Last year I signed up for two different sock clubs. As the second of the two resulting books has arrived, I thought I’d review them briefly.
Socks of Iceland by Helene Magnusson
Socks of Iceland is a collection of sock pattern inspired by traditional Icelandic textiles. There is a range of techniques, including lace, colorwork, some interesting shaping here and there, and some different heel and toe constructions. There are a few essays on Icelandic history and textile heritage, but this book is primarily about the socks.
And the socks are all featured in lush pictures, usually in beautiful natural settings in Iceland, which makes them extra tempting! I got myself this pattern club, and DH got me the yarn pack that went with it for last year’s Christmas. The featured yarn was a new line for Helene – Katla Sock. It is a tightly spun sport weight of Icelandic yarn. I have knit DH a pair of socks from this yarn, but haven’t made any out of the book yet. My first pair from the book is next on my sock list!
I’m very happy with this pattern book! I don’t know that I’d make all of the socks in it, but certainly quite a few are in my queue.
The other book is from Kate Davies’ club last year – the Bluestocking sock pattern club
This book is centered around the Bluestockings, a group of learned women from the 18th century. There are heady essays on each of the featured Bluestockings, the history of socks and sock knitting, and then there are the patterns. Each of the sock patterns is inspired by one of the featured ladies, and again the patterns include a range of techniques. Featured Bluestockings include: Elizabeth Montagu, Catherine Macaulay, Elizabeth Carter, Mercy Otis Warren, Phyllis Wheatley Peters, Mary Delany, and Sarah Scott. Finally, there is a bonus hap pattern as well!
I did make one pair of socks from this book – the Elizabeth Montagu socks, shown above. The featured yarn for the pattern club/book is from John Arbon. That’s not what I used though, as I have way too much sock yarn in the house to justify buying much more 🙂 As with the Socks of Iceland, I am very happy with this book! Love the essays, love the patterns. I am more bookish than not, so it was so interesting to read about the Bluestockings and their accomplishments.
I would say that anyone who enjoys sock knitting would like either of these books. If you like a lot of history and more straightforward sock knitting, the Bluestocking book would probably be more for you. If you like ethnic knitting or socks that are a little more different, then the Socks of Iceland would probably be your preference. However, I’m happy to have both of them!
Have you gotten any new pattern books lately? If so how are they?