Book Review: Custom Socks – Knitting

Custom Socks book reviewI love the way Kate Atherley’s mind works. Her background in mathematics and experience as a technical editor give her a mind for the analytical side of knitting and knitwear design, but she’s also great at explaining technical things in an easy-to-grasp way.

Her book Pattern Writing for Knitwear Designers should be required reading for anyone looking to publish knitting patterns online or in print, and her latest book, Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feetir?source=bk&t=cra0fd 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e6ad7b87cadb4765cea68b5988ef7905& cb=1556854039589 is a great guide to customizing knit socks, whether for your own feet or those of someone you love. It’s also helpful for designers because she walks you through everything she did to make the designs in the book work in different sizes, which is super handy if you’re wanting to resize a project for publication or to knit for someone else.

The book includes basic charts for working simple socks in multiple sizes and gauges, and the patterns include four or five sizes so you can stitch them up for a variety of feet. And the rest of the book is all about how to customize sock patterns — there’s even a whole chapter called “On Adjustments for Non-Average Feet” — so even if the one you want to knit doesn’t fit your feet perfectly, you’ll have the confidence to fix it.

There are a great variety of patterns here, several of which give you the option of working toe-up or top-down. You can start with simple Stockinette and ribbed socks, but there are also patterns using cables, lace and colorwork.

Some of my favorites include the Carpita, an allover stranded colorwork sock worked from the top down with a diamond checkerboard motif; the Harcourt, with an easy zigzag lace pattern that can be worked in either direction; and the stunning Fitzcarraldo knee socks, which are shaped at the back of the leg with a lovely twisted stitch pattern. (Check out all the designs on Ravelry.)

This book is a great choice for anyone who wants to knit socks but is worried because her feet aren’t “standard” in some way (which covers everything from having skinny calves to long toes), people who have knit socks before but didn’t like the fit in the end, and people who want to really understand what goes into making a great sock, and a great sock pattern.

I hope you’ll check this one out and let me know what you think!

Book specifications: 192 pages, paperback, 14 patterns. Interweave/F+W, published August 2015. Suggested retail $27.99

Looking for more knitted socks designs and patterns to keep you warm this winter? Check out these knitted sock patterns on Etsy.

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