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Teach Yourself VISUALLY Sock Knitting Paperback – September 9, 2008
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Why more publishers, even businesses, don’t adopt more pictorial ways to communicate (other than PowerPoint) is a mystery. After all, visual learning, step-by-step, accompanied by clear, up-close photographs and directions, is one of the best methods to retain information, which is precisely the point and success of the Teach Yourself Visually series. This series volume focuses on sock knitting. Chau immediately dismisses any reader misgivings by deconstructing every step, beginning with selecting the right yarn and ending with the care and repair of handmade socks. Content varies from simple to complex; the author details three different methods of sock construction—top down, flat, toe-up—then expands readers’ experiences with additional patterns, whether angora baby booties or cabled cuff socks. There is a follow-up chapter on troubleshooting to fix such mistakes as dropped or twisted stitches. Boxed tips throughout the text provide “professional” hints to turn a perceived difficult task into a relaxing hobby. --Barbara Jacobs
About the Author
Laura Chau is a self-taught knitter, designer, spinner, and dyer. She works as a custom dyer and teaches numerous classes at Toronto's popular yarn store Lettuce Knit. Laura has had multiple designs featured on Knitty.com and sells her patterns on her Web site and blog, cosmicpluto knits! (www.cosmicpluto.com).
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Top Customer Reviews
I haven't checked the patterns, but the point of this book isn't patterns. The point is how to KNIT socks. It teaches you how to do this by giving you the formulas - for example, how many stitches from your total you should use to knit the heel. It tells you the size you need for, say, a women's medium (so you can find your gauge, then multiply stitches per inch by that size), instead of telling you to cast on X number of stitches. However, it's not as complicated as the custom sock patterns I have found on the internet. And it includes other options like how to make a deeper heel, a larger calf, etc.
Also, it includes information on top-down, toe-up, AND flat-knit socks (find that in another reference book!), as well as different types of heels, toes, cast-ons, etc. for each one. Also included is a VERY handy reference chart of what sizes work best for the foot size you need. This is useful as many internet patterns say "Size: Custom" which is useless if you can't measure the intended recipient's foot. Here, you just need their shoe size and can then find the corresponding approximate measurements.
All in all this is a GREAT reference book, not for the complete beginner, and heavy on techniques, instead of patterns. I HIGHLY recommend it if you are looking for these things.
Because of the errors in the cuff-down pattern, I now distrust the other patterns in the book, including the toe-up, and haven't tried any of them. Therefore I can't recommend this book to any knitter, beginning or not -- especially since there are several other beginners' sock-knitting books on the market with perfectly accurate patterns (including Ann Budd's "Getting Started Knitting Socks"). However, the photographs are good.
This book was most helpful for me in helping to understand the overall construction of a sock. The instructions though I found a bit lacking in some areas. And there is an error in the very first basic sock pattern, which for a newer knitter and a novice sock knitter is pretty aggravating. FYI, when you make the heel flap, the pattern says to K1, Sl1, but it should be Sl1, K1. I realized this when I ended up with a 4 row long slip stitch! haha
All told, it's a book I will keep in my library for basic reference in the future, but I'm going back to online tutorials for my first socks, and won't be utilizing this book until I get the hang of a couple of techniques which I still have problems with.
Other thing that's missing is spiral binding. That would make it easier to have the book open while working with the instructions.