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All things are difficult before they are easy.
[Thomas Fuller]

I took this book to a sock-knitting class, and the seven class members insisted that they each had to have a copy for reference to carry with them. I listened to their excited discussion about what they liked best about the book. Here’s a partial list:

  • The photos are so clear and easy to understand
  • The binding allows the book to lie open easily
  • There are so many variations to choose from
  • The charts and diagrams are useful
  • The stitch samples stimulate sock design ideas
  • The book size is easy to handle and carry . . .

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook, Expert Advice, Tips, & Tricks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott was published this year (2012) by Martingale and Company. At first glance, this book seems quite simple, but simple usually requires more thought, organization and effort to produce well than something lengthy and wordy. This handbook hints at that underlying effort which has made it very useful.

The authors introduce color-coded photos for parts of socks in the “Sock Architecture” chapter then proceed through the various sections using the color coding to present a number of ways to knit each part of a sock. They also present charts for such information as yarn yardage and foot measurements. Diagrams show how to execute specific stitch techniques, and a stitch dictionary presents a variety of decorative ideas for jazzing up a sock.

Since my day job is working as a graphic artist in publication design, the first thing I notice about a book is its production features. Not only does this book have a pleasing page design that enhances its message, but its binding and paper choices make it user friendly. Since I also design knitting patterns and I want to avoid being influenced by other people’s designs, I must confess that I rarely look at knitting pattern books or magazines. I’m delighted I had a reason to review this one. It will go directly into my knitting bag for future use.

Book Giveaway Contest

Ms Schurch sent me an extra copy of this book to give away in a contest. In one week, I will collect the names from the comments to this post and have a drawing. Then I will email the winner for a mailing address and send the lucky knitter the new book. So, do enter the contest by leaving a comment.