Birthday girl or mutant?

I had a birthday this week. And, lucky me, I have a husband who is well trained. He *asked* me what I wanted, and top of my list were two sock knitting books. I told you I was addicted to sock knitting, eh?

First on my wish list was Sock Innovation by Cookie A. I drooled over the patterns when it first came out, and having seen some finished products on Ravelry, I’m still drooling now. Only one problem – it’s sold out on Amazon! So, this part of my birthday present will be delivered in a couple of months time. One way to prolong the celebrations.

And second on my list was Wendy Johnson’s Socks From The Toe Up.  This is newly published, so I thought that I could offer a bit of a review.

First, this is a beautiful book, with lovely clear illustrations, each sock is pictured numerous times, taken from different angles. The patterns in the book are intended for solid of semi-solid yarns and are pictured in a range of lovely colours and beautiful yarns. The layout of the book is logical and accessible. Beginning with a section on techniques, it then moves through three basic sock patterns, and then onto sections on lace socks, gansey socks, cabled socks and sportweight socks. Within each of these sections there is a range of patterns, and all begin with the most simple patterns first and get progressively more challenging.  This allows the knitter to choose wisely, and gives a sense of the difficulty involved.

Picture 2197

And what review would be complete without me throwing a sock pattern onto the needles? I had been thinking about casting on the Noro sock yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago, and wanted  a stripy pair of socks. So, I cast on one of the basic sock patterns, the Gusset Heel Basic Socks.  It is a simple knit with a wide toe and an interesting gusset heel rather than a heel flap, not something that I have come across before. 

Now, here’s the mutant part.

The pattern says to knit the length of the sock 5- 6.5cm shy of the length of your foot before beginning the gusset. Which I did. Yet when I tried it on later, it was too long. I decided I must be a mutant.

Until I finished it and tried it on the other foot. And it fit.

I forgot I have one foot longer than the other.


So, now I have to decide: do I knit the other sock the same length and have it slightly too long, or do I knit it to fit my smaller foot. They are going to be fraternal twins anyway – totally different colour combinations so I think that I might make it a centimeter shorter and embrace my inner mutant.

Aside from this, it is an easy pattern. It would be an excellent pattern for a first-timer, with a Turkish or Judy’s Magic Cast On, simple gusset heel, and not a lot else for challenge. I chose to do a sewn bind off -my first blast at it – which is described in the techniques section. I like this a lot, and see myself using it for my toe up socks. I don’t like the really wide toe though. I think I prefer a narrower toe, but that will be easily remedied.

Picture 2199

I can see that I will be knitting lots of patterns from this book. It’s an excellent buy. And by arriving two months before its competitor, it has the jump.


8 Responses to “Birthday girl or mutant?”

  1. 1 Judy May 29, 2009 at 4:04 am

    I’m in love with this book and the yarns used. Must have been my subconscious that made me purchase it for you and then realize it was one of the ones Mr. was getting you 🙂

    I’ve been scanning Rav & the net to find the actual yarns & colorways used – something that I never do! But I haven’t purchased yet, because of the yarn buying ban 😉

  2. 2 Heather May 29, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Well belated Happy Happy to you! And what a wonderful Dh to actually get you what you wanted. My Dh asks me and then either forgets or gets me something I never would have asked for.Yeah he’s quirky like that.

    The book looks awesome and I bow to your sock knitting. I love the idea but for some reason just can’t seem to complete that other sock.

    I can’t wait to see all the lovely (even if it is mutant) socks you create.

  3. 3 shortly24 May 29, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Oh, did I forget to mention that once he agreed it was am awesome idea, I ordered them? That’s the key Heather!

    And as Judy said, I would have ended up with this book anway (thanks sis!)

  4. 4 I May 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! I really should get into knitting socks, they look like fun.

  5. 5 jennynz May 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Happy birthday! For my birthday my hubby bought me a pedestal fan. OK so it was summer and it was hot but wtf? a fan? I digress – your books and socks look awesome! Oh and you aren’t a mutant, I think most people have uneven feet. I say make the next sock to fit 🙂

  6. 6 nona of sav May 31, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Your socks are lovely! And, I haven’t peeked inside either of those books, so I’m off to peruse them…I have only done 2 pair of adult socks and a few pair of baby socks…and it’s been some time since I’ve knit a pair, but now you’ve got me thinking socks, socks, socks! Yep, I’m off to pick out a pattern

  7. 7 susan June 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I knit a Wendy pattern last year and I loved it. The book must be wonderful!

  1. 1 FO: Noro Socks « Shortly Stitches Trackback on June 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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