Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sock Club: Join the Knitting Adventure

I won't even pretend that this is a legitimate book review since I'm not going to be unbiased at all.

Because I have a pattern in this book! Squeee! Right there on page 50 is my Rainbow Swirl sock in all its glory.

The colors are quite vivid and fetching as well.

I also like that they maintained all my little notes about how to read the stitch pattern to in case you make a mistake, and how to re-establish the pattern on the instep after you've picked up for the gusset.

Really, it doesn't look like they've changed the pattern much from the way I wrote it at all.

Turns out there are 22 other very nice patterns in this book as well.
Sock Club: Join the Knitting Adventure, edited by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott (Martingale & Company, 2010) B1010, $24.99 (CAN $31.99), 80 pages, 8 1/2" x 11", full color, paperback, ISBN 978-1-56477-936-6.

A Sock What?
A sock club is a subscription plan for knitters, sort of like a book of the month club. Only instead of books you get yarn and a pattern (and sometimes a gift) every month or every other month.

Sometimes the club has a theme, sometimes it is run by an independent dyer and/or spinner. In that case the color is often exclusive to the club.

The book is composed of patterns that were originally for a sock club as well as a new pattern from both Charlene and Beth. This is exciting because sock club patterns are usually exclusive to the club members for at least several months, if not in general.

My Rainbow Swirl Socks were for the first year of the Knitting Central Sock Club through the store. Our hook was members received an exclusive pattern designed by the staff members they knew and trusted from the store, often using sock yarn they were already familiar with. This cut down on bad surprises. AND we allowed them to tell us a color they didn't like so we would know to avoid it for them. Often everyone in a club gets the same color.

We also focused on tips, tricks, and techniques to improve their sock knitting. Mine technique was a discussion of fit and negative ease.

More Than Patterns
Of course my club letter isn't in the book, but there is still very useful tips and techniques information included. Sock Club Rainbow Swirl

The beginning of the book has a discussion of resizing sock patterns based on changing the gauge using different needles or yarn, changing the pattern elements, background stitches, or repeats. Each method has a code, which is reflected on the sock patterns.

At the same time, most of the patterns reflect stitch counts for multiple sizes when possible. Some of the designers had to rework their patterns for the extra sizes, my pattern was already written for small, medium, and large.

Most of the patterns are rated as Intermediate or Experienced based on the Craft Yarn Council standards.

That surprised me, but then I realized that sock clubs are usually for experienced sock knitters, so of course they would want challenging patterns.

I like that one, and that one, and...
Aside from my own pattern, ahem, I think my current favorite is the I Love Gansey pattern by Janine LeCras. Actually, I'm wondering whether I can upsize it to fit Hubby. I've been wanting to make him cabled socks and I like foisting socks with heart motifs on him.

You know, to remind him how I feel in case hand knit socks are a strong enough sign.

As a side note, he was wearing his I Heart Husband socks over the weekend. They have little hearts on them.

I also like the Celtic Spirit pattern by Judy Alexander, because it has nice cables.

And I notice that Charlene's Havana Lace pattern has a Cuban Heel! In one of the pictures it looks like the lace pattern continues down the heel flap, which is intriguing.

And, of course, the Indiana Jones socks by Emily Johnson are awesome by virtue of being about Indiana Jones. Sadly, the colors are achieved by using specially dyed yarn whose availability is unknown to me. There is a note about just using two complimentary colored yarns, so that might be the route to go.

Of course, I could find something nice to say about all the patterns in the book, but I have to shut up sometime.


  1. Is it in the bookstores?? You will autograph my copy won't you?

  2. So delighted you were part of the book. Lovely write-up!