Perhaps you have been saying to yourself “Self, I would love to knit socks! But how? How would I even know how to do that?” Wonder no longer! I have some sock books to tell you about to suit every level of interest or experience.
None of these books are brand new. Two of them are new to me, but again, not new to the world. They all have good discussions of knitting basics, like how to cast on and how to decide what needle configuration to use and so on. Still though, not everyone is necessarily familiar with them, so I will briefly review each and tell you what their particular deal is.
Custom Socks Knit to Fit Your Feet by Kate Atherly
Is exactly what it says in the title. It is pretty much a tutorial on how to get your foot measurements (or your SO’s or your child’s, or whoever’s), factor that in with the yarn and needles you are using, and then do the calculations to make the socks you want. This may be a little advanced for a beginner, but for the mathematically inclined, or for those who want to come up with their own sock patterns, it is a great reference book. There are patterns that you can knit to your own size, or you can take her information and go for it! She discusses various design features you may want to consider adding to your socks, and how they will affect your sizing. She also talks you through designing and knitting for toe up and for top down, so no matter where you fall on that issue, you are covered. All in all, it is advanced, but a great resource.
The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes
If you are familiar with Clara Parkes and like her work, you will like this book. If you are not familiar with Clara Parkes, consider checking out this and her other books! Specifically her Book of Yarn and Book of Wool, both have great information. They and this book all really do work together. This is a look first and foremost at the yarn that is good for knitting socks with, and the yarn that is probably not the best for this application. You will read discussions of tensile strength, micron count, twist, and so on. It is a very factual look at the technical aspects of sock knitting, which taken with the patterns included, will likely help you be a better knitter in general, and a better sock knitter specifically.
Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson
Again, the title is a pretty dead giveaway as to the content. It is techniques and patterns for knitting socks from the toe up. There are good illustrations and directions for casting on at the toes as well as plenty of patterns from easy to complex. And that’s pretty much it. If you are interested in the method, this book is your huckleberry.
The Ultimate Sock Book by Vogue Knitting
This book a little bit oversells itself with that title. It’s a moderately complete book of socks. This was published back in 2007, so a lot of techniques are not included, many of which either weren’t in common use back in the day, or were not yet invented. The book does lean a bit toward top-down, but it also has a helping of sort of adventurous socks, some of which are maybe a little wacky for everyday wear. But that’s Vogue Knitting. It sometimes takes those fashion risks. And that’s why we love them! Anyway, this does discuss sock knitting history, which our other entries today don’t really get into. So you’ve got some history, a more limited palette of techniques, and some fun patterns. For folks who are just getting started, who maybe don’t want to dive into a pool of infinite possibilities right out of the gate, this is a good option.
And what I have here is just the tip of the sock knitting iceberg! There are classes on Craftsy and other places online, as well as many, many other books out there. If this is a topic you are interested in, I encourage you to dive in. Sock knitting is vast. It contains multitudes. There might be something there for you!