Thursday, 19 May 2016

Book review; Sock Architecture by Lara Neel

Co-operative press, 2015. Available on Amazon or direct from the publisher.

View the patterns on Ravelry here

I love the ingenuity of socks most of all, and I've been playing around with some interesting toe and heel constructions from a book in my collections, which I thoroughly recommend; Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. I first picked up a copy because I had so enjoyed working my first Fish Lips Kiss short row heel, and wanted to see what else was out there. I thought maybe a couple of toes, a couple of heels – how many could there be?

This book has – I kid you not – 17 top down toes, 68 top down heels, 17 toe-up toes and 26 toe up heels. None of those are a typo. 68 top down heels. Without adding variations for stitch pattern or colour, you could make 1,156 unique top-down socks, and 442 toe up. I am still impressed by that.The book is clear, precise, and full of informative pictures. There are 17 full patterns to practise on, three of which I've made already, and I've really enjoyed playing with some of the other heel and toe constructions. I paid around £14.00 for the book on Amazon, and I think that works out at less than half a penny per sock that could be knitted from it.  The designed patterns are thoughtful, adjustable and unusual, and full of careful notes on adjusting to size and shapes of feet including wider, pointier, higher, etc.

The only downside to the book, for me, is her tendency to over explain some techniques, which I found slightly annoying. As a learner, I want to grasp the overall concept, then deal with the details – you may be different. It didn't stand in the way of me constructing some really very neat heels and toes, and all the instructions worked – but it was a little niggle.

Just to note; I received nothing for this review, I bought the book out of my own change!
Overall – 4.5 out of 5. Once you get started you’ll just keep coming back to this excellent collection.

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