Thursday, April 30, 2009

Socks From the Toe Up - Wendy D. Johnson

I consider myself pretty crafty - no not sneaky, I just really enjoy making and creating. And I've tried a lot of techniques, but knitting is one I've really never gotten into, except for stocking stitch scarves. With all the fiction books featuring knitters clubs and groups, I think the art of knitting has experienced a real resurgence in popularity.

My grandmother always made us handmade mittens or socks for Christmas. When I saw Socks from the Toe Up from Random House, the choice was made.

Wendy Johnson is a knitting diva! I loved the story of how this book came to be. She joined an online project in 2007 called The Summer of Socks. Wendy delved whole hearted into this project and came up with over 18 original designs and it morphed into this book.

As a newbie I was quite glad to find all the basics included. Needles - who knew there were so many kinds - yarn choices (I've stopped many a time in the craft store and just petted all the different skeins of wool!), and other tips and tools.

Most important though were the basics of knitting - the techniques for casting on, binding and the most important part of Johnson's patterns - the toe. Her reasoning makes perfect sense. If you start from the toe and work up, you save yarn and can fit as you go. All the instructions are clearly written and accompanied by detailed drawings.

The photographs of each pattern are done in full beautiful colour. And oh boy, are they gorgeous. Lace, cable and patterns that are astonishing in a pair of socks. I will of course be starting on what Johnson refers to as a 'plain vanilla' pattern - there are three basics to get you started. So at some future juncture I will attempt a pair of socks and share them with you!

Wendy is a blogger too - you can catch her at Wendy Knits.

Anyone else ever tried to knit socks?

Here's a great article (with pictures!) by Wendy on the different toe starts.

I loved the tagline in the flyleaf - "Socks From the Toe Up is the hands-down best guide for toe-up socks."


bermudaonion said...

I'm not a knitter, but when my dad (he's 89 now) was in the Navy, he would knit beautiful argyle socks when he was out at sea.

cindysloveofbooks said...

I am not a knitter. I always wanted to learn. Perhaps one day.

Just wanted to let you know that I have an award for you on my blog called "You don't say"

WendyKnits said...

Thank you for the lovely review! I hope you enjoy the book and the socks you knit from it!

Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm a sock knitter. Such a lovely little thing to take wherever you go. Love me some hand-knitted socks. :o)

♔ jessica.marie said...

Oh I will have to remember this one, I just started knitting around Christmas. I learned from a youtube video ;)

And I really LOVE the cover of this book, especially since it is a craft book.

Vi (pronounced Vy) said...

please join the Community Virtual Book Sale & Giveaway going on May 4 - 15 with a Twitter party May 8th!

Here is the info to join:

Pass it on to your other book-lover friends!

Bonnie said...

I'm a newbie knitter and haven't gotten beyond the scarf basics yet. Socks looks so fun but I'm a bit intimidated by them. I'm glad to hear that as a newbie you found this book helpful. Thanks for the review, I'm going to look for this book.

Ladytink_534 said...

I love handmade knitted / crocheted stuff but I've never had the patience to learn how. I do want some nice knitted socks for winter though :)

Gwendolyn B. said...

Makes me want to give it a try!

Toni said...

I am a crazy sock knitter.. really I have four pair going right now. I want to get this book for SURE! :) Love it.. I am doing my first toe ups now.. two at a time.

Teddy Rose said...

Wonderful review! I am a knitter and can do some pretty detailed work. However I have never made socks. Actually, that's not quite true, I made a pair of felted slippers for a x-mas gift last December. They were like big socks.

It gave me the courage to try socks. I have some patterns and recently bought the yarn. Wish me luck.

Anna said...

I'm a long-time reader of Wendy Knits, but I've yet to knit a sock from the toe up. I love knitting socks, and Wendy's patterns are great, so maybe I'll give this one a try.

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