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Sock Club: Join the Knitting Adventure Paperback – January 19, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


This book lets you peek behind the scenes at secret sock societies--23 women's sock patterns that were originally designed for sock clubs and KALs. There are a tremendous variety of patterns and yarns used. Because independent designers designed the patterns and many of the yarns used are from independent dyers, there is a remarkable variety of patterns. My favorites are Acorn Stash by Anne Hanson, Ariel by Debbie O'Neil and Reims by Alyson Johnson--all wonderfully lacy, complex-ish socks, my personal sock obsession right now.

A huge, helpful section in this book talks about the different ways to adjust the sock patterns for size. Most sock patterns, in general, are written for one size. These clever authors give us 6 ways to adjust for our own feet from changing gauge by changing needle size to adding a small repeat between pattern repeats. --Jillian Moreno, knitty.com

This week's review brings me to a new sock knitting book: Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott. The first thing that grabs me right away are those socks on the front cover. I definitely want to be knitting some of those! Once I opened the book, I found there were many more patterns that I want to knit. In fact, I counted ten patterns that on first glance I wanted to knit. That's a lot of patterns to love in a book of 23 patterns ... I can't think of another sock book I have ever seen that I have wanted to knit so much out of. That's saying a lot, because I am kind of picky when it comes to sock patterns!

In addition to all those patterns, there are also a few pages on making socks your own size. I always appreciate this kind of information with sock patterns, because I don't think my size 11 feet are going to be shrinking any time soon! Some of the details this section goes into are changing the number of pattern repeats and adding a small motif in between pattern repeats. I also appreciate that the patterns give directions or options for making the socks bigger.

After all the patterns in the book, there are a couple pages with techniques, useful info, and foot measurements. I was so happy to see the foot measurements in the book. I mean, when you are trying to surprise a friend with birthday socks, it kind of ruins it if you take a tape measure to his or her foot. Hooray for the chart that at least gives you some average numbers to shoot for when knitting those gift socks!

The other thing that is making me totally in love with this book is the fact that several of the patterns featured indie dyer yarns. Makes me hopeful that someone will be designing sock patterns for books with one of my yarns one day!

So, I guess it's pretty obvious that I am in love with this book, huh? --Jennifer Hansen, Knitting Like Crazy

Yes, of course, it IS a book of sock patterns. Twenty-three of them. Most of the patterns were available as part of a "sock club." You know the kind, where a designer or yarn-seller sets up a club where, once a month, every member gets specially-dyed yarn and a brand-new, exclusive pattern, just for the members. Most if not all the patterns in this book saw light of day in just that way.

Except ... most sock patterns come in one size. Maybe two, but here? The authors tell you right up front that they wanted to do better than that because one has a narrow 5.5-shoe foot, and the other wears a 10.5 EE. They've obviously been frustrated over the years over the lack of fitting patterns and wanted to make sure that the patterns in their book would fit just about everyone.

So, the patterns themselves not only come in several sizes--most of them, anyway--but they are sorted into groups by what you would need to do to change the size. That's practically unheard of! (In fact, I can't think off-hand of another sock book that does that.) As a perennially "loose" knitter with narrow feet, whose standard stockinette socks are knit over 44 stitches, believe me, it's nice to have someone who's already thought through the sizing options and can give me hints to make socks that actually fit.

Each sock comes with a "skill level" and gives the finished circumference and size right up front. They cover the gamut of sock methods, too. Cuff-down, Toe-up. Short row heels, traditional flap heels, etcetera, etcetera. That makes for a lot of variety. Most of the patterns come with sidebars with suggestions about how to re-size if necessary, or about construction, how to choose the right kind of yarn for that pattern ... helpful stuff.

The patterns themselves? Not only are the construction techniques varied, but so are the socks. Lace, cables, color, texture--they are all here. All the socks are for women, in theory, though they could easily be adapted for men, if you so desired. (See? Those sizing options are already coming in handy.)

The pictures are good knitting-book pictures, in that they show the items in a graceful, tasteful, attractive way, without looking like they're trying to hide something. (I admit that's actually harder to do when photographing socks, but I have seen suspicious sock photos!) The patterns are listed out in the Table of Contents, though there's no Index. The section on techniques in the back is only four pages long, but I think this book assumes you've already knitted a sock or two and focuses on providing new patterns, rather than detailed instruction about the concept of turning a heel--nothing wrong with that.

My Gush: Creative, attractive, with a nice variety of techniques--plus sizing options. Good book. --Deb Boyken, knittingscholar.com

About the Author

Charlene Schurch is the author of a growing number of knitting books and numerous magazine articles about knitting and spinning. Her articles have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitters, Interweave Knits, Piecework, and SpinOff. She divides her time between Connecticut and Florida.

