Thursday, 25 April 2013

Socks A la Carte (knitting book review)

Disclaimer: As with my other book reviews, I have been given these books free so that I can review them. My opinions are my own, as always!

I have two books in this series, the one pictured above and its sequel, Socks a la carte 2, toes up!

Both books share a great format, the designs are set out in flip charts so you can mix and match cuffs, bodies and feet. It's taken me forever to get around to this review because I just could not decide which combination to knit. I decided to start with book 1 and knit "cuff first", choosing a zigzaggy cuff (prestige) and then the wavy lines of "surfin" for the body. Both patterns are based on sets of 8 stitches, which I assume would mean the patterns would line up well.

I've only knitted socks once before (I still wear them, surprised to see I knitted them 2 years ago!)  and  was expecting to be working with double pointed needles again. I work with DPNs daily, but the writers recommend a style of knitting that was completely new to me - using two circular needles AT THE SAME TIME! eek....

There are clear instructions (although I googled a few youtube videos to help) but I had to cast on several times before I managed to get the join right. Toptip from me is not to panic. There are conflicting opinions online regarding which needle to knit from (front or back) and where (and how soon) to dangle the "resting" needle. In my opinion, as long as you're consistent it doesn't matter too much.

Once I'd got the first round knitted though, it became easier. I decided to abandon my plan for a fancy cuff and decided to stick with simple rib while I got used to knitting with the 2 circular needles, that helped too!

The flip chart gives the page numbers for each section of the design, and the patterns are helpfully laid out as both charts (where appropriate) and line by line. I prefer to avoid charts!

I discovered an error in round two, and learnt a lesson - always check online for errata! Even without the error though, this is not a book for novice knitters. I'm loving the wavy pattern though, it's not too tricky to knit while watching TV (key for me!) and I'm looking forward to trying my first sock on.

I'll show you how far I've got tomorrow... (no pressure then!)

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