Sock Innovation: a book review

I seem to have become a sock knitter, again. I went through a phase about 10 years ago, and finally decided that skinny yarn knitting wasn’t for me. But a funny thing happened this last year. I seem to be knitting a lot of socks. Granted, the yarn is never skinnier than sport weight, but there are a lot of socks coming from my needles.

Because of my skinny yarn aversion, there has been a lot of adapting stitch counts and heels and all the good things that go into socks. And there has been some sock designing to go along with that, based on things that I’ve learned along the way. Nothing too fancy, but I’ve liked the results.

I was cruising Amazon the other day, and I looked at Cookie A’s new book, Sock Innovation, published by Interweave Knits. That cute little “Look Inside” feature? It had me at this from the opening pages: “I have biases and preferences that will become apparent. All the socks in this book are knitted from the top down, and most have ribbed cuffs, a flap heel with gusset, and stockinette wedge toes.” Knitter after my own heart!


The first half of the book is a very thorough tutorial on how to design socks, beginning with the basics of sock construction, working through inverting stitches, working with charts, adjusting stitch patterns to fit your needs, and how stitches affect knitted fabric. All of this information is great for adapting existing sock patterns or designing your own socks. And if you just want to knit socks? There are 15 exquisitely detailed sock patterns that are ready to go. If you knit with fingering weight yarn. But the tools are there for adapting, or designing, and for me, that’s the best part of the whole book.

Since I’ve finished my Shur’tugal socks, I need something else on the needles. Funny that I have so few works in progress! The baby sweater isn’t making me happy, but I can solve that with a trip to Twisted’s sale this weekend for a yarn I like better. But what about a portable knitting project NOW? I’m thinking Kai-Mei, from Sock Innovation. Except it won’t be Kai-Mei, because I have Frankensteinian plans…Kai-Mei is the inspiration, but somehow I think Cookie would be pleased that I’m taking her instruction from the beginning of the book and running with it. Knit on!

12 responses to “Sock Innovation: a book review

  1. I’ve been enjoying my copy. Funny, the lists have been slamming the book for having one-size patterns. But, as you say, she gives you all the tools to adjust them. It’s pretty clear they didn’t read the front part and went straight to the pretty.

    I LOVE the chart for any size heel turn. I’ve used it repeatedly.

  2. I think my copy of Sock Innovation is arriving this week in the mail, and now I really can’t wait to look inside! I’m also excited to see what you do with Kai-Mei. From what I’ve heard about Cookie, I definitely think she’d be pleased to see you adapting her patterns to your own style!

  3. I can’t wait to see you what you do! I think Cookie would be proud!

    Can you believe I don’t have this book yet? Oy. Amazon is my next stop before heading out for work!

  4. gettingpurlywithit

    Cookie is AMAZING… such a talented woman.

  5. “I have biases and preferences that will become apparent. All the socks in this book are knitted from the top down, and most have ribbed cuffs, a flap heel with gusset, and stockinette wedge toes.”

    Do you know how much that statement makes me want to run for the hills? I love many of the pattern in the books, but I am going to have to do some adapting before I touch them TOE UP FOR LIFE!

  6. Ah, I prognosticate many beautiful sock patterns from you in the near future. 🙂

    I am enjoying toe-up right now, I really should give cuff-down another chance.

  7. I’ve been eyeing this book since before it came out, now you’ve convinced me. And I’m a big top down fan, too.

  8. That book is on my want list…good to know that I need to take it to the TOP of the list.

  9. That is a good book, isn’t it? I’m going to be taking Cookie’s sock design class next week at Spring Fling…can’t wait! 🙂

  10. Looking forward to seeing what you do! Her socks are really amazing…

  11. I wanna see what you do too… are you done yet? lol

  12. I have **got** to get a copy of this book!