Although Beth Parrott has been knitting for more than 60 years, until recently she designed socks and other garments only for family and for charity projects. She loves to teach and is an avid collector of tricks-of-the-trade and tidbits of information that make knitting easier. She works, plays, knits, and teaches in Charleston, South Carolina.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Martingale; Original edition (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156477936X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564779366
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a pleasure to look through. The graphics are well done, the pictures from multiple angles to show off various design elements of the socks and sizing well described. There was only one pair that I couldn't imagine myself making, something that made the purchase of a whole book more justifiable. (and not bad for a book of 23 patterns)
It is a different angle for a sock book, to look at patterns from sock clubs - often difficult to obtain and reserved for sock club members. The cost of these kits is often $30-40 and patterns are not always subsequently available. I liked that there was detail given about each sock club in the back of the book.

I recognized several patterns since I was a member of the Woolgirl sock club and have made one of the pairs. The other positive to featuring sock club patterns is that they were effectively 'test knit' by members of the sock club when they were first published/released. That gives me some piece of mind that there will be few errata.

Since most of the patterns are written for one size, this book also describes how to change sizes, e.g. adding a repeat, changing needle size. For a starting sock knitter that will be a benefit.

In an electronic age when many patterns are now available for individual purchase, this is still worth purchasing and adding to your knitting library.
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Format: Paperback
Sock Club was created and inspired by both physical knitting clubs and online knitting clubs. Many of the sock patters were designed by knitters who have had many patterns published, and some are the knitters first published pattern. But all of them share this--they are creative, unique and beautiful.

The special thing about the patterns is this: in the front of the book, Schurch and Parrott give a variety of suggestions and instructions on how to adjust the size of the sock by altering the pattern slightly, or changing the needle size, or the yarn, etc. For each pattern, they give which specific ways work best for resizing for that pattern.

In the back, there are 5 different ways of casting on (sometimes you need a different cast-on for a pattern to make it work), and the instructions and pictures are pretty good. There are other little tips and tricks for technique, like knitting with a circular needles, wrap and turn, suspended bind-off, and finishing techniques. There's also a sizing chart for men and women, information on yarn types, and a list of sources to find recommended yarn for your new socks.

There are 23 patterns, a million colors you could work with... you realize how many beautiful socks you could make with this book?

Recommendation: This book was designed for the intermediate to experienced knitter. Many of the patters work with lace, cables, bobbles etc. even one with beads, and other more complicated patterning.

Happy Knitting!

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Format: Paperback
My daughter-in-law saw this book and fell in love with it. She is the knitter in the family and works in rounds or using double pointed needles. In looking at the techniques section, I never knew there were so many ways to cast stitches onto needles but this section show five different ways. There are also charts for foot measurements for sizing the work and weight, skill level and metric conversion charts. This book has mostly expert patterns so make sure your knitter is at this level if you plan to give it as a gift.

The socks are all very lovely and each project has a photo, skill level and a blurb about it. There are charts with most of the patterns so this is another thing you need to know how to read before you can use this book.

The table of contents is divided into types of knitting techniques such as changing elements within a repeat and the pattern is marked with an E. Changing spacing between pattern elements is marked with an S, etc. If you are looking for a specific technique in which to work, this type of contents table will be very helpful. And there are tips scattered throughout and are set off in special colored boxes.

This is a book for your more advanced knitter and for anyone who loves socks!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wear knit socks and give them as presents too. My problem is that I'm a fairly loose knitter and 56 sts is the number I need usually. But with this book I am hopeful that I can modify the patterns which call for more sts so that they will also work for me. Most of the patterns have a gauge of 8 sts per inch and my gauge is 7 which means I can probably make most of them. There is only one pair I don't care for. My favorite is a cable pattern. In addition to the sock patterns which are all charted and also written out, there is a lot of information on how to modify and change them to fit. The yarns used are fingering weight sock yarns and the internet information is also given if you want to get the exact yarns as they are from small yarn suppliers.
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Format: Paperback
This unique knitting book is a collection of original designs for sock clubs from both Internet and local sock club groups. All thirteen clubs are described in the book.

The section on Making It Your Size has excellent information on changing gauge, pattern and spacing to make the fit just perfect. There are instructions on six different ways to change the size and fit.

The skill level is mostly categorized as Expert, but some are for intermediate. After reading through the instructions I found a few stitch terms that were new to me, but there were clear instructions to walk the knitter through the process. I find charts difficult to follow so I appreciate that the patterns have both charts and written instructions. I took the pattern Havana Lace, that was labeled as "expert" and decided knit up a sample. I cast on and then knitted about 10 rows of the main pattern. I consider myself as an experienced beginner, but I had no problem following this more advanced pattern. I think if you can handle the double-pointed needles you can handle most of these patterns.

The book contains five cast-on and six bind-off techniques. There are also instructions for wrap and turn, circular knitting, no-gap gussets and grafting. The photograhy in Sock Club is also very good. The pictures are large, and the pattern is easy to see. I highly recommend this fun sock knitting book.
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