Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Half-assed Book Review: The Joy of Sox

Spicy and I have been living in our new neighborhood since August, but we only recently realized that there's a public library a couple of blocks from our house. we checked it out last night and learned that whoever is in charge of the DVD section is a giant sci-fi nerd. the collection consisted of a lot of heroes, dr. who, and battlestar galactica dvds. not that there's anything wrong with that. in addition, their craft section was pretty thin, but i did pick up a couple of books, one of which was The Joy of Sox: 30+ must-knit designs.

First, i must get this out of the way: I hate cutesy puns, especially when they carry it through the entire book. The pages are sprinkled with fake polls, like "54% of knitters enjoy a smoke after socks" and other stupid things like that. ok, i made that one up, but trust me, the stats read like a bad cosmo mag. the title, the cover, and the fact that there are eleventy billion sock books on the market means that had it not been at my local library, i never would have given this book a chance.

and that would be a shame, because most of the patterns are gorgeous. there's a large number of patterns and tons of variation for those, like me, who get bored easily. there's a variety in the weight of yarns used, the techniques range from simple to complicated, and some socks are toe-up while others are cuff-down. there's short anklets and tall knee socks, and even a pair of thigh highs that take 1100 yards of yarn. there's colorwork, lace, cables, beading, twisted stitches, twining, i think there's even entrelac. this book screams out, "VARIETY!"

i believe that all of the patterns only come in one size, but i'm used to seeing that in sock books. I think that it's a fairly recent trend that people want to see multi-size sock patterns. many of the designs are fairly complex, so they might not be easy to re-size.

i'd guess about half of the socks are unisex, which is nice for those who are always on the lookout for more manly patterns. the yarns used in the book range from snooty indie-dyed yarns, like sundara silky merino, to jamieson & smith, to cascade 220 superwash.

i skipped the entire front section, so i don't really know what it said, but i'm guessing there was some good technique info intermingled with more annoying cutesy-isms. there are a few essays sprinkled throughout the book that i also haven't read. another minor gripe is that there are a lot of pictures but many of them are small and some of the yarns are busy, so i can't tell what a few of the designs look like.

i am seriously considering adding this one to my personal collection, so i'm really happy that i stumbled on it at the library. i also think i may have found a pattern (rav) for my cabled wool/angora handspun that has been languishing in the stash.

in other news, i'm working on a bunch of stuff that i'm not ready to show yet, but i can share my in between other projects project: Spicy's February Frankensocks.
February Frankensocks
it's slow-going, but that is the nature of an in between other projects project.

1 comment:

  1. nice review. I haven't picked up this book because of its annoying/cutesy title either... and well, I probably won't. just because of the title (and those polls you mentioned). why the silly theme, book publishers?

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