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Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers Paperback – September 28, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 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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Frequently Bought Together

  • Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers
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  • Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)
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  • The Sock Knitter's Handbook: Expert Advice, Tips, and Tricks
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Editorial Reviews


Finalist in the About.com Reader's Choice Awards for Best Knitting Book of 2011.

"Budd's latest book is a trove of expertise, with patterns from 15 of the craftiest sockistas around, no surnames necessary...Every project adheres to the holy trinity of custom sock knitting--fit, comfort, aesthetics. And if you can't get enough of this collected wisdom in words alone, a 95-minute sock tutorial by Budd is included on an accompanying DVD." - Cheryl Krementz, Yarn Market News

"Ann Budd is at it again. She's pulled together another great collection of patterns, this time from master sock designers. There are 17 sock designs, and there isn't one I wouldn't love to wear." - Cindy Koepke, Knitcircus

"It seems like just about all the big names in knitting -- particularly sock knitting -- are featured in Ann Budd's excellent new book Sock Knitting Master Class...In addition to the fantastic patterns, which offer a wide variety of options for both toe-up and top-down knitters (and even one sock that goes both directions!), an introductory section covers just about all you'd ever need to know about some of the design choices that go into making a sock." - About.com Guide to Knitting

"If the designers aren't enough to draw you in, there's much more in here for sock novices and sock aficionados alike. With topics like sock design, toe up and top down construction, and the best bind offs for toe-up socks, this book will take you from zero to sock in no time." - KnitPurl yarn shop (Portland, OR)

"This book is a really valuable collection of patterns and techniques that any sock knitter will use again and again." - Jenny, KnitPicks.com

"I'm really glad to have this book because it has so many patterns, from lace to cable to colorwork, and the socks are all beautiful. Also, the techniques have plenty of charts, diagrams and photographs to make learning easy." - Pamela MacKenzie, MyCentralJersey.com

"The facts alone will make you want this book: 15 of the knitting world's best sock designers, 18 sock designs, Ann Budd talking basic how-tos and design tips and Clara Parkes talking sock yarn, and a 95 minute DVD. All of the technique and yarn information is so well organized and thought out that a knitter could read the book and not knit a single sock and still come away having learned a lot about sock knitting." - Knitty.com

"...the patterns! Beautiful, yet functional stitch designs and fun colors." - CraftGossip.com Knitting Editor

"It's not often that I scoop a book from the top of the review pile and take it home with me, and it's even less common for me to sit down and read it right away. But with sock knitting on my mind, I was intrigued, so last night I sat down to peruse this over a cup of tea. I was absolutely delighted to see that the first chapter of the book is devoted to explaining the whys and wherefores of sock construction. Top-down or toe-up? She's got it covered. Heel flap, short row or afterthought heel? Ditto. Want to choose from a pointed toe, a spiral or star toe, or a toe band? She's got your back with that, too. This book seems like just the right foundation for someone who's ready to strike out on their own - even if the starting place is just switching out the heel or toe treatment for one that suits them better." - Austen Gilliland, craft editor, CanadianLiving.com

"You think you already know everything there is to know about socks? After all, there are a multitude of sock books on the market these days, perfectly good books. You know everything. Except...do you really? Most (though not all) sock books I own are either filled with patterns with not a whole lot of time spent on technique, or they're full of guidance but with blah patterns. Of course, some do hit the balance between pattern and technique. Some are fairly exhaustive, in fact, and you may already have them on your shelves. But...they're not THIS book. First, this boo

About the Author

Ann Budd is the best-selling author of The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. She is also the author of Getting Started Knitting Socks, Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts, Knitting Green, and Simple Style, and coauthor of Bag Style, Color Style, Lace Style, and Wrap Style. She is a book editor and the former senior editor of Interweave Knits magazine. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave; Pap/DVD edition (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596683120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596683129
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Boyken on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Basically, any book by Ann Budd warrants a look, and this doesn't disappoint.

She starts by talking briefly about things like fit, yarn, needles, and general techniques, but also discusses heels and toes in more depth. Then the rest of the book is split into two sections: top-down and toe-up, and each starts with more detail about cast-on/cast-off options for that method.

