Social Sciences Writing Prize.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600850855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600850851
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kathleen Taylor has written the only book for knitting socks that you'll ever need! She shows you every type and style of sock and methods to produce them. The only thing I would wish for is info on knitting two socks at a time on circuler needles. But this book is unbelieveable. If you only had money for one sock book, get this one!! You're not limited to the dreaded dpn's; they are included but also using circular needles and straight needles are included. Too many books give only directions for dpn's and heels with flaps and gussetts, but her book includes those along with the short row heel and the circular needles and toe up, just up my alley. Also has info on dyeing yarn for your socks. The book starts out with making tube socks and moves on up the difficulty ladder into beaded, stranded, colorwork, lace. The neat thing is, if you don't like the style of heel or toe, you can choose another, because they are all explained IN DETAIL in a separate chapter in the book. Also, each sock is sized from infant to mens. I can't wait to get back to it!
Thanks! Marsha
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered the book directly from Amazon and it was delivered in 2 days. Can't ask for more than that.
I have only been knitting socks over the past year and there is still plenty I don't understand about it. This book has tons of info and every type of sock pattern for man, woman or child that you can imagine. Exactly what I wanted.
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Format: Paperback
Knitting is not only a recreational activity, it is also a practical and functional one producing items for wear that are as useful as they are attractive. This is especially the case with socks. That's why Kathleen Taylor's "The Big Book Of Socks: The Ultimate Beyond-the-Basics Guide to Knitting Socks" is such a treasure for both novice and experienced needlecrafters! Featuring seventy-five illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' patterns, anyone can make socks to be proud of! "The Big Book Of Socks" covers all aspects from sock styles and yarn selection, to needles, gauges, swatching, and even sock repair. Among the various sock styles are included Tweed Tube Socks; Basic Child Flap and Gusset Socks; Easy Basket Weave Heel Socks; Nordic-Style Adult Socks; Alpaca Striped Kneedsocks, Easy Lace Socks; Holiday Garland Socks; Beaded Anklets; Knees and Toes Toe Socks. From stripes and cables, to argyle and lace, each pattern provides clear instructions from beginning to end. Enhanced throughout with a wealth of practical tips and shortcut suggestions, "The Big Book Of Socks" is enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library needlecraft instructional and reference collections.
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Format: Paperback
I had never knitted socks before this book and a lot of the reviews seemed very positive. I can knit socks from instructions in this book, but NOT without supplemental help from watching videos online or looking at other websites. I don't think I would recommend this for people who are totally new to socks. I'll explain...

Likes
Cute sock ideas--nice mix of textures, lengths, ideas
Worsted weight sock patterns--worsted weight yarn is easiest for me to buy and this book has patterns for that instead of just fingering weight
Mix and matchability--you can do socks with different toes or heels, according to your preference, once you understand how to do each type. She gives some hints for this (knit 1/2" more before doing decreases if you're doing this type of toe vs this type, etc.).

Dislikes
Errors--I don't remember which pattern, but if I had followed her directions exactly, the toe of the sock and the heel of the sock wouldn't have been in the right places (i.e. if toes were flat on the ground like normal, the heel would have been on the side). This was my first red flag.

Book incorrectly/incompletely references itself--she will often refer you to another pattern or to the back of the book for various aspects (usually the toe or the heel). However, I have found problems with this in places. She'll refer you to the back of the book for the wedge toe pattern. You get going on the wedge toe pattern from the back and it ends with "rep wedge toe decrease rnds 1-2 until the proper number of sts rem (refer to individual patterns for the proper number of sts)." However, if you go back to the original pattern, there is no indication whatsoever of the number of stitches that should remain. You just have to guess and this is frustrating.
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Format: Paperback
Am I nit-picking? (No pun intended.) Yes, probably. If you like this book, it will be great for you, and I do think it's a useful one if you can only have one or two books on sock knitting. However, if you have a dozen books on the subject...

In recent years, the knitting world has seen so many great sock books published, from Cat Bordi to Interweave Knit's "Best of" Sock book. There have also been some wonderful technical books for those who want the freedom to construct/design their own socks or adapt any pattern to their design/sizing preferences, such as Chrissy Gardiner's "Toe's Up!"

By that (tough) comparison, I find "The Big Book of Socks" to be rather dated. The designs themselves are somewhat basic. Not everyone is up to the intricacies of a Eunny Jang or Cookie A. sock pattern, replete with intricate cables or whatnot, but you can get so many basic sock patterns online for free through [...], [...], etc. The Big Book of socks is mostly variations off the basics, with one pattern showing one kind of heel or toe, the next another. There's a bit of lace, a few stranded patterns, but nothing really grabbed me. (I also was not crazy about the author's color palette - obviously a matter of taste, but...pumpkin, kelly green and blue on cream for a fairisle sock? A holiday sock seemed "muddy" as photographed, due to a green a red that were of too similar value and intensity.)

(Embarrassingly, I can't seem to compose a good "wrap up" here. It's really not a bad book, just suffers from having been published in 2009 instead of 1999...)
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