Knit Your Socks on Straight: A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles; 20 Original Designs by Alice Curtis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I recently received this book for review from the publisher.
Let me start at the beginning: I have been a knitter for over 30 years now and I have knitted plenty of socks in these years. Both from patterns and after my own designs.
When the book first arrived, I though, “Oh, what an interesting notion!”. Then I opened the pages. The first pattern the book opened up to was the Carnegie Hall socks. There is obviously no fighting over taste, so I told myself to just overlook this faux pas and move on. I went to the beginning of the book and started reading.
I have to say: I am a knitting teacher myself and I have also homeschooled out children, but it would never occur to me to help them slack off. I would find a way to explain it differently, or to use different words and techniques until they get it. To figure out a way and make them not try something new just goes against my better judgement as a teacher. All right, Bridgett, I thought, get over yourself, maybe there are people that would like to get into knitting socks in the round, after trying these!So give them a chance.
I read on and hit the page with the moccasocks! Oh boy! Bleach for my eyes, please!
Since I am a knitting teacher, as I mentioned before, I figured it would be good to give this technique a chance and at least knit one pair of socks with it. I will have to have answers once people start knitting socks this way and need help (and boy will they need help. So Off I went. Grabbed yarn off a shelf at my shop and started off. The socks I picked were really the nicest pair in the entire book. The problem is: I just could not get into a rhythm with this pattern. Nobody’s fault… It happens now and again.
So, I decided to switch to one of the simpler patterns instead, because I have other knitting projects with looming deadlines and wanted these socks off my needles asap. I started out and so far so good, it all worked out and the sock grew right fast.
I got to the heel. I worked the heel exaclty as it stated in the pattern. I find the heel flap a bit short, if you ask me. I usually make them so they square off. None the less, I stuck with the pattern, although I already had a sinking feeling. The pattern then prompted me to pick up 16 stitches along the sides of a too short heelflap. I ignored again my better judgement and went for what the pattern suggested. I finished the sock and found out the heel is puckering at the gusset stitches. the toe is pointy, the heelflap too short and the overall fit of the sock just a little too wide for my taste.
ALL THIS WORK FOR NOTHING!
Now, maybe it’s just me, maybe other people have a better experience following this pattern. Maybe I should have used different yarn….I won’t make another pattern from this book. I will not waste my time and my yarn on this!
Apart from the bad experience with this pattern, I must say : The seam will bother you, once the sock is done. If you wear this sock in a shoe, the seam will push into your foot, never mind if it is on the bottom, or the top of the foot.
I also don’t like that one cannot try the sock on while knitting it. In the round (never mind if toe up, or cuff down, circulars, or DPN’s) I can try the sock on and find out two inches into the cuff, that it won’t fit, or know exactly where to stop increasing for the toe.
I do believe people not capable of knitting in the round will not be happy following the patterns in this book. You will not find out until you are done, if this sock will fit you. If you haven’t knitted socks before, you will not be able to simply change the pattern to make it fit, as you don’t know what won’t fit until you are finished and have the sock sewn up. Also the “target group” the author wrote the book for, is people not wanting, or being able to knit in the round. I want to venture, that these same people will not be able to simply change a pattern to begin with.
I would recommend for everyone to try and knit socks in the round. Never mind, if you want to use circular needles, or double point, TRY IT! You will end up with a sock that fits and makes you happy, instead of something you have to bury in the back garden and discouraged to ever try socks again.
If you think I was mean, or I am making this sound worse than it is, I showed the sock to our knitting group at the shop and they were appalled.
Like I said: over 30 years of experience…. trust me when I say: knitting socks in the round is not that hard, but definitely worth it.