And, of course, there are patterns. They're stunning, of course. Each is photographed beautifully, with detail shots of toes and heels so you know what you're getting into. There is a sidebar of "Design Techniques" for each one, which lists the techniques you'll need to knit that particular pattern. There are notes about how you might make modifications. Sidebars about picking the right kind of yarn. Stories about how and why the designer came up with that particular sock. The sizes of the socks are given in detail, too: circumference, length from toe to heel, length from cuff to heel. I honestly can't think of any details that are missed.

She knows how to collect talent, too. The designs in this book are from true sock-masters. Cookie A, Kathryn Alexander, Veronik Avery, Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Evelyn A Clark, Chrissy Gardiner, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anne Hanson, Eunny Jang, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Deborah Newton, Clara Parkes, Meg Swansen, and Anna Zilboorg.

But wait! There's more!

The book comes with a 95-minute DVD of Ann Budd showing off the socks, and going into detail to show you various cast-ons, cast-offs, and so on. You've got over an hour and a half of video complimenting the book's already clear instructions. Her presentation style during the little show-and-tell of each sock design seemed a little nervous, but as soon as she gets into the instructional portion of the video, the content is gold. Sometimes it really helps to SEE someone show you Kitchener stitch, you know?
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This book is beautifully designed, has a pleasing variety of interesting-to-knit sock patterns by leading designers, and loads of valuable instructional material. However, because the how-to information is organized around specific sock projects, this is more of a pattern book than a reach-for-it reference on sock-knitting techniques. For example, although many heel styles are explained (round, short-row, band, Dutch, etc.), the actual instructions are not all grouped together in a single chapter on "heels"--instead, you may have to go to one of the patterns that uses a particular heel type to find the actual step-by-step instructions.

The book includes ten top-down patterns, and seven toe-up patterns. Cast-on and bind-off techniques are illustrated with clear line drawings. Patterns are written out in standard sock pattern style (general information, leg, heel, foot, toe, finishing--or the reverse). Charts are included when appropriate (twisted-stitch and colorwork designs). There is a general chapter on designing, and there are notes and design tips scattered throughout.

A "Design Techniques" box accompanies each pattern. The feature breaks down the sock construction by the techniques used, and provides a "road map" to the page locations for additional how-to instructions on the techniques. For example, Veronik Avery's "Happy Go Lucky Boot Socks" pattern uses these techniques: (1) top down construction, (2) designing with slip stitches, (3) working with five double-pointed needles, (4) any elastic cast-on, (5) round heel, (6) wedge toe, and (7) Kitchener stitch.

All of the patterns are beautiful, as you would expect from these famous sock designers: Cookie A., Nancy Bush, Anne Hanson, Veronik Avery, Deborah Newton, Evelyn A.
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Ann Budd is my favorite sock knitting writer. Her book, Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series) is my sock knitting bible. This book, Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers is for the more advanced sock knitter. It is filled with wonderful patterns of all sorts - lace, cable, intarsia, and entrelac.

The book has an opening section that contains information on fit, comfort, yarn and gauge, needle choice, heels, toes, and aesthetics. It provides excellent information on the construction of socks and the choice of yarns. The patterns in this book are either top-down or toe-up construction, about half of each. Ms. Budd includes great information on cast-ons for top-down and toe-up patterns as well as bind-offs. The book includes a DVD of innovative patterns and techniques from top designers. It is excellent.

My favorite patterns in the top-down section are:

French Market socks with highlights of blue and green triangles and squares.

Twisted Stitch Stockings in a lovely soft gray hue that are nearly knee-high.

Knot Socks in a light variegated orange, knit with cables and ribbing.

Mock Cables and Lace in a dark rust color, perfect for wearing with sandals or flats. Ms. Budd states "I chose a lace pattern that gives the illusion of a wide cable along the front and back of the leg".

Of the toe-up patterns, my favorites are:

Stealth Argyles in a brown and blue horizontal striped pattern. Ms.
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